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Guide: How to cook dried beans + easy recipes

Beans are a vital staple in many plant-based diets and cuisines around the world. While canned beans are convenient, it doesn’t get better than dried beans! 

Dried beans, peas and lentils—otherwise known as legumes or pulses—are the seeds of mature, fresh beans that have been dried. As one of the oldest cultivated crops, dried beans are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates. 

In this post, you’ll learn how to prepare dried beans for cooking and ways to incorporate them into a variety of dishes from side dishes to soups to entrees.

How to Cook Dried Beans infographic

Chart: How to cook dried beans

Below is a chart with estimated times for cooking a variety of beans at sea level, ranging from Lentils to Lima Beans. Keep this chart handy for easy reference! 

Note: If you’re at a higher altitude, you may need to increase cooking times. Additionally, all times with the exception of lentils and split peas) below are based on being soaked for at least four hours before cooking.

Beans

1 cup

Water

Add more as needed

during cooking process

Cooking Time

If pressure cooking, times will be cut by over half

Yield

Adzuki

4 cups

45 – 55 min

3 cups

Anasazi

2 1/2 – 3 cups

45 – 55min

2 1/4 cups

Black beans

4 cups

1 – 1 1/4 hrs

2 1/4 cups

Black-eyed peas

3 cups

60 min

2 cups

Cannellini (white kidney beans)

3 cups

45 min

2 1/2 cups

Cranberry beans

3 cups

40 – 45 min

3 cups

Fava beans, skins removed

3 cups

40 – 50 min

1 2/3 cups

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

4 cups

1 1/2 – 2 hrs

2 cups

Great northern beans

3 1/2 cups

1 1/2 hrs

2 2/3 cups

Green peas, whole

6 cups

1 – 2 hrs

2 cups

Kidney beans

3 cups

60 min

2 1/4 cups

Lentils, brown

2 1/4 cups

45 – 60 min

2 1/4 cups

Lentils, green

2 cups

30 – 45 min

2 cups

Lentils, red

3 cups

20 – 30 min

2 – 2 1/2 cups

Lima beans, large

4 cups

45 – 60 min

2 cups

Lima beans, small

4 cups

50 – 60 min

3 cups

Lima beans, Christmas

4 cups

60 min

2 cups

Mung beans

2 1/2 cups

60 min

2 cups

Navy beans

3 cups

45 – 60 min

2 2/3 cups

Pink beans

3 cups

50 – 60 min

2 2/3 cups

Pinto beans

3 cups

1 1/2 hrs

2 2/3 cups

Soy beans

4 cups

3 – 4 hrs

3 cups

Split peas, green

4 cups

45 min

2 cups

Split peas, yellow

4 cups

1 – 1 1/2 hrs

2 cups

Cooking with dried beans: Recipes for soups, dips, and bowls

Swich plant-based burrito bowl recipe

Once you learn how to easily cook dried beans, you’ll see how easy it is to incorporate them into an endless number of dishes. See below for a sample of the many creative uses of beans! 

Overall, incorporating more beans is a highly nutritious, easy, and inexpensive way to expand your cooking repertoire and diversify recipes. 

See more cooking tips for how to cook with more vegetables and two amazing one-pot vegetable chili recipes

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Tags: Cooking Tips Recipes Plant Based Protein Plant Based Cooking
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Peter Lethusang M. ( 20d ) – I’m highly impressed

Swich C. ( 14d ) – happy to hear that! :)