How to Cook Dried Beans

By using proper soaking techniques and an array of flavourings, you’ll find many great ways to include this versatile protein in your meals.

Dried Beans 101

Beans are not only delicious; they are rich in minerals, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Buying dried beans and cooking them yourself gives you more control over sodium level and flavour. You will also find that dried beans are less expensive than the canned variety.

Task Overview

Estimated time: 40 – 60 minutes
Estimated cost: $1-5
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1

Tools & Materials:

How to Cook Dried Beans:

  1. Sort suitable beans
    Spread the beans out on a countertop or flat surface. Sort out and discard beans that are shriveled or discoloured. Also remove any stems, debris, dirt and rocks that may have made their way into the package.
  2. Rinse beans thoroughly
    Place the good beans that you have sorted in a colander. Rinse under running cold water for 30 seconds or so, ensuring that you thoroughly stir and mix the beans to clean them properly.
  3. Select your bowl
    Choose a bowl big enough to accommodate the expansion of the beans, as the beans will double or even triple in size as they soak.
  4. The slow soak method
    The Slow Soak method will best ensure that your beans will be fully ready for cooking. Place the beans in your bowl (1 cup of beans for every 3 cups of water) and soak overnight in the refrigerator. The beans will be ready to use in the morning or later in the day. Be sure to remove any floating beans — this indicates they are bad.
  5. The “quick soak” method
    Use the Quick Soak method when you are short on time. Place the beans in a pot or saucepan (1 cup of beans for every 3 cups of water) and bring to a rolling boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Rest the beans for an hour or so until they have at least doubled in size.
  6. Prepare beans for cooking
    Rinse your soaked beans thoroughly in a colander. Place the beans in a pot or saucepan and cover them with at least one inch of water. Add a tablespoon of oil to reduce foaming while cooking. Don’t add any salt, but add other flavour enhancers such as bacon, herb bundles, cilantro, thyme, bay leaf or rosemary.
  7. Cook beans on low
    Heat your beans at a low simmer for 30 to 120 minutes. Approximate cooking times for different beans can be found in the chart below. Stir occasionally, every 10 minutes or so. Ensure the beans are always covered in water: add extra if necessary.
  8. Test beans for doneness
    Remove a bean from the pot and press with a fork or pinch between your fingers. The bean should be tender, not mushy. If the beans are still crunchy or hard, continue to simmer and retest every 10 minutes. When done, serve the beans immediately or set them aside for use in another recipe.

Dried Bean Tips:

• Soaking beans reduces their ability to create gas in your digestive system
• Soak beans overnight to ensure they will cook fully
• Quick soaked beans are more likely to come out of their shells and break during the cooking process
• You can store dried beans in zip-lock bags or air-tight containers in a dry, dark place for up to two years.
• You can store larger quantities of beans using an oxygen absorber that uses iron oxide to keep your beans fresher longer
• Many canned beans contain high levels of salt, whereas cooking them at home lets you control the salt content
• Lentils, black eyed peas and split peas do not need to be soaked prior to cooking
• Once cooked, you can freeze beans for later use. Choose storage containers that prevent freezer burn.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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