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Don’t have navy beans or realized you’re all out while you’re making a recipe that calls for them? Here are the best navy beans substitute ideas worth trying!
Navy beans also referred to as haricot beans, pearl haricot beans, or Boston beans, are small whitish-cream-colored beans that have a velvety texture and a mild, light nutty flavor. These beans are great in many dishes because they are mildly flavored and can easily absorb the flavors of other ingredients they’re cooked with.
Navy beans are used popularly in soups, chili, bean burgers, pasta, tacos, enchiladas, and more.
But, what if you’re making a recipe that calls for navy beans but you have none, can you actually replace navy beans in that recipe?
The good news is that you can. In order to replace navy beans, all you need are some beans that have a similar look, texture, and or flavor to navy beans.
So, what are the best navy beans substitutes?
There are 9 amazing substitutes for navy beans. These include Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, tepary beans, flageolet beans, red kidney beans, black beans pinto beans, and mayocoba beans. Each is discussed in more detail below.
Best navy beans substitute options
Great Northern Beans
Great northern beans are a great way to substitute for navy beans in a recipe. Great northern beans also called common beans, have a delicate lightly nutty flavor and is considered mild-flavored bean. In regards to the texture, these beans are a bit grainier than navy beans.
Nonetheless, they can still work in place of navy beans as they are both mildly nutty and have similar colors and shapes, even though Great northern is larger than navy.
Use common beans in soups, chili, stews, ham and beans, enchilada soup, bean burgers, and even casseroles.
Use a 1:1 ratio of Great Northern beans for navy beans when preparing your dish.
You can also use cannellini beans as a replacement for navy beans.
Cannellini beans also called white kidney beans and fazolia beans are cream-colored, kidney-shaped beans with a mild, nutty, and earthy flavor and a fluffy texture.
Cannellini beans aren’t velvety in texture when cooked like navy beans are.
In fact, cannellini beans have a fluffy texture when cooked, but, they work great at replacing navy beans.
Use these beans in soups, white bean salads, refried beans, stews, chili, and white bean dips to name a few.
Use a 1:1 ratio of cannellini beans for navy beans when preparing your dish.
Another good type of bean that can be used as an alternative to navy beans is butter beans.
Butter beans are large whitish to cream-colored beans with a rich, buttery, and savory flavor and a velvety texture when cooked.
Butter beans can work in place of navy beans in recipes like stews, casseroles, pies, dips, salads, soups, gratins, and even mash.
Use a 1:1 ratio of butter beans for navy beans when preparing your dish.
White Tepary Beans
If you can find white tepary beans, these can also be used as a substitute for navy beans.
White tepary beans are creamy, dense, and meaty with a slightly sweet flavor.
Use these to replace navy beans in creamy soups, dips, casseroles, stews, and more.
Flageolet beans are another type of bean that can be used as an alternative to navy beans.
Flageolet beans have a mild and delicate flavor that reminds one of navy beans and can work well in dishes like soups, salads, as a side dish for pork, chicken, or lamb, and more.
Use a 1:1 ratio of flageolet beans for navy beans in your recipe.
Red kidney beans
If you have red kidney beans on hand, then you can use those beans as a navy bean replacement as well.
Red kidney beans also called kidney beans are red, unlike navy beans which are whitish to cream colored. However, those beans do have a nice creamy, smooth texture and a slightly sweet taste that can work in many recipes.
Use red kidney beans to replace navy beans in dishes like chili, stews, dips and salads, as well as vegan dishes and even soups where the color of the dish will not be affected by red beans.
Use a 1:1 ratio of red kidney beans for navy beans in your recipe.
Black beans can also be used in place of navy beans in salads, soups, purees, chili, rice, and stews if the color won’t pose a problem in the dish.
Black beans have more of a soft, dense, and meaty texture and a mild and creamy taste.
Use a 1:1 ratio of black beans to navy beans in your dish.
Although pinto beans aren’t white or cream, they are also another great type of bean that can be used as a substitute for navy beans.
Pinto beans have an earthy, nutty, and creamy flavor that is not unlike navy beans. And because pinto can easily absorb the flavors of other ingredients, it works great in place of Boston beans.
Use pinto beans as a substitute for navy beans in soups, stews, refried beans and more.
Mayocoba beans also called Mexican yellow beans and Peruvian beans are pale yellow to ivory-colored beans that have a creamy texture and a mild flavor when cooked.
This makes Mayocoba beans a great navy beans substitute as they can easily absorb flavors around them, just like navy beans do.
Use mayocoba beans in dishes like soups, stews, refried beans, dips, tacos, chilis, and more.
These are nine types of beans that you can use to replace navy beans in your dish. Because the beans on this list are mild in flavor, like navy beans, they can be used in most recipes that call for navy beans.
Also, many of the beans listed here can easily absorb the flavors around them, which is another characteristic of navy beans!
With this list handy, you can now continue with your recipes even though you may have no Boston beans or navy beans on hand!