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5 Top-notch Swaps for Borlotti Beans You Gotta Try!

We’ve all been there – that culinary crossroads where a recipe calls for a specific ingredient, and though you’d love to comply, it’s a no-go in your kitchen. Borlotti beans, with their creamy texture and nutty flavor, are a staples in many a pantry.

But what if they’re one of the items on your ‘out of stock’ list? Or what if you’re cooking for someone with certain dietary needs that epically clash with these plump, skin-like beans?

Worry not, we’ve got your back with this bean guide—an extensive list of our favorite Borlotti substitutes.

5 Top-notch Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

1. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are, in many ways, the Bosom Buddy to Borlotti. One whiff of these creamy marvels and you’ve got a mere hint of Borlotti’s nutty charm. Swap them directly, but indoctrinate cautiously; they’re more yielding than Borlotti, and can slip into mush if one’s not navigating the boiling water with due care.

Cook them in salads or soups, anywhere Borlotti would bask splendidly. In fact, their smooth texture makes for a mean hummus, elevating the bean dip realm to new heights. They might cue the scale a tad on the nutritional side, leaning on their protein prowess and slightly below in the fiber game. But the taste, oh, it’s a match made in bean heaven.

2. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans, the ambivert of legumes, are as welcome in Hispanic fare as they are in the All-American bucket of chili. They echo the beefy notes Borlotti nails, share the same speckled skin and offer a slightly earthier taste. Their medium size and beige hue leave little room for complaint during swaps, yet keep an eye on their thin skin that might demand a gentler approach while stirring the pot.

Roasted, boiled, or mashed, these beans strut their versatility. Just like Borlotti, they’re delectable in salads or stews, and you’d barely notice the difference – well, maybe a slight accent shift. Nutritionally, a well-balanced swap with Borlotti, only in a tad fewer calories for those keeping an eye on the scale.

3. Red Kidney Beans

For those who love a strong-willed bean to stand up in the dish, red kidney beans come forth with a hearty offer. Their robust taste is a little more prominent than Borlotti’s, but a long soak and gentle boil can persuade them to play a more mild role. Mind you, kidney beans do not appreciate being over-stirred unless they wish to walk the path of a delicious mush. It is a party foul not even the best seasoning can salvage.

Best whipped up in chilies, curries, and Latin American cuisines, red kidney beans are the champions of bean texture, standing firm even in the spiciest of arenas. They might tip the nutritional scale with fewer carbs than Borlotti beans, but they boast equal fiber, making them a significant swap on the health spectrum.

4. Black Beans

When depth of color translates to depth of flavor, black beans are the choice to swap for Borlotti. Their sweet undertones and dense, meaty texture make them a darling in Latin American and Caribbean dishes. A quick boil or can opener away from culinary bliss, they harmonize beautifully with rice, salads, and even brownies for the adventurous foodie.

While nutritionally close to Borlotti with an edge on the protein front, black beans edge past with higher antioxidant and anthocyanin content, earning brownie points for health. Are they a bean for all meals? Almost – their rich flavor tends to dominate, so tread lightly in delicate dishes.

5. Navy Beans

Enter navy beans, the humble chameleon of the bean siblinghood. Their smooth texture adapts to any dish’s desires, from soups to baking. Their flavor profile is a mellow yet full-bodied harbinger of comfort—a perfect middle ground between the assertiveness of, say, the dark, enigmatic black bean and the softer notes of a pinto.

Navy beans provide a highly compatible nutritional prowess, with ample doses of protein and fiber. They may not present the same calorific heft as Borlotti, but if it’s a health-conscious choice, navy beans have it in the bag. They can take on any culinary challenge with a soft resilience that’s hard not to love.


In the bean there, done that culinary landscape, your platter shouldn’t feel the absence of Borlotti. Each of these beans has their standing ovation to offer, and your palate can eagerly sit front row to taste the show. Substituting is more than a seamless integration; it’s a nod to culinary versatility that keeps recipes evolving and kitchen experiments as inviting as a home-cooked hug.