Great northern beans are great as per their name and go well in casseroles, stews, and rice. And they are also great in the sense that you can replace them by picking up the great northern beans substitute.
Having no white beans in the pantry is a situation we all trapped in, unintentionally. Since white beans including great northern beans are not so widely popular, they become pretty hard to find sometime.
Besides, some people are not true fans of bean flavor and look for something differently satisfying. Don’t worry, we’ll cover you here.
Look ahead the complete checklist of all possible great northern beans substitutes you can use accordingly.
Great Northern Beans Substitute
Great northern beans are white, medium-sized, and firm beans with a mild nutty flavor. They are not so delicate to add to typical food dishes yet complement well slow cooking recipes like soups, casseroles, and stews.
They are great either you get them fresh, dried, or even canned. Great northern beans are a staple to continental French recipes like baked beans, pork and beans, bean mash, and white bean chili.
What if you’re out of these ideal white beans to make a palatable meal or you’re not liking bean flavor? The following alternatives are listed for you, pick up any one, try it, and enjoy.
Bean-Based Substitute For Great Northern Beans
The following alternatives are closer to great northern beans and do the replacement when you are out of them.
1. Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans are white beans similar to great northern beans with a kidney bean-like shape. They offer a subtle smooth and nutty flavor to the recipe with creamy undernotes. Prolonged soaking is needed before incorporating them into the dish because of their firmer texture.
When added to salads, soups, and traditional cuisines, they readily take the flavor of the recipe as great northern beans. They are also better for mashing and baking. Thereby, you can make your all delicious bean dishes using cannellini beans without pointing a flavor and texture difference.
2. Navy beans
Navy beans are good to go when there’s no time for pre-soaking beans as needed for great northern beans. They are white beans of smaller size and thus don’t need extra time for cooking.
Low in sodium yet higher in fibers, navy beans are perfect for making baked beans or pork and beans. So, if you are looking for healthy substitutes for great northern beans, get your hands on navy beans.
Similar to northern beans, they are packed with mildly nutty flavor and smooth creamy mouthfeel. Serve them with pasta, tacos, bean burgers, and enchiladas instead of great northern beans.
3. Butter Beans
Butter beans or baby lima beans are loaded with starch and get a name from their small size and a buttery or creamy texture. They offer a comparable mild flavor to the dish and hold up their shape while cooking.
Substitute great northern beans with butter beans in sauces, dips, and casseroles and enjoy the original white bean flavor.
Butter beans readily absorb the flavor of recipe ingredients and overall impart rich, buttery, and mouth-melting taste to dishes. They are also great for roasting, baking, and mashing to complement typical savory treats.
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4. Pinto Beans
Other than white variety beans, a lot more substitutes for great northern beans are out there to make an irresistible replacement. For example, pinto beans are regular beans with an off-white appearance yet comparable mild flavor.
Pinto beans are heavily nutritious and filled with a robust nutty flavor. Their hard exterior extends the cooking time twice, thereby pre-soaking will work to prepare them properly in a short time.
Pinto beans are meant for recipes like dips, sauces, and salsas where the color of beans doesn’t impose a difference. Don’t use them instead of great northern beans in recipes like white chili or white refried beans.
5. Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans in place of great northern beans? Does it make sense or really work? Yes, they can swap white beans in terms of relatable flavor rather than color.
They are kidney-shaped, medium-sized, and red-colored beans as per their name and are readily available in all portions of the world.
The overall flavor is mildly sweet, deeply nuttier, and slightly creamy. Red kidney beans could be your side dish staple and ideal to prepare thanksgiving soups, dips, and stews.
6. Black-Eyed Peas
Black-eyed pea is another nutrient-dense substitute for great northern beans you can easily get on. They are named because of their white-colored beans pointed with a black spot like an eye, so the namesake black-eyed beans.
Easy to find and quick to prepare, black-eyed peas are ideal to use in recipes calling for large white beans. Their mild nutty flavor and an ability to take the flavor of the recipe make them an appealing swap.
7. Black Beans
How can black beans swap white beans in any recipe? Here’s you are right. Black beans have no apparent similarity to northern beans except one and that’s a comparable flavor.
It’s right, black beans cannot replace white beans in all kinds of dishes but can go where the appearance makes no difference. They go well in bean burgers, burritos, salsas, and stews for their unique subtle flavor.
Not confuse black beans with black-eyed peas as both are two different varieties.
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8. Fava Beans
Fava beans, flat beans, or broad beans are different names of the same variety that you can use to switch large white beans. The flavor is similarly subtle and mildly sweet with a creamy mouthfeel.
Fava beans pair well with stews, soups, spreads, and sauces without making a dish different from northern beans.
9. Canned Great Northern Beans
If you don’t want to compromise the appearance, texture, or flavor of the dish, replace dried northern beans with the canned variety. There will be no texture and flavor difference at all.
In fact, canned larger white beans are pre-cooked, preserved, and may contain high sodium. So, reduce the cooking time and salt content of the dish where you are going to put them.
In addition, they are easily accessible yet pricy to get as compared to dried great beans. If seems affordable, make them your best replacement.
Great Northern Beans Substitute
Where To Use?
Soups, stews, and condiments
Salsas and sauces
Salads, white chili, and sausages
White chili and white refried beans
Red Kidney Beans
Soups, stews, and salsas
Condiment for meat dishes
Burgers, burritos, salsas
Soups, spreads, and stews
Canned Northern Beans
White chili, pork and beans
Non-Bean Substitute For Great Northern Beans
When white beans are not on hand, why not alternate them with a new flavor profile? Yet, it’s a good idea of turning a usual dish into a delectable treat. So, shift your tongue taste towards non-bean substitutes instead of great northern beans.
Using a squash in a white bean recipe will not impose a color difference at all but there will be a different texture. However, different squash varieties are meant to be used in different styles of bean dishes.
For instance, butternut and delicata squash will provide you with the same buttery, creamy, and mild sweetness as great northern beans. While, kabocha squash can switch white beans in white chili, casseroles, and side sauces.
Squash is differently nutritious as it’s higher in carbs while beans are rich in proteins. Still, they are good to go interchangeably when bean flavor becomes flat and unappealing for you.
Similarly packed with plant proteins and fibers, chickpea is also a worthy non-bean substitute for great northern beans. The overall flavor is not far or overwhelming yet uniformly mild and creamy.
They are good to make a healthy mash, side sauce, or salsas in place of white beans. Chickpeas are so versatile and staple that you will definitely have them in the pantry.
Similar to white beans, dried chickpeas have a hard exterior and need to be soaked overnight for quick preparation.
Cauliflower is another healthy way to fake the color of white beans. Nutritionally healthy, easy to get, and quick to prepare, cauliflower is perfect for steaming, roasting, and mashing.
Cauliflower complements well to savory spreads, bean mash, chili beans, and casseroles as a great bean less alternative for northern beans.
Peas are good non-bean substitutes for great northern beans, after all, they are closer to beans. Although they are relatively starchy foods and sweeter, they can shift the overall flavor deliciously.
Perfect for traditional cuisines, casseroles, and certain chili dishes, peas will never feel like something mismatched or unappealing. They are easy to find, quick to prepare, and turn out wonderfully satisfying.
Substituting mushrooms instead of white beans means a wonderful meaty addition to the recipes. But can mushrooms substitute great northern beans? And the answer is pretty much easier, yes. But only certain varieties can do the replacement.
For instance, white button and cremini are ideal for your bean-based recipes. Both are also good shiitake mushroom alternatives. They impart a umami richness, delicate texture, and mellower flavor to a number of bean cuisines and side dishes.
Non-Bean Substitute For Great Northern Beans
Where To Use?
White chili, casseroles, and side sauces
Dips, salsas, and sauces
Bean mash, chili bean, and casseroles
Soups, salads, and cuisines
Soups, stews, and salsas
Are Great Northern Beans And Cannellini Beans The Same?
No, they both are different cultivars of white beans with distinctly culinary significance. Great northern beans also known as large white beans are actually medium-sized beans with a tougher exterior and mild flavor.
On the other hand, cannellini beans are larger white beans with a more creamy and fluffy texture. Since they both are white beans, they are greatly interchangeable in every bean recipe.
Where To Use Great Northern Beans Substitute?
The closest substitutes for great northern beans include cannellini beans, navy beans, and butter beans that you can use in soups, stews, and casseroles. Moreover, serve them along with meat recipes, burgers, Italian sausages, and pasta. White chili or pork and beans are ideal recipes to incorporate white beans.
Non-bean alternatives work great in soups, stews, sauces, and spreads to fill your mouth with a delicate punch of flavor. The great non-bean replacements include chickpeas, squash, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
Do Navy Beans And Great Northern Beans Taste The Same?
Navy beans and great northern beans taste the same to a reasonable extent even though one cannot differentiate them on the basis of flavor. Being mildly nutty, they both readily take the flavor of the dish while cooking.
Then how do these cultivars are distinctly labeled? The answer lies in the unique texture and mouthfeel. Navy beans are creamier, fluffier, and more velvety than northern beans while large white beans are less dense and grainier.
What Beans Are Similar To Large White Beans?
Cannellini beans, navy beans, and butter beans are cultivars of the white beans that differ slightly in their texture and flavor profile. And the great northern beans are also beans of the same family, white beans. Thereby, all these are good replacements for each other in recipes like white chilli, stews, soups, and bean spread.
Besides, pinto beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, and black-eyed beans can also replace northern beans in certain dishes.
What Are Some Health Benefits Of White Beans?
White beans including northern beans substitute are rich in nutrients like vitamin B, folate, iron, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and thiamine. They boost immunity, improve blood circulation, provide ample fibers, and promote a healthy body weight.
White beans are also rich in plant proteins and fats ensuring healthy heart performance.