How to Cook Beans


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A beautiful blend of dry beans is the perfect meal right from your pantry!

Cooking dry beans is much easier than you think and a delicious way to get a meal on the table! I’ve included a few of my favorite tips below!

Dried beans in a colander

I am excited to partner with Hurst’s HamBeens® to share our favorite tips and make your pantry meals both easy and successful!

A Pantry Staple

I know that many of you love Hurst’s HamBeens as much as my family does! I have several bags of these beans in my pantry because they make for delicious and nutritious meals that everyone LOVES (like our favorite Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup)!

We’ve partnered with Hurst’s HamBeens® on some great recipes in the past (from Instant Pot Bean Soup to 15 Bean Chili and of course Cajun Turkey Bean Soup).

A package of beans

These beans come with a variety of colorful beans and a yummy seasoning packet. You can find them on most grocery shelves across the U.S.

Due to the high demand for pantry items right now, Hurst reached out because they know that their products (and most dry beans) have been sold out a lot at stores.

They have ensured us that their staff and family are working hard to get the product back on the shelves as quickly as possible and are happy to help provide a comforting meal in these difficult times!

Cooking With Dry Beans is Easy

Dried beans are a pantry staple, meaning if you’ve got dried beans in your cupboard, you’ve got a healthy meal at your fingertips!

I can assure you that cooking with dried beans is nutritious, delicious and best of all, it’s EASY!

Simply soak the beans if desired, simmer and enjoy!

Close up of dried beans in a colander.

Tips for Cooking Dry Beans

  • Rinse beans well and check for any debris.
  • Do not add acidic ingredients until after the beans have softened (such as canned tomatoes or lemon juice). These ingredients can sometimes interfere with rehydration.
  • Salt can also interfere with rehydration so it is best added after the beans have softened.
  • Beans will naturally foam a little bit while cooking. Adding a small amount of butter or oil will reduce foaming.
  • Cook beans easily in a slow cooker or Instant Pot with no soaking required!

HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup can be found in the dry bean section of almost any grocery store and rest assured, if your store is low on stock, the Hurst staff and family are working on filling the shelves ASAP!

beans in stock pot

To Soak or Not To Soak?

Do dry beans actually need to be soaked? No, they don’t, this step is optional!

The purpose of soaking beans is to reduce cook time.

  • Overnight: Beans can be soaked in water overnight by simply placing them in a pot and covering them with cold water. Soak in the fridge 8-12 hours.
  • Hot Soak: Add 10 cups water for every 2 cups of dry beans and boil 3 minutes. Cover and let soak 4-24 hours.
  • Quick Soak: To soak beans faster, cover them with water and boil 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and let them stand for at least 1 hour (or up to four hours).
  • Microwave Soak: Add 3 cups of water for each cup of beans and microwave on high for 15 minutes. Let beans stand for 1 hour.

You may notice some wrinkling on the beans once they’ve been soaked, this is a natural part of the rehydration process. Once soaked, dry beans will still need to be cooked or simmered according to your recipe.

  • Rinse beans after soaking and cook in fresh water.
  • No soaking required when using a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • If you have soaked your beans, you can most often reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1 cup.

How Long to Cook Dry Beans

Soaked Beans

  • Stovetop:  90-120 minutes
  • Slow Cooker:  high for 5-7 hours

Dry beans

  • Slow Cooker:  high 5-7 hours
  • Instant Pot: High pressure 60 minutes, quick release

Dried beans in a colander

How to Substitute Dry for Canned

If a recipe calls for canned beans, you can substitute dry beans in place. In fact, Hurst’s 15 Bean mix can be added into almost any recipe you would normally use canned beans in from a chili recipe to baked beans!

Beans will double in size when soaked so if your recipe calls for 1 cup canned beans, you will need to rehydrate 1/2 cup dried beans.

Reader Favorite Recipes

Crock Pot Ham & Bean Soup
Ham and Bean Soup is one of our all time favorite foods to come home to on a chilly day. This “no-soaking required” Ham and Bean soup takes just minutes to prepare and cooks effortlessly in your Crock Pot all day long! Dinner is ready when you are!
View Recipe Here
Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup in a white bowl with cornbread
Instant Pot Ham & Bean Soup
Instant Pot ham and bean soup is a quick and delicious way to enjoy a classic, comfort food staple without waiting for the slow cooker.
View Recipe Here
Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup in a white bowl garnished with parsley
15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili
15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili is hearty and delicious, making it the perfect food to fuel the crowd on game day or a delicious easy weeknight meal!  
View Recipe Here
15 Bean Slow Cooker Chili in a bowl with jalapenos
Slow Cooker Turkey Soup (Cajun Bean)
This Slow Cooker Turkey Soup recipe is the perfect way to enjoy leftover turkey. It’s a warm hearty Cajun Bean soup, perfect for a chilly day!
View Recipe Here
Turkey Soup in Slow Cooker
Vist Hurst Beans for More Bean Recipes
Visit Hurst Beans for a collection of delicious and nutritious bean recipes!
View Recipe Here
ingredients for Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup on a wooden board

Can You Freeze Beans?

Dry beans should not be stored in the freezer but most meals made with beans freeze well!

Cook the beans as directed in your recipe and cool completely. Once cooled, transfer the soup into individual freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 6 months.

To defrost, just add the soup to a saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through.

What is your favorite way to enjoy dried beans? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Close up of dried beans in a colander.
5 from 4 votes
Review Recipe

How to Cook Dry Beans

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course How To
Cuisine American
Dried beans are quick and simple to prepare for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry beans
  • water

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Instructions

To Soak beans Overnight
  • Place beans in a large pot and fill the pot with cold water 1" above the beans. Refrigerate overnight (or up to 12 hours).
  • Drain beans and rinse in cold water.
  • Cook as directed below.
To Quick Soak Beans
  • Place beans in a large pot and fill with water 1" above the beans.
  • Boil 3 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and let them stand for at least 1 hour (or up to four hours).
  • Drain beans and rinse in cold water. Cook as directed below.
To Cook Soaked Beans
  • Place drained and rinsed beans in a large pot.
  • Fill with water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for 90-120 minutes or until tender (or for 5-7 hours on high in the slow cooker).
To Cook Unsoaked Beans
  • Place unsoaked beans in a slow cooker and cover with broth or water. Cook 5-7 hours on high until beans are tender.

Recipe Notes

Do not add acidic items to the beans before they are soft or they may not rehydrate properly (eg. tomatoes or lemon).
To Hot Soak Beans: Add 10 cups water for every 2 cups of dry beans and boil 3 minutes. Cover and let soak 4-24 hours.
To Microwave Soak Beans: Add 3 cups of water for each cup of beans and microwave on high for 15 minutes. Let beans stand for 1 hour.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 310, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 11mg, Potassium: 1250mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 6mg
Keyword How to Cook Beans
Close up of dried beans in a colander with writing.
Soaked beans being strained in a colander with writing.

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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