The 6 Best Substitutes For Broad Beans

What can I use instead of broad beans? Lima beans are the best substitute for broad beans offering a similar color, taste, and texture. However, cannellini, edamame, and chickpeas boast an earthy, nutty flavor, making them excellent broad bean alternatives. You can also use black beans or red kidney beans. 

Broad beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants. Famous in Mediterranean cuisine, broad beans are first podded from their velvety green jackets and then used raw or cooked to add an earthy, nutty, and slightly cheesy taste to dishes. Out of broad beans? Well, consider one of the following legume substitutes. 

The Best Broad Beans Substitutes

Lima Beans (Butter Beans)

Lima beans, or butter beans, are the closest substitute for broad beans, boasting a similar appearance and texture.

However, Lima beans have a milder, starchy flavor than broad beans’ earthy and nutty notes.

Depending on the recipe requirements, you can use fresh or dried lima beans to replace broad beans. Consider adding lima beans to fresh salads, stew, soup, chowder, or succotash.

Replace broad beans with equal amounts of lima beans in your recipe. In addition, the cooking time and methods are the same, making substitution a breeze.

Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans)

Cannellini beans are another excellent alternative if you can’t find broad beans. Cannellini beans are white beans with a soft, creamy texture and mild nutty flavor.

You can use cannellini beans instead of broad beans to make hearty stews, soups, chowder, and salads.

Replace broad beans with equal amounts of cannellini beans in your recipe. Cannellini beans are available in dried and canned varieties.

Dried cannellini beans require extra cooking and soaking to soften up.


Edamame beans are whole, immature soya beans. They boast a similar appearance to broad beans, even when unshelled.

In addition, they have a buttery and nutty flavor, making them an excellent alternative to broad beans.

Edamame is a delicious substitute in salads, dips, pastes, springtime vegetables, and other toppings. Alternatively, enjoy them as a fresh, healthy appetizer.

Edamame and broad beans require similar cooking times, making them a straightforward substitute.

You can use equal amounts of edamame when replacing broad beans.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Most of us have a can of chickpeas at the back of the pantry. Chickpeas have an earthy flavor and are a quick, healthy substitute for broad beans despite their different appearance.

Canned chickpeas are readily available at the store. You can add them to salads, curries, stews, pastes, and falafel.

When cooking dried chickpeas, use double the water and cooking time compared to broad beans. Chickpeas take approximately two hours to soften.

Replace broad beans with equal amounts of chickpeas in your recipe.

Black Beans

Black beans are mild and have a smooth, velvety texture similar to broad beans. They are easy to find and yummy in hot or cold dishes.

Black beans have a subtle flavor that works well in many dishes, including soups, stews, purees, salads, and other vegetarian dishes.

You can use equal amounts of black beans when replacing broad beans in recipes.

Red Kidney Beans

Red kidney beans have a different taste from broad beans. However, they are suitable as a dried broad bean substitute in many dishes if you don’t mind the meaty, slightly sweet flavor.

You won’t achieve the signature silky texture and bold flavor of broad beans when using red kidney beans. However, you can use red beans in soups, stews, and salads.

You can replace broad beans with equal amounts of red kidney beans. In addition, the cooking time and methods are the same, making substitution a breeze.