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How to Cook Dried Beans

With pantry supplies getting to be more and more critical these days, we’re sharing a simple tutorial on how to cook dried beans.

Close up image of cooked lima beans.

Preparing and Cooking Dried Beans

We’ve lately been finding the shelves for canned goods looking sparse.  At the same time the shelves holding dried beans, lentils and barley are still readily stocked. These are great alternatives and a much cheaper option to buying the canned version. 

Preparing dried beans is actually quite simple. Our favorite beans are romano, kidney and pinto beans. No matter the type of bean, the instructions for how to cook dried beans is the same. However, the cooking time will vary for each kind, so it is best to cook the different varieties separately even when planning to prepare a mixed bean recipe.

Two bags filled with dried romano beans and dried white lima beans on a wood surface.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot! There are so many delicious recipes using beans:

  • Romano bean salad;
  • White beans and barley soup;
  • Boston baked beans;

and we’ll be sharing a few of our favourites in the next couple of weeks. And if you pick up a bag of dried barley, give this white beans and barley soup recipe a try. 

How to Prepare Dried Beans

Remove the beans from the packaging and rinse the beans in a strainer. 

Rinsing dried white beans in a steel collander.

Then, place them in a large pot and cover with twice as much water. Make sure you have twice as much water because the beans will soak up some of the water.

Leave them to soak for at least three hours or ideally overnight. The longer they soak the faster they will cook. It’s not possible to over soak beans, so no need to worry about that!

How to Cook Dried Beans

Using the same pot, place it on the stove and cook on medium heat.

Add more water into the pot as a lot of the water would have been absorbed during the soaking process.

A pot on the stove filled with water-soak white beans. Additional water is being poured into the pot.

Cover the pot with a lid to help bring to boil quicker.

The size of the beans will determine how long they need to cook for:

  • Smaller beans, such as navy or black beans, will cook for 40 mins to an hour.
  • Medium sized beans, such as kidney beans, will cook for 60 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Large sized beans, such as lima, will cook the longest, approximately 1 hour and half to 2 hours.

These cooking times are a guide as it’ll depend on how long you’ve been soaking them.

As they’re cooking, check the softness of the beans. The beans will be ready when they are still whole shaped, firm yet tender. Avoid overcooking the beans as they will begin to lose their shape and appear mushy. 

If the beans still feel too hard, leave them to cook some more and check again. 

When ready, strain the beans.

Cooking Tip: save the starchy water (aka the bean broth) for making bean soup recipes.

Close up image of romano beans and barley soup.

How to Store the Cooked Dried Beans

Leave the beans to cool down and then place them in the fridge in a sealed container. Use them to make delicious bean salads, sidedishes or soups.

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Image of a bowl of cooked lima beans with text overlay saying how to cook and prepare dried beans.

How to Cook Dried Beans

Jane and Sonja
Save money by learning how to cook dried beans! A great way to control salt intake as well.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Soaking Time 3 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • Any beans navy or black beans, kidney beans, romano beans, pinto beans, lima beans

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the dried beans, remove the beans from the packaging and rinse the beans in a strainer.
  • Then, place them in a large pot and cover with twice as much water.
  • Leave them to soak for at least three hours or ideally overnight. The longer they soak the faster they will cook.
  • To cook the dried beans, use the same pot and place it on the stove and cook on medium heat.
  • Add more water into the pot as a lot of the water would have been absorbed during the soaking process.
  • Cover the pot with a lid to help bring to boil quicker.
  • The size of the beans will determine how long they need to cook for
  • As they're cooking, check the softness of the beans. The beans will be ready when they are still whole shaped, firm yet tender.
  • If ready, strain the beans.
  • To store the cooked dried beans, leave the beans to cool down and then place them in the fridge in a sealed container
Keyword beans
Tried this recipe?Tag @sustainmycookinghabit or #sustainmycookinghabit!
Recipe Rating




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Simple & Tasty Romano Bean Salad Recipe - Sustain My Cooking Habit

Thursday 2nd of April 2020

[…] you’re using a package of dried beans, then refer to our post for how to cook dried beans before starting. Alternatively, you can use canned beans for this recipe but just remember to drain […]

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