Adult stem or progenitor cell organoids are 3D adult-organ-derived epithelial structures that contain self-renewing and organ-specific stem or progenitor cells as well as differentiated cells. This organoid culture system was first established in murine intestine and subsequently developed for several other organs and translated to humans. Organoid cultures have proved valuable for basic research and for the study of healthy tissue homeostasis and the biology of disease. In addition, data from proof-of-principle experiments support promising clinical applications of adult stem or progenitor cell organoids. Although renal organoids have many potential applications, an adult stem or progenitor cell organoid culture system has not yet been developed for the kidney. The development of such a system is likely to be challenging because of the intricate renal architecture. Differentiated 3D cultures and stem or progenitor cell 3D sphere cultures are, however, available for the kidney. These cultures indicate the feasibility of renal organoid culture and provide a solid basis for its development. In this Review, we discuss the state-of-the-art of human adult stem or progenitor cell organoid culture and the potential of renal organoids as tools in basic and clinical research.