Slow-Cooked Beans

Slow-Cooked Beans

11 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004

By cooking your own dried beans, you save money, reduce sodium and get better flavor along with, surprisingly, more vitamins and minerals. If you can't use the whole batch, freeze surplus cooked beans for later use in soups, salads and dips. The range of time for cooking beans is wide and varies with the age and the type of beans selected.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 1 pound dried beans, such as cannellini beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, great northern beans or pinto beans (see Tip)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak beans in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.)
  2. Drain the beans and place them in a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Pour in boiling water. Cook, covered, on high until beans are tender, 2 to 3½ hours. Add salt, cover, and cook for 15 minutes more.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
  • Tip: Don't use kidney beans in this recipe; slow-cooking doesn't destroy a natural toxin in kidney beans that can cause severe digestive distress. After soaking, kidney beans must be boiled in fresh water for at least 30 minutes to render them safe to eat.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 253 calories; 1 g fat(0 g sat); 19 g fiber; 48 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 247 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 9 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 138 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 201 mg sodium; 712 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (62% daily value), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 starch

Reviews 11

July 30, 2018
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By: Chris M'Gonigle
This is a good base recipe. I did this but then I added a bunch of other things to it. When it was done, I mashed up some of the beans to thicken/ smooth it out so it turned into more of a bean stew. I added low salt beef bouillon, carrots, garlic, and some other things.
February 02, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Alternately... Rather than going through all of this, just rinse your dry beans and throw 'em in your slow cooker with water and other flavorings. Leave on low while you're at work (~8 hours) and come home to nicely cooked beans. Easy peasy...
January 29, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Simple, but make sure to boil Kidney Beans! This works great for black beans...tried it today. But don't you need to boil both red and white kidney beans to get rid of the toxin that's in them?
November 20, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Chickpeas/garbanzo beans? Does this recipe work for chickpeas/garbanzo beans as well?
November 09, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
what's the point? generally slow cookers are for one pot meals that you can throw together and cook while away. The cooking time is from 2 to 3 1/2 hours, so you must be nearby while cooking. why not just use a pot on the stove?
October 09, 2011
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By: brava313
Easy Basic Recipe What a simple and easy alternative to costly, high-sodium canned beans! However, if you decide to cook the beans longer, be sure to monitor the water level. Any beans not submerged will burn. Pros: Minimal Effort
August 15, 2011
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By: robinsplace
Loved this versatile recipe! This recipe is so versatile. I changed it up a bit by adding half the water the recipe called for and substitued chicken broth which gave it a richer flavor. I also added spicy shredded pork that I had leftover and it was fantastic!
November 14, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I used black eye peas for this recipe. I added some cooked chicken and a package of cream cheese to get the smooth texture and taste to balance the peas. Wonderful!
September 29, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Best bean slow-cooker recipe I've tried. Adding the boiling water allows them to cook evenly. I cook 1 lb bags of black or pinto beans and freeze in ~2 cup portions for later use.
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