1 cup beans : 3-4 cups water


  • 1 cup dried beans (black, canelleni, garbanzo, adzuki, etc.)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 piece kombu (seaweed)
  • 2 clove garlic, mashed


First, check beans and remove any rocks or shriveled/broken beans, then rinse well. Soak beans for six hours or overnight, in a large bowl with water covering 4 inches higher than the beans. Soaking helps to increase digestibility and helps the beans cook more quickly.

Once soaked, drain and rinse the beans, discarding the water. Also discard any skins that may have come loose during soaking. Place the beans in a large pot and add 3 to 4 cups fresh water. Bring to a full boil and skim off the foam. Add a small piece of kombu (seaweed) and a few bay leaves or garlic cloves for flavor and better digestibility. If you like, you can add other aromatics such as celery, carrot, onion, parsley to add more flavor.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer for the suggested time (see chart below). Check beans at the minimum cooking time. Beans are done when the middle is soft and easy to squeeze.

1 cup dry beans

cooking time


45-60  minutes


60-90 minutes

black (turtle)

60-90 minutes

black-eyed peas

60 minutes


90-120 minutes

chickpeas (garbanzos)

120-180 minutes


60-90 minutes


60-90 minutes

great northern

90-120 minutes


60-90 minutes


30-45 minutes

lima beans

60-90 minutes


60 minutes


60-90 minutes


90 minutes

split peas

45-60 minutes

*do not require soaking

All times are approximate. Cooking lengths depend on how strong the heat is and how hard the water is. A general rule is that small beans cook for approximately 30 minutes, medium beans cook for approximately 60 minutes, and large beans cook for approximately 90 minutes. Be sure to taste the beans to see if they are fully cooked and tender.