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The 5 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

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What are Borlotti beans? Also called cranberry beans, these large, cream-colored beans have a speckled, red-brownish coloration.

They’re popular in Italian and Portuguese cuisine and have a nutty, earthy flavor.

Borlotti beans can be used in various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and pasta dishes.

But how do you cook them? And what are the best substitutes for Borlotti beans if you can’t find them? Read on to find out.

What is Borlotti Bean?

what is borlotti bean

For anyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of trying a Borlotti bean, they are a common Italian bean that is typically red or white in color.

They have a smooth, creamy texture and nutty flavor, making them a great addition to soups, stews, and salads.

When cooked, Borlotti beans hold their shape well, so they are also ideal for use in dishes like pasta Fagioli.

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy beans, Borlotti beans are a great option.

Here are some tips for cooking with them:

  • Soak Borlotti beans overnight before cooking to help reduce cooking time.
  • Add Borlotti beans to soup or stew recipes to boost flavor and nutrition.
  • Use cooked Borlotti beans to replace chickpeas in recipes like hummus or falafel.
  • Create a simple Borlotti bean salad by tossing cooked beans with olive oil, vinegar, and your favorite herbs and spices.

When cooking Borlotti beans from scratch, the cooking time will vary depending on the size and age of the beans.

Older, larger beans may take up to 2 hours to cook, while smaller, fresher beans will be done in under an hour.

Check the beans periodically during cooking to see if they need more water.

If you’re in a hurry, you can cook Borlotti beans in the pressure cooker.

This method will cut down on cooking time significantly, and the beans will retain their shape and flavor.

No matter how you choose to cook them, Borlotti beans make a delicious and healthy addition to your diet.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

If you can’t find borlotti beans, don’t worry.

There are plenty of other beans that can be used as a delicious replacement.

Here are the five best substitutes for borlotti beans:

1 – Kidney Beans

kidney beans

Kidney beans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

They have a slightly nutty flavor and a firm, dense texture.

Kidney beans can be cooked in many different ways, depending on the desired result.

For example, they can be boiled, baked, or fried.

They can also be used as an ingredient in soups, stews, and casseroles.

Kidney beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

When cooking with kidney beans, it is important to soak them overnight to reduce the cooking time.

This will also help to prevent them from splitting open during cooking.

Kidney beans can be a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.

2 – Anasazi Beans

anasazi beans

Anasazi beans are a type of heirloom beans that have a nutty flavor and firm texture.

They are named after the Anasazi people, who were one of the first cultures to cultivate them.

These beans are perfect for use in soups and stews, as they hold their shape well and absorb flavors well.

To cook with Anasazi beans, simply soak them overnight, then cook them in boiling water for about an hour.

You can also add them to slow cookers and Crockpots.

These beans are a great way to add extra protein and fiber to your diet.

Give them a try the next time you’re looking for a new type of bean to experiment with in the kitchen.

3 – Pinto Beans

pinto beans

Pinto beans are a type of common bean, named for their characteristic mottled brown and white coloration.

They are medium in size, with an oval shape and a smooth texture.

Pinto beans can be cooked in various ways, including boiling, simmering, crock-potting, and pressure cooking.

When cooked, pinto beans have a creamy texture and a nutty flavor.

They are often used in Mexican and Southwestern dishes, such as refried beans and chili.

In addition to their traditional uses, pinto beans can also be used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes or as an ingredient in baked goods.

4 – Lupini Beans

lupini beans

Lupini beans are a type of legume that is often found in Mediterranean cuisine.

They have a slightly bitter taste and a firm, mealy texture.

Lupini beans can be eaten raw, soaked in water, or cooked.

When cooking with Lupini beans, it is important to simmer them for at least 30 minutes to soften the tough skins.

Lupini beans often replace chickpeas in recipes such as hummus or falafel.

They can also be added to salads, soups, and stews.

Try dipping Lupini beans in olive oil and sea salt for a quick and easy snack.

5 – Cannellini Beans

cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are a type of white bean that is often used in Italian cooking.

They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture.

When cooked, they hold their shape well, making them ideal for dishes such as soups and stews.

Cannellini beans can be found dried or canned.

If using dried beans, they should be soaked overnight before cooking.

To cook with cannellini beans, simply add them to your dish along with some stock or water.

They pair well with vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli.

Cannellini beans are also a good source of protein and fiber.


In conclusion, these are some of the best substitutes that you can use for borlotti beans.

All of them bring their unique flavor to the dish, so make sure to choose the one you think will work best with your recipe.

With any of these options, you’ll be able to create a delicious and healthy meal that everyone will enjoy.

So, what are you waiting for? Give one of these substitutes a try the next time you’re looking to make a borlotti bean dish.

You won’t be disappointed.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Borlotti Beans

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Kidney Beans

  • Anasazi Beans

  • Pinto Beans

  • Lupini Beans

  • Cannellini Beans


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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