It's very easy to learn how cook dried beans at home. Once you do it, you'll never buy them canned again!
Cooking your own dried beans is so easy!
And they are always far superior in flavor to those from a can.
This guide works for any dry bean variety. Cannellini, Red, Navy, Pinto, Black, Kidney, and so on.
(The following beans DO NOT need soaking: lentils, black-eyed peas, and whole and split peas.)
Dried Bean Tips and Notes
- Dried beans will expand to about two and a half times their dried measure size.
- Store dried beans in airtight containers in a cool, dry area.
- Cooked beans can be stored in their cooking liquid for about 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Cooked beans may be stored in the freezer, packaged in airtight containers or bags, in small batches that make sense (about 2 cups each or so). For best results, the beans should be used within a few weeks. To defrost them, place them in the refrigerator overnight.
- DO NOT add salt until the beans are tender and cooked completely. (Adding salt prevents the beans from absorbing water.)
Two of my favorite recipes using beans:
Now let's get to it . . .
How To Cook Dried Beans
- 1 pound dried beans, any variety
- 1 small yellow onion
- about 5 bay leaves
- about 5 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled
- Soak. In a large mixing bowl, soak the beans in about three times their volume of lukewarm water, for about 12 hours. Drain the beans, add them to a large stockpot, and fill the pot with enough cold water to go a couple inches above the beans.
- Simmer briefly. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer the beans for about 20 minutes. (Use a large metal spoon to remove any foam that has appeared on the surface during this time.) Drain the beans and return them to the pot.
- Add remaining ingredients, more water and cook. Now add enough water to go several inches above the beans and add the onion, garlic and bay leaves. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1½ hours.
- Drain. Drain if necessary.
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I am a long-time friend of your Aunt Roberta's and semi-long-time fan of your wonderful blog. I have look everywhere for dried cannellini beans but have had no luck. Suggestions for markets I'm missing (we're in Phoenix so i have tried Sprouts, Mexican markets, Trader Joe's and regular grocery stores)?
Hi, Linda! You're fortunate to be a long-time friend of the oh-so-sweet Roberta! 🙂
Dried Navy Beans or Great Northern Beans are super similar to Cannellini beans, so if you see those anywhere, they'll work well. You can order Cannellini beans online, too -- here, for example: http://amzn.to/xemz9o -- Thanks for following my blog, Linda! I love that you're cooking my recipes!
You're awesome! Thank you very much!