How to Cook Beans in a Slow Cooker

Do you ever try something new, something people have been recommending for years, and think “Duh, what took me so long?”  Well that’s pretty much how I feel about not only purchasing a slow cooker, but becoming somewhat of an expert at cooking beans in it.  Not that it takes much expertise to cook beans in a slow cooker. It’s so simple it’s laughable. Last week I made chickpeas for the first time in the slow cooker and I couldn’t believe how delicious they were compared to canned!

Why cook beans in a slow cooker or Crock Pot? Here are 4 great reasons:

1. Price: You get 6 cans worth of beans for the price of about one can of beans
2. Taste: They taste so much better
3. Health: You can control the amount of sodium in your beans
4. Safety: You don’t have to worry about exposing your family to BPA or whatever else is in a can’s linings that might not be safe for us to consume

Plus it’s so easy! My family eats beans at least once a week. Beans are so incredibly healthy, a fantastic source of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins.

So here’s how to cook dried beans in a slow cooker or Crock-Pot:

1. Soak 1 lb. dried beans in cold water for a few hours or overnight and drain them. Alternatively, quick soak by covering the beans with plenty of water in a pot, bringing it to a boil, turning off the heat and letting them sit, covered, for 1 hour, then drain. This is not necessary but it may reduce the beans’ gassy effect when you eat them.
2. Put the drained (or dry) beans in the slow cooker and cover them with water.
3. Add seasonings as desired. I recommend 1 – 2 tsp. of salt and then 1 – 2 tsp. of other spices like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder (make sure it doesn’t have added salt), paprika, pepper, etc., if desired.
4. Cook them on low for 7 – 10 hours until the beans are tender.  Drain and freeze or refrigerate them in 1 1/2 cup increments (measure the beans before freezing them because they are very hard to separate when frozen.)
5. That’s it!

Healthy family meals on the table in 30 minutes or less!

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9 thoughts on “How to Cook Beans in a Slow Cooker

Laurie says:

Can this be doubled in an ordinary sized crock pot? I have a huge bag of dried beans – am thinking of cooking 4 cups dried, assuming 2 cups = 1 lb. Sound right, or are my equivalencies off?

Stacy says:

Adding salt before cooking doesn’t make them tough? I thought I heard that somewhere but it wasn’t for cooking in a slow cooker.

Aviva says:

Stacy it really doesn’t, I did a little research and it seems to be fine to add salt to beans in the slow cooker.

Stacy says:

I made these last night! You’re right the salt didn’t make them tough. I do have another question though. I put them in the freezer in 1.5 cup portions in small freezer bags. When you use them in recipes after freezing and defrosting, does the texture get mushy? I hope not, because I got a lot of satisfaction out of doing this! :)

Aviva says:

Nope, they don’t get mushy at all, they have a great texture.

Sarah says:

Even I can do this. Our family is trying to move away from meat entirely. I can’t wait to try this!

Kirstin says:

I didn’t know you could freeze them! That’s a game changer for me! Can’t wait to try it now! I like using dried beans so much more than canned beans!

Aviva says:

Agree, Kirstin, I just made a pound of chickpeas, used some tonight, and froze the rest.

Julie says:

Thanks much! This is very helpful.

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