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Cook dried beans from scratch and stop worrying about the extra sodium, safety of the chemicals lining the cans, and the metallic taste of canned beans. Cooking dried beans and freezing them will make it easy to add more beans to your everyday meals. 

3 Ways to Cook Dried Beans from Scratch

Add more beans to your diet. Here are three ways to cook dried beans from scratch, including stove top, slow cooker, and pressure cooker.

Course Pantry Ingredients
Cuisine American
Keyword dried beans
Prep Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 22 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 180 kcal
Author Cook a Good Life

Ingredients

Instructions

Presoak the Beans (for all cooking methods):

  1. Sort through the dry beans and pick out stones and damaged beans. Rinse the beans well and place them in a large pot.

  2. Add enough cold water to cover the dried beans about 2-inches, about 6 cups. Cover and soak the beans at least 12-hours or overnight.

  3. After the beans have finished soaking, drain and rinse well.

Cooking Dried Beans on the Stove:

  1. Add the soaked beans to a large pot. Fill with fresh water to cover the beans 2-inches, about 6 cups.

  2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Stir the beans occasionally to prevent sticking. 

  3. Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking to see if they are tender. Continue cooking until beans are done. Stir occasionally and test every 15 minutes. 

  4. Add additional water if needed to keep the beans immersed. Depending on the size, variety, and age, dried beans can take 1-3 hours to cook.

Cooking Dried Beans in a Slow Cooker

  1. Add the soaked beans to a large pot. Fill with fresh water to cover the beans 2-inches, about 6 cups. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, precook for 10 minutes, and drain.

  2. Add the precooked beans to the slow cooker crock. Fill with fresh water to cover the beans 2-inches, about 6 cups. 

  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

  4. After 8 hours, begin checking to see if the beans are tender. Continue cooking until beans are soft. Stir occasionally and test every 15 minutes until done. 

  5. Depending on the size, variety, and age, dried beans can take 8-12 hours to cook in a slow cooker.

Cooking Dried Beans in an Instant Pot

  1. Add the soaked beans and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pressure cooker. Fill with fresh water to cover the beans 2-inches, about 6-8 cups (do not fill the pressure cooker more than half full).

  2. Secure the lid and turn the regulator valve to "sealing" position.

  3. Cook the dried beans. Instant Pot recommends the following average cooking times for pre-soaked dried beans: 8 minutes for black beans, cannellini beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and scarlet runner beans. 13 minutes for chickpeas and lima beans. Check your users manual for instructions for cooking dried beans in your pressure cooker. The timing may be different using other brands.

  4. Let the pressure release naturally.

  5. If beans are not done, place the lid back on the pressure cooker, turn the regulator valve to "sealing" position, and cook at high pressure for another 5-10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Recipe Notes

To Store Cooked Beans: Turn off the heat and let the beans cool. Divide the beans and cooking liquid into storage containers. About 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans plus 1/2 cup of cooking liquid is equivalent to one can of beans. Label your containers and store in the fridge for about a week, or freeze for up to a year. Thaw the beans before adding to recipes.

Nutrition Facts
3 Ways to Cook Dried Beans from Scratch
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Potassium 640mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 1g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 8%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.