Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active Time
10 Mins
Total Time
9 Hours 10 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Use this recipe as a template and the chart below for suggested simmering times. You can change up the aromatics (try adding a dried chile or piece of smoked bacon). Remember to cool and store the beans in their cooking liquid so they retain their flavor and texture.

This recipe goes with: Red Beans and Rice, Tuscan White Bean Salad with Shrimp, Maple-Bacon Baked Beans, Black Bean Dip, Texas Caviar

How to Make It

Step 1

Place beans in a large bowl or container; cover with cold water to 4 inches above beans. Let stand at room temperature overnight; drain.

Step 2

Bring drained beans and 10 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven, skimming surface occasionally. Add oil, 1 teaspoon salt, thyme, bay leaves, and onion to pan. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, and simmer another hour or more depending on the bean (see chart, below).

Step 4

Remove thyme, bay leaves, and onion; discard. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cool to room temperature in cooking liquid. Place beans and cooking liquid in an airtight container; refrigerate.

How Long to Simmer Each Bean Variety Cook the beans with the aromatics and 1 teaspoon salt for the first 30 minutes. Add the second teaspoon of salt, and cook for the suggested time or until beans are tender. Red kidney beans: 1 hr. Great Northern beans: 1 hr. 15 min. Black beans: 1 hr. 15 min. Cannellini beans: 1 hr. 45 min. Pinto beans: 1 hr. 45 min.

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