Let’s face it: with food shortages, bare shelves at the grocery store, and the rising cost of some ingredients, it’s becoming more difficult to keep a fully stocked fridge and pantry. Even without these complications, sometimes you run out of a crucial ingredient just when you need it, or you find that your infrequently used ingredients expired while they sat at the back of the pantry. 

In these moments, it’s beneficial to know when, where, and how to swap in other ingredients that will make the recipe just as delicious as the original—or in some cases, even more delicious! Creative recipe substitutions can also help you save calories, add fiber and protein, and improve the overall nutrition of your meals and baked goods. 

With Randall Great Northern Beans and Randall Pinto Beans, you have a healthy, convenient, inexpensive, and reliable way to substitute a surprising number of ingredients. Below are some of our favorite ways to substitute beans for items such as butter and oil, bread, eggs, and even pie fillings. 

Ready to innovate? 

Let’s go!

Pancakes, Cakes, Brownies, Cookies, and Muffins

In baked goods such as these, you can use beans instead of butter or oil. Just pop open a jar or two of Randall Great Northern Beans, blend them to a creamy puree, and use them as a 1:1 substitute in your usual recipe. If your recipe calls for a cup of butter, simply swap in one cup of pureed Randall Great Northern Beans; no math is required!

Using beans instead of traditional fats reduces the caloric value and adds extra fiber and protein to baked goods that typically offer less-than-optimal nutritional value. High-quality beans such as Randall Great Northern Beans are also much less expensive than high-quality grass-fed butter or natural, unprocessed oils, so you’ll be fueling your body with healthy ingredients for less money. 

Frosting (Even Buttercream Frosting!)

Randall Great Northern Beans are also a surprisingly fabulous substitute for the butter and oil you’d normally use in frosting. The method is the same as with your baked goods; simply puree a jar of Randall Great Northern Beans, and you’re ready to use them as a 1:1 substitute in your frosting recipe. 

Many different types of frosting recipes work well with Randall Great Northern Beans. That means you can tailor your frosting flavor and texture to your taste. 

The end result is delicious and healthier than loading your cupcakes and cookies with butter or oil-based frosting. 

For bonus points, you can serve a bean-based cupcake with bean-based frosting to someone else and see what happens. If they even notice the difference, chances are they’ll ask you for your secret ingredient. 

Flourless, Eggless Brownies

Butter and oil aren’t the only dessert ingredients for which you can substitute beans. Randall Pinto Beans can take the place of both flour and eggs in many baked goods, which is great for times when you’ve run out of eggs or when you want a gluten-free brownie. 

You can use Randall Pinto Beans in many sweet treats, but we love this brownie recipe because of its simplicity and ease. All you’ll need to do to prep the beans is to drain them and place them in a food processor. 

The resulting brownies are so fudgy and delicious, you may never make them the “usual” way again. 


Carb-heavy and bread-based dishes that are replete in traditional Thanksgiving meals leave few options for people on low-carb or gluten-free diets. If you’re watching your carbs or you’re avoiding gluten, you’ve probably skipped traditional Thanksgiving—or you ate some and tried to ignore the gnawing sense of guilt or the intense discomfort that came along with it. 

Now, you can have your stuffing and eat it, too, by using Randall Great Northern Beans instead of bread. This stuffing retains all the lovely fall flavors and textures you love while eliminating gluten and lowering the glycemic load of your meal. 

A Replacement For Traditional Mayo 

Egg salad and potato salad are very popular, but they usually have one drawback: copious amounts of mayonnaise. Not only is real mayo a caloric deal-breaker for many people on diets, but it also tends to spoil quickly in warm temperatures. There’s a good reason egg salad and potato salad sit untouched after a while during picnics and backyard barbeques; no one wants to risk food poisoning. 

Additionally, vegans can’t eat traditional mayo because it contains eggs, and the common vegan replacements, which are usually soy-based, don’t taste like mayo. 

Let Randall Great Northern Beans come to the rescue! One mashed jar (or two to three, if you’re making a huge batch of salad) of our beans can easily take the place of an equal amount of mayo in your recipe. Spice according to your taste; this recipe recommends using garlic, Dijon mustard, capers, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon, and an assortment of herbs, but you can add even more or keep it simple if you prefer. 

Use this bean-based mayo replacement in more than egg salad and potato salad; make sandwiches with it or use it as the base of savory sauces. 

Thickeners And Emulsifiers

If you’ve noticed a pattern with the ideas listed here so far, it’s that beans tend to impart rich, creamy textures to anything they’re added to. That also means both Randall Great Northern Beans and Randall Pinto Beans are great thickeners and emulsifiers.

To thicken soups and sauces without flour or cornstarch, simply puree beans in a blender and add them to your soups and sauces, or use an immersion blender to puree them in soups and sauces. Save the water that comes in every jar of Randall Beans and use it to create thrifty emulsions for future recipes. 

Healthy And Vegan-Friendly Béchamel (White Sauce)

When most people think of a white sauce, they imagine thick, calorie-dense alfredo sauce made from flour and rich butter, cheese, and cream. However, you can create a much lighter, dairy-free white sauce that pairs equally well with pasta and other dishes that use a traditional béchamel sauce. 

To get started, use Randall Great Northern Beans in any of these recipes:

Vegan White Pasta Sauce

Mac And Cheese


Greek Lasagna

Eggplant Moussaka

Alfredo Alternative

Ice Cream

Remember the liquid you saved from your Randall Great Northern Beans or Randall Pinto Beans? Use it in this ice cream recipe that uses the aquafaba included in every jar of Randall Great Northern Beans and Randall Pinto Beans. 

Experiment with ice cream recipes and flavors that use pureed whole beans as well. Vanilla bean and maple walnut vanilla ice creams are accessible and tasty places to begin. In fact, you could make one of these recipes using the beans, and make another flavor with the aquafaba left behind. Your customization options are endless. 


What do you do when you’re craving a rich, chocolatey donut but you’re trying to avoid refined flour and sugar? You could opt for one of those mediocre, store-bought “healthy” replacements that are little more than processed oils, unnatural flavors, and flours with extra fiber added in. Or you could bake some decadent and much healthier chocolate donuts with ingredients you probably already have at home. 

Replace flour and sugar with items such as Randall Great Northern Beans, oats, coconut oil or high-quality butter, and the natural sweetener of your choice (this recipe uses stevia, but the healthiest options are honey or pure maple syrup) to control the type of ingredients in your desserts. 


Let’s imagine you’ve got a hot, savory dish with Randall Pinto Beans simmering on the stove, and you’re searching around for the perfect cornbread recipe to complement the main course. 

You could bake traditional cornbread from scratch, or you could use another jar or two of Randall Pinto Beans to create this protein-packed and fiber-rich cornbread instead. 

Pie Filling

When you think of pies made from pinto beans, your mind probably immediately goes to savory dishes served with meat and vegetables. While those are hearty and tasty, those aren’t the most interesting pies you can make with pinto beans. 

If you don’t believe us, use Randall Pinto Beans to make this recipe for a sweet, dessert pie that will scratch the itch for pumpkin pie, or experiment with adding cocoa instead of pumpkin pie spices for a chocolatey twist.