You’ve found an awesome bean salad recipe or clipped a killer recipe for baked beans. But when you scan down the list of ingredients, it just calls for “white beans.” What does that mean? What kind of beans should you be using?

The three most common types of white beans available in America are great northern white beans, cannellini beans and navy beans. To the untrained eye, they look pretty darn similar. Cannellinis are the largest of the bunch, while navy beans are the smallest. Cannellinis hold their shape well, while navy beans tend to lose their form when cooked. And somewhere in the middle you find great northern beans, which is why they’re the go-to bean for most pantries.

They’re a medium size, which means they still heat through quickly, but aren’t so small you need to use a spoon to eat them. They keep their shape, but cook them long enough and they become soft, silky and perfect for purees. Their flavor is nutty, but not overpowering. They can be a starring attraction in a salad or a backup singer in soup with equal ease, depending on what you pair with them.

Great northern beans are versatile, and when you use Randall Beans’ pre-cooked great northern beans, you’ll always be just minutes away from a great dinner. Throw some great northern beans into a pot with a little ham for a stellar and classic soup, or dress them up with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts for a classy, delicious bean salad.

Don’t let the phrase “white beans” confuse you. There’s really only one kind of white bean you need to keep on your shelf. Find where you can purchase Randall Great Northern Beans near you, or order online