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5 Best Substitutes for Butter Beans: Enhance Culinary Game

Hey there! Have you ever thought about trying out something new with your usual butter beans in recipes?

If you’re feeling adventurous, let’s venture into the world of five amazing legume alternatives that can bring a fresh and exciting twist to your dishes.

Take a look at this in-depth blog post where we delve into a variety of delicious options to help you add a touch of creativity to your kitchen repertoire!

Key Takeaways:

  • Butter beans can be easily substituted with other legumes, like cannellini beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, borlotti beans and fava beans.
  • These substitutes offer a unique mix of flavors and textures, enhancing various recipes in exciting ways.
  • By incorporating these alternatives, we can discover new tastes while promoting diversity and sustainability in our cooking.

5 Best Butter Beans Substitutes to Consider

1 – Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are like the cool cousins of butter beans – versatile, slightly nutty, and always ready to jazz up your dishes. With their slender, kidney-like shape and a velvety, buttery consistency when cooked, they bring a touch of Italian flair to recipes.

These beans play well with others, adding earthy richness to classics like minestrone soup and bean salads. It’s like having a culinary adventure in your kitchen with a trusty friend by your side.

Creamy Cannellini Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe

Substitute Ratio: Use them in place of butter beans at a 1-to-1 ratio in most recipes.

2 – Navy Beans

An excellent alternative to consider is the modest navy bean. These petite legumes, also known as haricot beans, carry a fascinating history dating back to their role in the American Civil War.

Renowned for their culinary adaptability, navy beans are commonly featured in traditional baked bean recipes, where they soak up flavors and turn tender. These ivory beans boast a smooth texture once cooked, making them a sought-after ingredient in various culinary traditions.

With a subtle, slightly starchy flavor profile, navy beans serve as a fantastic replacement for butter beans in bean dips, stews, and casseroles, enriching the complexity of these dishes.

Substitute Ratio: Substitute navy beans for butter beans in equal proportions.

3 – Black-Eyed Peas

For a touch of Southern charm and culinary versatility, try using black-eyed peas instead of butter beans. These beans have been enjoyed for centuries thanks to their robust nature and rich nutrition. Black-eyed peas, small and cream-colored, have a unique black spot called the ‘eye’.

This feature adds visual appeal and culinary intrigue. In terms of taste, they offer a subtle earthy flavor and velvety texture that enhances dishes. Their creamy consistency makes them great in salads or with cornbread, elevating the dining experience with wholesome goodness.

Substitute Ratio: In most recipes, they can be interchanged with butter beans in equal measure, adding a delightful twist to traditional dishes.

4 – Borlotti Beans

If you’re looking to enhance the flavor profile of your dishes, consider incorporating borlotti beans as a unique alternative. Originating from Italy, these beans are renowned for their intricate nutty flavor and striking marbled appearance of pink and ivory hues when dried, adding a touch of sophistication to your culinary creations.

With a medium size and plump, rounded shape, borlotti beans offer a light yet hearty texture after cooking. Their subtle sweetness makes them an excellent substitute for butter beans when aiming for a more luxurious flavor profile.

Discover the versatility of borlotti beans by adding them to bean soups, curries, or blending them into a smooth dip for a delightful culinary experience.

Substitute Ratio: Use them in a 1-to-1 ratio in place of butter beans.

5 – Fava Beans

Last but certainly not least are the fava beans, celebrated in the cuisine of the Mediterranean and Middle East for their meaty texture and earthy flavor. These versatile legumes have been a culinary staple for centuries, known for their distinct mottled green color before cooking.

Fava beans’ rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture make them a delightful stand-in for butter beans, especially in luscious purees and spreads that add a depth of flavor to various dishes.

Substitute Ratio: They can be used in a wide variety of recipes, from pastas to grain bowls. Swap them for butter beans at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Creamy Cannellini Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe

Creamy Cannellini Bean and Spinach Soup

This soup is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional butter bean soups.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 64 kcal


  • Pot
  • Blender


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans 15.5 oz each cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach chopped


  • In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cannellini beans and vegetable broth.
  • Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender or transferring soup to a blender, blend until smooth.
  • Return soup to pot and stir in spinach.
  • Let cook for an additional 5 minutes until spinach is wilted.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


  • For a thicker soup, use only 3 cups of vegetable broth instead of 4.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese for added flavor.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 953mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1908IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Keyword creamy cannelini bean and spinach soup, substitutes for butter beans
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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