Basic Bean Preparation

Basic Bean Preparation

Not sure how to soak and cook dry beans? Check this out!


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Serves: 6 person(s) Change

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 2 hrs
Extra Time: 8 hrs
to overnight (for soaking)

Yield: 6 x 1/2 cup servings

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  • 1 lb dry or dry-packaged unseasoned beans (or 2 cups)
  • 10 cup water



Before cooking, soak dry-packaged beans to help soften and return moisture to the beans and reduce cooking time. Most beans will rehydrate to triple their dry size, so be sure to start with a large enough pot.

* Preferred Hot Soak and Quick Soak Methods -- Hot soaking helps dissolve some of the gas-causing substances, making the beans easier to digest. For each pound beans, add 10 cups hot water; heat to boiling and let boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for at least one hour (Quick Soak), or up to 4 hours (Hot Soak).

* Traditional Overnight Soak -- For each pound (2 cups) dry-packaged beans, add 10 cups cold water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.


* Drain soaking water and rinse beans; cook in fresh water. In general, beans take 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook depending on variety. Check bean packaging for specific cooking times and instructions.

* Spice up beans while they cook. Seasonings such as garlic, onion, oregano, parsley or thyme can be added to the pot while beans are cooking. Add acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, vinegar, wine or citrus juices, only at end of cooking, when the beans are tender.

* Add salt only after beans are cooked to tender. If added before, salt may cause bean skins to become impermeable, halting the tenderizing process.

* To test for doneness, bite-taste a few beans. They should be tender, but not overcooked. When cooling, keep beans in cooking liquid to prevent them from drying out.


Seasonings and salt may be added while the beans are cooking.

Serving suggestions not included in nutritional analysis.



* One 15 ounce can of beans = 1-1/2 cups cooked beans, drained

* One pound dry beans = 6 cups cooked beans, drained

* One pound dry beans = 2 cups dry beans

* One cup dry beans = 3 cups cooked beans, drained

Thanks to American Dry Bean Board

Nutritional Info (per serving)

CALORIES 240 cals
Kilojoules 1,005 kJ
Fat 1.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Carbohydrates 45.0 g
Fiber 15.0 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Protein 15.0 g
Calcium 78.0 mg
Note: A dash indicates no data is available.