10 Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

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Cannellini Beans Substitutes



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Cannellini beans are famous in Italian cuisine, particularly in cooking in the central and southern areas of the country. The bean is not aboriginal to Southern Europe, but then white kidney beans are speculated to have initially originated from the land that is now Peru.

Cannellini beans took the shape of a kidney with squarish ends, and are creamy white in color. When cooked, the beans have a somewhat nutty, mild flavor, and a fluffy texture. But are there other options you can settle for if you don’t have cannellini beans, especially when you need it?

You can easily use other cannellini beans substitutes, such as kidney beans, navy beans, butter beans, adzuki beans, fava beans, great Northern beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and flageolets.

Now, let’s quickly learn more about these suitable substitutes for cannellini beans for a better understanding of how they can replace cannellini beans in your recipe!

Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

1. Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans are nearly as familiar to the cannellini bean more than any other.

While barely tinier than cannellini beans and a little milder in relish, they have a nutty taste identical to their bigger, popular companion and they can be utilized interchangeably in just about any other dish you will ever prepare with a cannellini bean.

Great northern beans are recognized for their firm flesh, so they carry their shape well during boiling, rendering them a wonderful option for use in slow-cooked dishes like soups or stews that are not mixed or pureed.

Also frequently called “large white beans,” great northern beans, like their “Italian” equivalents, are great in protein, meager in fat, high in fiber, and an incredible basis of several nutrients.

Due to the fact that the flesh of the great northern bean is a bit stronger than that of a cannellini bean, the only distinction you need to account for when utilizing them as an alternative is to expand the cooking time just a little if you are attempting to formulate an authenticity of the cannellini bean.

2. Navy Beans

Navy beans are also named pea beans because of their rather tiny size and round form, though like most white beans they are oval, not circular.

The beans earned their more popular nickname because they were certainly used in substantial portions by the United States Navy beginning in the second half of the 19th century and enduring well into the 1900s because of their very durable storage life and their nutrient thickness, both of which were precious during sea voyages. 

Different from great northern beans and better like cannellini beans, navy beans have fairly strong skin and thick flesh, so they are suitable for use in making foods like Boston baked beans, pasta e fagioli soups, pork and beans, and other foods in which the chef likes the beans to carry their shape.

That explained, navy beans can very well be pureed for dips, soups, and more.

Because of their stronger covering and flesh, navy beans may need cooking times that are much longer than cannellini beans, when simmered from a dried state. 

Even with overnight moistening, navy beans may require at least a full hour and a half of boiling to attain an adequate tenderness. But once appropriately boiled, navy beans can be substituted for cannellini beans in virtually all recipes.

3. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are an amazing alternative to cannellini beans because they are virtually similar in areas of their size and composition and how they regulate dishes.

You can cook them the same way, they break down and crush the same way, and they puree down all just like cannellini beans.

Where they contradict is in flavor, kidney beans have an earthlike, virtually red meat-like flavor that is distinct from the cannellini bean.

So in dishes where the beans themselves will be simple to savor, kidney beans are an adequate substitute, but not an outstanding one.

Still, even the more powerful flavor of the kidney bean does not imply it will not willingly take on other flavors, so in dishes with a reasonable dose of condiments or butter or other powerful flavoring, kidney beans are a considerable stand-in.

These beans, the kidney, and the cannellini, also go considerably well, jointly in bean salads, chilis, green salads, soups, dips, and more.

4. Butter Bean

Fully matured lima beans are more similar to the size of white kidney beans, often maturing even larger. They’re generally called butter beans owing to their buttery flavor and creamy composition.

Also, lima beans are a starchy legume! So they will function nicely in recipes that emphasize other starchy vegetables like potatoes. Puréeing them into a cream flavoring or a bean dip is also a flavorful alternative for these beans.

The composition of lima beans, owing to the expanded starch, is inclined to be a bit mealy or gritty, so have that in mind when you’re utilizing them as alternatives for cannellini beans, which are valued for their smooth, solid thickness.

Even though lima beans are very huge, they will normally be completely simmered within 1 hour, particularly if they’ve been well soaked initially.

5. Garbanzo Beans

You can swap garbanzo beans for cannellini beans in recipes that underline the cannellini as a meaty component, with lots of spotlights.

They also function as an excellent alteration in bean dips, since chickpeas are most well recognized for being the major element in hummus.

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are medium-sized round beans formed like a pea. They are very thick and maintain their firm composition even after hours of cooking.

They’re mild-flavored with identical nuttiness related to white kidney beans, so they’re a nice match in that area.

Chickpeas are exceptionally popular and simple to locate, but they do take the highest time to cook. They normally need close to 2 hours of cooking to be satisfying.

6. Black Beans

Black beans are nearly the perfect contrast to cannellini beans in areas of size and hue. These beans are tiny to mid-sized and ebony related to the huge white kidney bean. What they do have in common, nevertheless, is popularity.

Black beans are very familiar in most North American homes and they make an immediate and easy alternative for this purpose alone.

In terms of composition, black beans cook up delicate and slightly sweet, with a whiff of earthiness that is also glimpsed in cannellini beans.

They do maintain their shape nicely, which is, at least in portion, thanks to their fast cooking time. Black beans will be completely cooked, even without moistening, within ½ hour to 45 minutes.

For apparent reasons, black beans are not a nice alternative for cannellini beans in dishes that are denoted to be white or light in color, but in Mexican recipes, they are a very clever substitution.

7. Fava Beans

 Fava beans are also generally called broad beans and have an exceptionally distinctive and signature zest. They are nutty, related to white kidney beans, but stronger-tasting.

Relying on the bean, they might be a little sweet or a little bitter and many people even depict them as cheesy.

This brand flavor sets them distant from virtually all other beans, but if you admire the taste, they can still be utilized as a satisfactory substitute for the milder cannellini beans in particular recipes.

Fava beans are very large, relatively dense, and very meaty. If you’re preparing a vegan or vegetarian central dish that you want to be hearty, broad beans are a decent preference.

They function well in soups and salads, given that you appreciate the flavor.

Cooking dry broad beans is a bit distinct from simmering cannellini beans and it can be a bit time-consuming.

Broad beans possess a skin that is nasty and should be eliminated before consuming the beans. The simplest way to accomplish this is to boil them about halfway, roughly 1 hour, and then drip and wash out the beans.

When they’re comfortable to deal with, clamp each bean separately to burst it out of the pod shell.

Once you’ve had them all de-skinned, you’ll want to proceed with cooking them for another 45 minutes in new water.

8. Lentils

At first glimpse, lentils may not appear like an excellent substitute for cannellini beans. They appear in a wide variety of colors, though all of them are sizably smaller and have a harder, stronger texture.

When put into soups and stews, they can bring a starchy body that duplicates cannellini beans.

In terms of taste, lentils are identical to cannellini beans. They aren’t adorable and also go well with flavorful dishes.

But then, lentils aren’t beans at all; they come from a company of grains called pulses. Even so, they have an identical nutritional outline as many beans, with an adequate portion of protein and fat.

9. Flageolets

Don’t be shocked if you’ve never taken flageolets, they aren’t popular in the United States.

But despite their rarity, they are an outstanding substitution choice for cannellini beans, with a comparable white color and familiar shape.

Feel free to utilize them interchangeably, at a 1:1 ratio. Once you attempt them, you may even find that you like them more than cannellini beans. In Europe, they’re recognized as the ‘caviar of beans’ as they brag a delicate flavor, with a creamy and mild composition.

10. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are utilized generally in Asian cuisine, though not in the way you may guess. They are really most continually utilized in desserts where their sweet flavor functions in center stage.

Still, if you can suppress their sweetness, they can be an adequate stand-in for cannellini beans.

When swapping adzuki beans for cannellini beans, ensure to stabilize their sweetness with vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Doing so will assist in bringing out the nutty flavors, compelling them to be surprisingly identical to cannellini.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cannellini beans have another name?

Yes, cannellini beans are also known as white kidney beans!

Are cannellini and chickpeas the same?

No, cannellini beans are totally different from chickpeas! They have markedly varied shapes and compositions from each other.

What is the difference between cannellini and white beans?

Small white beans possess an exceptionally delicate flavor which is why they are so broadly utilized. This mild flavor renders them extremely adaptable and adequate for lots of numerous recipes. Whereas cannellini beans possess a nutty indication to their flavor which does restrict the volume of recipes that you can utilize them in.

Are cannellini beans good for me?

Absolutely! Cannellini beans are excellently nutritional!


The cannellini bean is called the white kidney bean in English-speaking countries, and in India, it is called the lobia bean, and other names in other places.

They are capable of bringing a distinctive flavor to any dish you are preparing that calls for them, which is what makes them so important.

I hope you find this short article on cannellini beans substitute helpful in your quest to find the best suitable substitute for cannellini in your next dish.


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