How to Cook Kidney Beans – Fresh or Dry?

how to cook kidney beans
how to cook kidney beans

The kidney beans are a legume that is widely sold in the World. In the supermarket, they are for sale in glass and in cans. However, there are also fresh and dried beans for sale and of course, we also want to prepare them. We usually cook kidney beans before consuming them or processing them in another dish.

Cooking brown beans. You can soak dried kidney beans for 8 hours first, but you don’t have to. Boil soaked kidney beans in plenty of water for 60 minutes. Boil unsoaked beans in plenty of water for 90 minutes. Shell fresh beans and cook for 15 minutes. Don’t use salt, read on for why not!

The brown beans are only 1 of the many types of beans that are for sale in the Netherlands. There are at least 17 types of beans for sale and each bean can be used for a different dish. One bean is delicious in a salad and the other bean is delicious in a soup. Check out our blog about 17 types of beans and you will immediately know what you can use them for.

How Long Should Kidney Beans Cook?

How long you have to cook kidney beans depends on the type of beans, dried or fresh and the preparation of the beans, soaked or not. The principle of cooking remains the same, only the preparation has an influence on the cooking time.

No salt is added during cooking, this can make the skin of the bean tough and the kidney beans can burst open. What you can do is to add crushed garlic, onion rings or, for example, a stock cube for more taste.

# Kind of Brown Bean Weeks Cooking time
1 Dried kidney beans No 75-90 minutes
2 Dried kidney beans Yes, fast method 45-60 minutes
3 dried kidney beans Yes, normal method 45-60 minutes
4 Fresh brown beans No 15 minutes
5 Dried kidney beans Yes, fast or normal 30 minutes
6 Reheating brown beans in the microwave No 3 minutes

The above times are of course guide times. It all depends on how old the beans are. The older the kidney beans, the longer they have to soak and the longer they have to cook. If you have bought dried kidney beans in a bag, always read the packaging.

Cooking Dry Kidney Beans

Cooking dried kidney beans can be done in two ways, no in three ways. I discuss these three ways below.

The difference in the ways is in the preparation. You can soak the kidney beans first and then cook, speed up soak and then cook or not soak and cook immediately. It just depends on how much time you have and what you prefer.

Cooking the kidney beans is ultimately no different with the 3 way, it’s in the preparation.

Cooking Kidney Beans without Soaking

Usually, dried beans are soaked first and then cooked. This should counteract the nuisance some people experience after eating kidney beans. However, this is not scientifically proven and falls under the chapter anecdotes. Soaking would also provide a finer and softer taste than the unsoaked beans.

Cooking kidney beans without soaking takes longer, which of course makes sense. The cooking time for unsoaked beans is about 75-90 minutes.

  • Rinse the brown beans well under the tap. Remove dirt and sand from the beans.
  • Place 1 cup of beans and 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Do not add salt as this may break the beans open.
  • Put the lid on the pan and cook the beans on medium heat for 60 minutes. Stir the pan occasionally.
  • Remove a bean from the pan and taste to see if it is already nice and soft, al dente is not an option with beans.
  • Not yet cooked, cook the beans a little longer and stick with them to check doneness. It may even take 30 minutes longer for the unsoaked beans to be cooked through and nice and soft.
  • Cooked beans should be nice and soft. They digest better and taste better.
  • Drain the beans in the colander.

Your beans are ready to be eaten after the boiled potatoes or you can use them in a Mexican burrito for example!

Cooking Kidney Beans In Soaking Water

If you choose to soak the kidney beans, you can choose two options, namely slow or fast soak. Both methods work fine, it’s just a matter of time.

When you are going to soak the beans, you need a ratio of 1:3, 1 cup of beans to 3 cups of water. The dried beans absorb a lot of moisture hence the abundance of water. Before soaking, rinse the kidney beans under the tap to remove dirt and sand. Now the weeks themselves.

Kidney Bean Soaks

Put the kidney beans and water in a ratio of 1:3 in a large saucepan. Place the pan in a quiet place and soak the beans for at least 8 hours.

Brown Bone Quick Soak

For quick soaking, we boil the kidney beans and water in a 1:3 ratio. Boil the beans for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Now let the beans soak for at least two hours.

Now we can cook the beans. You can cook with the same water as the beans were soaked in. If a lot of liquid has been absorbed, add a little more water to the pan. If you don’t want this, you can change the water. Cooking beans in soaking water is similar to cooking beans without soaking, only the cooking time is shorter, i.e. 45-60 minutes

  • Place the pan with brown beans on the heat source and bring to the boil. Do not add salt.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and put the lid on the pan.
  • Boil the beans for 45 minutes and taste a bean to see if it is already nice and soft. Beans are not eaten al dente but just when they are soft.

Cooking Fresh Kidney Beans

With fresh kidney beans, cooking is a completely different story. Fresh is fresh! They are not dried to last longer. Or are not in a glass jar or can in which they are cooked.

To cook fresh kidney beans, first remove the beans from the pod, if you haven’t already done so. Then rinse the brown beans under the tap.

Place a pan with plenty of water on the heat source and bring to the boil. Carefully add the kidney beans and cook the beans for 15-20 minutes until soft.

It’s that simple with fresh kidney beans, don’t soak, don’t cook for a long time, just cook for 15 minutes in plenty of water.

How to cook kidney beans in a pressure cooker

Cooking kidney beans in a pressure cooker is done very quickly and saves a lot of energy. I use the soaked beans for cooking kidney beans in a pressure cooker.

Place the kidney beans in the pressure cooker along with water. Close the pan and bring it to a boil. Boil the brown beans for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the beans cool slowly and open the pan when they have cooled. The beans are now wonderfully soft and you can use them in any dish. Delicious in a soup or burrito.
If you don’t want to let them cool down, cook the brown beans for 35 minutes and they are nice and soft and can be eaten right away. It just depends on how much time you have and whether you want to consume them right away.

Cook kidney beans in Microwave

The microwave is not used to cook kidney beans but only to heat them up. Then the boiled kidney beans.

Place the cooked kidney beans (home-cooked, from a jar or from token) in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Set the setting to high and the timer to two minutes. This is usually enough to warm up the kidney beans.


Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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