6 Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

So, you have a delightful meal planned. Your dish includes great northern beans. But when you go to the cupboard you find that there are none in sight! Is all lost? Will you have to choose another meal to make instead of your delicious pre-planned dish?

Not necessarily! We are here to tell you that there are several great substitutes that you may find will easily take the place of great northern beans.

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

But what kind of alternatives are there for you to choose from? Well, there are actually quite a lot! Chickpeas, lima beans, pinto beans, and more. You will never be short of an alternative.

We have listed your best substitutes in this article. Are you excited to check out some great substitute ingredients? Yes? Well then, let’s dive right in and get started!

Great Northern Beans – What Are They?

If you have never heard of these beans, do not worry. In this section we are going to go over everything you need to know about them. For one, great northern beans are a type of legume which is native to Northern America.

The name comes from the fact that these beans are quite large and are white. They have a similar appearance to navy beans and cannellini beans.

These beans are quite versatile and can be used in many different dishes, including savory and sweet.

Great northern beans have a creamy texture when they are cooked and the flavor tends to be fairly mild. It is because of these two traits that great northern beans are ideal for salad, stews or soups.

You can even use these beans as a substitute for meat if you want to make a vegan dish. They are high in iron, fiber and protein which makes them a very healthy alternative.

You can cook this variety of beans in a variety of ways. The most popular option is to summer them in water until they become soft.

This is the best method if you intend to use your great northern beans in a soup or stew.

If you want to cook your beans more quickly, we recommend that you sauté or boil them. But not before you have pre-soaked them for quite a few hours.

By doing this you are reducing the likelihood that your beans will stay evenly cooked.

But, that is not all, you can use these beans in sweet baked goods such as muffins, cookies or even bread.

By adding great northern beans to your baked goods you will add a little extra moistness and fluffiness to your delicious muffins or bread.

What Substitutes Can You Use For Great Northern Beans?

Now that you know a bit more about what great northern beans are, it is finally time to talk about what substitutes there are.

As such, in this section we are going to go over what you can use if you do not have Great Northern Beans on hand for your dish.

1. Pinto Beans

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

Pinto beans are a mottled brown and white. They are grown in Latin America, the United States and in the Caribbean. Pinto beans are used in many foods such as soup, stew, and other warm and cozy dishes.

These beans are high in protein and fiber while also not containing a lot of calories. Perfect for those of you that are watching their waistline.

Pinto beans have a very different flavor to most beans, there are earthy and nutty notes which you will certainly grow to love.

2. Black-Eyed Peas

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

Black-eyed peas, which are known as legumes, are a highly nutritious food which is a staple in South American cuisine in particular.

These beans are round and have a good amount of protein, and fiber in them. On top of that they also are full of beneficial vitamins which will be good for you.

You can use black-eyed peas in a variety of ways. You have to love a bean that is very versatile. You can enjoy them in stews, soups, or on their own as a boiled bean.

You will often see these delicious beans in Southern style dishes or along with rice. Regardless of how you prepare your beans they are bound to be highly nutritious and delicious.

3. Chickpeas

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

You may not have considered using chickpeas as a substitute for great northern beans, but we can assure you that they are a great option.

You will get to enjoy a decadent and mildly nutty flavored meal with chickpeas. These legumes are quite similar to lima beans which are also often used instead of great northern beans.

Cooking chickpeas is quite easy, they tend to hold their shape quite well and they are very good at absorbing the flavor of the ingredients they are being cooked with.

So cooking with them is really easy. You can expect the flavor to be a bit more earthy and mild than great northern beans. But they are no less delicious.

4. Black Beans

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

These legumes are popular all around the world including Asia, Latin America and Africa. You will often see black beans in many dishes like black bean chili, soup, stews and even enchiladas.

Black beans in particular are often used as a meat alternative because they have a very high protein content. On top of that these beans are very high in potassium, fiber and iron.

You can enjoy these beans cooked in several different ways including boiled, baked, and sautéed. You can enjoy them in soup, stews, salads, and a variety of rice dishes.

Just make sure to add a bit of salt to the water to avoid your black beans being too tough.

5. Cannellini Beans

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

This type of bean is actually a type of white kidney beans. They are popularly used in Italian cooking. These beans tend to be quite small and have a kind of oval shape.

The skin tends to be quite thin, and the flavor will be somewhat mild and nutty.

These beans do not have to be soaked before cooking, unlike great northern beans. If you are making a soup or a stew we recommend that you boil your cannellini beans for between twenty and thirty minutes.

These beans are high in iron, fiber and protein which makes them perfect to add into your diet. The texture of these beans will be creamy so you can use them to make spreads or dips as you see fit.

6. Navy Beans

Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

You will undoubtedly have heard of navy beans. They were commonly used on US navy ships which is where they have gotten their name.

These beans are quite small but they are very high in fiber, protein and other helpful nutrients.

You can use these beans in a variety of different stews including stews and soups. There have been studies which indicate that these beans will benefit your body by lowering your cholesterol and even prevent colon cancer.

If you need a healthy alternative, these beans certainly need to be at the top of your list for substitutes.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning about what substitutes you can use instead of great northern beans.

As you will have learned by now, there are quite a few amazing alternatives out there. But if you can get your hands on great northern beans, you will get to enjoy a dish as it was meant to be enjoyed.

If you have found this article interesting and insightful, you will almost certainly find our website a good place to visit.

We have a range of fantastic articles, some of which you are bound to find interesting or even educational.

Thanks for reading!

6 Amazing Great Northern Beans Substitutes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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  • Pinto Beans

  • Black-Eyed Peas

  • Chickpeas

  • Black Beans

  • Cannellini Beans

  • Navy Beans


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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