How to Cook Dried Beans

Beans are easy to cook and they store beautifully in the freezer. Home cooked beans can be used for any recipe that calls for canned beans.
Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $4-$5
Servings: 10 cups cooked


  • 2 lbs beans black, white, or black-eyed, etc
  • Filtered water
  • 2 garlic cloves pierced
  • 1 small onion halved or quartered (or the firm green parts from a leek)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt I used sea salt

What you'll need:

  • 5 1/2 Qt heavy-bottomed pot such as a dutch oven


  1. Presoak beans in cold water overnight (10-12 hours). Place in a large pot or bowl and add enough filtered water to cover 2 inches over the surface (they soak up water like crazy and expand). Drain and rinse before cooking.
  2. Return beans to a large pot and add garlic, onion and bay leaves, then add enough water to have 1" water over the surface of your beans. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, adding more water as needed to keep them submerged. Skim off foam that rises to the top. For firmer beans cook with the lid off, and for softer/mushier, cook partially covered.
  3. Start checking for doneness after about an hour. Once they are nearly done (al dente), add 1 1/2 Tbsp salt or to taste and continue cooking until at desired doneness (DO NOT DRAIN).

Freezing instructions:

  1. Once beans are at room temp, transfer into freezer safe ziploc bags along with enough liquid to keep them wet. Remove any air from the bags seal well and stack them flat to save space in the freezer.

Recipe Notes

My white beans cooked in 1.5 hours while my black beans took nearly 3 hours. Cook time can really vary depending on size, variety and age. Cook until they reach your desired doneness.