Best Substitutes For Cannellini Beans

What are the best alternatives to cannellini beans?

The two best substitutes for canned beans are kidney beans that are red that can be used for recipes in which color isn’t a factor as much as Great Northern beans, to be utilized in recipes that require white beans.

Cannellini beans are considered to be among the most adaptable kinds of beans you can cook with, however, this doesn’t mean you’ll always have an abundance within your kitchen pantry.

When there’s a moment that you’re in the mood for a particular dish that requires canned beans but does not have any it is important to be aware of what the most suitable substitutes are for any occasion.

There are many aspects to take into consideration you must choose the most suitable alternative to cannellini beans in your food preparation isn’t always cut and dry.

This article will talk about cannellini beans in terms the size and texture cooking time, texture, and taste. We’ll also examine them against 8 of our top possible alternatives to decide which is the most suitable option for your specific dish.

What Are Cannellini Beans?

Cannellini beans are usually thought to be Italian but they were first collected in Argentina.

They’re among the largest white beans. They’re usually sold in cans. However, If want your beans dry, purchasing cannellini beans on the internet is much cheaper and less expensive particularly if you’re looking for organic beans.

Cannellini is the Italian term used to describe the bean, however, they’re also referred to as white kidney beans and even Italian kidney beans. In most cases, they are known as white beans, without other distinctive identification.

Cannellini beans can be white, however, there are a few white beans that are beans. Some recipes just require “white beans,” like White Bean Soup, for example.

Cannellini beans are one of the most well-known white beans throughout North America and, in most situations, they can be employed when the recipe doesn’t have a specific.

Cannellini beans are quite big However, when your recipe calls for ” small white beans,” it’s more likely to be referring to Navy beans.

In most cases, one of them can easily be substituted for the other as you’ll discover as we discuss the subject later on in this piece.

What Do Cannellini Beans Taste Like?

After cooking, the cannellini beans possess some nutty notes and a silky soft texture. The skin of the beans is larger than that of a navy bean as an example, and this is why they maintain their firm meaty appearance even as they become lovely and soft inside.

They’re ideal for pasta, soups, and bean salads.

Dried Cannellini Beans Vs Canned Cannellini Beans

First of all, canned beans of every kind are cooked in advance, which reduces preparation time from several hours to just a few minutes. This is an enormous benefit when buying canned cannellini beans.

They’re also often accessible local in the form of cans even though they’re also readily accessible online in both varieties.

When you boil your dried beans using dried herbs and water it will absorb the flavor into the beans to create an amazing natural flavoring.

This isn’t possible with canned beans since they’re cooked. Cannellini beans that are canned are slightly saltier than the typically dried bean that has been cooked.

If you’re using dried beans with canned beans for a dish or in reverse, you’ll need to be aware of how you describe the beans to ensure that you are substituting the proper quantity.

Dry beans grow in size when cooked So when you’re cooking 1 cup of dry beans you’ll require about two cups of can beans. In the opposite case, if the recipe calls for 1-cup of canned beans you’ll only need to cook half a cup of dry beans.

From a health standpoint, there is evidence that suggests that canned foods release small quantities of BPA into food items that are believed to be harmful and could be linked to heart diseases or type 2 diabetes as well as other health issues.

In terms of nutrition, canning food is a safe and safe method to preserve not just the food but also the nutritional value. There is no variation in the quality of dried beans and canned beans. The only exception is with sodium-rich canned beans that contain sauce, which is most likely rich in sugar and may contain different preservatives.

Best Substitutes for Cannellini Beans

If you’re trying to find the best alternative to cannellini beans in some recipes There are various components to take note of: the dimensions of the beans and their texture, flavor, and cooking time.

These elements will be relevant in every recipe, but knowing the ingredients in every bean substitute can help you pick the appropriate bean for your needs.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the various cannellini bean alternatives, with notes on each component, and give you an overview of the most commonly used recipes each bean can be utilized in.

1. Red Kidney Beans

If you are knowledgeable or know very little about nutrition, a basic fact is that plants of different colors are likely to have various antioxidants.

The nutritional content of red kidney beans is nearly the same as white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans possess a distinct antioxidant composition.

The darker the skin of the bean, the higher the bean’s content will be in flavonoids. They are a powerful and researched type of antioxidant.

For a long time white foods were believed to be deficient in antioxidants and vitamins however, new research suggests that they actually have various kinds of phytochemicals, and can still be a beneficial food source.

In all aspects, aside from their color bean white and red kidney beans can be interchanged.

They’re about the same size on average and are larger beans. They have a firm, smooth skin that has a soft and fleshy interior, which is ideal for meals that require lots of simmering or soaking such as stews and soups.

They all have a mildly nuanced flavor, with some sweetness although many would argue the red kidney bean has a stronger flavor.

Both white and red kidney beans require about one hour to cook if they’ve been in the water for at minimum 6 hours before simmering.

Make use of red kidney beans as a substitute for canned beans to make any meal in which color isn’t an issue. For instance, a minestrone, as an instance, is an ideal dish to replace white cream soup.

2. Great Northern Beans

Cannellini beans are often mistaken for Great Northern beans and vice the reverse.

White kidney beans tend to be bigger than their Great Northern cousins and have a distinctive kidney shape, however, they appear identical unless you’re a snob about beans.

There are some key variations to take note of, particularly the tea fixtures.

White kidney beans maintain their shape better and last a much longer period in comparison to Great Northern beans. Great Northern beans will get very soft when cooked and can have a slight amorphous, grainy texture when compared to the smooth creamy cannellini beans.

Great Northern beans have a moderate taste, and absorption the flavors of the food they’re cooked with. Comparatively the taste of cannellini beans is more earthy or nutty.

They require between 45 and 60 minutes to cook, and they can become mushy if kept simmering for too long.

They’re a great alternative to cannellini beans when the color is important and the presence of a white bean is essential to the dish and when it’s not expected to be cooked to a significant extent.

3. Navy Beans

If a recipe only requires white beans odds are you’re referring to the cannellini bean or Navy beans because they’re the two most well-known white beans found throughout North America.

The two are often interchangeable and produce very acceptable results, however, there are distinct distinctions that, when you’ve mastered them, can influence your choice.

Navy beans are among the beans with the least amount of white while cannellini beans are among the biggest. According to the dish you are making, Navy beans may get lost in the ocean of vegetables, or cannellini beans could be spotted as being too hard in the Baked bean dish.

Navy beans are extremely soft beans, shedding their shape very quickly and becoming extremely creamy. They’re perfect to make dips or make soups in a hurry that don’t cook for long periods at the same time.

Although they’re smaller and cook softer than cannellini beans nevertheless require approximately 1 1/2 to two hours for cooking properly.

This is why it is recommended that if you’re replacing Navy beans with cannellini beans, in a stew or soup that is simmering for an extended period Add your beans after they’ve cooked completely and be cooked along alongside the rest of the ingredients.

4. Baby Lima Beans

Baby lima beans work very well with cannellini beans however, they do possess a distinct texture.

They’re the tiniest white bean that you can find that is clearly in contrast to the large white kidney beans. Because they’re small it is important to cook them with care.

Baby lima beans have a higher starch content than the cannellini bean. If you’re making use of them as a substitute, you’ll want to soften the texture of the grain as much as you can without cooking them to the point that they could cause them to become mushy.

Soak them for 45 mins up to an hour, but be sure to keep an eye on the beans as they cook.

Regarding flavor, because they’re young beans baby lima beans possess mild flavors that are more buttery and sweet in comparison to the earthiness of kidney beans.

But, when cooked, both typically absorb enough of the flavor of the recipe that the variation won’t be noticeable.

5. Butter Beans (Lima)

Lima beans that are fully grown are closer to white kidney beans and are often getting bigger. They’re often referred to as butter beans due to their buttery taste and creamy texture.

Also, lima beans are a starchy legume. Therefore, they are a great choice when cooking recipes that include other starchy vegetables, like potatoes. Blending them into a cream sauce or bean dip is a great alternative for the beans.

Lima beans’ texture due to the addition of starch can be somewhat gritty or mealy So keep this in mind when substituting them for cannellini beans. They are highly regarded because of their smooth, firm consistency.

Although lima beans are very large, they can typically be cooked to perfection within an hour, particularly if they’ve been properly in the first place.

5. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans can be substituted in recipes that use cannellini as a protein-rich ingredient that draws a lot of attention.

They also make an ideal substitute for bean dips, as chickpeas are widely known as the principal ingredient in hummus.

Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans are medium-sized round beans that resemble peas. They are extremely hard and keep their firm texture even after cooking for hours.

They’re mildly flavored and have a similar sweetness to white kidney beans, which is why they’re an excellent match in the same region.

Chickpeas are widely available and are easy to find However, they take the longest time to cook. They typically require about two hours of simmering time for them to be delicious.

6. Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans are among the most beautiful beans you’ll discover, with a beautiful pink and speckled beige color. It is the most striking characteristic of the beans from Barlotti which are often referred to as the cranberry bean also known as Roman beans.

Borlotti beans tend to be smaller in size than canned beans, as they are mid-sized beans. They are often used in place of Pinto beans since they’re extremely small in size, flavor, and feel.

In comparison to cannellini beans, they’re softer, but not as solid as the bigger white beans. Cannellini beans are typically used in bean salads and cold pasta dishes, and Borlotti beans can be a good substitute for these dishes.

They’re medium-sized beans that hold their shape well when cooked. To cook the perfectly, they’ll require approximately one and a half hours.

7. Black Beans

Black beans are identical to cannellini beans, both in dimensions and colors. They are tiny to medium-sized and extremely black in comparison to the larger white kidney bean.

What they have in common is their popularity. Black beans are extremely popular in the majority of North American households and they provide a quick and simple substitute to this end for the reason that they are.

Regarding texture, black beans cook soft and lightly sweet with the hint of earthiness that can be seen in cannellini beans.

They hold their shape, which is at least partially, due to their speedy cooking. Black beans can be fully cooked, even without soaking for a couple of hours to 45 minutes.

There are many reasons why black beans aren’t a suitable substitute for cannellini beans used in recipes intended to be light or white. However, when used for Mexican recipes, they’re an excellent substitute.

8. Fava Beans

Fava beans are often called broad beans. They have a distinct and distinctive flavor.

They’re sweet like white kidney beans, however, they are more flavorful. Based on the type of bean the beans could seem a little sweet or bitter. they are often described as un-cheesy.

The distinctive flavor of these beans distinguishes them from nearly all beans. However, if you are a fan of the taste they could be a great substitute for cannellini beans which are milder in certain recipes.

Fava beans are quite big they are quite dense and extremely meaty. If you’re cooking a vegetarian or vegan main meal that you’d like to make healthy broad beans are an excellent choice. They are great in salads and soups if you like the taste.

Dry broad beans are slightly different than cooking cannellini beans. It may take a while.

Broad beans come with an outer skin that’s bitter and must be removed before you eat the beans. The most efficient method to accomplish that is to cook the beans around halfway through, about 1 hour later, and wash and drain the beans.

Once they’re safe for handling take each bean and squeeze it individually to remove it from the shell of the pod. Once they’ve been removed from the skin and cooked, you’ll need to keep cooking them for an additional 45 minutes in water that is fresh.

Interesting Facts & Questions

Are Cannellini Beans Good For You?

Cannellini beans are beneficial to you, particularly when they’re only one component of a healthy and balanced diet.

Because of the amount of protein in each serving, they’re an effective way to safeguard muscle mass and overall cell health.

While it’s not a problem to include enough protein in the diet of your choice, it’s beneficial to have a variety. Beans are an especially great supplement to a diet that is based on plants.

The fiber in beans is excellent for digestion although it could take some time for people new to beans to get used to the fiber.

Over time, a sufficient fiber intake has been proven to improve gut health, decrease the risk factors for heart disease and healthily maintain the body’s weight.

How Do You Cook Cannellini Beans?

There’s plenty of debate on whether or not to soak beans in water before cooking them. If you decide to let your beans soak for six or more hours, you’ll need to wash them thoroughly with cold water before cooking them.

The beans can be quickly soaked by putting them in an uncovered pot that will cover the beans by approximately 1 inch, and then bringing the water to the point of boiling. Switch off the heat and let the beans sit for at least one hour before washing them and cooking.

To cook beans that have been soaked add them to a pot that has the equivalent of 3 cups of water per one cup of beans. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference. The water should be brought to a simmer, then lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 1 hour.

If you’d rather cook beans without soaking, wash them thoroughly before placing them in a pan with three cups of water per 1-cup of beans.

The cooking time is 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding additional time and water until you achieve the desired texture you want for the beans.

If you’re cooking using canned cannellini beans they’re prepared and can be used in any recipe, without the need to add time to cook the beans. It’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before making use of them.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.