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How to Cook With Dried Beans

White pot on stovetopMonica Buck
First, discard beans that are discolored or shriveled; then rinse them with cold water in a colander.
 Step 1: Soak them.
  • If you have an hour: Place the beans in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.
  • If you have all night (and don’t want to lift a finger): Place the beans in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Let soak at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours.

 Step 2: Cook them. Drain the soaked beans and return them to the pot. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 1½ to 3 hours. (Refer to the package directions for specific times. In general, the larger the bean, the longer the cooking time.) Note: A heaping half cup of dried beans is equivalent to a 15.5-ounce can of beans.

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Quick Tip


Broccolini is a cross between conventional broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It’s slightly sweeter and more tender than its relatives. If you substitute conventional broccoli in this recipe, cut it into long spears before cooking.