How to: cook dry beans in less than 3 hours

For when you're in a hurry but still want to be cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

I am trying to buy more dry legumes since that is environmentally friendlier and they taste better than the canned ones, but I always find myself still keeping some canned ones since I frequently decide I want to use legumes in a recipe the day of… and then I don’t have time to soak and cook them beforehand. Yes, I know I can use a pressure cooker, but I don’t want to own one of those again since they are bulky and a pain to clean.

However, with just s stove top and pot, I learned a way to speed up bean cooking from dried ones that I can do day-of–if I have 3 hours to spare–and also get a nice starchy vegetable broth out of it. Here’s what worked for me.


  1. Add desired amount of dry beans to a pot.
  2. Fill it with water so that there are about 3-4 inches of water above the beans.
  3. Bring it to a boil, and let that sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and let it soak for at least 1 hour.
  5. Bring the water back to a boil, adding more if needed so there are still 3-4 inches above the beans.
  6. Let that sit again for another 10 minutes.
  7. Lower the heat to a simmer.
  8. Add bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seeds, etc. Whatever are your favorite stew spices. But no salt.
  9. Add some garlic cloves.
  10. Add some vegetable scraps, peeled skins, etc. Examples: onion, carrot, celery, wilting herbs, etc.
  11. Let that all sit with a lid on top, slightly ajar, for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  12. In the last half hour of sitting, optionally add a few pinches of salt.
  13. Remove the vegetable scraps and bay leaves.
  14. Strain out the beans and preserve the starchy broth.

With 10oz of uncooked garbanzo beans, I end up with about 20oz of cooked beans and 3 cups of broth.