How to Prepare & Cook Dried Legumes

Dried beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are one of the most affordable sources of nutrition available on the shelves. They are full of good-quality plant-based protein, filling fibre, and a whole lot of other important nutrients. I’ve spoken a bit about the benefits of soaking legumes on the blog before, but in short, properly soaking of your legumes helps a lot with reducing cooking time, promoting the breakdown of phytates, as well as in aiding digestion. It can seem a bit daunting to cook your own legumes, and often the tinned versions seem a whole lot easier, but once you start soaking, rinsing, and cooking them yourself I’m pretty sure that you won’t turn back. It requires very little effort, and the benefits of preparing your own legumes are many. 

Do yourself a favour and make sure to buy some dried chickpeas and follow this step-by-step guide to help you soak and cook them properly for a tasty recipe coming your way later this week ๐Ÿ™‚ 

A Step-by-step Guide

  1. Pick your legume. Look for beans/peas/lentils that are relatively uniform in size and colour. After selecting, quickly sort through them and throw away any cracked or broken legumes, and any other debris that you find.
  2. Rinse your legumes in a sieve or colander under cold running water before pouring them into a large pot.
  3. Cover with a few extra centimetres of warm or freshly boiled water, 2 Tbsp per 1 cup of legume of an acid (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice), and soak according to the guide below.
  4. After soaking, drain, rinse again well and return to the pot (after rinsing out the pot of course). Cover the legumes with lots of fresh, cold water, place the lid on the pot, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the legumes are tender.
  5. When cooked, remove the pot from the heat and add 1 Tbsp salt per 1 cup of legumes to the pot. Place the lid back on the pot and let the legumes soak in salty water for 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. Drain, rinse well, and either use immediately or store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week.

A General Guide to Legume Soaking & Cooking Times

DRIED LEGUME

(1 CUP)

SOAKING TIME COOKING TIME

(IF SOAKED)

APPROXIMATE YIELD

ADZUKI BEANS (195 g)

None, or overnight if possible

30 minutes

2 ยฝ cups / 575 g

BLACK BEANS (190 g)

Overnight

45-60 minutes

3 cups / 515 g

BLACK-EYED PEAS (180 g)

Overnight

60 minutes

3 cups / 600 g

BROAD BEANS (150 g)

Overnight 45-60 minutes 3 cups / 510 g

CHICKPEAS (185 g)

Overnight 1 ยฝ hours

3 cups / 495 g

HARICOT BEANS (185 g)

Overnight 45-60 minutes 3 cups / 545 g
KIDNEY BEANS (200 g) Overnight 60 minutes

3 cups / 530 g

LENTILS, BLACK (230 g)

None, or overnight if possible 10 minutes 2 cups / 400 g

LENTILS, DU PUY (210 g)

None or overnight if possible 10-15 minutes

2 ยฝ cups / 450 g

LENTILS, GREEN/BROWN

(200 g)

None or overnight if possible 15-20 minutes

2 ยฝ cups / 450 g

LENTILS, RED (225 g)

None or overnight if possible 10-15 minutes

2 cups / 400 g

MUNG BEANS (210 g)

None or overnight if possible 60 minutes

2 cups / 200 g

PINTO BEANS (200 g) Overnight 45-60 minutes

3 cups / 515 g

SPLIT PEAS (210 g)

None or overnight if possible

10-25 minutes

2 cups / 400 g

WHOLE DRIED PEAS (200 g) Overnight 30-45 minutes

2 cups (400 g)

Resources

[1] Britton S. My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season. London: Pan Macmillan; 2015. 256 p.

[2] Frenkiel D, Vindahl L. The Green Kitchen: Delicious and Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day. Hardie Grant Books; 2013. 256 p.

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