In a recipe I am trying to make this weekend, I saw the following:

"2 cups dried Great Northern Beans, soaked, cooked and drained"

Where can I find these? I could not find them at my local grocery store. Are there any substitutions that would work well?

  • Not sure where your located but I find mine at Wegman's and the canned version I've seen many times at Safeway and Harris Teeter.
    – Brendan
    Feb 5, 2013 at 21:50

4 Answers 4


They are a small, white, mildly flavored bean. You can use cannellini or navy beans instead.

  • Cannellini beans are also known as white kidney beans.
    – hobodave
    Dec 16, 2010 at 17:20
  • Thanks a lot. I did see kidney beans at the store. I'll pick some up. Dec 16, 2010 at 18:05
  • Just to be clear: NOT the red kidney beans. Depending on what you are doing with them, it could be fine, but will be quite a bit different than Great Northern. But as @hobodave says, white kidney is indeed the same as GNB. Dec 16, 2010 at 21:20

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Like the other respondants said, other white beans of a similar size/shape would make fine substitutions. The GNBs have a very mild flavor. I would even say other off-color beans would be fine, like canellini or kidney beans if your don't mind the color mix.


I thought Great Northern beans and Navy beans were the same. Look in ethnic markets, they have a great range of dry beans and different types of rices, also a good place to look for large quantities of spices if you make your own spice mixtures.


Additionally a lot of farmers markets will carry dried beans/lentils/rice. The one I frequent has a large variety for a low cost. Worth a shot.

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