Editor’s note: This year, we’re highlighting legumes on this page. Low in fat but rich in protein and other nutrients, they’re a staple of plant-based eating. Starting in February, we’ll feature a different legume each month, along with information and recipe tips from different cultures around the world.
But we’re starting off with the basics: a simple recipe for cooking dried beans.
How to batch-cook dried beans
- In a large pan, put one bag (about a pound) of beans, cover with a few inches of cold water, and soak at room temperature for eight to 12 hours.
- Pour off the soaking water, rinse, and add clean water, again covering with a few inches of water.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the beans are tender. (This may take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the size and age of the beans.)
- Drain and divide your beans. Use some right away in a recipe; save a portion in the refrigerator to use within a few days; and freeze the rest in recipe-sized portions in containers.
- Thaw frozen beans in the refrigerator. If you forget to take them out a day before you need them, just defrost them in a microwave or add them directly to a soup and cook until completely warmed through.