Borlotti Beans Substitute

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If you’re making a recipe that calls for borlotti beans and you have none, then chances are you’re trying to figure out what the best borlotti beans substitute options are. If you are, then you’re in luck. Here, you’ll find a list of 10 of the best ways to substitute for cranberry beans (or borlotti beans) in any recipe.

Borlotti Beans Substitute

Borlotti beans also called cranberry beans or Frijol Cachuate in Mexico are a type of bean from the Leguminosae family. These beans are large and plump and have an appearance that is characterized by their oblong shape and their beige color with speckles that are pink, purple, brown or sometimes red.

Borlotti beans have a taste that can be described as being mild and slightly sweet with a creamy and smooth texture. They are used popularly to make salads, stews, as a side next to meat of vegetables, casseroles, refried beans and even bean dips.

In order to properly replace borlotti beans, you need beans that share similarities with cranberry beans in terms of flavor and or texture.

These are beans like pinto beans, butter beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans, navy beans, black turtle beans (or black beans), flageolet beans and fava beans.

Each of these beans will be discussed in further details below.

Best borlotti beans substitute options

Pinto beans

pinto beans

Pinto beans are perhaps one of the easiest beans you can substitute for borlotti beans. Pinto beans are sweet and slightly nutty with a creamy texture once they’re cooked. Just like borlotti beans, pinto beans can be used in stews, salads, bean dips, casseroles, and most other recipes where cranberry beans are used. And because they look so similar, they’ll appear pretty much the same in a dish. 

Also, like borlotti beans, pinto beans also turn brown when cooked!

Substitution ratio: 1 cup of borlotti beans =  1 cup of pinto beans

Butter beans

Butter beans

If you’re looking for another creamy bean to replace borlotti beans, look no further than the ever-popular butter beans. These mild, buttery beans will be a great addition to any soup, stew, as a side dish for meat, or used to make a salad or casserole, and can also be used to make a white bean dip!

Generally, you can substitute dried butter beans for dried cranberry beans on a 1:1 ratio

Great northern beans (or Gigante beans)

Great northern beans (or gigante beans)

Another easy alternative for borlotti beans will be great northern beans. Like Frijol Cachuate, great northern beans also have a more mild flavor and they are super creamy and rich. 

So, even though great northern or gigante beans look completely different compared to borlotti beans, these large white creamy beans can be a great addition to recipes that call for cranberry beans like mash, both meat and vegetable stews, casserole to name a few.

Substitute ratio: 1 cup of borlotti beans = 1 cup of Gigante beans.

Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans

Another type of white bean that can be used as a stand-in for borlotti beans is cannellini beans. These beans have both a similar texture and flavor when compared to borlotti beans although they look nothing like each other. Cannellini beans are large white beans with a nutty flavor and a very creamy texture.

Cannellini beans are best used for recipes like chili, bean dips, soups, and stews, and even for making refried beans. 

Navy beans

Navy beans

Navy beans can also be a good substitute for borlotti beans because they are velvety smooth when cooked. This means that they’re able to be used in some of the recipes that call for borlotti beans namely stews, bean salads, beans, pasta salads, and curries, and even used to replace cranberry beans in some of your favorite soups! Read more about navy bean substitutes here.

Black turtle beans (or black beans)

Black turtle beans (or black beans)

Black turtle beans are mild, sweet and earthy as well as creamy when cooked. Those characteristics make these beans another suitable stand-in for pinto beans if you do not mind the difference in color. 

Black beans are also very easy to come by so you likely have these in your kitchen. Use these beans to replace cranberry beans in soups, salads, and sides, and in Mexican dishes like Mexican bean stew and charro beans.

Flageolet beans

Flageolet beans

Another type of bean that will be an effective alternative for borlotti beans are flageolet beans. These beans, similar to borlotti beans, have a light flavor and they’re also really creamy in terms of their texture.

Also, they also hold their shape quite well during cooking, which is another thing they have in common with cranberry beans. This means these flageolet beans can be used in salads, soups, or stews, and most other dishes where the bean is required to hold its shape.

Fava beans

Fava beans

Another bean with a silky smooth texture and a relatively mild and nutty flavor is fava beans. Therefore, these beans also make good substitutes for borlotti beans in a pinch.

Fava beans are hearty, nutty-flavored beans with a creamy texture that go well with casseroles, pasta dishes, salads, and bean dips to name a few recipes. 

Use either dried or fresh fava beans depending on what you have available as either of these creamy beans won’t disappoint you.

Substitute ratio: 1 cup of borlotti beans = 1 cup of fava beans

Final thoughts

Depending on the recipe you’re trying to make, these useful cranberry beans substitute ideas are worth checking out. They’re mostly very easy to find and many of those beans are already in your kitchen, making the substitution that much easier.

The goal of this post is to help you figure out some of the easiest and most effective ways to replace Frijol Cachuate in a dish without throwing the recipe completely off.

It should be noted that changing any ingredient in a dish will affect either its texture, its flavor, or even its cooking time. Nonetheless, these borlotti beans substitute options are really good and should help you achieve close and in a few cases, almost identical results. Happy cooking!

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