Substitute For Butter Beans: 11 Best Alternatives+ Non-Legume Substitute

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Are you searching for substitutes for butter beans in your dishes with something more tasty and nutritious?

Versatility is important in the culinary world, and finding good replacements for favorite components can improve our cooking abilities.

We’ll look at a selection of delectable alternatives that will make your meals taste even better. These choices, whether you’re a seasoned chef or a food enthusiast.

Will not only add variety to your meals but also provide a number of health advantages. Explore the world of delicious legumes to find the greatest alternatives to butter beans.

What are butter beans?

Substitute For Butter Beans

Butter beans, commonly referred to as lima beans, are a variety of legume that are frequently utilized in international cuisines.

They have a lima or kidney shape and are huge, flat, and creamy white in color, hence the name “lima beans”. Because of their delicate and buttery flavor, these beans are known as “butter beans.”

Butter beans are filling and have a number of health advantages. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and important vitamins and minerals like folate, potassium, and iron.

Butter beans are quite adaptable in the kitchen and can be used in a variety of recipes. They can be used in casseroles, soups, and stews.

Butter beans are a staple food in various cuisines around the world. They are particularly popular in the southern United States, where they are commonly used in dishes like butter bean soup, succotash, and butter bean casseroles.

They are prevalent in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, often used in salads, stews, and as a side dish. In many countries, butter beans are valued for their nutritional content, versatility, and delicious taste.

Type of Butter Beans

  1. Baby lima beans are little, delicate lima beans that are frequently picked when they are still young, giving them a delicate flavor and a slightly softer texture.
  2. Compared to baby lima beans, fordhook lima beans are a larger kind, plumper, and slightly firmer. They are frequently used in many different cuisines and have a rich, buttery flavor.
  3. Large Lima Beans are larger and have a more substantial feel, as the name implies. They are a well-liked ingredient for hearty recipes since they endure well in soups and stews.
  4. Henderson Lima kind is renowned for its sweet and nutty flavor. It bears William Henderson’s name because he brought it to America in the 1880s.

How to cook butter beans properly

To guarantee that butter beans are delicate, tasty, and safe to eat, appropriate cooking calls for a number of processes. Here is a detailed instruction on how to prepare butter beans:

soaking the beans

  • To get rid of any dirt or debris, thoroughly rinse the dried butter beans in cold water.
  • Put the beans in a big bowl and cover them with water, leaving about 3 to 4 inches above the beans.
  • Give the beans at least 8 hours or overnight to soak. The beans can be rehydrated and cooked more quickly after soaking. The “quick soak” technique involves boiling the beans and water for 2 minutes, taking them off the heat, and letting them sit for 1 hour.

Drainage and rinsing

After soaking, drain the beans and give them a cold water rinse. Antinutrients and sugars that may cause flatulence and intestinal pain are removed thanks to this.


  • Add the drained and soaked butter beans to a big saucepan.
  • Water should be added to cover the beans, often 2 to 3 inches above the beans.
  • The beans should simmer gradually after the water is brought to a boil over high heat.

Cooking Period

The freshness of the beans and whether or not they were soaked affect how long they take to cook. Typically, it takes 45 to 1 hour to boil soaked beans.

It could take unsoaked beans 1.5 to 2 hours or longer to get soft.
To test whether the beans are done, sometimes taste one. When thoroughly cooked, they should be soft but not mushy.

Finishing Moves

Remove the pot from the heat and drain any extra water once the beans are cooked to the desired tenderness.

Depending on your desire, you can either keep the seasonings in or take them out if you seasoned the beans.

Your butter beans are now prepared for serving. They can be used as a side dish with some butter and herbs or in a variety of recipes such as salads, stews, and soups.

Note: The cooking guide for butter beans can also be applied to their substitute, so you will have an idea of how to prepare them.

Lima Beans, Fava Beans, Cannellini Beans, Great Northern Beans, Navy Beans, Chickpeas, Black-Eyed Peas, Pinto Beans, Adzuki Beans, Black Beans, Red kidney beans, Roasting Cauliflower, Quinoa

Substitute For Butter Beans

There may be a number of causes for your desire for a butter bean substitute. You might not have any butter beans on hand, have dietary constraints, want something with a different flavor or texture, or all of these things. Whatever the cause, there are numerous substitutes that might work wonders in your recipes.

1. Lima Beans

lima beans

Lima beans, commonly known as butter beans, are an excellent substitute due to their striking similarities in flavor and texture.

these beans are a perfect addition to stews, soups, and casseroles due to their creamy flesh and nutty flavor. These beans support heart health and improve digestion since they are a rich source of protein, fiber, and important nutrients like manganese and folate.

Lima beans are a flexible option that may be used either as a stand-alone side dish or in a robust vegetable medley. You’ll feel satiated and hungry after eating one because of their solid but soft texture.

2. Fava Beans

Fava beans

Fava beans, generally referred to as wide beans, are yet another top butter bean substitute. These slightly firm-textured, buttery-flavored legumes go well with many different meals.

You may use them in salads, pasta recipes, or even as a mashed spread on crusty toast because to their adaptability.

Fava beans are a nutrient-dense option for a balanced diet because they are abundant in plant-based protein, fiber, and important vitamins including thiamine and vitamin B6.

So if you’re seeking for a delicious substitute for butter beans, fava beans will definitely meet all of your needs.

3. Cannellini Beans

cannellini beans

Popularly referred to as white kidney beans, cannellini beans are a delicious swap for butter beans. These substantial, creamy-textured legumes are a staple of Italian cooking and are regularly included into soups, salads, and casseroles.

Cannellini beans, which are rich in protein, fiber, and iron, help to rebuild muscles and boost energy.

They are an excellent choice for a variety of recipes due to their delicate flavor and capacity to absorb flavors from their surroundings. Cannellini beans will give your culinary creations a touch of refinement with their silky, smooth texture.

4. Great Northern Beans

With a softer and somewhat nuttier flavor than butter beans, Great Northern beans make a great substitute. They are the ideal complement to your comfort food repertoire because of their firm texture, which holds up nicely in robust meals like chili and stews.

These beans help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and contribute to a balanced diet since they are rich in protein, fiber, and important minerals like magnesium and potassium.

Great Northern beans will provide a lovely creaminess to your meals, whether you’re creating a protein-rich salad or a vegetarian dish.

5. Navy Beans

An excellent substitute for butter beans is navy beans, sometimes referred to as pea beans. They are a versatile component for both savory and sweet meals because of their delicate, mild flavor, which matches nicely with a range of seasonings.

Navy beans are a good source of fiber, protein, and important vitamins and minerals including copper and thiamine, which support healthy neuron function and the synthesis of energy.

The usage of these tiny, oval-shaped legumes in traditional baked bean recipes has earned them particular notoriety.

With their soft texture and hearty flavor, navy beans are sure to please whether you stew them in a tomato-based sauce or incorporate them into salads.

6. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, often referred to as garbanzo beans, are a well-liked alternative to butter beans. Chickpeas give a variety of foods a wonderful twist thanks to their nutty flavor and somewhat grainy texture.

These adaptable legumes provide a wealth of alternatives for culinary experimentation, from hummus to curries and salads. Chickpeas enhance heart health and foster a powerful immune system because they are abundant in protein, fiber, and important minerals like iron and zinc.

these beans are a great option to improve both taste and nutrition, whether you’re a vegan or just trying to eat more plant-based meals.

7. Black-Eyed Peas

A great alternative to butter beans, black-eyed peas have a distinctive earthy flavor and a soft texture. These legumes are a main ingredient in salads and recipes like Hoppin’ John in the South.

Black-eyed peas support good skin and assist in cell renewal since they are a rich source of protein, fiber, and important vitamins including folate and vitamin A.

They may pick up the flavor of accompanying herbs and spices thanks to their delicate taste. Black-eyed peas are a tasty and healthy substitute for butter beans, whether you eat them as a side dish or combine them with rice.

8. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a delicious swap for butter beans because of their creamy texture and nutty flavor. These flecked beans are frequently used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking, especially in meals like burritos and refried beans.

they support bone health and aid in energy metabolism since they are loaded with protein, fiber, and important minerals like manganese and phosphorus.

They are a great option for simmering and slow-cooking meals because of how well they withstand cooking. With their robust flavor and adaptability, pinto beans will wow your guests whether you’re making a hearty bowl of chili or a spicy bean dip.

9. Adzuki Beans

Known for their delicately sweet and nutty flavor, adzuki beans, commonly referred to as red beans, are an intriguing alternative to butter beans.

Asian sweets and soups frequently contain these tiny, reddish-brown legumes. Adzuki beans boost heart health and help with muscular function since they are rich in protein, fiber, and important nutrients like potassium and magnesium.

Their delicate flavor goes well with a variety of foods, from sweet bean pastes to savory stews. Adzuki beans will give your meals a distinctive and delectable touch, whether you’re trying out new culinary techniques or just looking for a healthy substitute.

10. Black Beans

With a deep, earthy flavor and velvety texture, black beans make a great substitute for butter beans. These legumes are frequently used in Latin American cooking and are ideal for meals like black bean soups, salads, and even hamburgers.

Black beans, which are rich in protein, fiber, and important minerals like iron and zinc, support a healthy immune system and blood circulation.

They are a great choice for introducing different spices and herbs into your cooking because of their capacity to absorb flavors. No matter if you eat meat or not, black beans will add a splash of color and nutrients to your meal.

11. Red kidney beans

Due to their powerful taste and firm texture, red kidney beans are an excellent substitute for butter beans. These kidney-shaped legumes are frequently added to chili con carne and bean salads, and they give your meals a delicious kick.

Red kidney beans aid in the creation of red blood cells and boost energy metabolism since they are high in protein, fiber, and important vitamins like folate and thiamine.

Even after being cooked for a long time, their ability to hold up well while cooking guarantees that they keep their shape and flavor.

Red kidney beans will unquestionably satiate your palate and offer a multitude of nutritious advantages whether you’re cooking up a hefty casserole or a fiery bean stew.

Related Post: Substitute for Black Eyed Peas: 14 Best Substitute

Non- Legume Substitute for Butter Beans

Are you seeking tasty, non-legume substitutes for butter beans? Any dietary requirements, gastronomic preferences, or a simple desire to experience something new can be accommodated.

1. Roasting Cauliflower

Try roasting cauliflower if you’re looking for a creative way to make butter beans. This non-legume substitute has a delightful nutty flavor with a hint of caramelization.

Cauliflower florets can be cooked by roasting them to perfection after tossing them with olive oil, garlic, and your favourite seasonings.

The finished dish has a delicious crunch and fragrant scents. Use roasted cauliflower as a flavorful topping for grain bowls and salads or as a standalone side dish.

For those seeking a low-carb alternative without compromising flavor, it’s a fantastic choice. Take use of this flexible and delicious alternative to hone your culinary talents!

2. Quinoa

A fantastic non-legume substitute for butter beans is quinoa, an ancient grain with a nutty flavor and fluffy texture.

As a grain that is a good source of protein, fiber, and essential amino acids, quinoa can be used to spice up your meals.

To give dishes a mild nutty flavor, cooked quinoa can be used to salads, pilafs, and casseroles. It absorbs the flavors of the meals it is served with, making it the perfect ingredient for producing hearty veggie bowls.


You now have a wide range of possibilities to improve your culinary creations thanks to this comprehensive list of butter bean alternatives.

Each legume, from smooth lima beans to hearty red kidney beans, provides a special flavor and texture to the table.

Don’t be afraid to try these replacements in different recipes and take advantage of the additional health advantages they provide.

Related Post: Substitute For Creamed Corn: 10 Best Alternatives

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