Looking for a suitable replacement for the delicate flavour of flageolet beans? You’ve come to the right place.
This article provides an overview of what flageolet beans are, and five alternatives that can be used in any recipe.
Find out which substitute works best for you.
What is Flageolet Bean?
Flageolet beans are sometimes overlooked in comparison to more popular beans such as kidney and black beans.
But this type of bean has much to offer in terms of creation and taste.
Flageolets are pale green, mild-flavored legumes that have an earthy and nutty flavor.
They have a soft texture that makes them ideal for blending into purees or for adding to soups and salads for extra crunch.
Though usually served in their most traditional format – cooked with vegetables like carrots and celery – they can also be used to create some delicious desserts as well.
When cooked, they become pleasantly soft but maintain their shape, making them a great choice for side dishes or filling pies.
When choosing flageolet beans, look for ones that are firm to the touch — they should be well balanced on the scale between dry and soft.
Once you find the perfect flageolets, here are some tips for using them:
- Rinse them thoroughly before cooking to get rid of any dirt or debris.
- Soak them for two hours before cooking — parts of the soaking water will become part of the broth that is formed during cooking and can add flavor to your dish.
- Cook for two hours on low heat so they don’t become mealy or mushy. You may need to add more water during cooking as some evaporates.
- Flageolet beans can also be cooked in a Crock Pot or slow cooker over low heat; however, they cook much faster than the traditional method, so keep an eye on them while they cook.
- Finally, season with salt and pepper after cooking — this will help enhance the flavor of your dishes even more.
5 Best Flageolet Beans Substitutes to Consider
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate the earthy sweetness of this bean into your cooking and don’t have any handy, here are five of the best Flageolet bean substitutes worth considering.
1 – Navy Beans
Navy beans are one of the most popular substitutions for flageolet beans due to their creamy texture and mild flavor.
The navy bean, which is also known as the “great northern bean,” is most often used in soups, salads, casseroles and side dishes.
Because navy beans are smaller than flageolet beans, they will require a longer cooking time.
If you plan on using navy beans as a substitution for flageolet beans, keep in mind that they may need to be cooked more than once to reach the desired texture and flavor.
Furthermore, it is important to note that because these two types of beans have different characteristics (size and flavor), the measurement conversion from one type of bean to another may be slightly altered when using them interchangeably.
2 – Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and are often used to make hearty bean stews.
They have a mild, nutty flavor and creamy texture that make them similar to flageolet beans.
Cannellini beans are larger than flageolets and can be easier to find in the grocery store since they are more widely used.
The main disadvantage is that they take longer to cook than flageolet beans – up to 45 minutes in some cases – so it is important to plan ahead when substituting with cannellini beans.
3 – Cranberry Beans
Cranberry beans, sometimes called borlotti beans, are similar to flageolet beans in many ways.
They feature a creamy texture, nutty flavor and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
A popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisines, cranberry beans also offer a slightly sweet flavor with earthy undertones.
Cranberry beans may be used as a substitute for flageolet beans but must be cooked for approximately 30 minutes before consumption to ensure they are fully cooked and tenderized.
4 – Green Lentils
Green lentils are a relatively good substitute for flageolet beans.
They share many of the same characteristics – the taste, texture, and appearance are all very similar.
Though not all green lentils have the same level of sweetness, they usually carry a subtle hint of sweetness even when cooked.
Depending on how you prepare them, they can have an earthy flavor.
Green lentils are widely available and easy to find in health foods stores or online.
When using green lentils as a substitute for flageolet beans, stick to recipes that call for long cooking times as green lentils require about 40 minutes or so before reaching their tender point.
If you’re looking for a fast-cooking option that still boasts some sweetness, consider trying red split and beluga lentils instead.
5 – Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans are a delicious and versatile bean, with a mild flavor that works well in both Latin American and Mediterranean cuisine.
Their strong color and firm texture make them perfect for chili, soup recipes and side dishes.
Red kidney beans are high in dietary fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and other vitamins.
As an added benefit, they are low-glycemic index so they can be enjoyed by people managing their blood sugar levels.
When substituting red kidney beans for flageolet beans in a recipe, soak them overnight or quick soak them before cooking — this helps to reduce phytic acid which can otherwise cause digestive issues.
The flageolet bean is a tender and creamy variety of white bean that is known for its delicate, slightly sweet flavor.
It’s prized in France, where it’s served in many restaurants as part of a traditional dinner.
While it may be hard to find outside of the country, there are several good substitutes to choose from if you need something that resembles the taste and texture of flageolet beans.
When looking for a substitute for flageolet beans, remember that each one varies in flavor and texture so you may want to experiment with different types before settling on one that tastes best to you.
If you can find fresh or dried flageolets they will have the most authentic flavor but when not available don’t hesitate to use one of these excellent substitutes.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!