Cannelloni, Navy, Butter beans

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Beetroots and Cannelloni white beans

How to break down the difference you see in the term “white beans” and wondering if it’s referring to Navy beans, Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, or Baby Lima beans?
Well, that may be referring to any or all the above. And as there are so many varieties of beans, and several of each kind, no wonder it’s easy to be confused. Let’s find out what are differentiates one white bean from another. :

Navy (Pea) Beans (common baked bean in the can)
Some also called Navy beans, as pea beans, they are small, oval-shaped, and cooks fairly quickly. All of these beans once cooked become soft, tender, and get creamy when cooked. To make dips and sauce they’re perfect. You can mash in it the pot with a potato masher or blend with a hand-held blender. It gives a thick consistency after pureeing to thicken for soups, stews, and more. These beans have a mild flavor and are the bean of choice for classic baked beans, Navy Bean Chowder, and quintessential Style White Beans & Rice. The bean’s name comes from its use as a food staple by the Navy during the early 1900s. Navy beans have the most fiber, 10% to 190 grams approximately.

Great Northern Beans

Are larger than Navy Beans smaller than Cannelloni beans, medium-sized Great Northern beans are known for their mild, nutty flavor and firm flesh. Like all beans this is great in soups and stews, they hold their shape better they are cooked than Navy beans.
All bean easily takes on the flavors of the foods they’re cooked with. The French use it commonly cassoulets.

Cannellini Beans

This bean is an Italian variety called cannellini, a plural of cannellini kind of hard candy, the variety of white bean resembling the candy, probably from Cannella cinnamon, literally, small tube, from Medieval Latin canella, often used in Italian dishes like Minestrone. These are the largest of the group and because of their natural kidney shape, also can be referred to as White Kidney Beans. It is much fleshier compared to Navy or Great Northern beans, and they have a nutty, earthy flavor and tender flesh. They’re excellent to use in salads, soups, stews, and chili. After cooking the beans retains their shape and texture well for use in all sorts of salads.

Butter beans or lima beans

Also called Baby Lima beans are small, smooth, and creamy, has rich, buttery, and starchier than other beans. Frequently used in soups, stews, succotash, and casseroles, In vegetarian cooking, they’re often cooked with vegetables and served over rice or just cooked simply with herbs and spices.

You can easily substitute one type of bean Variety over another.

These beans, in reality, versatile, even though there are many varieties, the taste and flavor are only slightly different. Most cultures have their personal favorites, beans can be used in any recipe interchangeably.

So, for example, Portuguese and Brazilians love feijoada a popular beans recipe. let’s say your recipe calls for Cannellini beans, and you only have navy bean a very common called baked bean in cans on hand, your dish will still come out fine and taste delicious. Have fun be creative and see which you like best, most of all when cooking, have fun and enjoy.

All beans contain micronutrients, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals to build proteins. It’s important for vegetarians to regularly consume at least one variety of beans daily.

White Cannellini Beans

Serves: 3-4
Cooking Time: 10min cook time 2 hours


  • 2 cup dried Cannellini white bean or any kind
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 beetroot skinned and diced into small cubes
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil high quality or coconut oil
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream



Soak beans in water for few hours to make it easy for cooking.


Sauté sage, bay leaf, in two tablespoon oil in a heavy saucepan for few mins then add beans and water.


Cover and slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, about 1 hour.


Once the beans are cooked drain water and save the stock for soups or other use.


In another pot in oil sauté the rest of the spices and add salt, cubed beetroots.


Allow simmering, gently stirring occasionally, until beets are tender.


Pour all the beet cubes into the pot of white beans and mix them gently.


To serve, drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve the beans on crostini as an appetizer.

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