cannellini beans substitute

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Don’t have cannellini beans or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here are the best cannellini beans substitute options for any recipe!

cannellini beans substitute

What are cannellini beans?

Cannellini beans also called white kidney beans and fazolia beans are kidney shaped creamy white colored beans native to Argentina. These beans are from the legume family and are very popular in Tuscany and in Northern America.

White kidney beans have a flavor that is mild, nutty and earthy with a texture that is fluffy when cooked and they work well in a lot of different dishes.

Uses of Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are used in a lot of recipes to add this earthy, nutty flavor to a dish.Because these beans are also mild, they can be paired with a lot of other ingredients.

Cannellini beans can be used to make white bean soups, white bean salads, stews, chili, white bean dips, refried beans and so much more.

If you’re about to make a recipe that calls for Cannellini beans or white beans and you have none, you’ll need some good substitutes.

What are the best cannellini bean substitution ideas?

Good substitute beans for cannellini include other beans that have a similar flavor and or texture. 

Therefore, the best cannellini beans substitute options are black-eyed peas, Great Northern beans, pinto beans, garbonzo beans, navy beans, kidney beans, butter beans and black beans.

Let’s discuss each cannellini bean substitution option in more detail below:

Easy cannellini beans substitute options

Black-eyed peas 

black-eye beans

Black-eye beans, most popularly called black-eyed peas are a bean native to Africa that is easy to come by. These beans are an ideal substitute for cannellini beans because these possess an earthy flavor.

While black-eyed beans have a dense and meaty texture which is contrary to the fluffy texture of cannellini beans, they can work in recipes like soups, salads, and stews.

Substitute ratio: 1 cup cannellini beans = 1 cup black-eyed peas

Great Northern beans

Great Northern beans

Great Northern beans also called “large white” beans are larger white beans that are native to Peru. Great northern beans are another good substitute for cannellini beans. In fact, if ever you are out of cannellini beans, Great Northern beans will make the best substitution for cannellini beans!

These beans have a flavor that is mild and nutty with a creamier flesh and thicker skins. These beans are great as a replacement for cannellini beans in soups, salads, pureed bean spreads, dips and chilis.

Also, if you’re looking for more information about this type of beans, you can read more about the best replacements for great northern beans here. 

Pinto beans


Pinto beans have a flavor that can be described as creamy, buttery and earthy which makes them another great substitute for cannellini beans.

Use pinto beans to replace cannellini in recipes like chili, dips, nachos, bean burgers, refried beans, vegetable soups, baked beans and more.

Substitute ratio: 1 cup of cannellini beans = 1 cup pinto beans



Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans are another ideal alternative for cannellini beans. These beans have a slightly nutty neutral flavor which makes them a great substitute for just about any beans.

While chickpeas do not look like cannellini beans in any way, they can replace cannellini in a recipe because they have a neutral flavor which will work well with other ingredients. 

Chickpeas also have a creamy texture, but they’re also somewhat grainy like cooked potatoes.  

Use chickpeas as a cannellini beans substitute in recipes like salads, pasta dishes, soups, dips, burgers and more.

Navy beans

navy beans

Navy beans also make a great substitution for cannellini beans. Navy beans have a flavor that can be described as slightly nutty, and mild with a creamy velvety texture when cooked.

Because they are mild, they will not overpower any dish and so they are a really good option for cannellini beans in recipes like white chicken chili, vegetable soups and baked beans to name a few.

Kidney beans

kidney beans

Kidney beans are another good cannellini beans substitute because they are very similar in terms of how they react when cooked or mashed. Plus the texture, shape, and size are similar to white kidney beans. 

Having said all this, kidney beans have a very different flavor to cannelini beans and they’re reddish rather than white. Kidney beans also have a meaty taste and will thus have a very distinctive flavor in certain recipes so they will not always substitute cannellini beans well in all recipes, especially since they’re not the easiest beans to take on other flavors. And if you’re looking for more ideas, check out the best substitutes for kidney beans here. 

Butter beans

butter beans

Butter beans are large whitish or cream-colored beans that have a rich, buttery flavor. Butter beans do not hold their shape like cannellini beans do, but they are a good cannellini bean substitution option nonetheless. 

Butter beans can replace cannellini beans in recipes like casseroles, dips, chowders, mash, salads, stews, soups, and more.

Substitute ratio: 1 cup cannellini beans = 1 cup butter beans

Black beans

black beans

Another type of mild flavored beans that can also be used as a cannellini beans substitute is black beans. These beans are also fluffy like white kidney beans and they are super easy to come by.

If you don’t mind the fact that these beans are black rather than white, then these beans can work well in bean dips, salads, tacos, soups, chili, enchiladas, bean burgers, and more.

Common cannellini beans substitution questions

What can I use to substitute for cannellini beans in soup?

There is more than one good substitute for cannellini beans in soup. These include black-eyed peas, Great Northern beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, butter beans, and even black beans. It is best to choose your cannellini substitutes based on the specific dish. For example, if you’re making a white soup that calls for cannellini, use replacements like Great Northern beans, navy beans, and butter beans to keep the general look of the dish intact. 

What can I use to substitute for cannelini beans in minestrone soup?

Great Northern beans are the best substitution for cannellini beans in minestrone soup. However, if you have none, you can also use navy beans or even butter beans.

What is a good keto substitute for cannelini beans?

There are no beans that can be used as a good keto substitute for cannellini beans since most beans are naturally high in carbohydrates. However, you can use some chopped mushrooms in place of beans in keto recipes like soups and stews. 

Final thoughts

Beans are not very hard to replace in many dishes. They are quite mild in flavor and most types of beans can take on the flavors around them, which makes it even easier to find alternatives for them.

Here we have shared 8 easy ways to substitute for cannellini beans in a pinch. Some of the replacements are almost spot on in terms of flavor and or texture, while some others are slightly different in terms of flavor and or texture.

Nonetheless, in a pinch all the beans shared here can be used in place of cannellini with great results!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *