Preparing Dry Beans

  • 1 package dried beans (such as pinto, navy, black, or kidney)

Stove Top Method

  1. Spread dried beans on a baking sheet. Remove any small stones, dirt pieces, or withered beans. Rinse.
  2. Place rinsed beans in a large cooking pan. Cover with 3 cups of water per 1 cup of beans. Use 10 cups for a 1 lb bag. Do either a short soak or a long soak.
    Short Soak – Bring beans to a boil, boil for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat, and let stand covered for 1-4 hours. Rinse beans.
    Long Soak – Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight in an uncovered pot. Rinse beans.
  3. Cover beans with fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Cooking time varies with bean varieties and soaking times. Long soaks can shorten cooking times. Read package directions. In general:
    Cook 2 hours: black, great northern, kidney, navy, small white, and pinto beans
    Cook 3 hours: garbanzo (chickpeas) and red beans 

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Rinse beans and remove any rocks or dirt (occasionally found in bags of dried beans).
  2. Combine 1 pound dried beans (2 cups) with 8 cups water in slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours (or overnight) until beans are soft.
  • Save money! Cook a large pot of beans at one time and freeze in 1 1/2 cup portions, which is about 1 can (15-ounce) can. Thaw using the defrost cycle of microwave, in the refrigerator overnight, or by setting them in a pan of water for 1 hour.
  • Add beans to a vegetable or pasta salad to make it a proteinā€rich main dish.
  • Mash cooked beans, spread on a soft tortilla, heat, and eat! Include other ingredients such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa.
  • Learn more about how dried beans, peas, and lentils can help save you money!


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