Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to Cook Dried Beans - Black, Red, Pinto, Kidney - - you name it!

Beans are an extremely healthy food. They are full of fiber and protein, as well as antioxidants. While canned beans are easy to use, making your own beans is much cheaper (usually around 1/4 the price) and especially good if you are trying to reduce the sodium in your diet since canned beans tend to have a lot of salt.

The following recipe can be used for any type of bean and cooking times will vary on the type of bean, as well as its age. If you plan to use these beans for one particular purpose, feel free to add more seasoning to the pot. This is a basic recipe that limits the seasoning so that it is versatile and the cooked beans can then be used in a wide variety of other recipes.

How to Cook Dried Beans

Pick over 1 lb. of dried beans to remove pebbbles and broken beans.

Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 3" of cold water and leave to soak overnight.

When ready to cook, warm 3 TBSP olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add 1 small chopped onion (about 1 cup) and cook while stirring until onion starts to soften. Add 2-3 finely chopped garlic gloves and cook another 30 seconds.

Drain beans and add to pan. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 1 inch. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Then lower heat to barely a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender - 30 minutes to 3 hours. If liquid drops below the beans at any point while cooking, add an additional 1 cup of water. Shortly before finished, add 1-2 tsp salt.

When finished, do not drain the beans. It is best to store them in the liquid in the fridge. Recipe makes approximately 6 cups of cooked beans.

You can then serve these beans "as-is", use them in other bean recipes or make refried beans. I use them for refried black beans - which are delicious. I will try to post that recipe next week. If, in the meantime, you just can't wait - - send me an e-mail and I'll send you the recipe.

Find other great Works for Me Wednesday posts here.


  1. I cook dried beans all the time. I think they are so much better and cheaper than the store bought canned one.

  2. I cook a batch in my crock pot and then freeze it in approximately one cup portions for later use. Really need to make up some batches since I think my freezer is just about empty of them currently.

  3. That's a great idea. I have a batch soaking right now...I will be sure to freeze some of them.


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