If you are a fan of vegetarian options of proteins, I am sure you must have considered adding beans to your diet. And when we talk about beans, how can we forget great northern beans? So, in today’s article, I will share with you the best substitutes for great northern beans.
Great northern beans are a great source of protein and are used in many recipes as they hold their shape well. However, in situations where you run out of the same, you can use a substitute that works equally well and gives the same texture and flavor.
But, a lot of recipes use great northern beans. So, what can you use in their place? The best substitutes for great northern beans are navy beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, and butter beans.
However, there are a lot of varieties of beans out there. So, some of you may be confused about what the difference is between all of them. So, for that, let me first clear the confusion by telling you a little bit about great northern beans.
Quick Peek: Great Northern Beans
This section will clear all your confusion about what great northern beans are. You will get to understand what their flavor and texture is like, what recipes they are used in, and all about their nutritional value.
What Are Great Northern Beans?
Great northern beans are a type of white beans, similar to cannellini, baby lima, and navy beans. They are extremely popular all over North America. They belong to the family Phaseolus vulgaris, similar to other white beans.
They usually grow very well in cold temperatures and can withstand fluctuating temperatures. It is believed that they were first grown in South America. However, these beans have now gained a lot of popularity all around the world.
Describing Great Northern Beans: Flavor And Texture
Great northern beans have a small size as compared to various other white beans and have a uniform white color. They have a grainy texture with a less meaty flesh. They hold their shape well, even after being cooked.
When we talk about the flavor of great northern beans, they generally have a mild flavor. They easily take the flavor of seasonings and flavorings added to a dish. Once cooked, these beans generally become smooth and melt in the mouth.
Uses Of Great Northern Beans
Great northern beans, just like any other type of beans, are very versatile. They are used in various recipes for protein. They are a very popular addition to soups and stews as they hold their shape well once cooked.
Other than soups and stews, great northern beans can be added to casseroles and can also be used in salads. They pair well with various types of meats and vegetables and are usually used in the recipe for pork and beans.
In recipes like casseroles, they are usually added as they soak up a lot of the water. This ends up making the casserole less liquid in consistency. They can also be used for binding; however, that is not as popularly done with great northern beans as some other varieties.
Great Northern Beans On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Just like various other types of beans, great northern beans are extremely healthy and a great source of protein. A 100-gram or ½ cup serving of great northern beans has around 118 calories with high amounts of proteins and carbohydrates.
Great northern beans also have minute amounts of sodium, fiber, and fats. Other than that, they are a good source of nutrients like folate, phosphorus, manganese, iron, magnesium, and copper. They also have small amounts of calcium, vitamin B6 and zinc.
Other than this, great northern beans have been linked to health benefits like improving diabetes management and helping with weight management. They also have been linked to helping with cholesterol and are good for the digestive system.
Why Use A Substitute For Great Northern Beans?
I know that I have told you a lot of benefits of great northern beans. So, you may be wondering why to use a substitute for the same. Well, great northern beans are a great addition to most recipes; however, there still are some reasons why you can use a substitute.
In case you are looking for beans that mash well, great northern beans are not your best bet. Great northern beans are great for recipes that need them whole. But, in recipes where you need mashed beans, you should consider using a substitute.
They also have a mild flavor. They usually absorb the flavor of the rest of the ingredients in whatever recipe they are added to. So, if you want beans that have a stronger flavor, you can consider using a substitute.
Lastly, if you are just all out of great northern beans and cannot seem to find any at a supermarket near you, you have a reason to use a substitute. A lot of the substitute options given are very easily available and might already be present in your pantry.
Now that I have told you so much about great northern beans, I am sure you have a better idea about them. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the best substitutes for great northern beans.
8 Best Great Northern Beans Substitutes
In this section, you will find all the best substitutes you can use in place of great northern beans. You will get to understand what recipes the substitutes work best in, what their flavor and texture are like, and the ratio of substitution.
1. Navy Beans
Navy beans are a type of white beans with a slightly flattened and oval shape. They are similar in color to great northern beans and have a creamy texture. They can work well as a substitute for great northern beans in various recipes.
Navy beans have a slightly softer texture as compared to great northern beans. They will not hold their shape, as well as great northern beans do, after cooking. But, in terms of flavor, navy beans are a great substitute.
Navy beans have a very mild flavor that is similar to great northern beans, and they absorb other flavors really well. Plus, as they are the same color as great northern beans, so they will not impact the color of your recipe. Use them as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
2. Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are another variety of white beans from Italy. A staple in Italian recipes, these beans have a mild earthy flavor and a soft texture. So, they can be used as a substitute for great northern beans.
Cannellini beans become soft and chewy once cooked. However, a great advantage of using these beans is that they hold their shape well after being cooked. This characteristic is the same as great northern beans.
Despite their Italian origin, cannellini beans actually work well in recipes from all over the world. They are available in both dry and canned forms, so you can use which one works best for you. Use them as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
3. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans have a dark color and are usually speckled. These beans, however, are great at absorbing flavors in a recipe, which makes them a good substitute for great northern beans.
Pinto beans have a soft texture and a slightly more earthy flavor as compared to great northern beans. However, as they absorb the flavors around them well, they can work very similarly to great northern beans.
Moreover, pinto beans will hold their shape well if cooked for the right amount of time. So, if the color of the beans is not a problem for your recipe, you can easily use pinto beans as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans have a different color as compared to great northern beans. However, similar to great northern beans, they hold their shape extremely well once cooked, making them a good substitute for the same.
Red kidney beans are a great option to use in recipes that need to be simmered for a long time, such as soups and stews. They also add a crunchy element when used in salads or any form of dry food.
Again, the problem with red kidney beans is their color. Moreover, they have a slightly different flavor as compared to great northern beans, as they have a more nutty flavor. But, if you are in a fix and have them handy, you can use them following a 1:1 ratio for substitution.
Chickpeas have an earthy and nutty flavor and a smooth texture once cooked. Chickpeas hold their shape really well once cooked, so in those terms, they can work really well as a substitute for great northern beans.
Chickpeas are one of the most commonly used beans worldwide. They are very easily available in the market, in both dry and canned forms. While holding their shape well, chickpeas also absorb flavors around them really well.
So, in those terms, chickpeas are a great substitute option. Moreover, you can subject them to long cooking times without it making much of a difference to their texture. If the color and shape of chickpeas is not a bother, you can use them following a 1:1 ratio of substitution.
6. Black Beans
Black beans are actually very different from great northern beans in terms of texture and color. However, they do have a mild flavor profile, quite comparable to that of great northern beans, and hence can be used as a substitute.
Black beans usually turn very mushy once cooked. They are tiny and will not hold their shape well. But, they are great for recipes where you need a bean as a binding agent. Other than that, black beans are very convenient to use.
Black beans can be used in recipes like bean burgers or salads, along with fillings in tacos or burritos. They are not a good option for recipes like soups and stews, as cooking them for a long time will turn them extremely mushy.
7. Butter Beans
Butter beans are white in color, similar to great northern beans. They have a mild buttery flavor, and they hold their shape well once cooked. So, they can be used as a substitute for great northern beans in various recipes.
Despite their buttery flavor, butter beans actually absorb the flavors of the recipe really well. Moreover, as they are the same in color as great northern beans, they will not affect the overall color of your dish.
Butter beans are a good option to use if you are looking for a substitute that has the same color and texture as great northern beans. They will give you a lush and velvety mouthfeel as compared to great northern beans, but they will work well in all recipes.
8. Fava Beans
Fava beans are large, dense, and meaty. They have a creamy and buttery texture, but they also hold their shape well once cooked. This makes them a good substitute for great northern beans in various recipes.
Fava beans usually absorb flavors in a recipe really well. Although they are more creamy in texture as compared to great northern beans, they give an excellent mouthfeel. Moreover, they can be subjected to long cooking times.
So, fava beans can work well in recipes like soups and stews and can also make a great addition to salads or other bean recipes. The downside of this is, again, the color of the bean. However, if that is not a problem, you can use them as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
Short Recap For Best Great Northern Beans Substitutes
That was a very informative and interesting list of substitutes that you can use in place of great northern beans. I am sure most of you must have picked your substitute by now. But, for those of you who might still be confused, let me break this down to make it even easier.
Best Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor:
- Pinto Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Navy Beans
Best Substitutes In Terms Of Texture:
- Fava Beans
Substitutes You Should Consider Using Last:
- Red Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
How To Substitute Great Northern Beans
Great Northern Beans Substitutes
- Navy Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Red Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Butter Beans
- Fava Beans
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
I hope this article has helped you receive ample information about great northern beans and their substitutes now that we have come to an end. Great northern beans are a great addition to most recipes. They add a lot of texture to food.
They have a great quality of being able to absorb flavors really well and withstand really long cooking times without changing their texture. So, you can add them to any recipe without having to worry about them changing or overpowering the flavor of your dish.
But, if you are in a fix, using a substitute for great northern beans in your recipe will work really well. Now that you know which substitute works best for which recipe, you can pick what works best for you and experiment in the kitchen! Happy cooking to you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is another name for great northern beans?
Great northern beans are also known by the name ‘large white beans.’
What type of beans are great northern beans?
Great northern beans are a type of white beans.
Are small white beans the same as great northern beans?
Although they are both white, small white beans are much smaller in size than great northern beans.
Are white kidney beans and great northern beans the same?
No, white kidney beans are cannellini beans.
Are great northern beans healthy?
Yes, great northern beans are very healthy as they are a great source of protein and various other nutrients.