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Borlotti beans are full of creamy, savory flavor! Toss them in a pan with herbs and lemon for a flavor-packed side dish or protein.

Borlotti Beans

Here’s a unique variety of bean that we think should be a household name. Borlotti beans! Why did this mighty bean capture our attention? We found it in jars in our local grocery, and Alex whipped up this 5 minute bean dip with a jar. Wow, we both shouted upon first bite! These beans are tender and almost meaty, with just the right creamy interior. They’re a little like a pinto bean…but better. Here’s a little more about this tasty legume and an easy borlotti beans recipe!

What are borlotti beans?

Did you come across this unique type of beans at the store? Here’s what to know about this legume:

  • Borlotti beans are a type of bean related to kidney and pinto beans. They’re common in Italy and Mexico, and also referred to as cranberry beans or cacahuate beans (in Mexico). Dried they’re a beautiful dappled white and pink color. When cooked they look the same color as pinto beans, a sort of pinkish brown.
  • Where can you find borlotti beans? We found 13-ounce jars of borlotti beans in our local grocery. You can also find them canned or dried.
  • What’s a substitute for borlotti beans? Pinto beans! They’re very similar…but we find that borlotti taste a little better.
  • How do you say borlotti beans? Say bor-lah-tee beans.
Borlotti beans

How to make borlotti beans…in 10 minutes!

Here’s a quick recipe for turning a jar or can of beans into a borlotti bean just 10 minutes! This results in beans that are tender, savory and herby, squeezed with a hint of bright lemon right before serving. They make an amazing side dish, or a plant-based protein for a bowl meal. Here’s all you need to do (or scroll down to the recipe below):

  • Mince garlic and chop fresh herbs. You can use any herbs you have on hand (see below).
  • Saute the garlic in butter and olive oil 30 seconds. Get it nice and fragrant! Using a combo of butter and olive oil has great flavor, but you can use all olive oil if you prefer.
  • Add canned beans and cook 5 minutes. Make sure the heat is at medium.
  • Add herbs, salt and pepper and cook another minute. Cook until warmed through, then remove from the heat and spritz with lemon.
Borlotti beans recipe

Ways to use this borlotti beans recipe

There are so many ways to serve this quick and simple borlotti beans recipe! Here are a few ways we’d serve it:

Or, try borlotti bean dip!

Want another idea for how to use borlotti beans? Try this 5 Minute Bean Dip! This is the recipe that started our interest in this variety of bean. Make up a batch and we promise: you’ll fall in love! It helps that there’s a ton of these in this one…but it really does make the best queso.

Borlotti bean dip
Try this tasty Borlotti Bean Dip

More easy beans recipes!

It might sound silly, but taking a can of beans and turning it into a delicious meal in 5 minutes is an important life skill! We’ve been writing down all our methods for making canned beans taste amazing. We use these recipes on the regular to make quick and easy weeknight meals. Here are some of our favorite fast bean recipes:

This borlotti beans recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Borlotti Beans

Borlotti Beans

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Borlotti beans are full of creamy, savory flavor! Toss them in a pan with herbs and lemon for a flavor-packed side dish or protein.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (we used chives and oregano)
  • 3 cups canned borlotti beans (2 15-ounce cans or 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or more olive oil for vegan)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Mince the garlic. Chop the herbs. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Add the beans and cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes until warmed. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and cook 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Spritz with lemon wedges and serve. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Borlotti beans

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Borlotti Beans are NOT Remotely like Pinto Beans!! #1….Pinto beans Don’t taste like Any kind of meat and Never will! BORLOTTI BEANS DO, I REPEAT, DO TASTE LIKE MEAT!! Like both pork and beef combined. They are Delicious……!!😃😁 you are bedbug Crazy when you claim they’re similar to Pinto beans. Goodbye.

      1. HAHAH – Thank you so much, Alex. I made this same recipe using pinto beans, and it was wonderful.

        That said, now I cannot wait to make it with the Borlotti beans. :)