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The 5 Best Substitutes for Green Beans

One of the healthiest vegetables to cook is green beans.

All green beans are considered “low calorie” and are packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Green beans should be eaten in moderation because they also contain sugar.

Green beans can be cooked in several ways, but one of the most popular ways to eat them is by cooking them into a soup or a stew.

Cooking green beans with other vegetables is also popular, plus many kinds of meat to make a wonderful, tasty recipe.

If you don’t like green beans or can not stand their taste, it is important to know which vegetables are similar in flavor and texture to green beans so you can substitute those for green beans in your recipes.

In this article, we will highlight a few vegetables that you can use as a substitute for green beans.

What are Green Beans?

what are green beans

Green beans are a part of the legume family.

They grow in long, green pods and can be harvested when still very small and tender.

Once harvested, they must be cooked quickly or preserved if not used immediately.

Green beans can be eaten raw or cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper or other spices like cumin and paprika.

In some areas, green beans are known as French beans.

Cooking methods include steaming, baking, boiling, and frying.

Green beans are a staple in many cuisines, including French, Italian, and Chinese cooking.

Green beans can be bought fresh or frozen at most grocery stores.

They are also available canned but keep in mind these may contain added salt or other preservatives.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Green Beans

If you don’t have access to fresh green beans or cannot afford them, these are the next best options.

1 – Wax Beans

wax beans

Wax beans may be another option for your green bean cravings.

The wax bean or ‘Bundled Pole Bean’ isn’t a type of string bean; it’s much more delicate and fragile.

It has thin, waxy skin and is much smaller than traditional green beans.

They are available fresh year-round but peak from June to September.

Unfortunately, wax beans are not very popular in the United States and may be hard to find even at a local grocery store.

However, they can be purchased online or from specialty food stores.

Wax beans have a mild flavor similar to green beans and a crisp texture when cooked properly.

They’re delicious and can be enjoyed raw as a healthy snack.

2 – Lentils


If you’re vegetarian or vegan, lentils may be the option for you.

Lentils are also an excellent source of protein for those who eat meat.

In some areas, lentil soup is considered a delicacy, and some areas even celebrate it with harvest festivals.

Lentils can be combined with couscous, rice, barley, and bulgur wheat to make a delicious dish.

In terms of flavor, lentils have a mild earthy flavor with a nutty taste.

Depending on the variety you purchase, they may also come in different colors, such as yellow or red.

In addition, some people prefer lentils over green beans because they can be prepared in various ways.

3 – Frozen Green Beans

frozen green beans

The next substitute for green beans is frozen green beans.

Frozen green beans are an excellent option if you want to save time, and if you’re in a hurry, these are perfect for you.

Frozen green beans are another convenient way to enjoy green beans any time of the year.

They also taste great with almost no added salt or preservatives.

They can be cooked in many different ways and make a great side dish.

Frozen green beans may be cheaper than fresh green beans, but they contain more sodium.

This is an important factor to consider for those with high blood pressure.

4 – Split Peas

split peas

Split peas are another option for you if you cannot afford fresh green beans or if you cannot find wax beans.

Split peas are a good source of protein, fiber, and iron.

Split peas can be used in green beans, but they should be cooked properly before eating them.

They also have a strong, sharp, and earthy flavor, which may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds.

In addition, split peas are very soft when cooked properly.

However, some people may prefer the texture of split peas over green beans because they are less crunchy and have a smoother mouthfeel.

5 – Baby Lima Beans

baby lima beans

Baby lima beans are also known as baby butter beans.

They are often served steamed, boiled, or fried and seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices.

Baby lima beans can be used in place of green beans if you cannot find wax beans or split peas.

These beans are commonly found fresh or frozen but can also be found canned.

Baby lima beans have a sweet and nutty taste, similar to green beans.

They’re delicious and can be cooked in the same ways as traditional green beans.

Unfortunately, these beans may not be as easily available as wax or green beans, so you may need to search a little harder to find them.


Green beans are a very healthy and nutritious food, but they aren’t the only option for someone looking to enjoy beans.

Wax beans, lentils, frozen green beans, split peas, and baby lima beans are five great substitutes you should consider if you cannot find fresh green beans at your local grocery store.

Depending on your taste preferences, you may prefer one of these substitutes over green beans.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Green Beans

The 5 Best Substitutes for Green Beans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Wax Beans
  • Lentils
  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Split Peas
  • Baby Lima Beans


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