8+ Lima Bean Substitutes

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Lima beans are a popular, protein-rich legume that appears in a variety of cuisines. You may be familiar with them by other names, such as butter beans, sieva beans, or wax beans. In this post, we’ll look into lima bean replacements that may be used in any meal.

Lima beans were initially domesticated in what is now Peru and were widely consumed across the Andes. From Spain to North Carolina, the beans are now widely available. Because of their wide form and smooth texture, they are a common element in soups, stews, and other recipes where they may be flavored. Lima beans provide several health advantages. Since they are abundant in protein, fiber, and iron, these beans provide several health advantages.

Continue reading to learn about some of the greatest lima bean substitutes for any recipe or meal.

Substitutes for Lima Beans

1. Fava Beans

Since they have a similar texture and taste to lima beans, fava beans are a popular replacement. You may get them fresh or canned. Fava beans may be used in a variety of cuisines, from succotash to bean stews, due to its smooth texture and decadent flavor.

Fava beans, on the other hand, are somewhat more bitter than lima beans, so be prepared for a difference in flavor or alter your recipe appropriately. Fava beans are also more difficult to get than lima beans, so they may not be the greatest replacement if you’re having trouble finding supplies.

2. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are called from their kidney shape. They are available in both red and white. Because of their soft texture and mild taste, kidney beans are often used in a variety of bean recipes, including soups and stews.

Kidney beans may take a little longer to cook, thus they are best used as a substitute in meals that need lengthy, slow cooking periods, such as soups and stews.

They have a stronger, more beany taste than lima beans. This may be advantageous if you are concerned that your meal will be too mild; however, if you have a fussy eater in the family who does not like beans, kidney beans may be a problem.

3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a bean that is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Since they have a similar mild texture to lima beans, they are also referred to as garbanzo beans.

Chickpeas are a fantastic lima bean alternative if you’re preparing for finicky diners who dislike meals with strong bean tastes.

Chickpeas are also known as Garbanzo Beans.

Nevertheless, while making this change, bear in mind that chickpeas have a harder texture than lima beans, so this is not the option to use if you want a stew that melts in your mouth.

It’s also a good idea not to overcook the chickpeas, since they rapidly turn bitter.

4. Soy Beans

Soybeans may be substituted for lima beans if you like something a little less conventional. Soybeans are popular due to their high nutritional content.

They are high in protein, so if you are a vegetarian or vegan concerned about your protein intake, this is a wonderful substitute to prepare. Soybeans, like lima beans, have a faint taste.

Nevertheless, some individuals dislike the texture of soybeans, especially if they still have their skins on. Therefore either choose a kind that does not have skins or skim the skins before serving.

5. Cannellini Beans

There’s a reason why cannellini beans are so popular. Because of their soft texture and neutral taste, they make a wonderful basis for many meals. Cannellini beans have a mild, neutral taste that absorbs sauces and soups nicely, similar to lima beans.

Cannellini beans are a near-perfect replacement for lima beans. They complement a wide range of foods. Cannellini beans, like lima beans, are healthy and a good source of protein for vegetarians.

6. Navy Beans

Navy beans are tiny, oval-shaped white beans that are popular in the United States. Because of their mild, creamy texture, they are utilized in a variety of cuisines. If you’re preparing a dip, navy beans are a better item to utilize than lima beans since they mix more smoothly.

These superb replacements for butter beans have been a mainstay in American cooking since the mid-1800s. They became a frequent element in the US Navy owing to their low cost, extended shelf life, and nutritional benefits. As a consequence, navy beans became popular, although they are also known as Boston beans, Yankee beans, and pea beans.

Navy beans have a mild taste comparable to lima beans, so they work well as a substitute in soups and dips. But, be aware that navy beans will not retain their form as well as lima beans.

Navy beans are good for cooking due to their mild taste and smooth texture, but they break down rapidly. Soups may benefit from their thickening abilities, however they will lose their shape if used in salads.

8. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are the ideal alternative when you need one of the most widely accessible butter bean (lima bean) replacements.

Mexican and Peruvian farmers have farmed pinto beans for thousands of years, and they are now largely eaten in the United States. These beans are often used in dishes such as refried beans, burritos, and chili.

When dried, pinto beans, called after the Spanish word for “painted,” have a characteristic brown speckled appearance. When the beans simmer, the patterns fade and the color changes to a deep brown. Despite their powdered texture, they may be used in recipes that call for butter beans.


With this list, you won’t have to worry about running out of butter beans for your dish. Selecting lima bean (butter bean) alternatives is simple since many of them have the same smooth feel as their equivalent. If you want to get as close to the taste as possible, consider fava beans.

Additional information about Lima Beans:

  • What Beef Pairs Well With Lima Beans?
  • How Should Lima Beans Be Seasoned?


What’s a good substitute for lima bean?

The 5 Greatest Lima Bean Substitutes
1. Fava Beans.
Butter beans, number two.
Great Northern Beans (no. 3).
Edamame Beans (no. 4).
Red Kidney Beans (5th).
Jan 9, 2023

What beans are the same as lima beans?

Butter beans and lima beans are identical save for their names and occasionally their color. Their species is Phaseolus lunatus, and the distinction in their names is purely geographical. They’re known as butter beans in the American South and the United Kingdom.

Are lima beans same as cannellini beans?

The Phaseolus vulgaris plant produces navy beans, great northern beans, and cannellini beans, whereas the Phaseolus lunatus plant produces lima beans. White beans are a high-protein, gluten-free food that also contains a lot of complex carbs, potassium, and dietary fiber.

Are great northern beans same as Lima?

What are the primary distinctions between Lima and Great Northern beans? Great northern beans have more Folate, Copper, Fiber, Phosphorus, Vitamin B1, Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Vitamin B6 than Lima beans. Folate coverage for Great Northern beans is 100% greater.

What are the best beans to substitute?


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a terrific addition to salads but are best known for being combined into hummus. Chickpeas have a moderate taste that makes them an excellent alternative for black beans in a number of recipes, including tacos, soups, and bean salads.

What can I substitute for lima beans or butter beans?

If you don’t have lima beans, you may use Fava (horse) beans instead. Alternatively you may use red or white kidney beans.

Can I substitute lima beans for cannellini beans?

(5) Lima Beans

They may be used in lieu of white beans and are also known as butter beans due to their buttery taste.

Do butter beans taste like lima beans?

There is no distinction between lima beans and butter beans, however they are frequently offered at various stages of maturity.

What is the closest bean to butter beans?

“Lima beans are more than simply related to butter beans; they are the same thing,” according to thekitchn.com. According to Food52, “these cream-colored beans are called after the dairy product with a similarly creamy consistency: butter” in the Southern United States and the United Kingdom.

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