How to Cook Beans

RecipesFeb 11, 2013, 4:27 PM


Dried split peas and lentils do not require soaking. All other dried beans and whole peas are best soaked to significantly speed up cooking time.

1 c of dry beans makes 21Ž2 c cooked beans

To soak dried legumes, place beans in pan/crock and cover with three times as much water. Either:

1. Soak for 6 hrs or overnight in cold water, or

2. Boil for 2 mins, then soak for 1 hour

Throw away the soak water. Use new water for cooking.

If they cause gas, freezing or sprouting the beans before cooking them may help.

Slow Cooker:

Cover soaked beans with water and cook on low for 6 hrs, or on high for 4 hours. Be sure the water does not drop too low, add more as needed. Salt toughens skins so add salt ( 1Ž2 t for each cup of dry legumes) preferably near the end of cooking time, after beans have softened.

Pressure Cooking:

Almost cover soaked legumes with water, add seasonings. Bring to pressure then cook under pressure for 12 - 20 mins, depending on the size of the legume. CFor example, smaller whole lentils will take less timethan chickpeas/garbanzos. Salt after cooking.


Bring the soaked beans to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender. (Check your package ofbeans, as cooking times vary for different varieties. But also check the beans occasionally, because sometimes the beans will cook more quickly than the package says.)

Beans are cooked when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork. Always test a few beans in case they have not cooked evenly. When cooked, they can be frozen up to 6 months. Store cooked beans, covered, for up to four days in your refrigerator.