7 Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes


Although cannellini beans are not as popular as other beans, they still are highly delicious and full of nutrients. These beans can be used in the most versatile ways, and the result is always mouth-watering.

But cannellini bean may only sometimes be readily available in your nearest grocery shop. In that case, it is safe to use its substitutes to create a dish that can easily woo your guests.

The most common substitutes for Cannellini Beans are red kidney beans, great northern beans, butter beans, and black beans.

Cannellini Beans

In this article, we will explore all these, so you can fill your pantry before your cooking day arrives.

7 Top Substitutes for Cannellini Bean

Cannellini beans are white beans with a creamy and smooth texture. When cooked, these beans' nutty and mild flavor mixes well with other ingredients.

One of the best qualities of these beans is that you can mash them easily and use them in a sauce. Besides, they are a good source of several minerals and vitamins, perfect for your healthy diet.

These beans have their own charm and flavor; however, if you can’t find them in your nearest market, the substitutes below may make suitable replacements.

1. Great Northern Beans

Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans look similar to cannellini beans and have the same softness and smooth texture. These are large and have an excellent taste, making them perfect for stews and soups.

Other than that, great northern beans are rich in fiber and proteins. They are also a good source of fat and are low in calories.

You can either boil, fry or bake these beans. Either way, they taste delicious and offer you a rich flavor.

That said, the skin of these beans is tougher than cannellini beans. So, to create satisfactory results, make sure you boil or cook great northern beans for a long duration.

2. Red Kidney Beans

Red Kidney Beans

Next, we have red kidney beans as the best substitute for cannellini beans. When it comes to texture and size, both types of beans are identical. You can cook them in a similar manner.

However, the primary difference lies in their flavors. Kidney beans have a unique earthy flavor and almost taste like red meat. So, red kidney beans may not make an excellent addition to recipes demanding a bean-like flavor.

Red kidney beans have the same nutritional content as cannellini beans. You can either enjoy them as cooked or boiled. These beans give out a nutty and sweet flavor worth every bite.

3. Butter Beans

Butter Beans

Also known as lima beans, butter beans are much bigger than cannellini beans. They have a creamy texture and a buttery flavor that help add a new touch to your old recipe.

Even though these beans are large, they won’t take long to cook. If you keep them soaked in water overnight, they will easily cook within an hour.

What’s more, butter beans work well in dishes with starchy vegetables such as potatoes. If you want to create a bean dip or a cream sauce, these beans can be boiled and cooked to help you achieve your cooking desires.

The only issue with butter beans is that they may turn tough after cooking. This is often due to the added starch. Since cannellini beans are known for their soft and smooth texture, the rough skin of butter beans may not be well appreciated.

4. Black Beans

Black Beans

These beans are rich in minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A and C. Besides, black beans have many antioxidants that help protect your cells and reduce the chances of cancer and heart diseases.

But what makes them special is that black beans can replace cannellini beans any day. Unlike white cannellini beans, black beans have shiny skin and a medium and oval-shaped structure.

They are also sweeter and smoother than cannellini beans. So, adding them to your recipe would enhance its flavor manifold.

Also, if you see this substitution from a health point of view, black beans have far fewer calories than cannellini beans. If you are on a diet, black beans can become a significant part of your meals.

5. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

When cooked, these medium-sized beans are brown in color and have a smooth and creamy texture. Often found in many Italian dishes, pinto beans are much more readily available than cannellini beans, making them a great substitute.

Besides, pinto beans blend well with a majority of ingredients. Therefore, you can use them in stews, salads, and soups. If on a diet, boil these beans and enjoy them with green vegetables.

For more info, you can check out the Best Substitutes for Pinto Beans as well.

6. Navy Beans

Navy Beans

Also known as pea beans, navy beans have a round shape and are pretty small in size.

Interestingly, the beans got their name after being used extensively by the United States Navy in the 19th century. Navy beans are said to have an excellent storage life and a stable nutrient density, which makes them an ideal food choice for long sea voyages.

Navy beans have dense flesh and tough skin. These qualities make them ideal for recipes that demand beans to maintain their shape. You can use navy beans to replace cannellini beans in dishes such as pork and beans and Boston baked beans.

You can also use these beans to prepare delicious dips and sauces. However, since they have a hard shell, they take longer to cook than cannellini beans. Even if you soak them overnight, they take more than an hour to achieve excellent tenderness while boiling.

7. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Beans

If color doesn’t matter, you can also substitute cannellini beans with adzuki beans. Adzuki beans have a sweet flavor and can be added in both savory dishes and desserts.

In addition, they have a unique creamy texture that elevates the results of a recipe. Adzuki beans are red, but you may find the white, gray and black ones as well.

Adzuki beans are rich in protein and fiber. Besides, they aid in weight loss and help improve the performance of your digestive system.

Final Words

If you love beans, you might know how delicious cannellini beans are. They have a perfect size, and their creamy and smooth texture enhances the flavor of every dish.

What's more, you can use these beans in different recipes, such as stews, soups, and salads. But if you can't get hold of these beans, some healthy and tasty substitutes are available for you to try.

We have mentioned our seven top options above. You can try one or all and see the magic they create on your dining table.

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