Basic Stove-Top Beans - KNEP - Kentucky Nutrition Education Program


Basic Stove-Top Beans

Servings:Makes 12 (6-7 cups)Serving Size:1/2 cup


  • 1 pound dry beans or chickpeas
  • 4 cups water for beans or 6 cups water for chickpeas
  • Salt, meat, bones, seasonings, bouillon flavoring, herbs, and spices, optional


  1. Wash hands with warm water and soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds.
  2. Drain the soaked beans and rinse with cool running water.
  3. Add the beans and fresh water to the pan.
  4. If using meat or bones to season beans, add them at this time.
  5. Place pot on medium-high heat. Bring beans to boil then reduce to medium-low heat and allow beans to simmer until tender. As beans cook and water evaporates, adding water may be necessary.
  6. Use the cooking times below as a guide. Your cooking time might be slightly less or more, so check for doneness throughout the cooking process.
  7. When beans are almost done, season with spices, herbs, or salt, if desired.
  8. Store cooked beans in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.



Soaking Directions:

  1. First, rinse and sort, removing dirt, rocks, and other debris that might be present. Remove beans that are shriveled or look unusual compared to the others.
  2. Next soak the beans or chickpeas. Use a pot large enough to account for the beans doubling in size. See some of the options in the chart below.


  • One pound of dried beans is about 2 dry cups, which makes about 6 cups of cooked beans.
  • Dried beans and chickpeas need to soak to soften the skin before cooking.
  • Older beans take longer to cook than fresher beans—do not mix the two.
  • Dry beans should be soaked before cooking. This will reduce cooking time. It will also help reduce digestive discomfort.
  • Do not add salt while soaking or cooking beans as this may toughen the beans. Add acidic foods such as tomatoes at the end; these can prevent beans from becoming tender.
  • If beans foam while cooking, add oil to the pan and leave the lid off.
  • Once cooked, dried beans and chickpeas can be enjoyed as a main entrée or side dish at meals. Cooked beans and chickpeas can be added to dips, soups, stews, salads, dips, and even dessert!
  • Two cups of cooked beans are equivalent to a 15-ounce can of beans.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: For info about a specific dry bean, please refer to the product’s Nutrition Facts Label or ingredient list.