Dried Beans – How to Cook the Ultimate Meal Prep Ingredient
Dried beans are the ultimate meal prep ingredient and long shelf life pantry staple.
Because they are cheap, healthy, filling, versatile, and easy to make.
At my grocery store, one pound of dried chickpeas costs about the same as a can of chickpeas. One pound of dried chickpeas yields about 7 cups of cooked chickpeas while one can yields about 1.5 cups. So, I’d have to buy over 4 cans to have the same amount of cooked chickpeas that I get from 1 pound of dried!
This easy method for how to cook all types of dried beans applies to the most common beans you find in your grocery store. It shows you how to cook chickpeas, cannellini beans, navy beans, great northern beans, kidney, black-eyed peas, black beans, pinto beans, lima and baby lima beans, gigante beans, and other dried beans of similar size.
Once you cook a big pot of beans, they are perfect for all of your meal prep for the week. I like to make about a pound of beans at a time.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on soaking, cooking, storing, and using dried beans so you can eat great on the cheap!
How Long Will Cooked Dried Beans Keep?
Beans keep at least 3-4 days, covered in the refrigerator.
What Type of Beans Does This Method Work For?
This method works for most types of beans that you will find at your grocery store. Here are a few favorites: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cannellini beans, navy beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, black beans, pinto beans, lima and baby lima beans, and gigante beans.
How Can I Use Cooked Beans?
Cooked beans are super versatile. Here are a few beans focused recipes:
- Black Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
How Do I Know How Many Beans to Make?
Below are some general dried bean conversions. Note that canned beans are just cooked beans.
1 pound dried beans = 6-7 cups cooked beans
1 pound dried beans = 2.5 – 3 cups dried beans
1 can of beans = 1.5 cups of cooked beans
1 can of beans = 9 oz. of cooked beans
3/4 cup dried beans = 1.5 cups of cooked beans (about the same as a can)
What Was Used in the Example Recipe Below?
The following recipe was created for example purposes using 1 pound of chickpeas. You can see from the picture below that they significantly increased in size after soaking and cooking.
This 1 pound of dried chickpeas measured just under 3 cups of dried chickpeas. After cooking, the volume increased to about 7 cups and the weight to almost 3 pounds. Those are some serious gains!
How to Make Dried Beans
- 1 pound chickpeas (about 3 cups) or other beans noted above. (can change this amount based on how much cooked beans you want. This yields about 7 cups cooked chickpeas.)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Soak dried beans - Add beans to a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water so that it covers the beans by a few inches. The beans will roughly double in size, so don’t skimp on the water. Add 1 Tbsp. kosher salt. Soak at least 8 hours.
- Drain and cook soaked beans - Drain the soaked beans and add them to a large pot. Fill the pot with water so it covers the beans by a few inches. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt. Simmer 45 minutes to 1.5 hours until beans are tender
- Prepare and/or store - Pour the pot into a strainer or colander. Use immediately or let cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator. You can also store the beans directly in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator. The beans will last 3-4 days.