Preparing Dried Beans & Peas
Each pound of dried beans will feed 4 - 6 people (5 - 6 cups cooked).
Rinse beans and pick out stems or stones.
Soaking Beans & Peas (Note: Lentils and split peas do not need to be soaked before
Quick Soak – Bring 1 pound of beans or peas and 6 cups of water to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let stand 1 hour.
Overnight Soak – Soak beans overnight in a pan containing 6 cups of water for each pound of
beans or peas. Beans and peas soaked by this method will keep their shape, have uniform texture
and cook more quickly. Overnight soaking of beans will make them more digestible so less
intestinal gas is usually produced after you eat them.
Cooking Dried Beans & Peas
1. Cover the soaked beans or peas with water. Add 1 tablespoon of oil or other fat to reduce
foaming during cooking.
2. Bring beans/peas to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender. Simmer gently to
prevent skins from bursting. Stir occasionally.
3. Beans and peas are done when they are fork tender. Most varieties will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours
4. One cup of dried beans or peas makes about 2-3 cups cooked.
Storing Dried Beans and Peas
l Store dried beans and peas in an airtight (covered) container. Store in a cool, dry area.
l Dried beans and peas may be stored up to two years.
l Cooked beans may be covered and refrigerated for 4-5 days.
l Freeze cooked beans - Most cooked beans freeze well (except lentils). Place 1 to 3 cups of
beans in a container or plastic freezer bag. Label bags with content, quantity and date. They
will keep for up to 6 months.
University of Illinois * United States Department of Agriculture * Local Extension Councils Cooperating
University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.
The Family Nutrition Program is funded with Food Stamp Administrative funds by the Food & Nutrition
Service of the U.