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11 Best Cannellini Beans Substitute For Salad Recipes

Cannellini beans are the most famous type of beans with their recognizable kidney shape, getting the name ”Italian Kidney Beans”

Cannellini beans have a nutty and kind of an earthy flavor which is great for making stews and salads, and they deserve an award for being an amazing side dish.

You can find these white kidney beans in your local supermarket. They are usually sold canned, but I’m sure you’re going to be able to find other options out there.

As I said, Cannellini beans are pretty easy to find in the local supermarket but, if you by any chance can’t seem to find them here are some alternatives.

Substitutes for Cannellini beans are

  1. Navy Beans
  2. Butter Beans
  3. Garbanzo Beans 
  4. Fava Beans
  5. Azuki Beans
  6. Flageolet Beans
  7. Marrow Beans
  8. Black Beans
  9. Pinto Beans
  10. Barlotti Beans
  11. Great Northern Beans

To read all about these different types of beans, keep up with the whole article.

Substitutes For Cannellini Beans

Navy Beans

Navy Beans

Navy beans or so-called pea beans, are much smaller than your regular kidney beans and also have a rounder shape, kinda like a marble.

The reason why this type of bean got the name ”Navy Bean” is that this was the most popular food that was served in the navy for almost 200 years. This type of bean is amazing for making your signature chili recipe or a baked bean dish.

Butter Beans

You may know these types of white beans by the name of ”Lima Beans”. Yep, these are the same beans you probably grew for a science project when you were in elementary school.

These beans got their name for the velvety, buttery texture and flavor they have when being cooked properly. Now, you have two different ways you can prepare these beans, soak them in cold water overnight, or do a quick, hot soak that will only take about half an hour.

I know, most of these white beans are very annoying to work with because of their firm texture, they take such a long time to prepare but I promise they are worth all the time that take from you.

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For the longer, overnight version you’re only going to need two things, cold water, and a wide metal bowl. Put the beans in the bowl and cover them with cold water.

Put them in the refrigerator and let them soak overnight so their firm skin gets softer. After the night has passed, put them in some fresh water and start the cooking process. This way, you’re going to have the fluffiest beans with an amazing creamy texture.

And for the shorter, quicker way, what you have to do is to cover the beans in water and boil them at a medium temperature until they spread and get soft by the touch.

Now, I am saying that this is the quicker version for cooking these beans but you’re still going to need a few hours to let them boil to get rid of their firm flesh.

Also, you have to constantly check on them so they don’t run out of water and burn. So, in conclusion, the overnight version is much easier than this one as it reduces the cooking time.

Butter beans don’t have much of a flavor all by themselves so make sure you add some flavor to your bean dish. You can try sweet or hot paprika to bring out some smoky flavor, some black pepper or regular, fresh peppers, some tomatoes(could be sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or fresh ones)

Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo Beans

You may know these types of beans by their other name, Chickpeas. Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans if you will have a mild, nutty taste and grainy, texture.

Because of their mild flavor, chickpeas are an excellent addition to salad bowls, great as a side dish to meat or fish, and of course, they play a big part in the vegetarian and vegan diet as a source of protein.

Garbanzo beans are filled with vitamins and minerals but they are also a rich source of soluble fiber and protein. As they have many health benefits, chickpeas can help you regulate your weight or help you lose weight, and also reduce the risk of catching any diseases.

I admit, Garbanzo beans aren’t the perfect substitute for Cannellini beans but they can come in handy if you don’t have any other options. But, they are very healthy for you as they contain up to 12 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.

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Fava Beans

Fava beans are one of the oldest legumes known to mankind. They have been the main protein source in Middle Eastern countries for centuries. Now, there are a few versions of Fava beans on the market. You can purchase them either fresh(for bean salads), frozen, or canned.

They have a mild, creamy, and buttery flavor that gives a delicate flavor in many summer dishes and rich salads. Their natural color(when bought fresh) is a beautiful, radiant, pale shade of green that can make any dish look playful. They are widely used in Italian cooking.

Azuki Beans

Azuki Beans

Azuki or Adzuki beans are mostly used in Asian cuisine but within these couple of years, they started to get more famous amongst Italian dishes.

The great thing about Adzuki beans is that they don’t have to be pre-soaked and you can start cooking with them right away.

Their amazing red color and nutty but mild taste go great when mixed into salads or stir-fry but you know what these beans are traditionally used for? Desserts.

Yes, you read that right. So, for all the food lovers that want to experiment with their dishes, you can try an unusual baked bean dessert.


Flageolets are rare types of beans that are exclusively used in their native land, France. They are a perfectly good substitute for Cannellini beans if you can find them anywhere near you or you live in France.

Marrow Beans

Marrow Beans

Marrow beans are small, white beans with a subtle flavor that very much reminds you of salty bacon. Like all beans, this bean has a buttery, creamy texture that can easily substitute the texture of Cannelli beans.

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Black Beans

Black beans are not the best substitute for Cannellini beans because of their sweet taste. But, with a little bit of spice and saltiness, you can almost achieve the same taste that Cannellini beans have.

Granted, their texture is similar to the Cannellini’s, and for that matter, their texture is similar to most beans out in the market. Black beans are great for making re-fried beans, pureed beans, bean soup, stews, and mixing them into salads.

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They are also very easy to find since they are one of the most common types of beans in America. So, if you don’t seem to be finding any other types in the grocery stores, black beans will do just fine in your dishes.

Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are the original beans for making traditional Mexican food like chili or spicy baked beans. You can also make re-fried beans as a side dish for fish, or mix them into salads.

These beans are sold canned or dried, which can be used for different purposes(the canned version is awesome for quick refried beans or bean dips)

The dry beans must be soaked overnight so they can get a velvety and soft texture. Cover your beans in cold water and let them sit overnight for the best results.

Barlotti Beans

If you can find these types of beans in your local market or you already have them in your home then search no more. Barlotti beans are the most gorgeous, vibrant beans that you will ever see!

With their pale rose color, these beans can make any dish more beautiful. The origins are from Colombia but they are wildly used in Italian cooking.

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 Great Northern Beans

Great Northern Beans

Let’s save the best for last. These Great Northern beans are the closest thing you can find as a real substitute for Cannellini beans that taste and look very similar. They have a milder, nutty flavor and they are smaller in size than Cannelinni beans but you can easily replicate the taste of Cannellini.

The great part about these types of beans is that no matter how long they take to cook, they can still hold their exact shape because they have a firm body, so you won’t get any falling out or smashing after the cooking process has been done.