Navy, Great Northern and cannellini beans are often confused for each other — but luckily, no matter which bean you choose, you’ll wind up with a tasty dish! These white bean varieties can be interchanged in recipes. Here’s a quick guide.
- Great Northern beans are twice the size of navy beans and have a mild flavor and powdery texture.
- Navy beans received their current name because they were a staple food of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. These mild, dense, smooth beans are popular in the United Kingdom and the United States and are used in baked bean recipes.
- The cannellini bean is also known by the names white kidney and fazolia and is often mistaken for the Great Northern. This smooth-textured bean cooks down to a creamy consistency and nutty flavor. It’s a favorite in central and southern Italy, particularly in Tuscany. This bean is great in pasta dishes and soups.
Our recipe library has a great variety of white bean recipes for you to try. Here are just a few!