Little white navy beans are some of the cutest legumes you’ll ever see. They are tiny, yet packed full of protein to aid in satiety.
As with many types of beans, there are all kinds of substitutes for navy beans. Some of the most common include great white northern beans, white kidney beans, flageolet beans, and cannellini beans. These types of beans are all interchangeable with one another and can be used in place of each other in many recipes.
Most types of beans are known for their versatility, affordability, and great taste. They can be found in a bag on store shelves or in cans, whichever you prefer.
Navy Bean Alternatives That Are Affordable and Taste Great
When deciding on a substitute for navy beans, you’ll want to find something similar in taste, texture, and size. This will allow you to easily swap out the substitution without having to worry about a huge variance in your recipe.
1. Great White Northern Beans
Like many beans, great white northern beans have a variety of health benefits. They have high levels of protein, minerals, and vitamins.
You’re also sure to get close to the same nutritional value out of great white northern beans as you are navy beans, too. Navy beans can easily be subbed out to great white northern beans in a 1:1 ratio that works great in meals, like ham and beans and baked beans.
2. White Kidney Beans
Quite a bit larger than your standard navy bean, white kidney beans resemble navy beans in their color and texture. If you’re looking for something you can sub straight across for navy beans, this likely won’t be it.
Since white kidney beans are so much larger, it takes fewer of them to take up the same amount of space in your recipe. The great thing about white kidney beans is that they can be eaten alone, like navy beans, or in another recipe.
3. Flageolet Beans
While you may have never heard of them before, flageolet beans can be found in many soups and casserole dishes. However, you might not know otherwise that these delicious beans are found in the dish you are consuming.
Often used in place of haricot beans, which are similar in shape and texture, flageolet beans differ a bit in their taste from other beans.
4. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are also a great substitute for navy beans, because of their excellent nutritional value and potent dose of protein. Vitamins, minerals, and protein make up the majority of the nutrients found in cannellini beans.
Also high in zinc and potassium, cannellini beans can be used in salads, stews, soups, and even baked beans, too. Substitute them 1:1 to navy beans, and you’ll have no problems.
5. Tepary Beans
You may not have ever heard of this type of bean before, but its nutty flavor makes it stand out among others. They can also be made into flour, which is not typical of other navy bean substitutes.
In recipes that call for navy beans, you can even substitute tepary flour, instead. The nutritional value is the same as that of navy beans, but tepary beans will have a nuttier flavor. These beans are also full of calcium, which adds a bit more nutritional value.
Much smaller in size than navy beans, lentils can be used in place of navy beans in soups and stews. Despite their size, lentils have even more protein content than navy beans and other navy bean substitutes.
Comparable Cooking Methods
When you are comparing different navy bean alternatives, it is important to measure up how these substitutes need to be cooked in place of navy beans. Most of them can be stored in cans because they hold up well over time.
However, other types of beans are stored in bags on store shelves. This means they have to be reconstituted and softened with water before using. Navy beans are one of these types of beans, as are all of the substitutes we have gone over.
Finding a Navy Bean Substitute
There is a multitude of substitutes for navy beans, so when you need a replacement you can surely find one with ease. Consider the cooking method you will be used to determine how your selected bean substitute will hold up to cooking. Then, get to work finding the perfect navy bean substitute.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here