5 Butter Beans (Lima Beans) Substitutes

Butter beans (lima beans) are a beloved legume used in various dishes due to their mild, creamy taste and buttery texture.

They're versatile enough for soups, salads, stews, and casseroles - endless possibilities!

But what if you don't have any butter beans or want something new? Don't fret!

In this article, we'll look at five butter bean substitutes so that you can create delicious yet nutritious meals without breaking the bank.

Butter Beans (Lima Beans) Substitutes

Nutritional Benefits of Butter Beans

Butter beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals source.

Plus, they're low in fat and calories, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

Some essential nutrients in butter beans include iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6.

Top 5 Butter Bean Substitutes

1. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are a popular substitute for butter beans due to their similar size, texture, and flavor.

These large white beans boast an irresistibly mild taste and creamy texture, making them suitable for many dishes.

Using Cannellini Beans in Recipes

Cannellini beans can be used in various recipes, such as soups, stews, salads, and pasta dishes.

However, they're particularly suitable for recipes calling for butter beans, like bean salads, minestrone, or white bean chili.

Cannellini beans
Cannellini beans

2. Great Northern Beans

Great Northern beans make an excellent substitute for butter beans.

These medium-sized white beans boast a mild, delicate flavor and firm texture that holds up well when cooking.

Using Great Northern Beans in Recipes

Great Northern beans can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and casseroles.

In addition, they're ideal for recipes requiring beans that maintain their shape during cooking, such as bean salads or baked beans.

Great Northern beans
Great Northern beans

3. Navy Beans

Navy beans (haricot or white beans) are small, oval-shaped beans with an irresistibly mild flavor and creamy texture.

In specific recipes, navy beans can serve in place of butter beans for convenience.

Using Navy Beans in Recipes

Navy beans can be used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and bean salads.

They're especially great for recipes requiring a smooth-textured bean, like white bean soup or creamy bean dips.

Navy beans
Navy beans

4. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are an incredibly versatile legume that can replace butter beans.

Their slightly nutty flavor and firmer texture make them ideal for many recipes requiring butter beans.

Using Chickpeas in Recipes

Chickpeas can be used in various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and dips.

However, they're especially suitable for recipes that call for beans with more robust flavors and textures, like falafel, hummus, or bean-based curries.


5. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans can be an excellent substitute for butter beans in recipes.

Their mild, earthy taste and creamy texture make them ideal in various dishes that call for butter beans.

Using Pinto Beans in Recipes

Pinto beans can be used in many recipes, such as soups, stews, chili, and bean salads.

They're particularly excellent when the recipe calls for a bean with a neutral flavor profile, such as refried beans or burritos.

Pinto beans
Pinto beans


You can use various excellent butter bean substitutes when you don't have access to butter beans or want to experiment with new flavors and textures.

Cannellini beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans, green lima beans, chickpeas, and pinto beans are all excellent choices that add unique qualities to dishes.

Don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different beans in your favorite recipes!


  • Q: Can canned beans be used instead of dried butter beans?
  • A: Absolutely. Just drain and rinse the canned beans before using them in your recipe.
  • Q: Are all butter bean substitutes interchangeable in recipes?
  • A: While most butter bean substitutes can be used interchangeably, some may have slightly different flavors or textures. Therefore, it's essential to consider what qualities you require from your substitute before beginning any recipe.
  • Q: Can I mix different bean types in a recipe for butter beans?
  • A: You can. Mixing different beans gives your dish unique flavors and textures that other beans may not offer.
  • Q: Do I Need to adjust cooking times when using a butter bean substitute?
  • A: Yes, cooking times may differ slightly depending on your substitute. Be sure to check for doneness and adjust accordingly.
  • Q: Are butter bean substitutes suitable for people with dietary restrictions?
  • A: Most butter bean alternatives are gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly; however, it's always wise to check labels and ingredients to ensure they meet your dietary requirements.
Unlimited Recipes
Unlimited Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *