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.

Jerry Anne Di Vecchio
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.)

  • 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 3 1/2 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 Facts

253 calories; protein 14.6g; carbohydrates 47.6g; dietary fiber 18.6g; sugars 1.4g; fat 1.1g; saturated fat 0.2g; vitamin a iu 9.4IU; vitamin c 3.7mg; folate 246.6mcg; calcium 137.8mg; iron 4.4mg; magnesium 96.6mg; potassium 712.1mg; sodium 200.9mg; thiamin 0.4mg.

Reviews (4)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
A very healthy meal easy preparation. I add cubes of boiled chicken and stir in some salsa to make it heartier. Very low fat and lots of protein and fiber! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
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... Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Chickpeas/garbanzo beans? Does this recipe work for chickpeas/garbanzo beans as well? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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? Read More
Rating: 3 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 1 stars
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? Read More