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    Top 5 Great Northern Beans Substitutes – Easy to Replace

    Are you running out of beans and looking for the great northern beans substitutes? No need to worry because we are here to help you.

    We all use beans as a part of our diet in many recipes, and they come in varieties and contain many health advantages. Sometimes it is hard to point out the difference between these beans. 

    This blog covers the 5 best substitutes for great northern beans that are easily suitable for recipes that require northern beans. But first, let us give a prolusion of the great northern beans.

    What are Great Northern Beans?

    The great northern beans are a category of white beans that are not so small in size, unlike other beans. They have a mild, nutty, and creamy flavour.  

    These beans are well-liked in American cooking and Asian households as well. Northern beans are best grown in cold temperatures and are usually used in soup, stews, casseroles, salads, etc. 

    The great northern beans come in two kinds: dried or canned. Both are easy to use in cooking. But make sure to boil these beans well for an hour (or more if they are still not soft enough to eat). These are used in many recipes because they hold their shape well, which other beans do not.

    Some common ingredients in northern bean dishes are garlic, onion, tomato, parsley, spices, etc.

    Best 5 Great Northern Beans Substitutes:

    It is okay to run out of these great northern beans sometimes—a few replacements for northern beans are given below that can be easily used in recipes that need northern beans.

    Expecting the same taste might not be easy, but these substitutes mentioned below will still be helpful for recipes that require great northern beans. 

    1. Navy Beans

    navy beans substitute for northern beans

    Navy beans are a great substitute for northern beans because of their taste and mild flavour. It gives the same texture as well. And these are often used in baked beans recipes in many households. 

    They are too soft compared to great northern beans. Unfortunately, their shape can not stay still for too long. But the taste was the same because of the flavour similarity.  

    Also, you can use navy beans in many other dishes, such as:

    2. Pinto Beans

    pinto beans substitute

    Pinto beans are considered the best and easy substitute for great and northern beans. They are different in colour and a bit more in flavour than other beans. 

    Pinto beans are brown-coloured beans and a bit stronger in flavour. It has a somewhat nutty flavour, like northern beans, and a creamy texture. These can be used easily in any recipe.

    Here are some meals which you should try navy beans with: 

    • Mashed potatoes
    • Soup
    • Fried chicken
    • Fish Tacos
    • Salad
    • BBQ items

    Moreover, pinto beans contain healthy, nutritious benefits like vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fats, calories, etc.

    If you are both a macaroni and salad lover, check out the quick southern macaroni salad recipe.

    3. Red Kidney Beans 

    kidney beans substitute

    Red kidney beans can be a good replacement for great northern beans because of the similarity of the creamy texture these beans create. These are light in flavour with a bit of a sweet effect. 

    Their colour is a bit different from other beans. But considering their shape and taste, they are likely to be used as a substitute for northern beans.

    You can try these out with the dishes given below:

    • Rice
    • Chilli
    • Pasta
    • Scrambled eggs
    • Burgers
    • Salad
    • Pizza
    • Soup
    • Spaghetti
    • Burritos

    Also, if you are looking for a strong and healthy northern beans alternative, red kidney beans are the best choice as it helps in controlling blood pressure, preserving weight, digestion-related problems, etc.

    4. Lima Beans

    lima beans substitute for great northern bean

    Lima beans can be a good substitute for northern beans. They also create a creamy texture with a slightly nutty flavour with a bit of sweetness. It can also be a good alternative for great northern beans in side dishes. 

    An interesting fact about lima beans is that they were named after the capital of Peru, i.e., Lima. Because from the last 9,000 years, lima beans have been grown in Peru. 

    They are light green and sometimes white, depending on the weather. But a little stronger in flavour. Also, it is necessary to rinse it overnight. So, note such things before using them in your meal.

    You can add lima beans to the following dishes:

    • Wrapped chicken
    • Sausage
    • Salad with other vegetables
    • Fries or mashed potatoes
    • Scrambled eggs
    • Soup

    Also, do check out some amazing side dishes to serve with sausages and pepper.

    5. Chickpeas

    chickpeas substitute for great northern beans

    ChickPeas might not be the first thing you think of as a replacement for great northern beans because they are the category of shell beans. But their somewhat nutty and sweet flavour makes it a good substitute when no other beans are available. 

    It is as soft enough to eat as great northern beans are. Just notice one thing before adding it to your dish; it may vary the taste, so use it accordingly.

    You can easily use chickpeas in such things:

    • Salad
    • Rice
    • Pasta
    • Potatoes 
    • Sandwiches
    • Wraps / Tacos 

    Additionally, after boiling chickpeas, you can add a few spices and make it your meal. A self-made meal is always a good idea when trying new things! 


    Great northern beans are easy to replace with other beans because of their mild flavour and softness in eating. The substitutes, as mentioned earlier, will be helpful for recipes that require northern beans.

    Although, the taste may vary when you are using any of these replacements because of their different flavours. So, use them accordingly, and you will surely be satisfied with these northern bean alternatives.

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