How To Cook With Dried Beans

How To Cook With Dried Beans

09 April 2020

Wondering what to do with that bag of dried beans? We’ve put together this useful how-to guide so you can whip up everything from sumptuous soups to spicy stews.
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Wondering what to do with that bag of dried beans? We’ve put together this useful how-to guide so you can whip up everything from sumptuous soups to spicy stews.

If ever there was a time to appreciate the deliciousness of dried beans, it’s now. Sure, they don’t look like much, but - when soaked and cooked properly - they have a level of flavour that you just don’t get from the tinned stuff.

While there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a tin of kidney beans or chickpeas to throw into a dish (particularly if you’re short on time), cooked dried beans tend to have a better texture and creamier taste than their tinned counterparts. But, they can be a hassle to get right. And - take it from us - there’s nothing worse than digging into a delicious plate of beans to discover that they’re rock hard.

So, we’ve put together this handy guide to ensure that you always get the best out of your (dried) beans. So, grab that bag of pulses gathering dust at the back of your store cupboard. A world of deliciousness awaits…

Soak your way to success

It may be disheartening to read that you can’t just use dried beans straight from the bag, but a little preparation can yield scrumptious results.

Before you start anything, check the date on your beans. While dried beans can last up to two years, the fresher they are, the better they'll taste. Then, simply soak your beans in salted water overnight before you use them. The salt will help the beans to cook faster, as it will break down their skins. If you’ve forgotten this step, don’t panic! A quick soak can be just as effective. Just put the beans in a lidded saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring them to the boil, then cover them and let them sit in the warm water for 30 minutes. When you need to use them, drain, rinse and you’re ready to go.

What’s your favourite dish to make with pulses? Share your recipes, tips and tricks in our Facebook community or tag @CirculonUK on Instagram.