How to Prepare Dried Beans

It’s not hard to substitute dried beans for canned. This recipe will show you how.

by Dani YokhnaMarch 12, 2012
Bowls of dried beans
Courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock

One pound of dried beans equals three 15-ounce cans of beans. Use the instructions below to substitute dried beans in the recipe of your choice.


  • 1 pound dried beans (red, kidney, pinto or similar)
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • water to cover

Wash and sort beans. Place beans in 4-quart stock pot, and fill with enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. For added flavor, peel onion, but leave root intact. Cut in half and add to pot. Bring water to boil, then turn down to bare simmer. Cook until soft, about 1 to 3 hours, depending on type and age of bean. Remove onion, but do not drain.

To speed cooking, soak beans in cool water for 4 to 12 hours. For a quick soak, bring beans to a boil, cook 2 minutes, then soak for 1 hour. Drain beans, then cook as above. If you’re growing your own beans or buying them locally, it is rarely necessary to soak the beans first.

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