Substitute for Navy Beans: 8 Best Alternatives, More

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In the realm of culinary adventures, discovering suitable substitutes for beloved ingredients can open up a world of possibilities. For those seeking an alternative to navy beans, a delightful journey into the realm of navy beans awaits.

In this article, we embark on a flavorful exploration, shedding light on these captivating substitutes, their nutritional profiles, and their versatility in enhancing a diverse range of culinary creations.

Join us as we unravel the world of navy bean substitutes and elevate your culinary endeavors to new heights.

What are Navy Beans

substitute for navy beans

Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are small white beans that have a rich and creamy texture when cooked.

They get their name from being a staple food in the diet of the United States Navy during the early 20th century. Navy beans are a popular ingredient in various cuisines and dishes worldwide.

These beans are loaded with essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, folate, iron, and magnesium. They provide a good source of energy and are low in fat.

Navy beans are known for their versatility and are commonly used in soups, stews, salads, and chili recipes. They have a mild flavor that pairs well with a wide range of ingredients and spices.

In addition to their nutritional benefits, navy beans are also recognized for their potential health benefits. They may support digestive health, help regulate blood sugar levels, and promote heart health.

Substitute for Navy Beans

Renowned for its creamy texture and delicate flavor, navy beans have long been a staple in various cuisines.

However, when circumstances call for a change or availability becomes limited, it’s essential to have alternatives at hand that can seamlessly step in and satisfy our palates.

Let’s discuss some best substitutes for navy beans that are very closely related to the taste profile of navy beans.

1. Great Northern Beans

If you’re seeking a substitute with a similar taste and texture to navy beans, look no further than Great Northern Beans.

These beans are known for their creamy, velvety texture and mild flavor. Perfect for soups, stews, and casseroles, they effortlessly blend with other ingredients to create hearty and comforting dishes.

Rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, Great Northern beans are not only delicious but also contribute to a healthy diet.

So, grab a can or cook them from scratch, and let Great Northern Beans elevate your culinary adventures!

2. Cannellini Beans

substitute for navy beans

For those craving a taste of the Mediterranean, cannellini beans are an excellent substitute for navy beans. These Italian white beans are a staple in various traditional dishes.

With a buttery texture and subtle nutty flavor, they complement Mediterranean flavors like garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs perfectly.

Cannellini beans can be used in salads, pasta dishes, and even as a base for creamy dips. Packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants, they offer a healthy alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Give cannellini beans a try, and transport your taste buds to the sun-soaked shores of Italy!

3. Pinto Beans

If you’re in the mood for Tex-Mex cuisine, pinto beans make an excellent substitute for navy beans.

These speckled beans are a staple in Mexican and Southwestern dishes, known for their robust flavor and creamy texture.

From chili con carne to refried beans, pinto beans add a satisfying depth to your favorite recipes. With their earthy taste and ability to absorb flavors, they blend harmoniously with spices and herbs, creating a tantalizing symphony of flavors.

Not only are pinto beans delicious, but they are also a great source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals. Spice up your meals with pinto beans and savor the bold and vibrant flavors of the Southwest!

4. White Beans

For a versatile substitute that works well in a variety of recipes, white beans are a fantastic choice. With several varieties to choose from, including navy beans themselves, white beans encompass a range of flavors and textures.

Whether you opt for butter beans, lima beans, or even the aforementioned Great Northern beans, white beans lend themselves to soups, salads, dips, and casseroles.

They effortlessly adapt to different seasonings and ingredients, making them an ideal option for experimentation in the kitchen.

Plus, white beans are rich in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients, making them a healthy addition to your meals.

5. Black-eyed Peas

If you’re yearning for a taste of the American South, black-eyed peas are a perfect substitute for navy beans.

These small, creamy beans are a beloved ingredient in Southern cuisine, particularly in dishes like Hoppin’ John or black-eyed pea salads.

With a slightly sweet and earthy flavor, black-eyed peas bring a unique twist to your meals. They also offer a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, ensuring a nutritious addition to your diet.

So, embrace the charm of the South and bring a touch of tradition to your table with black-eyed peas!

6. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile substitute for navy beans. These legumes, also known as garbanzo beans, are renowned for their creamy texture and nutty flavor.

Whether roasted, pureed, or used in salads and stews, chickpeas offer a delightful twist to your dishes.

They are a key ingredient in hummus, a popular Middle Eastern dip, and are also a star player in vegetarian and vegan recipes.

Packed with protein, fiber, and a range of essential nutrients, chickpeas are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious. So, don’t hesitate to incorporate these versatile legumes into your cooking repertoire!

7. Black Beans

Black beans, with their shiny dark color and creamy texture, make an ideal substitute for navy beans. They are a staple in Latin American cuisine and can be found in many delicious recipes.

Black beans have a slightly earthy flavor with hints of sweetness, and their soft texture makes them perfect for stews, soups, and vegetarian dishes.

They are rich in protein, fiber, and essential minerals, making them a nutritious addition to your meals.

With their versatility and impressive nutrient profile, black beans can easily step in for navy beans in recipes like chili, salads, and dips.

8. Kidney Beans

Last but certainly not least, Kidney beans. These vibrant, kidney-shaped legumes are commonly used in various cuisines around the world.

Kidney beans have a robust flavor and a firm texture that holds up well in hearty dishes. They are packed with protein, fiber, and important nutrients like iron and folate.

The deep, rich taste of kidney beans pairs well with spices and seasonings, making them an excellent choice for chili, stews, and casseroles.

You can also use them in salads, soups, and even burgers to add a meaty texture and a satisfying flavor.

What Bean is Most Similar to the Navy Bean?

When it comes to finding a bean that closely resembles the navy bean, the great northern bean stands out as the top contender. Both the navy bean and the great northern bean belong to the same species, Phaseolus vulgaris, and share several similarities.

The great northern bean shares the navy bean’s small size and creamy texture, making it an excellent substitute in various dishes.

These beans are known for their ability to absorb flavors well, making them perfect for soups, stews, and, of course, baked beans.

In terms of appearance, the great northern bean boasts a similar shape and color to the navy bean. Its ivory hue and oblong shape closely resemble the navy bean’s characteristic features.

This similarity allows the great northern bean to seamlessly blend into recipes that call for navy beans, ensuring a comparable taste and texture in your dishes.

What Beans Can I Substitute for Navy Beans for Baked Beans?

When you’re planning to prepare a delectable batch of baked beans but find yourself without navy beans, there are a few suitable substitutes you can turn to.

These beans will maintain the integrity of the dish while providing a slightly different flavor profile. Let’s explore some options:

Great Northern Beans

As mentioned earlier, the great northern bean is an ideal substitute for navy beans in baked bean recipes.

Its creamy texture and ability to absorb flavors make it an excellent choice. Use them in equal amounts as the recipe calls for navy beans, and you’ll achieve a similar outcome.

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are another fantastic alternative to baked beans.

They possess a smooth, buttery texture and a delicate flavor that pairs well with various spices and seasonings.

Substitute them for navy beans in equal quantities to maintain the overall consistency of your dish.

Pinto Beans

Although pinto beans have a different taste profile compared to navy beans, they can still be used as a substitute in baked bean recipes.

Pinto beans have a slightly earthy flavor and a creamier texture when cooked. They work well when combined with other ingredients and seasonings typically found in baked bean recipes.


There you have it! A delectable array of substitutes for navy beans that will add excitement and variety to your meals. Each substitute brings its own unique characteristics to the table.

So, the next time you’re in need of a navy bean alternative, don’t be afraid to explore these delicious options. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

Related Post: substitutes for black-eyed peas

substitute for navy beans

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