Cooking Dried Beans: Recipe Ideas + Health Benefits

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Cooking dried beans is easier than you think. Not only that, but it’s healthier usually because of the added salts to canned beans. Dried beans are a great staple in a clean eating diet. I highly recommend it. PLUS it’s cheaper! See full details below on how to cook dried beans, health benefits of beans, and recipe ideas.
Guide to Cooking Dried Beans: How to cook, Health benefits and recipe ideas.


Beans. So fantastic, so many varieties, so many different flavors, so many different choices. We love them. We eat some kind of bean at least 3 times a week. They’re pretty awesome in that you can add them to burritos, salads, soups, or even just eat them with some rice.

They’re also pretty easy to get your hands on and eaten right away with the convenience of canned beans. However, I’ve personally found a new love for dried beans and how cheap it is to cook them up, freeze them and store until I need them for a recipe. Yes, cheap! I mentioned before in my Sweet Potato, Lima Bean and Kale Soup post just how much money you can save by making your beans this way. But I’ll say it again….

One 15 oz can of black beans will be about $1.50 on average. A 16 oz bag of dried beans is about $1.50 also. Cooking dried beans gives you a larger quantity, right? YES! I usually get about 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans from one 16 oz bag dried beans. And to compare that to the 15 oz can – once you drain the can its about 1 1/2 cups beans. This means that I net 3 cups more cooked beans when I buy a bag of dried verses a can. So, I save about $3.00. It pays to shop smart!! Clean eating can be done cheaply, too!

Keep in mind also that canned beans usually have added salt and when making your own from dried you’re in control of your added salt. If you do buy canned always rinse the beans to reduce the sodium/salt content.




Guide to Cooking Dried Beans: How to cook, health benefits + recipe ideas

Bean Varieties…

There are so many different varieties of beans out there. Click here to find dried beans on Amazon. Here is just a small handful of popular types:

  • Chickpeas (AKA Garbanzo Beans)
  • Puy Lentils
  • Green Lentils
  • Yellow Lentils
  • Red Lentils
  • Green Split Peas
  • Yellow Split Peas
  • Mung Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Red Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Cannelloni Beans
  • Soy Beans (AKA Edamame)
  • Adzuki Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Flageolet Beans


Health Benefits of Beans:

  1. Beans are Heart Healthy since they are high in soluble fiber. They lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. With canned you have to watch out for added sodium, but by making your own, you’re making the beans even healthier for your heart, since you control the amount of salt that goes into them.
  2. Dried Beans are naturally low fat and cholesterol free. Canned beans sometimes have added lard or other fats when they were processed – that’s why we recommend cooking dried beans instead.
  3. Beans are high in protein. 1/2 cup beans gives you about 7 grams of protein which is the same amount in 1 oz chicken or fish. They’re a great protein option for vegetarians and vegans.
  4. Beans contain antioxidants which can help prevent cancer. Eating about 3 cups a week has been shown to help reduce risk of diseases such as cancer.
  5. Beans prevent constipation. Because they are high in fiber, they’ll help with any problems you’re having with going to the bathroom.
  6. Beans are filled with nutrients. Not only high fiber and protein, but they also contain vitamins and minerals such as copper, folate, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Beans are definitely a clean eating and healthy food.
  7. Beans can help you lose weight. They’re high in fiber so they’re filling and they metabolize slower than other complex carbs. Add them to a salad if you feel like having a simple lunch without a ton of calories.




Cooking Dried Beans in a Crockpot the simple way:

The convenience of crockpot cooking is known around the world. Did you know you can cook dried beans in your crockpot and save them in tupperware containers for later use? Yes, you can! I do it all the time. It’s so easy and like I mentioned before, it’s cheaper than buying canned beans. Here is how to do it.

  1. Get a 16 oz bag dried beans. Sort and rinse them, searching for any rocks or other debris.
  2. Add them to your crock pot.
  3. Sprinkle on about 1-2 tsp salt & 2 tsp dried onion flakes.
  4. Fill the crock pot up with water about 1 1/2 inches above the bean level.
  5. Turn crock pot on high for about 5-7 hours. I usually check at about 5 hours how they’re doing. Sometimes you need to add more water and cook longer, sometimes they’ll be ready to go.
  6. Once they’re done, I get out my tupperware containers (you could use ziplock bags or any other freezer safe container) and I use a slotted spoon to drain the beans a bit and add them to the containers – about 1 1/2 cups each – making sure to leave a little room in the container for expansion.
  7. Store in freezer until you’re ready to add them to your meal. These are good added directly to a pot of soup, no need to thaw. OR, you could thaw them and use in burritos, tacos, salads, etc.
  8. They keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.




Cooking dried beans is easy, even without a crockpot – here’s how:  

  1. Get a 16 oz bag dried beans. Sort and rinse them, searching for any rocks or other debris.
  2. Add drained beans to a large pot.
  3. Add 6 cups water to the pot.
  4. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp onion powder or flakes. Stir.
  5. Cook with lid on, but with lid tilted a bit to allow steam to escape, so the pot doesn’t overflow. Cook until tender when taste tasted. It usually takes about 112 to 2 hours.
  6. If needed, while cooking the beans, add more water if you notice the beans are no longer sitting in water.
  7. Keep taste testing the beans until you feel they are soft and “done”.
  8. Once they’re done, I get out my tupperware containers (you could use ziplock bags or any other freezer safe container) and I use a slotted spoon to drain the beans a bit and add them to the containers – about 1 1/2 cups each – making sure to leave a little room in the container for expansion.
  9. Store in freezer until you’re ready to add them to your meal. These are good added directly to a pot of soup, no need to thaw. OR, you could thaw them and use in burritos, tacos, salads, etc.
  10. They keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.




Recipe Ideas that Include Beans

As you can see, beans are a great choice to add to your weekly clean eating meal plan. Cooking dried beans is easy and cheaper than canned beans – so I highly recommend you give it a try! 

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