How to Cook Dried Beans (stove top, pressure cooker, AND slow cooker instructions)

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Digging through your pantry and wondering how to cook dried beans that have been stored in there for who-knows-how-long? I’m giving you all the answers, and how to do it on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot, and in the crockpot!

Cooking dried beans is a great skill to know, and it’s easier (and tastier) than you might think!

white beans in a clear glass bowl on white countertop
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How to Cook Dried Beans

Knowing how to cook dried beans is an awesome skill to have, whether you’re new or a pro in the kitchen! Cooking dried beans a simple process and I promise to break it down step by step so you can have tasty, protein-filled beans for any meal, whether it’s in an entree or a side dish.

This is a process that’s adaptable, too! Want to set ’em and forget ’em? Cook dried beans in the slow cooker! Want them fast? Dried beans in the Instant Pot is the way to go. Looking to do it the traditional way? Stovetop dried beans are your friend, then! I’m giving you all the ways to cook dried beans — and care for your family in uncertain times the best way I know how, with food made from the heart. Happy bean making!

up close picture of a variety of dried beans

Do I have to soak my beans before I cook them?

No! You can cook beans without soaking them first, it works just fine. I’ve actually tested this a lot and it’s hard to find a difference between the soaked and the not soaked beans.

Advantages of soaking beans before cooking:

Soaking beans prior to cooking removes some of the indigestible sugars that can cause flatulence, so they are more digestible. That’s according to some studies and I’ve seen a few that says this is a myth. So it’ll be up to you to do some personal testing how now your body reacts. That being said, I have seen no difference in digestion between soaked and not soaked beans. The biggest impacted soaking or not soaking the beans before hand makes is on the cook time. The soaked beans cook significantly faster because you essentially have dehydrated them.

How to soak beans before cooking:

Add your beans to a large pot or bowland cover with at least two inches of water over the top of beans. Let them soak, covered, for 4 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse before using.

beans cooked in slow cooker

How to cook dry beans in a slow cooker:

  1. Rinse and beans and sort through them, remove any bit of debris or small rocks.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Cover the beans in the slow cooker with water until it reaches 3 inches above the beans.
  4. Add the lid to the slow cooker. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-9.
  5. When beans are cooked to your liking, drain the extra water from the beans.
  6. Use beans as you would canned beans in dishes and store any extras portioned out into smaller containers and kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.
step by step how to image of how to cook dried beans in an instant pot

How to cook dry beans in an Instant Pot:

  1. Rinse and beans and sort through them, remove any bit of debris or small rocks.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of the  Instant Pot.
  3. Cover beans in the Instant Pot with enough water to come 3 inches above the beans (taking care not to pass the 2/3 full line indicated on the inside of the stainless steel insert/cooking pot).
  4. Cook in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 25-45 minutes and then let the pot rest at a natural pressure release for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes release the rest of the pressure.
  5. When beans are cooked to your liking, drain the extra water from the beans.
  6. Use beans as you would canned beans in dishes and store any extras portioned out into smaller containers and kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.
green bowl of dried beans with white bowl filled with diced celery on cutting board with whole carrots yellow onion and ham

How to cook dry beans on the stove top:

  1. Rinse and beans and sort through them, remove any bit of debris or small rocks.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  3. Cover beans in a stock pot with water until the beans are covered by about 3-4 inches of water.
  4. Cook on the stove top at a simmer for 1-3 hours, adding additional water as needed.
  5. When beans are cooked to your liking, drain the extra water from the beans.
  6. Use beans as you would canned beans in dishes and store any extras portioned out into smaller containers and kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.
two white bowls of bean 15 bean soup with a corn muffin on white towel with a spoon

My favorite dried beans to keep on hand and cook:

Black beans: great for Tex-Mex, in burritos, on salads, in tortillas soups, as a side for tacos or quesadillas.
Pinto beans: another great Tex-Mex option and good in white bean chili, too!
Garbanzo beans: good for homemade hummus, on top of Greek salads, and in wraps!
15 bean soup mix: I love this big combo of bean varieties and make a delicious 15 bean ham soup with it!

My favorite recipes that use cooked or dried beans:

If you’ve tried this cooking beans recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation!

cooked pinto beans fresh out of the instant pot
5 from 1 vote

How to Cook Dried Beans (stove top, pressure cooker, AND slow cooker instructions)

A full guide on how to cook dry beans in the instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top, so that no what you have, you can make amazing beans at home!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours
Servings: 6 cups of cooked beans

Ingredients 

  • 1 pounds or 2 cups dried beans
  • water
  • drizzle of oil*, optional

Instructions 

  • Rinse and beans and sort through them, remove any bit of debris or small rocks.
  • Place the beans in the bottom of the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  • Cover the beans in the slow cooker with water until it reaches 3 inches above the beans. Cover beans in the Instant Pot with enough water to come 3 inches above the beans (taking care not to pass the 2/3 full line indicated on the inside of the stainless steel insert/cooking pot). Cover beans in a stock pot with water until the beans are covered by about 3-4 inches of water.
  • Add the lid to the slow cooker. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8. Cook in the Instant Pot under high pressure for 25-45 minutes and then let the pot rest at a natural pressure release for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes release the rest of the pressure. Cook on the stove top at a simmer for 1-3 hours, adding additional water as needed.
  • When beans are cooked to your liking, drain the extra water from the beans.
  • Use beans as you would canned beans in dishes and store any extras portioned out into smaller containers and kept in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Notes

  • These are pretty large guidelines because there are a few things you’ll need to adjust on your end. If you are soaking your beans overnight (roughly 8-12 hours) the cooking time will be reduced by roughly 50% or half. Also the type and size of your beans matters too. Smaller beans like small red or navy beans will cook faster than medium sized beans such as black beans, pinto beans, or cannallini beans. And the beans that take the longest too cook are the large beans like large kidney, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, or large lima beans. So be sure to make note of what kind of beans you are cooking, their size, and if you soaked them or not to determine how long you’ll need to cook them. SEE the blog post for more details on specific cooking times for specific kinds of beans.
  • When cooking a bean that is new to me or cooking beans for the first time, I like to just take the time to see what produces the best outcome. Start checking your beans for doneness at the start of the cook time range and adjust as needed. Then make a note somewhere (I write on the inside of my favorite cookbook) so that you can remember what cook time worked best for you for a certain kind of bean.
  • I like to add just a drizzle of oil when I’m cooking my beans in the Instant Pot or on the stove, this helps to reduce foaming and they don’t boil over or make as much of a mess on the inside lid.
  • If you do soak your beans, be sure to drain and rinse the beans well before adding them to your cooking vessel or choice and adding fresh water.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 9mg, Potassium: 1027mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 5mg
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I hope you love this guide on how to cook dry beans in the instant pot, slow cooker, or on the stove top, so that no what you have, you can make amazing beans at home! Save all the time, energy, and money!

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