10 Best Lima Bean Substitutes

Lima Bean

Lima beans are popular all over the world due to their smooth taste and buttery texture. You can use them as a main dish along with some veggies. But you can also use them as a side dish to go along with some delicious meat.

You can find lima beans fresh, frozen, or canned and use them according to your personal needs. However, what to do if you can’t find lima beans at all?

There is no need to worry because we found other substitutes you can use in your meals instead of lima beans! The best substitute for lime beans is red kidney beans.

However, you can use white kidney beans and fava beans just as well and save your recipe. Read on to learn more about other substitutes for lima beans and how to use them properly.

Substitutes for Lima Beans

You can use any of the substitutes in this list to make a recipe that calls for lima beans. Some of them will give your food a different taste but it will be delicious nevertheless.

1. Red kidney beans

Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans are the best substitute for lima beans even if the taste and the color will not be identical. The cooking process is similar so you will not have to adjust your recipe much.

These beans will add a stronger flavor to your food. However, they make a perfect substitute for lima beans in chili beans, stews, or even salads.

2. White kidney beans

White beans

Just like red kidney beans, white kidney beans make a perfect substitute for lima beans in different recipes. They will not alter the color of your food because they are white, thus you will not notice a big difference.

However, you can expect to obtain a more nutty flavor from the white kidney beans. Other than these differences, white kidney beans are great for all recipes that call for lima beans.

The cooking time might be longer as kidney beans have a firmer texture. So, depending on how you choose to prepare them you will have to add some time to prepare your recipe.

3. Fava beans

Fava Bean

Fava beans should definitely be on top of your list when it comes to replacing lima beans. You can eat fava beans raw which makes them different than other types of beans.

However, make sure you remove their peel before you eat them and you will get a flavor that is very similar to lima beans. Without the peel, fava beans even have a similar texture to lima beans so they are a great replacement.

Cook your fava beans the way you would cook lima beans and enjoy a delicious meal.

4. Soybeans


Soybeans work in all types of recipes. So, they can replace lima beans successfully. Thanks to their mild flavor, you can use soybeans in baked dishes as well as salads or stir-fries.

They have a tougher texture so you might have to cook them longer if you want to obtain the buttery texture of lima beans.

5. Chickpeas


Chickpeas might come as a surprise when you are looking for lima beans substitutes.

As a matter of fact, they are quite similar to lima beans. The best part? You can find them already boiled which reduces the cooking time.

Thanks to the fact that chickpeas have a firmer texture, they will be perfect for salads or stir-fries but you can use them in any type of recipe that calls for lima beans.

You can use chickpeas in a multitude of ways such as the main ingredient to hummus or in soups and stews too.

6. Edamame beans


Edamame beans are related to soybeans as they are actually the fresher version of those.

You can use them instead of lima beans in salads and stir-fries. They have a sweeter taste, so your final dish will not taste the same. However, they are delicious nevertheless.

Their texture is softer than lima beans. So, try not to cook them as much because they could get mushy. Check their texture with a fork to see how soft they are and you can’t fail.

7. Pinto beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a great choice if you want to replace lima beans as they are similar in both taste and texture. They are darker but you can cook them in the same way.

You can also use the same seasoning as if you were preparing lima beans. Pinto beans can be a great substitute for lima beans in stews, stir-fries, salads, and baked dishes.

8. Navy beans

Navy beans

Another great substitute for lima beans is navy beans. These beans also go by the name of Boston beans and they go great in baked dishes.

You can use them instead of lima beans in salads and soups as they have a creamy, distinct flavor to them. Navy beans are rich in fiber and low in cholesterol, therefore they will also make for a healthy choice in your recipes.

9. Quinoa


Quinoa is not a type of bean but more of a cereal. Even so, you can still use it instead of lima beans in almost all recipes.

Quinoa goes great in various salads and stews. However, you might not obtain the expected results if you use it in soups because quinoa absorbs liquid as well.

Quinoa will not offer you a similar flavor or texture with lima beans but it will compliment any recipe you add it on.

10. Couscous


Couscous can also replace lima beans in a variety of recipes.

This is basically a type of grounded pasta and tastes just like pasta as it is made of wheat. You will cook it differently though because it can get ready in just a couple of minutes if you let it sit in boiled water.

You can use couscous in salads or stews but you might not want to use it in soups because it will lose its firm texture.

Related Questions

Are Butter Beans & lima beans the same?

Yes, butter beans or lima beans are the same types of beans. These beans are usually grown yearly even if they are perennial in nature. You can find them all over the world and they adapt nicely to all types of conditions, making it easy to cultivate them.

Are Northern beans the same as lima beans?

Northern beans are also known as large beans because they have a bigger size than lima beans. They are not the same type of beans as both the size and the taste are different.

Northern beans are nuttier in flavor and are softer in texture.

If you don’t have any of the substitutes mentioned above, you might be able to substitute lima beans with Northern beans.

However, since they are bigger and taste different, you will end up with a different taste.

Final Thoughts

Lima beans or butter beans how they are called in the south, are some of the tastiest and most delicate beans you can use in your recipes.

They are easy to cook and very versatile as you can incorporate them into a multitude of dishes. If you don’t have lima beans though, your recipe will still taste delicious if you use one of the substitutes in this guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like