8 Best Great Northern Beans Substitutes for Cold and Hot Dishes

Great Northern Beans Substitute

If you’re in a pinch and need a substitute for Great Northern beans, any white bean will do. This includes navy beans, cannellini beans, or even lima beans. If you don’t have any white beans on hand, you can also use chickpeas as a replacement. 

These substitutes will work well in most recipes that call for Great Northern beans, though they may change the flavor slightly. For example, chickpeas will add a bit of sweetness to the dish. So if you’re looking for an exact replacement, white beans are your best bet. But if you’re willing to experiment, there are plenty of other options available.

The best alternatives of great northern beans are canned great northern beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans and chickpeas. 

8 Best Northern Beans Substitutes To Try

1. Canned Great Northern Beans

Actually it’s easier to find canned beans than dry or fresh ones. So, whenever you run out of great northern beans you can go for canned versions. They carry the same taste, creamy texture and work well in almost all recipes calling for these beans. 

The only thing to consider is the presence of salt in canned beans. When using them in your dish, don’t forget to add less salt than you have in your recipe. 

2. Navy Beans

Navy Beans

As for navy beans they come with a more creamier texture and mild-delicate flavor. Both are white beans and come with many similarities. You can use them interchangeably in many dishes including soups, stews, salads and many more. 

Navy beans tend to keep their texture even after cooking. You can use equal amounts and add the same seasonings as in great northern beans.

Just like great northern beans, navy beans absorb other flavors in the dish and it’s another big advantage of this substitute. They also take less cooking time and are great for quick meals. 

3. Cannellini Beans

Consider cannellini beans as other suitable substitutes for great northern beans. They are larger in size but they do hold a mild taste to match with the same ingredients as great northern beans. 

They have a fluffy texture and nutty flavor. Like many other white beans, cannellini beans also absorb accompanied flavors. They are perfect in soups and salads. 

4. Butter Beans

Butter Beans

The versatility of white beans allows us to find many substitutes for great northern beans and here is another type of beans in the same color and similar flavor. Butter beans have the most buttery and creamy texture and they taste mild buttery. 

They soak up flavors quite well and are usually used in soups, stews, salads and casseroles. If you cook them properly they can hold their shape. But it’s better to choose butter beans for creamy recipes, dips and mashed dishes. 

5. Lima Beans

Lima Beans

What about lima beans? These have an earthy nutty flavor and creamy texture and come with beige or green colors. Compared with great northern beans, lima beans have a meatier texture and thinner skin. 

You can choose lima beans for soups, stews, dips, salads, casseroles as well as baked dishes. However, lima beans are considered to be costly. 

6. Black-Eyed Peas

Why are they called black-eyed peas? Because they are white with small black dots that look like eyes. Well the name of these beans is not more important than the fact that they are other good alternatives of great northern beans, in case you can’t find white beans. 

Black-eyed peas have an earthy flavor and creamy texture. They are often used in soups. These beans are also easy to cook. You can choose them for salads, veggies burgers and veggie balls. 

7. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are light brown beans with a creamy nutty taste. They are popular especially in Mexican cuisine and are used in chilies. These beans are easy substitutes for great northern beans but there are several things to consider before choosing them over white beans. 

Pinto beans take quite a long cooking time and you should soak them overnight to reduce that time. On the other hand, they change the color of the dish when you use them instead of white beans. If it doesn’t matter, then go ahead with this robust and refreshing taste. Choose it for burritos, veggie dishes, soups, stews, salads and dips. 

8. Chickpeas


Let’s change up the flavor of your bean recipe with another substitute that comes with a different taste, shape and color but still tastes similar to great northern beans and can be used in place of it in a number of dishes.

The thing is about chickpeas, and if you are tired of using beans in your recipes, give it a try once. Chickpeas are known for their health benefits and they are often used to replace meat in veggie recipes. 

These small, heart-shaped beans have a beany flavor, slightly nutty taste and creamy texture. They are perfect in soups, stews, sandwiches and meat dishes. 

What are great northern beans?

Great Northern beans are a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris, a legume that is native to the Americas. Great Northern beans are large, white, and have a mild flavor. They are popular in many dishes, such as soups and stews. 

Because of their size and shape, Great Northern beans are also often used as a replacement for meat in vegetarian dishes. In addition to being a good source of protein, Great Northern beans are also high in fiber and low in fat. They are an excellent choice for those looking for a healthy and delicious option.


Whether you’re looking for a substitute because you don’t have Great Northern beans on hand or you want to try a new flavor, we hope this list has given you some ideas.

From navy beans to chickpeas, there’s sure to be a bean that will fit the bill for your recipe as you get ready to cook your next meal. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

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