Basic Bean Recipe

Dried beans are legumes or pulses an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, they are flavorful, nutritionally dense, inexpensive and versatile. People around the world eat beans and throughout history, there is evidence of them being one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. Dried beans are simply mature bean seeds that are dried and then removed from their pods.

One pound of dry beans are 2 cups (equals 6 cups cooked) and will feed 12 servings. One 15 ounces can of beans equals 1 3/4 cups of cooked beans.


Basic Bean Recipe

Dried beans are legumes or pulses an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, they are flavorful, nutritionally dense, inexpensive and versatile.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 212 kcal
Author Laurie


  • 1 pound dried beans (any kind)
  • water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • optionalbay leaf, garlic cloves, onion, carrot


  1. Sort through the beans and discard any that are shriveled or discolored, as well as any stems, debris or dirt before you wash them. Packaged beans have usually been cleaned. Place the dried beans in a colander and wash them quickly.
  2. Soak the beans with a few inches of water covering them and leave on the counter. Soak the beans overnight. They will double or triple in size. Make sure your pot or bowl is large enough for the expanding beans .
  3. Drain the soaked beans. Drain the beans and rinse them gently under water. Transfer beans to a cooking pot. You can use a regular pot, crock pot or slow cooker or pressure cooker. Add the seasonings, you want. Save the salt for when the beans are cooked.
  4. Cover the beans with 2 inches of water. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Skim off any foam that may come to the top of the water.
  5. Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking for doneness. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to two hours to cook through. Keep the beans a gentle simmer and taste frequently as they start to become tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans covered, and stir occasionally.
  6. Test the beans by mashing one with a fork or between your fingers. Ideally, your beans will be tender but not mushy. If your beans are still crunchy or underdone after the recommended cooking time, continue cooking at a simmer.
  7. Add the salt during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Adding the salt too early can keep the beans from becoming tender. Continue simmering until the beans are as tender and creamy as you like them. Add more salt to taste.
  8. Cool the beans in their cooking liquid and serve or transfer them to refrigerator containers, still with their cooking liquid. Beans will keep for one week refrigerated or can be frozen for up to three months
  9. Cooking Beans for Soup: If you intend to use your beans in a soup, it's best to slightly undercook them here and then finish cooking them in the soup itself.
  10. The Finished Cooking Liquid is full of flavor and good nutrients. Once you've scooped up all your beans, this liquid makes a great base for soups and quick sauces.
  11. The cooking time of the types of beans will vary depending on the variety of the dried bean. Black beans: 60 minutes Light/dark red kidney beans: 90 to 120 minutes Navy beans: 90 to 120 minutes Great Northern beans: 45 to 60 minutes Pinto beans: 90 to 120 minutes

Recipe Notes

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Nutrition Facts
Basic Bean Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Sodium 1178mg 49%
Potassium 527mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 1g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 5%
Iron 18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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