How to Cook a Pot of Mixed Beans

by Kelly Morris

Beans are high in protein, high in fiber, and low in fat, according to the U.S. Dry Bean Council. A pot of mixed beans is simple to prepare and makes a nutritious meal. It’s a great choice for those on a tight budget, too. You can purchase bags of mixed beans at your favorite grocery store or you can select bags of your favorite varieties of beans and mix them together yourself. Add your favorite seasonings and any other ingredients you like and call it dinner.

Spread your dry beans on a kitchen towel and sort through them, removing any broken or shriveled beans, stones and other debris.

Rinse the sorted beans in cool running water.

Put the beans in a large bowl and cover them with 2 or 3 inches of water, then let them soak overnight. According to Whole Foods Market, this removes some of the indigestible sugars from the beans that tend to cause flatulence in many people.

Drain and rinse the beans.

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with two or three inches of water, stock, or broth. Whole Foods Market recommends not adding salt to the water because it interferes with the softening of the beans. Use low sodium broth or stock or begin cooking your beans in water and add broth or stock with salt partway through the cooking process. Wait until the beans are nearly done to add any seasonings.

Bring the pot to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer the beans, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if needed. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the beans, type of beans and the age of the beans. A pot of mixed beans should take one to two hours to cook. Beans are done when they are tender enough to be mashed with a fork.

Add desired seasonings or other ingredients, like ham, bacon, onions or peppers, when the beans are about halfway done cooking.

Add salt and any acidic ingredients like tomatoes when the beans are almost done, as these ingredients can affect the cooking process, according to What’s Cooking America.

Items you will need

  • Dried mixed beans
  • Kitchen towel
  • Large Bowl
  • Large pot
  • Water
  • Stock or broth
  • Desired seasonings and other ingredients


  • Add a couple bay leaves or a generous pinch of cumin to your beans while cooking them to reduce their gas-producing properties, as suggested by Whole Foods Market.

About the Author

Kelly Morris has been making a living as a writer since 2004. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph with a major in social work and minor in women's studies. Her work has appeared in a number of print publications including Caregivers Home Companion, Midwifery Today and Guide.

Photo Credits

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