Cooked Dry Beans

(Habichuelas Secas Cocidas)


Cooked Dry Beans is a staple in our culture.  We consume a lot of beans – specifically the red kidney beans.    However, this basic recipe can also be used to cook a variety of dry beans like pink beans, black beans, chick peas, green pigeon peas, pinto beans (pictured), etc.   For this cooking demonstration, we are going to cook dry red kidneys beans and then package them to be stored in the freezer for future use.

Since I seldom eat meat, I learned how to prepare many bean dishes – such as our stewed beans, black bean soup, bean burger, bean tacos, bean salad and bean tostadas.  Therefore, I cook large quantities of dry beans and store them in the freezer.   When a recipe calls for cooked beans as one of the ingredients, I just remove a package of frozen cooked beans and add them to my cooking vessel.  I love beans because they are a good source of plant-based protein.  They are also high in fiber and carbohydrates along with other nutritional sources from vitamins and minerals.

Food History!

The Taíno Indians cultivated the White Beans, Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans.  However, they preferred the red kidney beans because they were much larger and they cooked more rapidly.  In our culture, we cook and stew a variety of beans that are served over white rice.  The combination of rice and beans is considered a staple in the Puerto Rican cookery.

Why do we refer to our beans as “habichuelas” and not “frijoles” like most other Latin countries?   Because the moors and castillians referred to the bean pods as favichiela or judihuelas so they decided to combine both terms to come up with the name for all our beans as “Habichuelas.”

Sorting and Rinsing the Dry Red Kidney Beans!

Sort through the beans to remove any foreign particles like rocks, dirt and beans that are split into pieces.

Rinse the beans with cold running water, using a colander. 

Soaking the Dry Red Kidney Beans!


Place the rinsed beans in a large bowl. 

Pour 6 cups of water to cover the beans completely and soak the beans for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. 

Note:  Soaking the beans will allow shorter cooking time, minimize gas and preserve the benefits of the minerals and vitamins.   

When you initially soak the beans, they become wrinkly as they start absorbing the water.  After soaking the beans for 6 to 8 hours, the skin of the beans should be smooth.

Note:   If not, it is an indication that the beans are too old and should not be used.  You still might find one or two beans with wrinkles after soaking and that is okay – just remove them before rinsing.

Rinsing the Soaked Beans!

After soaking the beans for 8 hours, their volume increases as they absorb the water and their skin becomes smooth.

We can now pour the water into a colander along with the beans.  When you pour the water into a colander, you will notice that the water has a yellowish color. 

Quickly give the beans another rinse.   

Cooking the Dry Red Kidney Beans!

Place the soaked beans into a large pot and pour enough fresh water so that the water is at least 2 inches above the beans.   Bring the water to a boil.

Cooked Dry Beans

When the water is boiling, reduce heat to medium low.  Cover pot with a lid.  Simmer until the beans are tender approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Note:  I cook the dry beans without adding salt.  However, you can add the salt (according to your taste) when the water is boiling.

Checking the Cooked Dry Beans for Tenderness!

Cooked Dry Beans

After 30 minutes of cooking, remove several beans from pot with a spoon to check for tenderness.  

Cooked Dry Beans

I normally press down on the bean to make sure it is soft.  If the beans are tender, turn off the stove and allow the beans to cool for packaging.  If not, then cover pot with lid and continue simmering, checking the beans every 15 minutes.

Note:  Do not over cook the beans.

Packaging the Cooked Dry Beans for Future Use!

Cooked Dry Beans

When cooled enough to handle, place the cooked dry beans with liquid into a large bowl.

Cooked Dry Beans

You can either package the cooked dry beans in quart -size double sealed plastic bags or plastic containers with lids.   I prefer using the plastic bags for the beans.   Using a ladle, carefully fill the plastic bag with cooked beans along with liquid, at least 7 to 8 scoops.

Cooked Dry Beans 

Make sure you don’t fill the plastic bag to the top.  Seal bag tightly and continue this process. 

Cooked Dry Beans

Seal and date plastic bag and place in freezer for future use.  I normally obtain 3-quart size bags filled with cooked dry beans.

Cooked Dry Beans

This is a small plastic container that holds at least 2 cups of cooked beans with liquid.   Label and date the plastic container as well.  Cover with lid and store in the freezer.

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Cook Dry Beans!

Recipe and Nutritional Facts

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.


Cooked Dry Beans

  • Author: Aida's Kitchen®
  • Prep Time: 8 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 66 ounces 1x


Learn how to cook, package and freeze dry beans for future healthy and high protein recipes!  Beans are also a good source of fiber.



  • 1 pound dry beans (of your choice)
  • 3 quart size freezer bags


  1. Sort through the beans to remove any rocks or foreign particles.
  2. Rinse the beans.
  3. Place rinsed beans in a large bowl.  Pour enough fresh water (or 6 cups) to cover the beans completely.
  4. Soak the beans overnight for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Pour the soaking water into a colander along with beans and give the beans a quick rinse.
  6. Add the beans into a large pot.  Pour enough fresh water so that the water is 2 inches above the beans.
  7. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover saucepan with a lid.
  8. Simmer until the beans are tender, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Let stand to cool to package the beans.
  10. Carefully fill three plastic freezer bags with cooked beans along with liquid.


With a ladle, carefully fill each plastic bag with cooked beans along with liquid, 7 to 8 scoops.  Seal the bags tightly and place in freezer.  You can date and label the freezer bags if you so desire.  You can also use plastic containers with lids.

Prep time includes 8 hours of soaking.

  • Category: Cooked Dry Beans

Keywords: Cooked Dry Beans

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer

Category: Food Preparation Techniques, Recipes, Rice and Beans, Vegan and Vegetarian

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Aida, good morning! Just wondering when you freeze the beans, do you use the same liquid that you soak the beans in?

    • Hi Linda,

      After I soak the beans overnight, I drain the bowl and give the beans a quick rinse. Place the beans in a pot with fresh water and cook the beans. Once the beans are cooked, I pour 4 cups of beans (with liquid that the beans were cooked in) into a freezer quart-size bag. This is my method because everyone has there own method of cooking beans.


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