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14 Best Borlotti Beans Substitute To Impress The Europeans

Borlotti beans are often used in Italian and Portuguese dishes, like stewed beans with olive oil and tomato, Borlotti beans and pumpkin farro soup, and Feijao a Portuguesa or Portuguese beans. Typically, Borlotti beans are sold shelled and dried. These beans should be soaked in water before cooking.

Being a specialty item in the U.S., you might find it difficult to find substitutes for Borlotti beans.

Borlotti beans have a mild flavor and typically have a thin skin, hence, the substitutes should have similar characteristics. These are some of them:

  1. Kidney Beans
  2. Pinto Beans
  3. Navy Beans
  4. Cannellini Beans
  5. Great Northern Beans
  6. Chickpeas
  7. Lentils
  8. Black Turtle Beans
  9. Black-Eyed Peas

Read on if you are curious to learn more about this common ingredient used in european dishes.

14 Best Substitute For Borlotti Beans 

Borlotti Beans Substitute

Borlotti bean is a member of the legumes family and is considered the most colorful and prettiest bean in the family. Its other name is cranberry beans.

Unlike its closest relative, the kidney bean, which is smooth and single-colored, the Borlotti bean is speckled in red, brown, beige, and pink colors. When cooked, though, these hues become light brown. [Source]

If buying fresh Borlotti beans, there’s no need to soak them, but they should still be shelled. Borlotti beans are a little more expensive than other beans and are considered a specialty item in the United States. 

Borlotti beans have a rich creamy flavor like the cannellini beans, which are also a part of the kidney bean family. You’ll also get a nutty sweetness in the dishes. Borlotti beans have a smooth texture. They will work well in hot, cold, at room temperature, or in a salad.

There are many benefits of eating Borlotti beans. For one, beans are rich in fiber, which can protect against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, digestive illness, and heart disease. They are also high in protein. They are also good at preventing diabetes as they help control high blood sugar. [Source]

At the top of our list of substitutes are kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, cannellini beans, and Great Northern beans.

Kidney Beans


As mentioned earlier, Borlotti beans are their close relatives. Kidney beans are bigger than Borlotti beans, and they can enrich the flavor of your dishes significantly. As the name implies, they are shaped like a kidney. They are oval that is curved on one side. Kidney beans retain their shape when cooked.

They are excellent substitutes for Borlotti beans as they have similar texture, taste, and health benefits. You can use them when making salads and chilli con carne. Their sweet and mild taste coupled with a soft and smooth texture makes them perfect for making dips.

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They are easier to find in your local supermarkets than Borlotti beans.

For every one part of Borlotti beans in the recipe, use one part of kidney beans.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are excellent substitutes for Borlotti beans, as well. They are always readily available in almost all supermarkets. They are considered to be the most popular beans used in American and Mexican cuisines.

Pinto beans have a mild flavor, are sweet and slightly nutty, and have a distinctive creamy texture. You can cook pinto beans the way you cook your favorite Borlotti beans.

If you bought dried pinto beans, you’ll need to soak them in water overnight before cooking. Dried pinto beans are more flavorful than canned varieties.

They work best combined with chicken, ground beef, and vegetables. For every one cup of Borlotti beans in the recipe, use an equal amount of pinto beans.

Navy Beans


Navy beans are small white bean substitutes for Borlotti beans. They are more commonly used in soup and baked bean recipes. A lot of people also use them as a side dish for ham hock recipes.

Their mild flavor and size make them a good substitute for Borlotti. They are tasty, and you can use the same seasonings when cooking Borlotti beans. Navy beans also make a delicious dip for chips.

They are popularly used in Spanish and Mexican cuisines. You can replace one cup of Borlotti beans with the same cup of navy beans for your recipe.

Cannellini Beans

Though not a common type of kidney bean, cannellini beans make a good substitute for Borlotti beans. They are white in color. They are larger than Borlotti beans, and might not be suitable for Borlotti bean recipes if the size is a preference.

Cannellini beans have a similar texture and flavor as Borlotti beans, though. They both have a hint of nutty flavor and are quite creamy in texture.

Cannellini beans are perfect for use in soups, bean dips, strews, chili, and refried beans. These beans are commonly used in Italian cuisine. They are rich in Vitamin C, fiber, and magnesium.

The ideal ratio is 1:1. For every one cup of Borlotti beans in the recipe, use one cup of cannellini beans.

Great Northern Beans


Great Northern beans are medium-sized white beans that make a good alternative to Borlotti beans. These beans are also known as Gigante beans. They are larger than navy beans, but a little smaller than cannellini beans.

They have a mild and nutty flavor and firm flesh. They work best in stews, casseroles, and soups. They are commonly used in French dishes.

You can easily find them in your local grocery store in dry or canned varieties. For every one cup of Borlotti beans in the recipe, use one cup of Great Northern beans.


Chickpeas are not typically used as alternatives to Borlotti beans, but we recommend them because they taste the same, though they have different colors and textures. They make a good substitute for Borlotti because they are readily available in most supermarkets.

Chickpeas are not as smooth as Borlotti beans, so they require a longer cooking time. You can use them in salads, soups, and stews. They can also be blended to make bean paste to be used as a side dish.

For every one cup of Borlotti beans needed in the recipe, use one cup of chickpeas.



Lentils can also make a good substitute for Borlotti beans as they have the same flavor profile. They may be different in texture and size, but once cooked, you’ll never know the difference if you used them. Similar to chickpeas, the taste of lentils depends on their color or variety.

Green lentils have a peppery flavor, red lentils have a sweet flavor, and brown lentils have a more earthy taste. These brown lentils are the perfect replacement for Borlotti beans.

Lentils are easily available and cheaper. These beans are versatile and nutritious. You can use them when cooking soups, stews, salads, and savory meat dishes. You can also use them as an appetizer and side dish.

For every one cup of Borlotti beans in your recipe, you can use one cup of lentils.

Black Turtle Beans

Black turtle beans have a shell-like look and are popularly used in Caribbean, Mexican, and Latin American cuisines. These beans have the same nutty and hearty taste as Borlotti beans.

Take note, though, that black turtle beans have a crusty and tough exterior, so you need to adjust the cooking time or heat. These beans can be added to refried beans, bean soups, burritos, and enchiladas. When boiled or steamed, black turtle beans can enhance a lot of dishes.

Being super dark in color, black turtle beans make dishes look different, but they are creamy in texture. The cooking process is the same for both black turtle beans and Borlotti beans. The replacement ratio is 1:1.

Black-Eyed Peas


Black-eyed peas are one of the most popular types of beans and you can easily find them in most supermarkets. They are often used in southern states.

Black-eyed peas have a dense consistency and have a distinctive earthly flavor. They are best used in making salads, stews, casseroles, and soups. They also make a good side dish and even salads.

Like Borlotti beans, black-eyed peas are creamy and earthy. They are distinctly white beans with a black spot, hence the name.

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For every one cup of Borlotti beans needed in your recipe, use one cup of black-eyed peas.

Butter Beans

Butter beans make a good replacement for Borlotti beans because of their mild, buttery taste and creamy texture. You can use them as Borlotti substitute for your stew, soup, and casserole recipes.

They also make a good side dish for your meat dishes, and you can add them to your salads.

You can replace one cup of dried Borlotti beans in your recipe with one cup of dried butter beans.

Flageolet Beans


Another good substitute for cranberry beans is flageolet beans as they both have a light flavor and have the same creamy texture. Flageolet beans hold their shape well while cooking, similar to Borlotti beans.

You can use them as a substitute in your soups, stews, and salads, and in dishes that need the beans to hold their shape.

One cup of Borlotti beans can be replaced by an equal amount of flageolet beans.

Fava Beans

Fava beans have the same mild and nutty flavor as Borlotti beans. They also both leave a silky-smooth texture on your dishes.

These cream and hearty beans work well with pasta dishes, casseroles, bean dips, and salads. You can choose between dried and fresh fava beans, depending on your preference or what the recipe needs.

Substitute one cup of Borlotti beans in your recipe with one cup of fava beans.

Anasazi Beans


Anasazi beans look like kidney beans and Borlotti beans. They are a favorite addition to Southwestern and Latin American cuisines.

Anasazi beans may be smaller, but they are still flavorful. These are versatile beans because they can be a good substitute not just for Borlotti beans, but also for pinto beans and kidney beans.

Their mild, sweet, and nutty flavors make them ideal for refrying beans, baking, and enhancing the flavor of cooked rice. You can use Anasazi beans as topping or fillings for nachos, tortillas, tacos, and burritos.

The ideal ratio is 1:1.

Lupini Beans

Lupini beans are a good alternative to Borlotti beans. These small and beige-colored beans are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. They are sometimes mistaken for corn kernels because of their size.

They have a slightly bitter taste because they contain alkaloids. Other plants that contain alkaloids are potatoes, coffee seeds, tomatoes, and other legumes. They have a salty, butter taste. They give dishes a crunchy texture.

Use them as a side dish or appetizers, in soups, and stews. For every one cup of Borlotti beans, use one cup of lupini beans.