If you’ve ever baked a pie, then you know that there are some pretty essential tools to make it look professional and scrumptious.
One of these is the baking beans – aka pie weights or blind baking beans.
There are several alternatives you can use for baking beans, such as rice, dried peas, or ceramic baking beans. If you don’t have any of these on hand, you can also use aluminum foil balls or wads of parchment paper.
But what if you don’t have any pie weights?
We’ve got 38 baking beans alternatives for you to try out – and they might even be better than the original.
38 Baking Beans Alternatives (Substitutes for Baking Beans)
There’s nothing worse than getting your pie crust ready and then realizing you forgot to buy baking beans.
If you’re not familiar with these funny-named objects, they’re basically weights used when blind baking—that is, baking a crust without filling it yet.
They keep the dough or batter from puffing up while it bakes and ensures that when you fill it with your delicious filling, it’ll come out even and professional-looking.
So, what’s the best baking beans alternative?
The best substitute for baking beans is to use either dried lentils or dried rice. If you don’t have either of those on hand, you can also use canned black beans, kidney beans, popcorn kernels, dried peas, or chickpeas.
Looking for more ideas?
Here are 38 great substitutes for baking beans that will help your pie crust turn out perfectly every time:
Popcorn kernels are an excellent alternative to regular baking beans because they’re inexpensive, easy to find, and they do a great job at preventing your crust from puffing up while it bakes.
You can use them in any type of pie—fruit or otherwise—and they’ll work just fine!
Lentils are another great alternative to traditional baking beans.
They’re made out of dried pulses like peas or lentils (hence the name), and they have a similar texture and weight as regular baking beans do when they’re dried out.
If you want something that’s more visually appealing than plain old popcorn kernels but still affordable enough to be affordable on your budget, then try using lentils instead!
Chickpeas are one of the most popular alternatives to baking beans.
They’re cheap, they come in different sizes and textures, and they’re super easy to find!
Just make sure that the chickpeas are dry enough before placing them on top of your crust so they don’t leave moisture behind when baking.
Another Smaller Pie Dish
This one is pretty self-explanatory: if you don’t have enough baking beans to fit in your pie dish, just use another smaller dish and put it on top of your pie dish.
This will create an air gap that will allow heat to flow freely around your pie crust, helping it bake evenly and prevent soggy bottom crusts.
Just make sure that the smaller dish doesn’t touch the edges of the larger one – otherwise your crust might not cook properly!
Steel balls also work great as blind baking beans substitutes because they conduct heat very well and help ensure even cooking throughout your pie crust.
They’re also super cheap so they won’t break your budget like real blind baking beans would!
Scrunched up Tinfoil
Scrunched-up tinfoil also makes a great substitute!
Just place the tinfoil in the bottom of your pie dish, and press it into the crust.
The tinfoil will help to keep the crust in place while it bakes, and you’ll end up with a perfect pie every time.
Many people claim that this alternative is just as effective as using baking beans.
All you need to do is line your pie dish with some parchment paper and pour in a layer of uncooked rice.
Make sure that the rice is evenly distributed and then bake your pie as usual.
The rice will absorb any moisture and prevent the pie crust from shrinking.
Sugar is another great option for pie weights.
Just like beans, sugar will help to keep your crust from shrinking or becoming misshapen.
Simply line your pie dish with parchment paper, and then fill it with sugar.
The sugar will also help to absorb any moisture from the dough, which will prevent your crust from becoming soggy.
If you don’t have any sugar on hand, another option is to use dried peas as replacements for blind baking beans.
This works because peas are heavy enough to weigh down your pie crust while still allowing proper air circulation so that it doesn’t get too crispy or burn during cooking time (which can happen if there’s no ventilation).
Nuts work well as an alternative to baking beans because they provide good weight and texture, which will help keep your crust from shrinking in on itself and becoming soggy.
Simply line up some nuts on top of your crust before adding the filling and bake as well!
A Stack of Coins
A stack of coins can be used as a substitute for blind baking beans.
This is because they will distribute evenly in your pie shell and weigh down any crust that may rise during baking.
Cans of Food
Cans of food can also be used as a substitute for blind baking beans when you need to weigh down your crust during baking.
You may want to use a smaller can so that it will fit into the pie shell more easily.
Salt is one of the most common options for baking beans.
It works well because it doesn’t melt into your crust, so if you want to use salt as a substitute for your blind baking beans, be sure to choose coarse salt instead of table salt.
You can also use kosher salt if you prefer not to have any additives in your food.
Another alternative is birdseed.
This can also be used as an alternative to baking beans if you don’t have any on hand or want to try something new!
Just place some birdseed in between two sheets of parchment paper and place them on top of your pie dough before baking it – just like you would with regular blind-baking beans!
While raisins may seem like an unlikely substitute for baking beans, they actually work really well because they absorb moisture from the oven, helping your crust stay crispier on top.
To use them, simply sprinkle them over the bottom of your unbaked pie crust.
If you find yourself in a bind and don’t have any baking beans on hand, never fear!
Coffee grounds make an excellent substitute.
Simply line your pie dish with parchment paper, fill it with coffee grounds, and blind bake as usual.
The coffee grounds will help the crust to retain its shape and prevent it from shrinking.
Cornmeal is a great substitute for pie weights because it is dry, doesn’t stick to the dough, and is easily removed.
It’s also cheap and easy to find.
If you don’t have cornmeal on hand, why not try rice flour?
It’s a great substitute for pie weights because it’s absorbent and will soak up moisture from the dough.
Plus, its fine texture ensures that it won’t leave behind any unwanted bumps or lumps in your crust.
Use Fresh Sliced Raw Potatoes
Slice a few potatoes and place them on top of your unbaked crust before baking.
The potatoes will absorb moisture from the dough and prevent it from puffing up while baking.
This will ensure that your crust stays flat and even throughout the cooking process.
Use Fresh Sliced Carrots
The best part about using carrots as your blind baking weights is that they won’t stick to your crust like plastic ones do!
All you have to do is slice up some carrots into thin discs (about an inch thick) and place them in between your dough before putting it into the oven.
They’ll keep the bottom of your crust from getting soggy while it bakes – and they’ll give it that extra crunchy texture!
Ceramic Baking Beads
These beads are made from ceramic, so they will never absorb any moisture from your dough.
That means they won’t fall apart in your oven!
They also don’t get hot when they’re in there—which means no risk of burning yourself when removing them from your dough later on.
Ceramic baking beads come in different sizes and shapes, so they can be used in many kinds of recipes: pies, tarts, cakes and more!
Glass marbles are another great alternative because they have the same density as ceramic or metal ones.
You can find them at any craft store or even dollar store!
They come in various sizes so you can use them for big pies as well as small ones.
The only downside is that they might break if dropped on your floor so be careful when using them!
Metal washers are a great alternative because they are heavy and won’t burn during baking.
You can find them in any hardware store, and they’re a lot cheaper than buying special baking beans.
Just make sure to use washers that are the same size or smaller than the circumference of your pie dish.
Baker’s Parchment is a great substitute because it is heat resistant and won’t stick to your pie crust.
It’s also easy to clean up after blind baking.
An Oven-Safe Bowl
All you need is an oven-safe bowl or pan that will fit inside your pie or tart pan.
This can be any size bowl as long as it fits inside your pan and doesn’t interfere with the edges of your crust.
You can use glass bowls or metal bowls – whatever works best for your needs!
If using metal bowls, make sure they are heatproof and can withstand high temperatures (such as stainless steel).
If using glass bowls, make sure they are tempered!
When placing your bowl inside your crust, make sure there is enough room for air circulation around both sides of the bowl (this will prevent burning).
A Cake Pan
All you need is an aluminum cake pan that has straight sides and no ridges (so it can sit directly on your pie plate).
Place the cake pan on top of your crust so that it covers the edges of your plate.
Use dry beans or rice to fill in around the edges of the pan so it sits evenly on top of your crust.
This will keep air from getting into the bottom crust while it cooks and helps prevent soggy bottoms!
A Casserole Dish
A casserole dish is a great substitute for pie weights because it is heavy and can evenly distribute the weight of the dough.
Additionally, the casserole dish will not absorb the heat of the oven like some other materials, so it will not cause the dough to become overcooked.
To use a casserole dish as a pie weight, simply place it upside down on top of the dough and bake as directed.
A Small Wok
A small wok is a great substitute for pie weights because it is the perfect size and shape to fit inside a pie dish.
Additionally, the wok will evenly distribute the heat, ensuring that the crust cooks evenly.
A Pizza Stone
A pizza stone is a great substitute for pie weights because it can help to evenly distribute the heat while cooking the crust.
This is especially important if you are blind baking the crust, as you want to make sure that the entire crust is cooked through before adding the filling.
A pizza stone can also help to give the crust a nice, crispy texture.
Kidney beans are small, dry, and uniform in size.
This makes them ideal for blind baking, as they will evenly distribute heat and prevent the crust from puffing up or shrinking.
Additionally, kidney beans are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found in most grocery stores.
Black beans are another great substitute because they are small, uniform in size, and have a high density.
This makes them awesome for blind baking, as they will help to keep the crust from shrinking or becoming misshapen.
Additionally, black beans are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, making them a great option if you don’t have baking beans on hand.
If you haven’t tried using Lima beans as a pie weight, you’re missing out!
Lima beans are an excellent substitute for baking beans because they are the perfect size and shape to fit in the bottom of a pie dish.
They also don’t absorb moisture like other things, so your crust will stay nice and dry.
And because they’re so small, they won’t make your crust shrink when you bake it.
We can also recommend trying navy beans as a substitute for pie weights.
Navy beans, like most other types of beans, are small, round, and have a smooth texture.
This makes them ideal for use as pie weights because they will evenly distribute the heat and not leave any bumps or ridges in your crust.
Additionally, navy beans are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in most grocery stores.
Just like all the other beans, pinto beans are great for weighing down a pie crust.
They’re the perfect size and shape to fit snugly into the corners of a pie plate, and they’re dense enough to provide a good counterweight to the crust.
Even better, pinto beans are cheap and easy to find, so they’re always a good option when you need a substitute for pie weights.
Metal chains are a great DIY option for those looking to save some money on their baking accessories.
They can be used in place of traditional blind baking beans by simply placing them on top of your pie dough before baking.
The metal chains will allow air to escape from underneath so that your crust doesn’t get soggy or burn, but it will also prevent any potential leakage from occurring as well because it covers up all sides so nothing can leak out!
This is especially important if you’re making something like a quiche because it needs to stay contained within its own boundaries during cooking time otherwise it may end up leaking over into another dish while they cook together inside your oven!
Although this is a very alternative way to bake a pie, meringue powder can actually be a great substitute for pie weights.
If you’re tight on time or just don’t have any baking beans available, meringue powder can be a lifesaver.
All you need to do is preheat your oven to the desired temperature and then coat the bottom and sides of your pie crust with meringue powder.
This will help to prevent the crust from shrinking or becoming misshapen during the baking process.
Commercial Pie Weights
These are basically just round little ceramic discs with holes in them for air circulation during baking (just like real pie weights).
You can find them at any craft store or online retailer for a very reasonable price.
38 Baking Beans Alternatives (Substitutes for Baking Beans)
- Popcorn Kernels
- Commercial Pie Weights
- Another Smaller Pie Dish
- Steel Balls
- Scrunched up Tinfoil
- Uncooked Rice
- Dried Peas
- A Stack of Coins
- Cans of Food
- Metal Chains
- Coffee Grounds
- Rice Flour
- Use Fresh Sliced Raw Potatoes
- Use Fresh Sliced Carrots
- Meringue Powder
- Ceramic Baking Beads
- Glass Marbles
- Metal Washers
- Baker’s Parchment
- An Oven-Safe Bowl
- A Cake Pan
- A Casserole Dish
- A Small Wok
- A Pizza Stone
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Lima Beans
- Navy Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Pick one of the alternatives from this list.
- Get ready to bake.
- Enjoy a nice crust in no time!