10 Best Cannellini Beans Substitutes

Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are more commonly known as white kidney beans. You can use them in a wide range of recipes. They are fairly easy to prepare. From salads to cooked dishes, these beans can be part of a delicious lunch or dinner with your friends and family.

However, what if you can’t find cannellini beans? The good news is that you can replace them with different other ingredients. 

Keep on reading to see more substitutes for Cannellini beans that can make your food taste delicious. 

Substitutes for Cannellini beans

You can use any of the following alternatives to Cannellini beans and you will not regret it. They all taste great in many dishes and are fairly easy to prepare.

1. Kidney beans

Kidney Beans

As we mentioned, the first substitute for Cannellini beans should be kidney beans. They are even easier to find in-store and they come in various forms.

You can purchase kidney beans canned or raw so you boil them and prepare them just the way you want to. These beans are some of the most delicious ones. Their flavor tastes very much like Cannellini beans but they have a dark color.

You can use kidney beans in a variety of dishes from soups to stir-fries, salads and refried beans. These beans are quite popular in Mexican cuisine as they taste best with chilly and other spicy seasonings.

2. Navy beans

Navy beans

Navy beans are very similar to Cannellini beans but they are slightly smaller in size. However, the texture and even the taste of Navy beans remain very close to those of Cannellini beans.

You can cook them in the same way as well and even use the same seasonings. But being smaller in size, these beans will also get cooked faster so your dinner will not take as long. They go best in stews or stir-fries but also in soups.

3. Great Northern beans

If you want to replace Cannellini beans, you might want to give Great Northern beans a chance. These beans are sweet and delicate in their texture. They are also fairly easy to prepare.

You will value them most if you use them in stews but they will taste delicious in other types of foods as well. Great Northern beans have a distinct flavor that you will not find in other types of beans and they are appreciated worldwide.

In terms of texture and aspect, Great Northern beans look almost identical to Cannellini beans, so much that it would be difficult to tell the difference.

4. Garbanzo


Garbanzo beans are also known as chickpeas and they are very common in supermarkets throughout the world. You will find them as the main ingredient in a variety of dishes and they are tasty as well as rich in protein.

Thanks to their pleasant flavor, they can replace Cannellini beans successfully in almost any type of recipe. You can use them in salads or cooked dishes equally. Chickpeas are great for vegans and vegetarians thanks to their high protein concentration.

5. Pinto beans

pinto beans

Pinto beans can also be a great substitute for Cannellini beans. They taste best in spicy foods such as those with chili and you can use them for Mexican dishes such as burritos.

They are darker in color and sometimes spotted so they will give a different aspect to your food compared to Cannellini beans. But the taste will remain good and you can cook pinto beans in exactly the same way as you would cook Cannellini beans.

6. Fava beans

Less popular but just as tasty and good to replace Cannellini beans are Fava beans. You can use them to prepare salads as well as cooked dishes such as stews.

Cooking fava beans is simple and they taste great with any seasoning. What is important to remember is that you have to remove the skin after you soak these beans.

If you cook them with the skin they will not taste as good. They might even be unpleasant to eat. Other than that, you can prepare them just as you would prepare Cannellini beans.

7. Black-eyed peas

Black-eyed peas are specific to the cuisine of southern states and they are prepared most commonly with meat. These peas are also known by the name of cowpeas. You can cook them in any recipe instead of Cannellini beans.

They are white with a black spot that resembles an eye, which is how they got their name. You can use these peas to replace Cannellini beans in different salads, soups, fritters, or stews.

8. Anasazi

Anasazi beans

If you are looking for a replacement for Cannellini beans in any type of soup, you don’t have to look any further than Anasazi beans.

They are spotted beans that will enrich the flavor of any soup. You will not have to spend a lot of time cooking them as they prepare rather quickly. These beans are also sweeter, so you might even like them more than Cannellini beans.

9. Lentils


Lentils might not seem like a good replacement for Cannellini beans. However, they actually can increase the flavor of your food significantly.

You can use any type of lentils as they taste similar to Cannellini beans. However, they are different in texture. You can cook lentils in soups, stews, and even as a side dish for stakes or fish.

10. Soybeans


Soybeans can be cooked in different ways. They are the key ingredient in soy milk and tofu. And they can be used instead of meat in plenty of vegan dishes. You can use them instead of Cannellini beans in stews or soups and you will cook them roughly the same way. 


Can you substitute chickpeas for cannellini beans?

Chickpeas of all kinds can be a great substitute for any type of beans. You can prepare them in hummus or in any type of cooked dish. If you want to increase the protein intake of your salad, chickpeas are a great option to do that as well. 

However, you can expect a different taste if you use chickpeas instead of Cannellini beans. Chickpeas are sweeter and they have a firmer texture so you will not obtain the creamy texture you get from beans.

On the other hand, chickpeas can look different in your food since they have an off-white color compared to the whitish Cannellini beans.

Can I substitute butter beans for cannellini beans?

Butter beans are actually Lima beans and they have a buttery flavor that you will love to taste in your food. They can replace Cannellini beans successfully as well in dishes like soups or stews.

Lima beans will not taste as good in salads due to their buttery flavor. But they are great if you mix them with corn. As far as texture and cooking time, butter beans are quite similar to Cannellini beans so you will be able to prepare them in the same way.


As tasty as Cannellini beans are, you can still find replacements for them in almost any type of dish you want to prepare. Beans tend to have a neutral taste so the seasonings you use are extremely important.

You can use them in spicy foods as well as sweeter ones and they will taste delicious. So, next time you have a recipe that calls for Cannellini beans, you can use one of the substitutes in this guide and you will not regret it.

As long as you make sure your beans are cooked enough and you use the seasonings you like, your food will be very tasty.

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