How to Soak Dry Beans

Dried beans are an inexpensive low-fat source of protein and fiber that can be easily added into our diet.  They are easy to cook but must be soaked prior to using in a recipe.  This requires just a little planning and preparation before they are ready to use.

  1. Before soaking beans, pick them over, removing any small rocks or dirt pieces.
  2. Put the beans in a strainer or colander and rinse with cold water
  3. There are two methods of soaking beans – the Hot Soak and the Traditional Soak.  The Hot Soak allows you to soak and cook your beans in the same day.  Your beans will cook to a tender stage in about 30-45 minutes.
  4. To Hot Soak your beans, heat 10 cups of water for each pound of beans in a large pot until it boils.
  5. Add the dry beans and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, cover and let stand a minimum of 1 hour.  Soaking gets rid of many of the gas-producing substances in beans.
  7. To use the traditional soak method, simply cover your dried beans with 3 times as much water as beans.  Cover and soak overnight.  Beans soaked by this method will take about 1 – 2 ½ hours for them to be tender.

Whichever method you use, drain and rinse your beans with fresh water after soaking and before using in your recipe. If you don’t have time to cook dried beans you can substitute 3 cans of drained beans for 1 pound of dry beans.

Bean recipes from Cooking with EFNEP cookbook:
15-Minute Soup
Makes 4 servings
Serving Size: about 11⁄2 cups
• 1 (16-ounce) can unsalted Great Northern Beans, drained
• 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 (16-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach
• 1/2 cup macaroni

1. In a 2-quart pot, combine all ingredients except spinach and macaroni.
2. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.
3. Stir in and break up spinach; bring to a boil again.
4. Stir in macaroni and simmer until pasta is tender, about 6–8 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving
145 Calories, Total Fat .5g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 7g, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 135mg. Excellent source of vitamins A and C. Good source of iron and calcium.

Makes 10 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup
• 1 (1-pound) bag dried beans (pinto, black, garbanzo, etc)
• Water
• 1 onion, chopped (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put dried beans in the colander and rinse. Remove any broken or discolored beans.
2. Put dried beans in a large mixing bowl. Add water to cover beans then add an additional 2 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator overnight.
3. Drain beans and place in slow cooker with water to cover plus 2 inches.
4. Add onion if desired.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours or until
6. Add salt and pepper to taste
7. Drain if desired.

Food Preparation Tip: Experiment with adding different spices to beans.
Pinto beans can be mashed to make refried beans with no added fat. Refried beans can be used in tacos, taco salad, or as a main dish substitute.Nutrition Information Per Serving
110 Calories, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 7g, Total Carbohydrate 20g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 170mg. Good source of iron.
Analyzed with pinto beans.

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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