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Cannellini beans are well-known in Italian cookery, especially in the central and southern regions of the nation. The bean is not indigenous to Southern Europe, although white kidney beans are thought to have originated in what is now Peru.

Cannellini beans have a kidney shape with squarish ends and are creamy white in color. When the beans are cooked, they have a somewhat nutty, mild taste and a fluffy texture. But are there any other possibilities if you don’t have cannellini beans, particularly when you need them?

You may simply replace kidney beans, navy beans, butter beans, adzuki beans, fava beans, great Northern beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and flageolets for cannellini beans.

Now, let us quickly learn more about these acceptable cannellini bean alternatives so that we can better comprehend how they may replace cannellini beans in your dish!

Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

10 Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

1. Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans are almost as known as cannellini beans.

While they are somewhat smaller than cannellini beans and slightly softer in flavor, they have the same nutty flavor as their larger, more popular partner and can be used interchangeably in almost any other meal that calls for a cannellini bean.

Great northern beans are known for their solid flesh, which allows them to hold their form well throughout cooking, making them an excellent choice for use in slow-cooked meals like soups or stews that are not combined or pureed.

Great northern beans, also known as giant white beans, are rich in protein, low in fat, high in fiber, and an excellent source of various nutrients, similar to their Italian counterparts.

Because the flesh of the great northern bean is a little stronger than that of a cannellini bean, the only difference you need to account for when using them as an alternative is to increase the cooking time slightly if you are attempting to create an authentic cannellini bean.

2. Navy Beans

Navy beans are often known as pea beans due to their small size and round shape, albeit they are oval rather than circular, as are other white beans.

The beans got their more popular nickname because they were certainly used in significant quantities by the United States Navy beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century and lasting well into the twentieth because of their extremely long storage life and nutrient thickness, both of which were valuable during sea voyages.

Navy beans, unlike great northern beans and better than cannellini beans, have a fairly strong skin and thick flesh, making them suitable for use in foods such as Boston baked beans, pasta e fagioli soups, pork and beans, and other dishes where the chef prefers the beans to hold their shape.

As previously stated, navy beans may be pureed for use in dips, soups, and other dishes.

When cooked from a dry condition, navy beans may need substantially longer cooking periods than cannellini beans due to their thicker covering and meat.

Even after overnight moistening, navy beans may take at least an hour and a half of boiling time to get the desired softness. However, if properly cooked, navy beans may be used in place of cannellini beans in almost all recipes.

3. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are an excellent substitute for cannellini beans since they are almost identical in terms of size, content, and how they regulate meals.

They boil the same manner, break down and smash the same way, and purée the same way as cannellini beans.

Where they differ is in taste; kidney beans have an earthy, almost red meat-like flavor that is unique from cannellini beans.

So, in meals where the beans themselves are easy to enjoy, kidney beans are a good alternative, but not a great one.

Even said, the kidney bean’s stronger taste does not mean that it will not gladly take on other flavors, thus in recipes with a decent amount of condiments, butter, or other intense flavoring, kidney beans are a significant stand-in.

These beans, the kidney and the cannellini, also pair nicely in bean salads, chilis, green salads, soups, dips, and other dishes.

4. Butter Bean

Fully developed lima beans are bigger than white kidney beans, frequently developing much larger. Because of their buttery taste and creamy texture, they are often referred to as butter beans.

Lima beans are also a starchy legume! As a result, they will work well in dishes that use other starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. A tasty option for these beans is to puree them into a cream flavoring or a bean dip.

Because of the higher carbohydrate content, the texture of lima beans may be mealy or gritty, so keep that in mind when substituting them for cannellini beans, which are prized for their smooth, solid thickness.

Despite their size, lima beans may usually be entirely boiled in 1 hour, especially if they have been well soaked beforehand.

5. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans may be substituted for cannellini beans in recipes that highlight the cannellini as a meaty component with a lot of highlights.

Because chickpeas are well known as the main ingredient in hummus, they make an ideal substitute in bean dips.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are medium-sized spherical beans shaped like peas. They are quite thick and retain their hard texture even after hours of cooking.

They have a mild taste and the same nuttiness as white kidney beans, so they make an excellent complement in that regard.

Chickpeas are quite popular and easy to get, but they take the longest to prepare. They often need close to 2 hours of cooking time to be satisfied.

6. Black Beans

In terms of size and color, black beans are essentially identical to cannellini beans. These little to medium-sized black beans are linked to the massive white kidney bean. What they do have in common is their appeal.

Black beans are quite common in most North American households, and they offer a quick and simple substitute for this reason alone.

In terms of flavor, black beans are delicate and somewhat sweet, with a hint of earthiness that cannellini beans also have.

They keep their form well, which is due, at least in part, to their quick cooking time. Even without moistening, black beans will be fully cooked in an hour to 45 minutes.

For obvious reasons, black beans are not a good substitute for cannellini beans in meals that are designated as white or light in color, but they are a very creative option in Mexican cuisine.

7. Fava Beans

Fava beans, often known as wide beans, have a very unique and trademark flavor. They have a nutty flavor and are linked to white kidney beans, but have a stronger flavor.

Depending on the bean, they may be sweet or bitter, and many people describe them as cheesy.

This brand flavor distinguishes them from almost all other beans, but if you like the flavor, they may be used as a suitable alternative for the milder cannellini beans in certain recipes.

Fava beans are very huge, thick, and meaty. Broad beans are a good choice if you’re making a robust vegan or vegetarian main meal.

If you love the taste, they work great in soups and salads.

Cooking dry wide beans differs from simmering cannellini beans in that it takes more time.

Broad beans have a terrible skin that should be removed before eating the beans. The easiest method is to boil them halfway, for approximately 1 hour, and then drip and wash out the beans.

When they’re easy to handle, clamp each bean individually to pop it out of the pod shell.

After you’ve de-skinned them all, you’ll want to simmer them for another 45 minutes in fresh water.

8. Lentils

Lentils may not seem to be an ideal alternative for cannellini beans at first glance. They come in a range of colors, but they are always much smaller and have a tougher, stronger texture.

When used to soups and stews, they may provide a starchy body similar to cannellini beans.

Lentils have the same flavor as cannellini beans. They are not only gorgeous, but they also complement savory foods.

But lentils aren’t beans after all; they’re a kind of grain known as a pulse. Nonetheless, they contain the same nutritional profile as other beans, with an appropriate amount of protein and fat.

9. Flageolets

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never taken flageolets; they’re not widely used in the United States.

Despite their scarcity, they are an excellent substitute for cannellini beans, with a similar white color and form.

You may use them interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio. You may even enjoy them more than cannellini beans once you try them. They are known as the caviar of beans in Europe because of their delicate taste and creamy, mild composition.

10. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are often used in Asian cuisine, although not in the manner you may expect. They are most often used in desserts, when their sweet taste takes center stage.

Still, if you can mask their sweetness, they may serve as a good substitute for cannellini beans.

When substituting adzuki beans for cannellini beans, use vinegar and a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness.

This will help to bring out the nutty qualities, making them taste eerily similar to cannellini.

Frequently Asked Questions

10 Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

Do Cannellini beans have another name?

Cannellini beans are often referred to as white kidney beans.

Are cannellini and chickpeas the same?

Cannellini beans are not the same as chickpeas! They have very different forms and compositions.

What is the difference between cannellini and white beans?

Small white beans have a very delicate taste, which is why they are so often used. Because of their mild taste, they are exceedingly flexible and suitable for a wide range of dishes. Cannellini beans, on the other hand, have a nutty taste that limits the number of dishes in which they may be used.

Are cannellini beans good for me?

Absolutely! Cannellini beans are very nutritious!


In English-speaking nations, the cannellini bean is known as the white kidney bean, but in India, it is known as the lobia bean, among other names.

They have the ability to provide a particular taste to every cuisine that asks for them, which is why they are so crucial.

I hope you found this brief article about cannellini bean replacement useful in your search for the finest acceptable cannellini bean substitute in your next cuisine.


What is a good substitute for cannellini beans?

If you can’t get cannellini beans, great Northern beans are an excellent substitute.

Are Great Northern beans same as cannellini?

Cannellini and great northern beans are similar in taste and texture, yet they vary somewhat. That being said, if it’s 30 minutes before supper and you’re gazing at a can of the “wrong” sort of beans in your cupboard, don’t worry; you can change one for another.

Can chickpeas replace cannellini beans?

Cannellini beans and chickpeas are they the same thing? Chickpeas and cannellini beans are not the same thing. They do, however, have a comparable flavor. Cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) may be used in place of chickpeas in soups, stews, chilis, salads, and spreads.

Can I use pinto beans instead of cannellini beans?

Cannellini beans are sometimes known as white kidney beans. They’re often seen in Italian cuisine like minestrone soup and Mexican foods like burritos. Interestingly, while cannellini beans are more difficult to get in supermarkets, pinto beans are a popular replacement.

Why are there no cannellini beans?

The scarcity was caused by two factors. The first was terrible weather in the Upper Midwest, which produces the majority of the country’s cannellini beans. The second factor was growing demand, which caught the corporation off guard.

Are navy beans similar to cannellini beans?

No, you’ll discover a baffling array of items branded great northern white beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, and other varieties. While all of them are truly white beans, they aren’t just different names for the same bean. In reality, each of them is a separate variety.

What are the best tasting white beans?

Cannellini beans are also known as White Kidney Beans, which hints to their form. Cannellini beans have a moderate flavor with a subtle, nutty flavor. They’re perhaps the most popular bean among home cooks, since they’re the main ingredient in the ever-popular Minestrone Soup.

Can I use kidney beans instead of cannellini?

Overall, kidney beans are a decent alternative for Cannellini beans and may be used in almost any recipe with minor modifications.

What is the difference between cannellini beans and pinto beans?

Cannellinis are Italian in origin, but pinto beans are Mexican. They vary in appearance, cooking time, and general use in recipes. Cannellini beans are often known as white kidney beans because they resemble typical kidney beans in form.

What is the closest to white beans?

If a recipe asks for white beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans, or white kidney beans (commonly known as cannellini beans) can be substituted. Black beans have a medium-sized oval form and a matte black skin.

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