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Dried kidney beans close-up.

How to Cook Dried Beans on the Stove

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  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups cooked beans 1x
  • Category: Guide
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: n/a
  • Diet: Vegan


Here’s my technique for cooking perfectly creamy beans – every time.


  • 1 pound dried beans (white, black, kidney, pinto, etc.)
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Optional aromatics: fresh garlic, halved onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, spices, lemon rind, or fresh herbs


  1. Soak the beans. Method 1: If you have 8 or more hours, place the beans in a pot, add enough water to cover by about 2 inches and set aside for at least 8 hours. Method 2: If you only have 1 hour to spare before cooking your beans, place them in a pot and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then turn the heat off, and let stand for an hour.
  2. Start cooking the beans. Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and return to the pot. Add enough new water to cover by about 2 inches, as well as 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil. (You can add aromatics at this point if you want.)
  3. Simmer very gently. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer with the lid ajar until the beans are almost cooked through, but still have a tiny bite and the skins still have some resistance (start checking after 30 minutes). Make sure the beans are simmering very gently the whole time – you should only see a few tiny bubbles breaking on the surface.
  4. Salt and set aside. At this stage, turn the heat off and gently stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons salt (depending on how you plan to use them). Set aside for 30 to 60 more minutes so the beans finish cooking in the residual heat.
  5. Drain. When the beans have reached a perfectly creamy texture, drain them and use as desired. You can save the bean cooking liquid, if you want, and use it for soup or refried beans (instead of veg broth). Cooked beans will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup cooked beans
  • Calories: 215
  • Carbohydrates: 39.8 g
  • Fiber: 13.8 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g