If you’re looking for a versatile and nutritious legume to add to your favorite dishes, navy beans are a great choice.
These small white beans are high in fiber, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
They can be used in soups, stews, salads, and dips – the possibilities are endless!
However, if you don’t have access to navy beans or prefer not to use them for whatever reason, there are several alternatives that can provide similar benefits.
In this article, I will discuss 9 of the best substitutes for navy beans so that you can still enjoy all their amazing health benefits without having to buy them.
What Are Navy Beans?
Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are small white legumes that have a mild flavor and creamy texture.
They are native to the Americas and were named after their use in the United States Navy in the 19th century.
Navy beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and folate.
They can be used in soups, stews and casseroles or mashed into dips like hummus.
They can also be cooked with vegetables for a hearty side dish or added to salads for extra protein.
When cooked properly they become soft but still retain their shape which makes them ideal for dishes such as baked beans or chili con carne.
The 9 Best Substitutes for Navy Beans
Navy beans are a great ingredient to use in stews and soups, but they can be hard to find.
Fortunately, there are several alternatives that will still offer the same nutritional benefits.
Here is a list of nine substitutes for navy beans:
1. Great White Northern Beans
Great White Northern beans are a type of white bean, also known as navy beans or pea beans.
They have a creamy texture and mild flavor that lends itself to many dishes.
They are small and oval-shaped, with a white skin and cream colored interior.
Whole vs. Ground
Great White Northern Beans can be used whole or ground into a powder for use in baking recipes such as muffins, cakes, cookies, and breads.
Whole beans can also be cooked in soups or stews for added texture and protein.
When using dried beans, it is important to soak them overnight before cooking to ensure they are soft enough for consumption.
Cooking With Great White Northern Beans
To cook great white northern beans from scratch, first rinse them under cold water until the water runs clear.
Then place them in a pot covered with two inches of cold water and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour until the desired tenderness is achieved.
Once cooked through you can add them to your favorite soup or stew recipe or even enjoy as is with some salt and pepper!
2. Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans are a type of legume that is native to Central and South America.
They are named for their shape, which resembles a kidney.
Red kidney beans are one of the most popular types of beans in the United States and can be found in many dishes from chili to soups.
Whole vs. Ground
Red kidney beans can be used whole or ground into a powder form.
Whole red kidney beans are often used in stews, soups, and other dishes where they need to hold their shape during cooking.
Ground red kidney beans can be used as an alternative to flour when baking or making sauces and gravies.
Cooking With Red Kidney Beans
When using dried red kidney beans, it’s important to soak them overnight before cooking with them.
This will help reduce their cooking time as well as make them easier to digest.
After soaking, they should be boiled until tender before adding them to your dish of choice.
Canned red kidney beans can also be used in recipes; just make sure you rinse them off first before adding them in order to reduce sodium content and improve flavor.
3. White Kidney Beans
White kidney beans are a type of legume that is native to the Americas.
They are also known as cannellini or fazolia beans, and they have a white color and kidney-like shape.
These beans have a mild flavor and creamy texture, making them popular in many dishes around the world.
How To Cook With White Kidney Beans
Before cooking with white kidney beans, it is important to rinse them off and remove any dirt or debris. Then soak them overnight in cold water before cooking.
The next day, drain out the soaking liquid and add fresh water to cover the beans by two inches.
Simmer for about an hour until they are tender but not mushy.
You can then use these cooked beans in salads, soups, stews, casseroles, dips, chili recipes, side dishes or main entrees like pasta e fagioli soup or cassoulet.
White kidney beans can be used in many different types of cuisine from Italian to Mexican.
They are often used as an ingredient in salads such as panzanella salad or tabouli salad; soups such as minestrone soup; stews like cassoulet; casseroles like baked ziti; dips such as hummus; chili recipes like turkey chili; side dishes such as mashed potatoes with white kidney bean puree; main entrees such as pasta e fagioli soup or lasagna with white kidney bean sauce; and desserts like apple crisp with white kidney bean puree topping.
4. Flageolet Beans
Flageolet beans are small, pale green, kidney-shaped beans that are native to France.
They have a delicate flavor and creamy texture when cooked.
The French consider them an essential ingredient in their cuisine.
How To Cook With Flageolet Beans
Before cooking flageolet beans, they should be soaked for at least four hours or overnight.
Drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans before cooking.
To cook flageolet beans on the stovetop, add two parts water to one part beans and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes until tender but not mushy.
Add more water if necessary during the cooking process.
For quicker results, pressure cookers can also be used to prepare flageolets in approximately 20 minutes of total time.
Flageolets are often served as a side dish with roasted meats or vegetables, but they can also be used as an ingredient in casseroles or soups for added texture and flavor.
In addition to being enjoyed on their own, flageolets can be mashed into dips such as hummus or baba ganoush; pureed into sauces; tossed into salads; added to grain bowls; mixed with other legumes like lentils; or combined with rice dishes such as risotto or paella for extra protein and fiber content.
5. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are a variety of white beans that have a mild flavor and creamy texture.
They are often used in Italian dishes such as soups and stews, but can also be used in salads, dips, side dishes, casseroles and more.
How to Cook With Cannellini Beans
Before cooking with cannellini beans it is important to rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
To cook them you can either simmer the beans in water on the stovetop for about 1-2 hours until they are tender or you can use a pressure cooker which will reduce the cooking time significantly.
Once cooked they can be added directly into recipes or mashed up to create a paste or dip.
Cannellini beans are commonly used in Italian cuisine and make an excellent addition to soups and stews.
They also work well in salads when combined with other ingredients like tomatoes, olives, onions and herbs for added flavor.
They can also be blended into hummus for an easy dip option or added to casseroles for extra protein and creaminess.
6. Tepary Beans
Tepary beans are a type of bean native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
They are small, oval-shaped, and usually brown or black in color.
They have a nutty flavor and are packed with nutrients such as protein, fiber, and vitamins.
How To Cook With Tepary Beans
Soaking tepary beans before cooking is essential to get the most out of their flavor.
To soak them overnight or for 8 hours in plenty of water.
When ready to cook drain off the soaking liquid and rinse the beans again.
Then add fresh water to cover the beans by about two inches above them in a pot on medium heat.
Boil for 10 minutes then reduce heat to low simmering for 1-2 hours until tender but not mushy.
Tepary beans can be enjoyed like any other bean – cooked into soups or stews; pureed into dips; mashed with seasonings as refried beans; added to salads; used as an alternative to rice dishes; or even roasted for snacking!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to using tepary beans in your meals!
Lentils are a type of legume, and they come in many different shapes and sizes.
They can range from yellow to red to green, but all lentils have the same nutritional properties.
They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and contain important vitamins such as iron and folate.
How To Cook With Lentils
Lentils should be rinsed before cooking with them.
To cook lentils on the stovetop, add 1 cup of lentils to 2 cups of water or broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until tender.
You can also use a slow cooker or pressure cooker for faster cooking times.
Lentils can be enjoyed in soups, stews, salads, curries, pasta dishes, veggie burgers and more!
For breakfast you can make porridge with cooked lentils or try adding some cooked lentil into scrambled eggs or omelets.
For lunch or dinner you could make a hearty bowl of chili with lentils instead of ground beef or turkey for added nutrition!
8. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are a type of legume native to Central and South America.
They have an oval shape, with a reddish-brown skin that is mottled with splashes of beige.
When cooked, the beans turn into a creamy texture and take on an earthy flavor.
How To Cook With Pinto Beans
Pinto beans can be used in many dishes such as soups, stews, chili, tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
Before cooking pinto beans it is important to rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
Then they should be soaked overnight in cold water before cooking.
To cook pinto beans on the stovetop you will need two cups of dry pinto beans and six cups of water for every one cup of dry beans.
Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours until tender.
If using canned pinto beans make sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to your recipe.
Pintos are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine but can also be used in other dishes such as salads, veggie burgers or even hummus!
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume with a mild flavor and creamy texture.
They are round and slightly flattened in shape, usually about 1/2 inch in diameter.
Chickpeas come in two varieties – white and black.
How to Cook With Chickpeas
To prepare chickpeas for cooking, first rinse them under cold water until the water runs clear.
If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in plenty of water before cooking or use the quick-soak method; bring the beans to a boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat and let stand for an hour before draining.
To cook soaked chickpeas on the stovetop, add three parts liquid (water or broth) to one part dry beans and simmer until tender (about 1-2 hours).
Chickpeas can also be cooked in a pressure cooker or slow cooker.
Canned chickpeas can be used right away without soaking or boiling; just drain off any excess liquid before using them in recipes.
Chickpea flour is made by grinding up dried chickpeas into a powdery consistency that can be used as an alternative to wheat flour in baking recipes such as pancakes, muffins, cookies, breads etc., as well as savory dishes like falafel and veggie burgers.
Roasted chickpeas make a great snack when seasoned with spices like cumin or smoked paprika; simply toss drained canned chickpeas with oil and your favorite seasonings then roast at 400°F for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Is navy bean the same as cannellini bean?
No, navy beans and cannellini beans are not the same. Navy beans are small and oval-shaped, while cannellini beans are larger and more kidney-shaped.
Both types of beans are popular in Tuscan cuisine, but they are used in different dishes.
Navy beans are a common ingredient in soups and baked beans, while cannellini beans are often used in salads, spreads, and pasta dishes.
Despite their differences, navy and cannellini beans are interchangeable in many recipes, so you can use either one to achieve the same results.
Can I use chickpeas instead of navy beans?
Yes, you can use chickpeas instead of navy beans. Chickpeas have a flavor that is similar to a number of other beans, such as cannellini and pinto beans, and thus also has a taste that is comparable to navy beans.
If you’re looking for a change of pace from the same old bean recipes, you can easily substitute chickpeas for navy beans in your favorite dishes.
Not only will this provide a different flavor, but it will also provide a range of nutritional benefits. Chickpeas are a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
Can I substitute pinto beans for navy beans?
Yes, you can substitute pinto beans for navy beans in many recipes. Navy beans are a variety of white beans with a mild, creamy, and nutty flavor. They are much smaller than pinto beans and contain a higher amount of protein than pinto beans.
For dishes where the beans are mashed or blended, such as refried beans, navy beans are an ideal replacement for pinto beans. However, for dishes where the beans are left whole, like chili or soups, pinto beans may be better since they hold their shape better than navy beans.
Can I substitute navy beans for white beans?
Yes, you can substitute navy beans for white beans in your recipes. All types of white beans are interchangeable, so feel free to use great northern beans, white kidney beans, flageolet beans, or cannellini beans in place of navy beans.
The flavors and textures of these beans are similar, so the substitution won’t change the overall taste of the dish. However, it’s important to note that some navy beans are larger than other types of white beans, so if you’re using them as a substitute in a recipe, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
In conclusion, navy beans are a great addition to many dishes and provide a delicious source of protein and fiber.
However, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have navy beans on hand, there are a variety of other beans that can be used as a substitute.
The best substitutes for navy beans are great white northern beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, flageolet beans, cannellini beans, tepary beans, lentils, pinto beans, and chickpeas.
Each of these alternatives has its own unique flavor and texture, so you can experiment with different combinations to find the perfect flavor for your dish.
Using a combination of these beans is a great way to add depth and complexity to your dish and will ensure that you never have to go without navy beans again.
The 9 Best Substitutes for Navy Beans
- Great White Northern Beans
- Red Kidney Beans
- White Kidney Beans
- Flageolet Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Tepary Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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.