10 Best Great Northern Bean Substitutes

Great Northern Bean

Great Northern beans are yet to be widely appreciated by everyone.

If you have tried them before, you must know that Great Northern beans are yummy, no matter what dishes you add them to. As they are not used widely, it can sometimes be hard to get your hands on some Great Northern beans.

However, there is no need for you to fret because we’ve got you covered. So, what are some substitutes for Great Northern beans?

To learn about each of these substitutes and have all your related questions answered, keep on reading!

What Are Great Northern Beans?

Great Northern beans are medium-sized white beans. They are most commonly used to prepare baked beans and “pork and beans”.

They work best with boiled dishes and soups, salads, and stews. Great Northern beans can be eaten dried, fresh, and canned.

Best Great Northern Bean Substitutes

Now that you know what Great Northern beans are, here are some of the best substitutes that you can use in their place.

1. Navy Beans

Navy beans

Great Northern beans are often confused with navy beans.

Navy beans have a white color and slightly flattened oval shape. This type of bean was first domesticated in America and hence is also known as “Boston beans.” They have a very similar appearance, taste, and texture as Great Northern beans.

Both Great Northern beans and navy beans have a soft texture with a slightly nutty taste. Navy beans can be used in place of Great Northern beans in different soups, stews, and other boiled dishes.

Additionally, navy beans are a good source of dietary fiber, folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. So, not only will this substitute give you the exact taste and texture that you are looking for, but you will also reap many benefits for your health!

2. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are an easily accessible and versatile substitute for Great Northern beans.

In fact, pinto beans are the most common type of beans produced in the southern states. They are used extensively for recipes like burritos, and tacos, and are even served as a side dish on their own. So, you can imagine how easily they can be accommodated in any recipe.

Pinto beans have a slightly nutty and earthy taste that is similar to that of Great Northern beans. They also have a slightly creamy texture that will go well with dishes like soups and salads.

Furthermore, pinto beans are a healthy choice that contains essential nutrients like amino acids, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, manganese, etc.

3. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are one of the closest substitutes for Great Northern beans.

Originating from Italy, cannellini beans have a white color and a kidney shape with squared ends. It can actually be quite confusing to tell Great Northern beans and cannellini beans apart.

These beans have an airy texture and mildly nutty flavor that resembles that of the Great Northern beans. They work well in different dishes like stew, soups, salads, dips, and even pasta.

If you are concerned about how healthy this substitute is, you won’t be disappointed.

Cannellini beans have many different health benefits like lowering cholesterol, improving digestion, promoting the formation of muscles, and more.

4. Lima Beans

Lima Bean

Lima beans are better known as butter beans or double beans.

They are a type of white beans with a creamy texture and slightly earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness to it. They have a white color and a flattened shape. But they can also have a light green color depending on where they are cultivated.

Lima beans are commonly served baked in many dishes. Thus, you can always substitute Great Northern beans for lima beans in side dishes as well as recipes like soups, stews, salads, Mexican foods like burritos, tacos, and more.

These beans have a lot of fiber and protein as well as a good supply of micronutrients like potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin A. 

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Chickpeas might not have been a substitute that you would have imagined using in place of Great Northern beans. However, chickpeas are other types of legumes like black beans and lima beans.

Chickpeas have a slightly nutty and earthy flavor that you would like any Great Northern beans dish to have. Moreover, chickpeas have a buttery texture which goes well in boiled dishes.

So, you can easily substitute chickpeas for Great Northern beans in many different salads, soups, stews, tacos, burritos, and even serve them as side dishes.

Chickpeas can help you manage and lose weight, improve your muscle and bone health, improve digestion, and more. So, if you ever want a substitute for Great Northern beans that you might already have in your kitchen, you know what to go with.

6. Flageolet Beans

Flageolet beans are a variety of common beans that originate from France.

They have a firm and creamy texture and a mildly nutty taste. They also have a flattened kidney shape with a slightly green hue. You can cook them very smoothly or boil them in recipes like soups, stews, side dishes, etc.

You would also be glad to know that flageolet beans are one of the healthiest substitutes for Great Northern beans. Flageolet beans are a good source of protein and dietary fiber along with being low in fats and reducing cholesterol levels.

7. Kidney Beans

Red Beans vs Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are one substitute that you might already have in your kitchen.

These beans have an earthy flavor with a slight sweetness to them. Moreover, they have a creamy texture similar to that of Great Northern beans. You can use them in many dishes in place of Great Northern beans.

You can serve kidney beans as a side dish or use them in salads, soups, stews, tacos, pasta, burritos, etc. Not only is this substitute very versatile and easy to find, but it is also one of the healthiest beans that you can eat.

Kidney beans can help in maintaining blood sugar levels, maintaining weight, improving blood pressure, aiding the digestive process, and more.

So, if you ever need a healthy substitute for Great Northern beans, there is one clear choice you can go with.

8. Black Beans

Black beans

Black beans might not seem like a viable substitute for many white beans like Great Northern beans. However, they have a similar taste and texture that makes them interchangeable.

Like Great Northern beans, black beans have a soft and creamy texture that makes them a good option to be served in boiled dishes, soups, stews, and more. Also, black beans have a relatively milder flavor but are reminiscent of the nuttiness of Great Northern beans.

They are also healthy because they are loaded with nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B, and protein. The health benefits of these beans include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving nervous system functioning, and more.

9. Fava Beans

Fava Bean

Fava beans or broad beans are flat beans that can be used in place of Great Northern beans.

These beans have a creamy and buttery texture which will give you an earthy and slightly nutty taste. They are used in a number of traditional dishes around the world and can be served cooked, boiled, and in dishes like falafels, soups, and stews.

So, it is safe to say that fava beans are one of the most versatile substitutes for Great Northern beans. These beans also provide benefits like boosting immunity, improving bone health, maintaining body weight, improving blood health, etc.

10. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki Bean

Adzuki beans can also replace Great Northern beans.

They provide exactly the mouthfeel and texture that you are looking for. You might have heard of red Adzuki beans only. In fact, these beans are also known as “red beans” but what you might not know is that they have variations.

White adzuki beans make the best substitute for Great Northern beans. Overall, Adzuki beans have a mild flavor that is nutty and earthy along with a soft texture that goes well in boiled dishes.

Therefore, you can easily replace Great Northern beans with Adzuki beans in dishes like soups, stews, and salads, or even serve them boiled as a side dish.

Can I Substitute Pinto Beans For Great Northern Beans?

You can easily substitute Pinto beans for Great Northern beans.

Great Northern beans are larger than Pinto beans and have a slightly different texture. So, you need to take a few steps before interchanging the two into different dishes if you want them to have exactly the same mouthfeel.

Because of the difference in their size, you will need a larger quantity of Pinto beans when you substitute them for Great Northern beans in any dish.

Also, Pinto beans take much longer than Great Northern beans to cook and also do not harden as fast as Great Northern beans do. Thus, you might want to cook your dish for longer while you substitute Pinto beans for Great Northern beans.

Related Questions

Are Cannellini And Great Northern The Same Bean?

Cannellini beans and Great Northern beans are not the same. Cannellini beans are white kidney beans that are larger than Great Northern beans.

Is There Another Name For Great Northern Beans?

Great Northern beans are also known as large white beans. Many people also mistakenly call them Navy beans, but the two are different types of white beans.

Can I Substitute Navy Beans For Great Northern Beans?

You can substitute Navy beans for Great Northern beans.

The difference between their taste would not be easily noticeable in most dishes. Additionally, you can interchange the two in an equal proportion.

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