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How to Cook Beans & Lentils

Cuisine gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword beans, lentils
Author Diana Herrington


  • Dried Beans or Lentils
  • Water


  • Wash the beans or lentils in cold water and soak them overnight in three times the volume of water.
  • The next day, pour off the water.
  • Place them in a pot and cover with water 1 inch above the level of the beans or lentils.
  • Bring the pot with the beans to a boil. Let them simmer with the lid ajar.
  • Skim off the foam. Add more water to the pot if necessary.
  • Beans and lentils should always be covered with water while they are cooking. The cooking time will vary according to the type, size, and age of the bean or lentil.
  • Most beans will need approximately 2 hours of cooking time.
  • Lentils will take between 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Beans or lentils should be soft when they are fully cooked.  This is the stage that you can add salt, other seasonings, and vegetables.


Do not add salt while cooking, only add it when they are fully cooked as that will stop them from getting soft.