How to Prepare Dried Beans (Overnight and Quick Soak Included)

Did you know that there are multiple ways to prepare dried beans??  They are easy to do and there are benefits to both so which do you do?  Check out both below and decide which you like!

Piles of different dried beans on a table with a text overlay that says how to prepare dried beans

Do You have to Soak Beans before cooking them?

One way to be healthy and to use some of your stored beans is to soak them and use them in place of meat.  One of the first questions I get asked of people who are new to dry beans is if you need to soak beans before cooking them.

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is you don’t HAVE to do it, but there are some benefits to doing it that may be beneficial to you and your family.

Does soaking beans reduce gas?

Soaking beans does a lot for the nutrition of the beans along with the fact that it can reduce gas.

When you soak beans you are allowing the beans to slowly reconstitute.  As they do this the beans become less grainy and smoother in texture.  This is great for people who have texture sensitivities.

As the beans get softer and smoother the beans release a complex sugar called raffinose.  This is hard for the body to break down so it causes gas when you eat foods that contain it.  When you soak the beans the sugar is released into the water and drained with the water when you discard the bean soaking water and switch it for cooking water.

How to soak dried beans

There are a couple of ways you can reconstitute dry beans.  Both are good, it is more of a preference thing which one you use.

How to overnight soak dried beans covered or uncovered

1. Overnight Soak- to do this method you sort and rinse the beans.  then you put 3 times the amount of water in the pan and soak them overnight.  The next morning, you will need to cook the beans for 1-1,5 hours and then you can cool and store in the fridge until night.  If you are looking to reduce gas caused by beans drain the water and refill with 3 times the water and cook.

How to cook dried beans the quick soak method

Quick Soak- To do this sort and rinse beans.  Then cover with 3 times water and bring to a boil 2 minutes.  Then turn off the Youheat and let soak for 1 hour.  Then turn on the heat again and simmer covered 1-1.5 hours.  Darker beans take longer to cook so keep that in mind.  If you are looking to reduce gas caused by beans drain the water and refill with 3 times the water and cook.

When to use dried beans that have been soaked

Usually when I use the soaked beans I use them right away.  But there are times when I know I will be using the beans later in the week or month so I will soak extra and store it for later.

There are tons of ways to store them.  These are a few of my favorites that I find store well for use within a month.

How to store soaked beans

After you have soaked and cooked your beans you can store them in 2 different pays if you are not using them to cook with right away. You can store them for the short term in your fridge or for the long term in your freezer.

How to store soaked beans for short term use in the fridge

To store your beans in the fridge, let them cool first. Take them out of the pot and drain.  Put the soaked dried beans ina ziplock bag or a storage container that is air-tight.  If you are putting them into a ziplock be sure the air is all taken out and it is sealed tightly.  They can be stored in the fridge for 2 months.

How to store soaked beans for long term use in the freezer

If you want to use the beans over a longer period of time, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. Take them out of the pot and drain.  Put the soaked dried beans in a ziplock bag or a freezer storage container that is air-tight.  If you are putting them into a ziplock be sure the air is all taken out and it is sealed tightly. Put them in the freezer laying flat if you can.  This makes it easier to store them after they are frozen.

Recipes that use dried beans

If you need some recipe ideas for using up these prepared dried beans, check out these recipes.

Aluminum dish of vegetarian mexican lasagna with tortillas

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Slow Cooker Calico Beans 

Zucchini and Garbanzo Bean Ragout Recipe

Healthy Zucchini and Garbanzo Bean Ragout

Close up picture of a bowl of the easy stove top mexican chicken recipe. It has a text on the picture that says easy stove top mexican chicken.

Easy Stove Top Mexican Chicken Skillet Dinner Recipe

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