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The 11 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

If you’ve ever cooked with borlotti beans, you know that they have a unique flavor and texture.

These Italian legumes are often used in soups, stews, and other dishes for their creamy consistency and nutty taste.

However, sometimes it can be difficult to find borlotti beans in your local grocery store or farmers market.

If this is the case for you, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes out there that can provide similar flavor and texture profiles as borlotti beans.

In this article, I will discuss 11 of the best substitutes for borlotti beans so that you can continue to enjoy all of your favorite recipes without having to compromise on taste.

What Are Borlotti Beans?

Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans or Roman beans, are a type of legume native to Italy.

They have a creamy texture and nutty flavor that makes them popular in Italian cuisine.

The borlotti bean is similar in size and shape to the kidney bean but has an off-white color with red streaks running through it.

It is often used in soups, stews, salads, pasta dishes, and side dishes.

Borlotti beans are high in fiber and protein which makes them a great source of nutrition for vegetarians and vegans alike.

They are also rich in vitamins and minerals.

When cooked properly they can be quite delicious!

Try adding some to your favorite soup or stew recipe for added flavor and nutrition.

The 11 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans are a popular legume, but they can be hard to find in some places.

If you’re looking for an alternative, here are eleven substitutes that still offer the same health benefits:

1. Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are a type of legume, classified as Phaseolus vulgaris.

They are small and kidney-shaped, with a white interior and reddish-brown skin.

They have a mild flavor and creamy texture when cooked.

How To Cook With Kidney Beans

Canned kidney beans are already cooked and can be used in recipes without any additional cooking.

If you’re using dried beans, they should be soaked overnight before cooking to ensure they cook evenly.

To cook them on the stovetop, bring the beans to a boil in plenty of water for two minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or until tender.

For even faster cooking times, you can use an electric pressure cooker or slow cooker.

Popular Uses Of Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are incredibly versatile; they can be used in salads, soups, stews, chili dishes such as red bean burritos or tacos; pureed into dips such as hummus; added to casseroles or curries; or served as a side dish with rice or other grains.

2. Anasazi Beans

Anasazi Beans

Anasazi beans are a variety of heirloom bean that is native to the American Southwest.

They have a creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavor.

The beans are small, with a reddish-brown color speckled with white spots.

How To Cook With Anasazi Beans

Anasazi beans can be cooked in much the same way as other dried legumes.

Soak them overnight in cold water and then drain off any excess liquid before cooking.

Bring the soaked beans to a boil in fresh water and then reduce heat to low and simmer until they’re tender, about 1-2 hours depending on their age.

Alternatively, you can cook them in your slow cooker or pressure cooker for quicker results.

Popular Uses

Anasazi beans make an excellent side dish served simply with butter and salt or topped with salsa or pesto sauce.

They also work well added to salads, soups, stews, chilis, burritos, tacos and more!

Try using them as a substitute for pinto or kidney beans in your favorite recipes – they will add an extra layer of flavor that you won’t find elsewhere!

3. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a type of legume native to Mexico and Central America.

They are small, oval-shaped beans that range in color from light tan to dark brown.

When cooked, the inside of the bean turns pinkish-brown, giving it its name “pinto,” which translates to “painted” in Spanish.

How To Cook With Pinto Beans

Pinto beans can be cooked in a variety of ways.

For best results, soak them overnight or for several hours before cooking.T

his helps reduce cooking time and improves flavor and texture.

After soaking, pinto beans can be boiled on the stovetop or pressure cooked for about 20 minutes until tender.

They can also be slow cooked with other ingredients such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, chilies and spices for a flavorful dish.

Popular Uses

Pinto beans are often used in Mexican dishes like refried beans and chili con carne but they have many other uses too!

They can be mashed into hummus or added to salads and soups for extra protein and fiber.

They also make an excellent side dish when served with rice or quinoa.

Finally, they can even be blended into veggie burgers or turned into vegan tacos!

4. Lupini Beans

Lupini beans are a type of legume that has been part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries.

They are small, round, and yellowish-brown in color.

They have a slightly bitter taste and a chewy texture.

How To Cook With Lupini Beans

Lupini beans should be soaked prior to cooking.

Soak them overnight in cold water or for about 8 hours in hot water.

Drain and rinse the beans before cooking them on the stovetop with fresh water for about 45 minutes until tender.

Once cooked, you can season lupini beans with salt and other spices such as garlic or cumin to enhance their flavor.

Popular Uses

Lupini beans are popularly enjoyed as an appetizer or snack, often served with beer or wine in Mediterranean countries like Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Lebanon, and Greece.

They can also be added to salads or soups for extra nutrition and flavor.

Additionally, they can be used as a meat substitute due to their high protein content – simply mash them up into patties and fry them up!

5. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are white Italian kidney beans with a creamy texture and nutty flavor.

They are also known as fazolia, white kidney beans, or white Roman beans.

These large, flat-shaped legumes have a mild taste that can be used in many different recipes.

How to Cook With Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans should always be cooked before eating them as they contain toxins that can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly.

To cook them, rinse the beans and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes until they are tender but still slightly firm.

From there, you can add them to soups and stews or mash them into a dip or spread.

Popular Uses

Cannellini beans are versatile and popular in Italian cuisine.

They can be added to pasta dishes like minestrone soup or served over toast with olive oil and garlic for an easy appetizer.

You can also make vegan versions of classic dishes like chili con carne by substituting cannellini beans for the meat.

For dessert, try adding some mashed cannellini beans to your favorite brownie recipe for an extra boost of protein!

6. Navy Beans

Navy Beans

Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are small white beans with a mild flavor.

They are an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber, and they contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Navy beans have a soft texture when cooked, making them ideal for use in soups, stews, casseroles, salads, and other dishes.

How to Cook With Navy Beans

To prepare navy beans for cooking or baking, it’s best to soak them overnight in cold water before using. Soaking the beans helps to reduce their cooking time and makes them easier to digest.

After soaking the navy beans overnight (or up to 24 hours), drain off the water and rinse thoroughly before adding them to your dish.

When cooking navy beans on the stovetop or in a slow cooker be sure that they are covered with enough liquid so that they don’t dry out during the cooking process.

Popular Uses

Navy bean soup is one of the most popular uses of this versatile bean; however, there are many other delicious ways you can incorporate navy beans into your diet!

Try adding cooked navy beans to salads or pasta dishes for extra protein and fiber; pureeing them into hummus or dips; mashing them with garlic and herbs as a spread; blending some into smoothies; or making hearty veggie burgers from mashed navy bean patties!

7. Fava Beans

Fava Beans

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a type of legume that has been eaten for centuries and is popular in Mediterranean cuisine.

Fava beans are high in protein and fiber, and they have a mild, earthy flavor.

The pods can be up to 8 inches long and contain 3-4 large seeds inside.

How To Cook With Fava Beans

Fresh fava beans should be shelled before cooking.

To do this, remove the pods from the stems and split them open with your fingers or a knife.

Then pop out the individual green beans inside.

Boil fresh fava beans for 5 minutes or until tender, then drain off any excess water before serving.

Dried fava beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking; once soaked, boil for 1-2 hours until tender.

They can also be cooked in a slow cooker or pressure cooker for faster results.

Popular Uses

Fava beans can be enjoyed whole or mashed into a paste called ful medames which is popular throughout the Middle East.

In Italy, they are often served with pasta dishes like risotto or added to soups and stews such as minestrone soup.

They make an excellent addition to salads when combined with other vegetables like tomatoes and onions, or used as an alternative to chickpeas in hummus recipes.

8. Black Beans

Black Beans

Black beans are about the size of a pea, up to 1/2-inch long, with the slightly less pronounced boat shape common to kidney beans.

They have a satiny black skin and a white center.

Black beans are enjoyed by many cultures around the world, and are packed with flavor.

How To Cook With Black Beans

It can be helpful to make a big batch of beans and incorporate them into meals throughout the week.

For breakfast, black beans are often enjoyed mixed with eggs or served alongside eggs, rice, and tortillas.

Black beans are delicious cold in a salad, mashed as a dip, or mixed into a veggie burger.

For heartier fare, black beans and rice is a classic, black bean chili is a popular variation on a beloved dish, and black bean soup is healthy and filling.

Popular Uses

Canned black beans should be rinsed before using.

They can be enjoyed cold, cooked, pureed or baked.

Dried black beans should be rinsed and soaked in water for two to four hours before cooking.

Another option is quick soak method – bring them to boil in plenty of water for two minutes then remove from heat and let stand for an hour; drain before cooking.

To cook pre-soaked beans rinse under water then add three parts water to one part of dried bean; bring it to boil then simmer for an hour or two until tender when pierced with fork; drained before serving too!

9. Great northern beans

Great Northern Beans

Great Northern beans are a type of white bean that is small and oval-shaped with a mild, nutty flavor.

They are related to navy beans and can be used in many dishes as an alternative for borlotti beans.

How To Cook With Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans can be cooked in several ways.

First, they should be soaked overnight before cooking.

After soaking, the beans can be boiled or simmered on the stovetop until they are tender; this usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

Alternatively, you can cook them in a slow cooker or pressure cooker for faster results.

If you’re using canned great northern beans, simply drain and rinse them before adding to your dish.

Popular Uses

Great northern beans are often used in soups and stews because they hold their shape well when cooked.

You can also use them in salads or casseroles, or mash them up with other ingredients like garlic and herbs to make dips and spreads.

They pair especially well with vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes; proteins such as chicken or fish; grains like rice; spices like thyme and oregano; cheese such as feta; nuts such as almonds; fruits such as apples; herbs such as parsley; sauces like pesto sauce; and vinegars like red wine vinegar.

10. Butter beans

Butter Beans

Butter beans, also known as lima beans or sieva beans, are a type of legume that is native to Central and South America.

They are large, flat-shaped beans with a creamy texture.

Butter beans are mild in flavor and have a buttery texture when cooked.

How To Cook With Butter Beans

Before cooking butter beans, they should be soaked for at least 8 hours.

After soaking, the butter beans can be boiled until tender (about 45 minutes).

Alternatively, you can cook them in the slow cooker on low heat for 4-6 hours or pressure cook them for 10-15 minutes.

Once cooked, butter beans can be used in salads, soups, stews and casseroles.

Popular Uses of Butter Beans

One of the most popular uses of butterbeans is in succotash – a dish made with corn and lima beans which originated from Native American cuisine.

In addition to succotash, butterbeans can also be used in chili dishes as well as side dishes such as mashed potatoes or rice pilafs.

They can even be used to make vegan burgers!

11. Chickpeas


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume that are popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.

They have a slightly nutty flavor and can be eaten cooked or raw.

The chickpea is high in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals like zinc and iron.

How To Cook With Chickpeas

Before cooking with chickpeas they should be soaked overnight in water or boiled for two minutes before using them to soften them up.

After soaking or boiling the chickpeas can be added to soups, stews, curries, salads, wraps, sandwiches or roasted for a crunchy snack.

When roasting the chickpeas make sure to toss them with oil first so they don’t stick together when baking.

Popular Uses

One of the most popular uses for chickpeas is hummus which is made by pureeing cooked chickpeas with olive oil and tahini (sesame seed paste) along with other seasonings like garlic and lemon juice.

Another popular use for chickpeas is falafel which are balls of deep-fried spiced mashed chick peas served in pita breads with vegetables and sauces such as tahini sauce or yogurt sauce.

Chickpeas can also be used to make veggie burgers instead of beef patties as well as being added to soups and salads for extra texture and nutrition.


Can I use cannellini beans instead of borlotti?

Yes, you can use cannellini beans instead of borlotti beans. Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are a great substitute for borlotti beans since they have a similar texture and taste.

They are creamy and silky, and have a similar flavor profile to cranberry beans. The main difference between the two is that cannellini beans are white in color, while borlotti beans are usually a dark brown.

Are cannellini beans the same as borlotti?

No, cannellini beans and borlotti beans are not the same. While both are part of the kidney bean family, cannellini beans are white in color and have a slightly nutty, earthy flavor. Meanwhile, borlotti beans are a deep, reddish-brown color and are slightly sweeter, with a creamy texture.

Additionally, cannellini beans are commonly used in soups and stews, whereas borlotti beans are often used in salads, as their smooth texture and hint of nutty sweetness makes them a great addition to cold dishes.

What is another name for borlotti beans?

Borlotti beans are an Italian variety of bean, closely related to kidney and pinto beans. They are known for their dappled white and pink color when dried, and a pinkish-brown hue when cooked. In Italy, they are known as cranberry beans, while in Mexico they are referred to as cacahuate beans.

In addition, they are sometimes known as Roman beans, or Corona beans in the United States. These beans are widely used in Italian and Mexican cuisine, and are a healthy, flavorful option for many dishes.

Can you substitute borlotti beans for kidney beans?

Yes, you can substitute borlotti beans for kidney beans. Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, have a similar sweet flavor to kidney beans, making them a great choice for bean salads and soups.

The best part is that you can use them as a 1-to-1 substitute, meaning that if you are using kidney beans, you can just switch them out for borlotti beans in whatever recipe you’re making.

This makes it easier to switch up your meals while still having a great flavor.


In conclusion, borlotti beans are a fantastic source of protein and fiber and can be used in a variety of dishes.

But if you’re ever in a pinch and don’t have any on hand, there are plenty of other beans that can be used as substitutes.

Some of the best substitutes for borlotti beans are kidney beans, anasazi beans, pinto beans, lupini beans, cannellini beans, navy beans, fava beans, black beans, great northern beans, butter beans, and chickpeas.

Each of these beans provide similar nutrition and flavor to borlotti beans, so you can easily replace them in your recipes.

So, the next time you’re in need of a substitute for borlotti beans, consider one of these alternatives and spice up your meals!

Borlotti Beans

The 11 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

If you're looking for a way to make a dish without using borlotti beans, this article is for you! I'm here to share my top 11 substitutes for borlotti beans, so you can still enjoy your favorite bean-based recipes without having to worry about availability. I'll talk about each substitute in depth, so you'll know exactly which one to use and how to use it. Plus, I'll provide a few recipe ideas to help you get started!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 367 kcal


  • Kidney Beans
  • Anasazi Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Lupini Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Fava Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Great northern beans
  • Butter beans
  • Chickpeas


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.