11 Best Green Beans Substitutes

Best Green Beans Substitutes
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Green beans are an excellent side to many dishes, and there are many cuisines where green beans are the star of the dish, not only a side in the supporting role. Although green beans are an everyday vegetable, you may not have them when you need them, and it is a seasonal product. If you don’t have it at home or enjoy frozen green beans, you need to think of a suitable substitute. So what are the best green beans substitutes?

Asparagus, broccoli, carrot sticks, green peas, lentil, chickpeas, cauliflower, green pepper sticks, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and spinach are some of the best green bean substitutes.

Green beans are very versatile, and you can have them in various combinations. The best thing about green beans is that you can easily substitute them with several equally delicious, nutritious, and versatile vegetables. In the following paragraphs, I will describe the best green bean substitutes and why they work. 

Best Substitutes for Green Beans 

When substituting green beans, you need to know precisely what you are substituting, the texture, the taste, or both. There are numerous great green bean substitutes, but you need to be well-acquainted with their texture and taste features so that you know which substitute works best in which situation. 

Below there are some of the best green bean substitutes and the situations in which they work best. 


Asparagus is an excellent substitute for green beans in both texture and taste. It is slightly bitter but primarily neutral and very receptive to the tastes surrounding it. You can pan-fry, simmer, steam, or bake it. 

It works great as a side dish, mixed with minced meat and mushrooms, or as part of a fresh salad. It has a very similar texture to green beans, shape and color. You can use it the same way as you intended to use green beans. 

Best Green Beans Substitutes


From salads to baked, fried, or steamed dishes, broccoli can provide you with green beans’ taste and charm. However, broccoli is stronger-flavored than green beans but is softer in texture. 

Nevertheless, if you are willing to compromise a little bit, it can deliver very similar results as green beans. Still, while green beans need slightly more cooking time, broccoli is done a little bit sooner, so have that in mind and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Carrot sticks

Carrot sticks are great green bean substitutes for pan-fried, baked, and steamed variants. You cannot simmer or boil them as they don’t hold consistency that way. One press with the fork, and they will turn into mush, while green beans hold their body well even when boiled. 

You cannot use carrot sticks instead of green beans for salads, either, as they are pretty thick and won’t do well. 

Carrots are also sweeter than green beans and need more cooking time. So, if you don’t mind a slightly sweeter dish you need to cook longer, feel free to use them steamed, baked, or fried. 

Green peas

Although they don’t share anything else other than the beautiful green color, green peas are an excellent substitute for green beans. They taste similar, and they do wonderful under any cooking method. 

You can boil, steam, simmer and bake green peas, and they will turn out great. In theory, you can fry them too, but that is not the conventional way you cook green peas. Nevertheless, they will taste great. 

Salads are not the best place to use green peas instead of green beans, but canned green peas will do nicely there too. Green peas taste very close to green beans, though they are a bit sweeter.  


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Lentil works fantastic as a green bean substitute, though it is a little more restrictive in terms of use. Lentil works best when simmered or boiled. You cannot steam it, nor can you bake it. So, if you plan on cooking your green beans by boiling or simmering them, lentil is the guy you should be looking for. 

It also works well for salads, though you must soak the lentil for at least three hours to make it palatable in a salad.

In terms of taste, the lentil has a typical earthy flavor that stays in the dish even when heavily seasoned. Nevertheless, it is very nutritious and versatile, so it doubles for green beans quite nicely. 

However, you will have to make a compromise regarding the texture, as lentil becomes slightly creamy when cooked, while green beans retain their delightful crunchiness. 


Chickpeas are an unconventional substitute for green beans, but they work. Salads are where chickpeas double for green beans. You can also cook chickpeas, but the dish will taste nothing like what you intended to make with green beans. 

Since you need to soak chickpeas to use in a salad, they will become similar to green beans in terms of texture. They will also get the recognizable green bean crunchiness, though they will be slightly crumbly. Moreover, chickpeas require a different seasoning, so I don’t recommend them as a green bean substitute for anything other than salad. 

You can use the same seasoning for a chickpea salad as you would for a green beans salad, as they taste neutral when soaked, so they are very receptive to seasonings. 


For everything other than salads, you can use cauliflower as green beans substitute. You can use it simmered, roasted, or steamed. Although you can boil it, I don’t recommend you do that if you intend on using cauliflower as a green bean substitute, as it softens way more than green beans. 

Fresh, it is somewhat ok to use as a green bean substitute in a salad, but it is too hardtop chew and is rarely used raw. The best way to use cauliflower in a salad is steamed.

In essence, cauliflower is neutral-tasting and takes in all the seasonings you add. The best thing is to use the same seasoning for cauliflower that you would use for green beans.

Best Green Beans Substitutes

Green Pepper Sticks 

Green pepper sticks are a great green beans substitute in salads. They taste great when baked or pan-fried, but you cannot substitute green beans with green pepper sticks, as they soften, and the point is simply lost.

Although they taste significantly different than green beans, green pepper sticks have the same fresh crunch as green beans, and you can use the same seasoning.


In salads, fresh salad works great as a green beans substitute. However cooked or steamed, although delicious, it doesn’t do well as it tastes completely different than green beans. Therefore, you shouldn’t steam, bake, or simmer it if you want to use cabbage as green beans substitute. 

If you want to use cabbage as a green bean substitute in cooked dishes, you should use sauerkraut, i.e., fermented cabbage. However, besides the crunch, sauerkraut and green beans have nothing in common. 

Still, they go with the same ingredients, so whatever you intend to combine your green beans with, you can use to cook sauerkraut. The seasoning for sauerkraut and green beans differs, so you cannot use the same one. 

Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are an excellent substitute for green beans. You can use them the same way you would use green beans. They work particularly well roasted, but they do pretty well simmered, pan-fried, or steamed. 

In a salad, they are crunchy and refreshing. Brussel sprouts taste similar to green beans but a little like cabbage since they belong to the same family. In addition, you can use the same seasoning for Brussels sprouts as that you would use for green beans.


Substituting green beans for spinach is an excellent idea for salads. However, it doesn’t work any other way. Spinach softens when cooked in any way, so it doesn’t substitute for green beans at all. 

Even though you can combine it with many of the ingredients you use for green beans, cooked spinach is not a good substitute for green beans. 

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