Cooking Dried Beans

May 5, 2009

Bulk beans are so much cheaper than buying canned beans, it always takes a little planning though, and in the past I'd always forget. Not anymore, I have a big yogurt container boldly marked "BEANS" that I keep filled with soaking beans in the refrigerator all the time.


When I make a pot of beans, I've made it a habit to clean the container, refill it with beans and water, then put it back in the fridge. In a few days when I want to make beans again, they are ready to cook.

Now, I make beans at least once a week, so this works very well, and the beans don't go bad. It's healthier too. I know what I put in my beans and don't have to read a label to double check ingredients.

I try to keep at least one cup of beans soaking, but usually two. Cover the beans with equally the same amount of water if not more. Sometimes after a couple days I will check them to make sure the beans haven't soaked up all the water and will add more.

Here is my favorite easy bean recipe:



  1. Rinse your soaked beans in a colander. Dump them into a large stock pot and cover by about an inch-two inches more of water.

  2. Boil on medium heat until soft, but not squishy. Usually for about an hour. Check on them occasionally to ensure water level stays above beans and that you don't burn them.

  3. Put oil, all spices, and garlic into a frying pan on medium heat and fry for about a minute.

  4. Add diced onions and peppers to oil and fry for another minute or two until just soft, and remove from heat.

  5. Dump beans into colander and rinse again, then return to pot.

  6. Mix beans, diced tomatoes, and onion spice mixture together.

  7. Add rice or quinoa and one cup of water. Cover.

  8. Heat back to a slow boil for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until rice/quinoa have cooked thoroughly.

Serve with chips as a snack, with tortillas and taco fixings, or eat as a main dish.

By Mara

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Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

Beans are a great way to stretch your food budget and can feed a crowd. Most people love a great chili or baked beans, but most people don't know how to identify the beans in every dish.

variety of dry beans

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

June 8, 2004

Beans, beans, the frugal fruit, the more you eat them, the more you save money! Actually beans are a legume but there is no question that they are a frugal staple in any diet.

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March 17, 2013

This tip is so simple, yet it has saved me many dollars and much time.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

As a southern gal, I must have pinto beans every now and again cooked by me and not from a can. Since I got old and my hands became arthritic, it was difficult to rinse the beans and lift the slow cooker or large bean pot to pour off the water used for washing.

Cooking Pinto Beans

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Always clean and soak your legumes overnight. The next morning rinse, add water and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes then lower the heat to medium and let it cook. It cooks well. Don't add salt while it is boiling, because its delays the cooking process.

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January 10, 2005

Cut the cooking time way down on dried beans by soaking overnight, then freezing them in usable quantities. Then cook them by boiling them until soft. The freezing breaks down some of the cell fibers allowing them to cook more quickly.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Meat is a delicacy in our house. It's better for our budget. This is how I make my weekly pot of beans. The recipe is vegetarian, but still comes out thick and gooey.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 17, 2020

Instead of using the crock pot to cook beans, can I use the "Little Dipper?"


June 17, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

The Little Dipper is a warmer, it is good for warming and low heating. Unless your beans are pre cooked, this warmer will not cook them from raw state. A average crock pot takes hours for cooking dried or fresh beans.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 17, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do not think it would be a good idea as it really is just a 'warmer'.
This container does not have a dial or gauge and heats to only one low temperature.

Here is a comment from their website.

"Little Dipper Warmer portable slow cooker gently heats dips and sauces to warm temperatures."

It can also be used to warm chocolate.

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June 18, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Litle dippers are not a cooker at all but were made to warm up food or keep food warm. They were not designed to cook beans in and would not work at all. You will either need to cook the beans in a crockpot or on the stove first then you can move them to the little dipper to keep them warm when serving them.

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Answer this Question

What, in people's experience, is the best/easiest way to cook dry bulk beans so that they are actually soft? I'm trying to release dependence on canned goods because of the cost, but I get mixed results at best and it always seems to take for ages.

Thanks in advance.


May 14, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

As you transition from using canned beans to preparing dry beans, youll need to make some adjustments in your cooking style. While cooking dry beans takes more time than opening a can and pouring beans into a pot, much of the time is actually hands-free time. I have found that soaking the beans overnight, draining them and putting them in a pot to cook for 45 minutes or more is the best way to achieve soft beans. The precise cooking time varies and may take as much as an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. It will take approximately 8 hours to cook them in a slow cooker. When the skin on the beans splits and curls, youll know the beans are done. You can let the beans cool then put some in freezer bags for later use. Grabbing a bag from the freezer is almost as convenient as opening a can.

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Answer this Question

Can I pre-soak dried beans and then can them for later use? It takes so long to soak beans but I like to make chili often. I'm looking for a way to speed things up a bit and I think this might do it



February 19, 20080 found this helpful

yes you can pre soak beans.I have cooked them and froze them for a quick meal for chilli.
Worked good.

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By Anne (Guest Post)
February 19, 20080 found this helpful

I've also heard of dehydrating beans. It's quicker to reconstitute the dehydrated beans than to soak the dried beans. Check it out! Good Luck :)

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By Louise Z (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

What I do I saw in the Mennonite cookbook. Soak beans overnight and in the morning, drain them and place in canning jars, add boiling water, the lids, and the pressure can them. Do not fill way up to the top, as the beans will swell more as they cook in the canner. I have done several different kinds and now have beans whenever I need them without preservatives and salt. also saving the landfill of tins.

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By Dee. (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

I never soak the beans. My mother told me a faster way. Put them in a pot with hot water and boil hard for about 20-30 minutes, adding water as needed, with the lid off. After that, add enough hot water to the pot, bring to a boil, put lid on. Cook about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Much easier that soaking, and better flavor.

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By Winterbird (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

What I do when I go grocery shopping and buy dry beans. Once home the beans go to the freezer to stay until I am ready to use them. Then when ready I put the water on to boil. Once boiling I put in the frozen beans. It navy beans are done in less then a hour and the brown beans in 2 hours.

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I make a lot of soups that call for beans, all different kinds. It gets quite expensive to use the canned beans. I have tried dried beans and have never been able to get them to the consistency of the canned type. I have soaked them overnight and then cooked them. They seem to stay hard or fall apart. Does anyone have the secret for cooking dry beans?

By Rose Smith from Malvern, PA

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November 23, 2012

I've been using them for years, but it seems lately, I can't get the beans to the right texture. I've been doing the quick soak method. Should I try the overnight method? Any other suggestions?

I've seen some recipes where you use the crockpot when you make a bean soup. It calls for overnight soak and then cooking the beans with all the ingredients. I always thought that you needed to cook the beans separately until they were done and then add to the recipe. I make a lot of recipes with beans. Thanks!

By mindy from Terrebonne, OR

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December 17, 2013

Can I remove salt from a pot of cooked dry beans?

By Mavie

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November 30, 2012

Do you treat split dried pinto beans the same as you would regular pinto beans?

By Judy N

Answer this Question

May 19, 2013

This page is about cooking dried beans in a slow cooker. Crockpot cooking will help create a tender pot of beans.

Dried pinto beans.

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