6+ Substitutes For Borlotti Beans

Borlotti beans, also known as Frijol Cachuate beans, taste great in Mexican recipes. You’ll also find people calling them cranberry beans.

Borlotti beans are leguminous beans characterized by an oblong shape. They are beige or white in color with pink, purple, or red speckles.

These nutritious beans are mild and sweet. They give food a creamy texture and are excellent in chilis, salads, stews, dips, and sides such as vegetable and meat dishes. Borlotti beans also taste great in pasta.

While they make delicious dishes, Borlotti beans are not always available in grocery stores. That’s where Borlotti beans substitutes come in handy. Whenever you can’t find these beans at home, here are a few substitutes you can try.

1. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are available in almost all grocery stores. They are commonly used as Borlotti bean substitutes because of their nutty, earthy flavor and creamy texture.

They are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants. An example is Kaempferol, a flavonoid in Pinto beans that reduces inflammation. 

When cooking Pinto beans, soak them for several hours to shorten the cooking time and boil them. You can use Pinto beans to make bean burger patties with garlic, mushrooms, and onions. They also taste amazing in chili with beef or ground turkey.

2. Fava Beans

Fava beans are nutty-flavored beans with a creamy texture that make excellent Borlotti bean substitutes. These legumes, also called broad beans, can be eaten raw or cooked.

This is a bean that grows in green pods. When cooking Fava beans, blanch them in hot water for 30 seconds and dunk them in a bowl of ice. You can then peel the cooked Fava beans and use them in salads.

Dried Fava beans need soaking for at least an hour before cooking. Fava beans taste great in bean dips, casseroles, and salads.

3. Butter Beans

Butter beans are also called sieva beans or lima beans. They are creamy beans you can use to replace Borlotti beans in bean dishes.

These buttery beans give soups and stews a mild buttery flavor. You can also eat them on their own with a butter dressing, salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice or as a dip.

Dried butter beans need soaking for at least an hour before cooking. They are delicious in casseroles and salads. They soak in the flavor of sauces and give food a great texture.

However, avoid eating butter beans raw because they contain Linamarin, a substance broken down into cyanide when the beans are chewed.

4. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are red speckled beans with a thin skin and mild flavor native to Central America. They are similar to Borlotti beans and come in colors such as cream, white, red, purple, and black.

These hearty beans contain a protein called Phaseolin, which can trigger allergic reactions. However, they contain resistant starch and insoluble fibers called alpha-galactosides that act as prebiotics. Use them as a source of fiber or a vegetable protein source.

Remember to soak kidney beans overnight before cooking them, and make sure you boil them thoroughly. You can use kidney beans in soups or baked bean dishes. 

5. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are large white beans often used as Borlotti beans substitutes in chilis, soups, stews, and dips. They work well in spicy dishes when cooked with pancetta and veggies. They give food a fluffy texture and nutty flavor.

You can use Cannellini beans in stews with tomatoes and herbs such as sage or rosemary. Serve your stew with garlic bread, and you have a fantastic rustic dish.

When cooking Cannellini beans, soak them for a minimum of five hours. You could also opt to use Cannellini canned beans, readily available in stores.

6. Navy Beans

Navy beans are small white beans, also called Haricot beans, often used in vegetarian dishes. They make excellent substitutes for Borlotti beans and are often used to make baked beans.

The size of Navy beans makes them an ideal replacement for Borlotti beans in soup recipes. They have a soft texture and mild flavor, similar to Borlotti beans. These beans are also high in fiber and minerals such as folate and iron.

When cooking Navy beans, soak them overnight and boil them for at least 2 hours. You can also use canned beans. Navy beans make an excellent addition to hearty bean soups such as Senate soup. 


As you can see, there are Borlotti bean substitutes for every recipe. If the color doesn’t matter, Navy beans are an ideal option. But if you want beans closer in color to Borlotti beans, use kidney beans. Canned Borlotti beans substitutes will speed up the process and deliver a delightful meal your family will love.