8 Best Borlotti Beans Substitutes

borlotti beans

If you like Borlotti beans there are plenty of dishes you can use them in. These beans are also called cranberry beans and they are popular around the world as they are easy to cook as well. If you don’t have Borlotti beans, however, there are plenty of substitutes you can use.

The first second option you should try instead of Bolotti beans is pinto beans followed by kidney beans. These beans are related to Bolotti beans. You can use them interchangeably just the way you want to. Keep reading so you find more replacements for Bolotti beans.

Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

You can use any of the following Borlotti beans substitutes successfully and your dish will taste delicious. Most beans are cooked in a similar way so you will not have to modify your recipes in order to replace Borlotti beans with any of the following substitutes.

1. Pinto beans

pinto beans

As we mentioned above, pinto beans should definitely be your first option when you are looking for a substitute for Borlotti beans. Pinto beans are smaller than Borlotti beans. But they have a very similar taste. And they offer you a comparable texture as well.

You will cook pinto beans in the same way that you cook Borlotti beans. You can even use the same seasonings. Once your dish is ready, you might not even be able to tell that you used pinto beans and not Borlotti beans.

2. Kidney beans

Kidney beans

Kidney beans can also be a great substitute for Borlotti beans and they can enrich the flavor of your food significantly. These beans are bigger than Borlotti beans and they offer a richer flavor.

You can also find kidney beans a lot easier than you find Borlotti beans so don’t be surprised if you use them as alternatives more often than you think.

The cooking process is the same. Just follow the original recipe and use kidney beans instead of Borlotti ones if you can’t find those.

3. Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are large white kidney beans. They will taste just like Borlotti beans even if they offer a slightly different texture and color to your food.

You can find them easily in the store. They can be a great choice for various soups, stews, or even as a delicious side dish to your favorite stake.

They go great with spicy seasonings. And they will help you enjoy your favorite recipes even if you don’t have Borlotti beans.

4. Chickpeas


A less common alternative is chickpeas. Chickpeas taste similarly to Borlotti beans but they differ in color and texture.

Since they are not as smooth, you might want to cook them longer than you would cook your Borlotti beans so they have time to soften up.

You can also blend them and use them as a paste if you are planning to use them as a side dish. Chickpeas will taste great in everything from salads to stews and soups.

5. Lentils


If you like lentils you will be glad to know that they are a great substitute for Borlotti beans. They are different in size and texture than these beans but the taste remains similar. They will cook faster since they are smaller so your dinner will be done in a shorter time.

Regardless of the type you pick, they will replace the Borlotti beans successfully. Lentils are used in soups and stews but they taste just as good as a side dish too.

6. Navy beans 

Navy beans

Navy beans are very tasty. They tend to be similar to Borlotti beans. You will even cook them the same and use the same seasonings in order to follow the recipe as close as possible.

They are great in baked recipes and soups. However, you can use them as you see fit. Navy beans can make a delicious bean dip that is very popular in Mexico and Spain as well.

7. Black turtle beans

Black beans

Another interesting substitute for Borlotti beans is black turtle beans. These beans are common in Latin American cuisine as well as Caribbean cuisine. They have a strong, earthly flavor. You can use them instead of Borlotti beans in bean soups, stews, and dips.

Some might not enjoy the earthly flavor of black turtle beans. But if you do, they can be a great ingredient to use in your recipes.

Their color is super dark so your final dish will look different. However, the cooking process of these beans is similar to the one of Borlotti beans.

8. Black eyes peas

The famous black eyes peas can also be a successful substitute for Borlotti beans. These beans are fairly easy to find and you will not regret using them in your dishes. They are popular in the southern states and they taste delicious with meat.

You can use them as side dishes or in stews and soups. We suggest cooking them and letting them cool down so they can taste even better in salads. Season them just like you would season your Borlotti beans and you will end up with tasty food.


What are borlotti beans called in the USA?

Borlotti beans are mostly known in the USA as cranberry beans but in certain regions, Americans call them chestnut beans.

The chestnut beans’ name comes from their chestnut-like flavor and their chestnut color once they are cooked. Most commonly, you will find these beans under the name of cranberry beans if you are in the USA.

Are cranberry beans and borlotti beans the same?

Cranberry beans are in essence, the same type of beans as Borlotti beans. Borlotti is the Italian name while cranberry beans are the name they are known for in the USA.

Furthermore, in Mexico, these beans are known as Cacahuate beans. These beans are easy to find in local markets and supermarkets. You can purchase them raw or in a canned form and use them in your dishes as you prefer.

What do borlotti beans taste like?

Borlotti beans have a smooth, creamy texture and they tend to taste similar to chestnuts. They have a rich flavor and they can be cooked easily in a variety of ways.

These beans taste best in soups and stews but you can mix them with pasta as well. When you cook them, they will also offer you a delicious broth to enjoy with your dish.


As you can see, Borlotti beans are not impossible to replace. If you have a recipe that calls for Borlotti beans but you don’t have them, use any of the replacements in this guide.

You might even enjoy your recipe better with the substitute of Borlotti beans so keep an open mind for such culinary surprises.

All beans are in general cooked the same so you will not have to adjust your recipe much other than simply replace your Borlotti beans with the alternative you have handy.

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