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How to Cook Dried Beans Quickly and Easily

How to Cook Dried Beans Quickly and Easily

There are few things tastier than fresh beans made on the stovetop, cooked slowly over a few hours (with very little actual work!). This recipe will work for any kind of beans: Black beans, kidney beans, Great Northern beans, navy beans, pinto beans, you name it.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 246 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 pound dried beans
  • water for cooking
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat olive oil over a medium flame in your bean pot or Dutch oven. Once that's good and hot, toss in the onion and let that cook until soft, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add one clove of chopped garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  2. Toss in 1 pound of beans along with enough hot water to cover them by about 3 inches. Give the whole thing a stir and cover the pot. Set the lid slightly askew to let some of the steam escape. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook.
  3. Depending on the kind of beans you're using, they could take anywhere from an hour to 4 hours to cook. Check every 20 minutes or so, testing for doneness and to make sure there's enough water in the pot to keep them moist.
  4. Once they're almost done (i.e., you taste a bean and find it's almost tender) add salt. Don't salt your beans too early, or they'll end up mushy (ew).
  5. Your beans are done when bite into them and they're soft, without any crunch or other hardness. Some beans are creamy, some are firm, and some are starchy... but none of them should ever be tough or offer up any resistance to chewing. Do not overcook them or they will turn to mush.
  6. Once your beans are done, stick them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

Beans make a great addition to almost any dish you can think of. Add them to scrambled eggs, toss a handful into a salad, mash them up on toast, you name it. They're a great source of fiber and protein, and can turn any lackluster last-minute dish into something you'll actually be stoked to eat. If you want to get creative, look up a couple of recipes for how to make refried beans, winter bean soups, or some crafty 70s bean casseroles. If all else fails, try taco night!