We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling in our stomachs when we are making our favorite recipe, we open the cupboard to grab an essential ingredient…and it’s not there.
What do you do? Do you stop making your meal and order takeout?
Do you run to the store to pick up the missing ingredient? What if it’s dark? What if there’s a storm?
Lots of factors can stand in the way of you and this perfect meal. However, we do have a solution: substitutes!
There are many foods out there that make for amazing substitutes for other foods! For example, there are many substitutes out there for Great Northern beans.
In this article, we are going to discuss 9 of the best. So, if your pantry is missing Great Northern beans that are essential for your meal, then do not panic!
Read on for our 9 best ways to substitute them.
What Are Great Northern Beans?
Great Northern beans are also called large white beans. They are beans that are big in size and taste very mild.
They have a grain-like texture and can absorb the flavors of other foods very well. This makes them extremely versatile and useful to have in the kitchen.
It also makes them very easy to substitute.
Great Northern Beans: 9 Best Ways To Substitute
Here are 9 ways to substitute Great Northern beans and still end up with a delicious meal (see also “Best Substitutes For Navy Beans“)!
1. Flageolet Beans
First up are flageolet beans! Flageolet beans come from France and are very firm. However, when you bite into them they have a creamy texture and a nutty flavor.
Flageolet beans are shaped like flattened kidneys and have a green tint.
They are a great substitute for Great Northern beans because their nutty flavor is rather mild and they can take on the flavors of other foods as a result.
Like the Great Northern bean, flageolet beans are very versatile!
You can choose between boiling these beans to make side dishes, stews, or soups.
They can also be used as a puree or a dip, or you can simply cook them and place them in a salad for some extra protein.
Not only that, but flageolet beans are actually a very healthy substitute for Great Northern beans.
These beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein. They are also low in fat and have been known to reduce cholesterol levels in the body!
Next up, we have navy beans! Navy beans are little, creamy white beans that can easily be substituted for Great Northern beans.
These beans were domesticated in America and are also called “Boston Beans.”
They have a slightly nutty flavor and a smooth velvet-like texture. Because they are so mild, they can absorb the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.
Much like Great Northern beans, they will not overpower a meal.
They are a great substitute for Great Northern beans in stews, soups, and other dishes that you need to boil.
Not only are they a great substitute, but they are actually good for your health, too! Navy beans are an amazing source of folate, magnesium, zinc, dietary fiber, calcium, and iron.
3. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are one of the best substitutes for Great Northern beans on this list. Cannellini beans originate in Italy.
They are shaped like kidneys and are white in color. In fact, they are so similar to Great Northern beans that the two can be difficult to tell apart.
Cannellini beans can only be described as “airy” in texture and they have a hint of a nutty flavor.
They are mostly mild, though, making them perfect for replicating Great Northern beans in a dish. Cannellini beans can be used in dips, stews, soups, pasta, and salads.
What’s more, cannellini beans are extremely healthy! They have been found to lower cholesterol levels in the body.
They also promote muscle formation, improve digestion, and so much more!
You may even end up replacing your Great Northern beans with cannellini beans because they’re just that great!
4. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans are among the most accessible on this list, which makes them an excellent substitute for Great Northern beans.
Pinto beans are produced in the southern states, and they are the most popular bean type to be produced there.
Pinto beans are very popular in dishes like tacos and burritos, but they are also served on their own as a delicious side dish.
So, it is clear they can be used in many recipes – including recipes where you would normally use Great Northern beans.
Like many other beans on this list, pinto beans are quite nutty in flavor. However, they are also earthy, much like Great Northern beans.
Pinto beans have a creamy texture which makes them perfect for salads and soups when you want to make these dishes more appealing.
It is good to note that pinto beans are also very healthy.
They contain many essential nutrients such as manganese, protein, phosphorus, dietary fiber, amino acids, and more!
5. Black Beans
Next up, we have black beans! Black beans are very similar to Great Northern beans in terms of texture and taste, so they are interchangeable!
Black beans are so creamy and soft that they almost melt in your mouth.
They also taste milder than many other beans on this list which makes them one of the closest to Great Northern beans in terms of taste.
However, despite being milder than other beans, they still have a subtle, nutty flavor that is necessary for Great Northern bean substitutes.
Black beans taste great in stews, soups, salsa, and more! Not to mention, they are filled with necessary nutrients such as folate, protein, dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin B.
These nutrients provide you with many health benefits such as improved functioning of the nervous system and a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
6. Red Kidney Beans
If you’re all out of Great Northern beans, then there’s a high chance you already have a substitute in your kitchen.
Red kidney beans are a staple of many kitchens because they work so well in a variety of recipes!
These versatile beans are very earthy but also have a subtle sweetness that many people love.
Not only that, but these beans have the essential creamy texture that is characteristic of Great Northern beans, making them the perfect substitute.
So, no matter whether you’re making a salad, tacos, stew, burritos, soup, and more, red kidney beans can be used instead of Great Northern beans without a second thought.
However, it’ll be good to remind yourself of all the wonderful health benefits that red kidney beans provide, so you can feel great about what you are about to put into your body.
Red kidney beans are great at improving blood pressure, helping people maintain weight and blood sugar levels, improving our digestive system, and much more!
Chickpeas are best known for being a key ingredient in houmous, so you may not think of them as the perfect substitute for Great Northern beans, but we are here to tell you otherwise!
Like lima and black beans, chickpeas are a type of legume. Just like Great Northern beans have an earthy and nutty flavor, chickpeas do, too!
They also have a buttery texture, which is slightly different from a creamy texture, but they work excellently in boiled dishes because of it!
Chickpeas can be used instead of Great Northern beans in a variety of stews, salads, soups, burritos, tacos, and even as a simple side dish to a main meal.
And, as well as being the ideal substitute for a variety of dishes, they are also great for you.
Chickpeas can help individuals to improve their digestion, and bone and muscle health, and can help people to lose and maintain weight.
Plus, you may already have them sitting in your kitchen, just waiting to be used.
8. Butter Beans
Butter beans are also known as double beans or lima beans. These beans are flat and white.
They have the creamy texture that we are looking for in a Great Northern bean substitute, and they taste slightly earthy and slightly sweet.
However, butter beans can also be slightly green in color. Their color depends on where they are cultivated, but their taste will be the same.
It is common to use butter beans instead of Great Northern beans in baked dishes.
However, they are also suitable as side dishes. We love to use butter beans in tacos, burritos, stews, soups, the lot!
Butter beans contain plenty of goodies like protein and fiber. They also have plenty of micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc, Vitamins A, C, and K, iron, and calcium!
Do not hesitate to use butter beans instead of Great Northern beans if you’re ever in a pinch.
9. Fava Beans
Last but not least, we have trusty fava beans! Fava beans are also called broad beans.
These types of beans are flat and have a mix of a buttery and creamy texture that makes them another excellent substitute for Great Northern beans.
Fava beans have the essential nutty and earthy texture of a Great Northern bean substitute, and therefore can be used in a number of dishes when you don’t have Great Northern beans in your kitchen cupboards (and even when you do!)
In fact, fava beans are used in many dishes all over the world. We like to use them in dishes like stews, soups, and in falafel!
As well as being a great substitute for Great Northern beans in terms of texture, taste, and versatility, fava beans are also great for you!
Eating them will provide you with many health benefits, such as improved bone health, improved blood health, a boosted immune system, they can help you maintain your body weight, and so much more!
What are you waiting for – go use some fava beans in your faovrite dish ASAP!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, navy beans and Great Northern beans are not the same things. Although, it is understandable that people get them mixed up.
Great Northern beans and navy beans are both types of white beans, but navy beans have a slightly nuttier flavor compared to Great Northern beans.
Although, navy beans are still mild enough that they are a great substitute.
Is There Another Name For Great Northern Beans?
Yes! Great Northern beans are also called large white beans. They can be labeled this way in stores, so keep an eye out for both names when you are grocery shopping!
Great Northern beans are very versatile and work well in a variety of dishes. However, when you find yourself without any, do not worry!
There are 9 great substitutes just waiting to be used.