What Is a Good Substitute for Cannellini Beans?


Quick Answer

Great Northern, red kidney or navy beans are good substitutes for cannellini beans. Cannellini beans are a white kidney bean frequently found in Italian recipes. Other white beans substitute well in recipes that call for cannellini beans.

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What Is a Good Substitute for Cannellini Beans?
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Full Answer

The Great Northern bean is usually the recommended substitute for cannellini beans. The great northern bean is smaller than cannellinis and resembles a white lima bean in shape; this bean also holds its shape well when cooked and has a similarly mild flavor. The great northern beans’ texture is a little grainier than cannellini beans' texture.

Navy beans are another popular form of white beans, despite its misleading name. Navy beans are a good substitute for cannellinis, though they are noticeably smaller in size and cook more quickly. Use of these beans as a cannellini substitute is preferred for dishes that do not need the beans to retain their shape. Navy beans work well in purees, soups or stews and baked bean recipes.

As a last resort, the red kidney bean can substitute. Cannellinis and red kidney beans are similar in size, shape and taste, though cannellinis have a creamier texture and different color.

Native to Italy's Tuscany region, cannellini beans are also called fagioli. These beans are large, creamy white and kidney-shaped with a smooth texture. The bean holds its shape well when cooked.

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