How to Cook Beans

by Mar 21, 2024

These giant white beans are Royal Coronas from Rancho Gordo. Serve them simply with olive oil and parmesan, or add them to soups and pasta dishes. Eat them with sautéed greens or with halibut and tomatoes. Mash them on crostini or make refried beans (best with a pinto-type bean). Make hummus or bean purée for under a piece of grilled fish or with roasted vegetables. Enjoy your beans, they’re good for you!

Dried beans are simple to cook, they just take a little time—about 90 minutes on the stovetop or about 4–6 hours in a slow cooker set to low. You can soak them the night before, but if you forgot or don’t have the time, just give the beans a good rolling boil for 5 minutes then proceed with cooking, either stovetop or slow cooker. I add about 2-inches of water over the beans, a couple teaspoons of salt for a pound of dried beans (about 2 cups, which yields 4–6 cups cooked), and a glug of olive oil. Beans like to cook gently, so keep them at a simmer or if you’re using the slow cooker, set it to low; high is okay too, it’s just less gentle, but the beans will cook faster which is sometimes what you need! If your beans are super fresh, like those from Rancho Gordo, start checking their doneness on the early side.

Once your beans are cooked, enjoy them warm or keep them for using later. I use glass jars for storage, refrigerated, they keep for a week. Three to four cups of beans and broth fit a quart sized canning jar. Beans freeze great too, scoop them into a freezer bag and place on a small sheet pan for initial freezing so you get flat freezer packs that are much easier to keep organized. Check out this post from Simply Recipes to get inspired.

post from the RIPE archives, edited March 2024  

How to Cook Beans

Bean math: 1 pound dry beans = 2 cups dry beans = 4–6 cups cooked beans


  • 1 pound dry beans Rancho Gordo
  • 1 tbsp salt for soaking
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt for cooking


  1. Put the beans in a large bowl and fill it with water to cover the beans by 3 or 4 inches. Add a tablespoon of salt and swish it around with your fingers. Leave at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.

    After soaking, drain off the soaking water by dumping the beans into a colander.

    If you don't have time for a soak, just boil the beans on the stovetop for 5 minutes and proceed.

  2. Put beans in your slow cooker and add fresh water to cover the beans by a couple inches. Pour in the olive oil and sprinkle in the 2 teaspoons of salt. Put the lid on and set 4–6 hours, ideally on Low.

    If your beans are very fresh, they will cook more quickly, so start checking them at 3 hours. Keep in mind how you want to use the beans—if you're adding them to a soup or casserole, stop the cooking when they're al dente. For marinated beans or hummus, cook the beans until they are very creamy inside.

  3. Alternatively, you can cook on the stovetop. Put the soaked beans in a large dutch oven or stockpot. Add fresh water, olive oil, salt, bring to boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender, usually 1–1 ½ hours.

Subscribe to Recipes

Get Posts by Email

Follow Ripe:

Find Amy on Vivino

Filter by Category:


Pin It on Pinterest