How to Cook Dried Beans

Since most of us were raised eating canned beans, it comes as a revelation to many when they sample the difference in a batch of beans cooked from their dry state. They’re a thousand times more creamy and flavorful, and don’t have that suspicious aroma of tin that their canned brethren usually carry. We know making beans as such can be a little intimidating (you have to soak them for how long?!), so we wanted to break down the process a bit and demonstrate how a big batch of beans on Sunday can go a long—and tasty—way throughout the course of the week.


12 oz. bag of Canario Beans

1 Onion, peeled and cut into quarters

4 cloves of Garlic, peeled

2 Bay Leaves

Kosher Salt

Olive Oil

Step 1

Place the dried beans in a big bowl and fill it with water, enough to cover the beans by about two inches. The beans will expand while they soak so make sure the bowl is big enough! Cover with a dish towel and leave them soaking for about 8 hours. If you’re going to make the beans for dinner, we suggest soaking them in the morning before work. Overnight works fine too.

Step 2

After they’re soaked, strain the beans and put them in a big pot. Cover the beans by two inches with fresh water and add onions, garlic and bay leaves. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until they’re creamy and soft. (These beans only take about 30-40 minutes until fully cooked – hallelujah! But other beans may take over an hour.) Add salt to the pot when the beans are nearing done. (Ed. Note: There are so many schools of thought when it comes to salting bean-cooking liquid that most people are in a state of paralysis about it. Ultimately, however, we’ve landed on salting just before they’re done- giving them enough time to absorb the flavor.)

Step 3

When the beans are done, you have a few options. One, let the beans cool, pick out the aromatics and keep them refrigerated in their cooking liquid. This is best if you’re planning on folding them into soups (like we are this week). The other is to strain them and marinate them, by tossing in a few hearty glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper. If you keep a batch of these in your fridge for a week, they’re perfect for folding into grain salads or taking to work for a tasty lunch.