Need to Quick Soak Beans? Here’s How!

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When you forget to soak them overnight, just quick soak beans instead! This method is easy and works for any type of beans and other legumes.

preparing to quick soak beans in glass measuring cup

Imagine the frustration… You’ve prepped all of the ingredients for a delicious pot of navy white beans or black bean soup for dinner. The hard work is done, and when you’re ready to start cooking, you realize the recipe requires you to soak the beans for 6-10 hours before cooking them. Oh no!

This happens more often than you might think (it’s happened to me more than once!). If and when it happens to you, there’s no need for frustration. Take a deep breath, then use these instructions to quickly soak your beans. You’ll be on your way to a delicious meal in no time!

To quick soak beans… or not

Now, some of you may be wondering, “Do you have to soak beans”? It is even necessary?

Well, the answer depends on who you ask. I’ll say this; there are known health benefits of soaking beans, especially for people with intestinal and/or digestive issues. There’s also the uncomfortable truth that soaking reduces the phytic acid that can cause gassiness.
Plus, professional chefs do it and they aren’t the type to do something for no reason. For the record, I will never turn down an opportunity to save time in the kitchen.

Long before he started writing, award winning journalist, author and cook, Michael Ruhlman, had a small food blog like this one.
He used the blogging platform to share his cooking knowledge and experience for several years; then he began sharing that same information in his books. In The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen, Ruhlman explains the importance of soaking beans. That sealed the deal for me.

So, the next time you forget to soak your beans, this method works great. It works for any type of legume, from pintos for authentic refried beans to chickpeas for Mediterranean hummus.

quickly soaking beans in water

How to quick soak beans

  1. Clean and sort them.
    Rinse your beans in a colander with cool tap water. Then pick through and discard any little stones or debris that may be packaged with them accidentally.
  2. Cover with water. Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with about 2 inches of water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, leave the pot uncovered and cook the beans for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from the heat and soak the beans. Let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour.
  5. Drain, rinse, and cook! Drain the beans into a colander, rinse and then cook according to your favorite recipe.

Drain the soaking water from the beans into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Transfer it to a covered container and store it in the refrigerator to use later, as the base for a delicious soup stock!

How to use them

As I mentioned above, you can use this method for all types of beans, for whatever dish you are preparing. After soaking, go ahead and make your dish following the recipe instructions.

If you don’t already have a recipe in mind, quick soak the beans for a batch of cilantro jalapeño hummus for a delicious, healthy afternoon snack!

quick soak beans

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This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking Jan 23, 2014, was last updated with new content on Nov 29, 2021.

titled image: beans soaking in water


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. Thanks for the quick soak tip. I make my mom navy bean soup every week and sometimes I get busy and need a quick soak method. She never has complained about gassiness, and I can do it in instant pot too.

      1. I’m making refried bean for only 2 people. Do I still use 1# of beans or do I cut the recipe in half.

      2. I would cut my Refried Bean recipe in half Kathryn, you may have some left over as the entire recipe is good for 6 people. There are so many ways to use beans too, for another recipe. I hope you take a look at some other recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this! We’ve been down with the flu, so of course we forgot the beans! I’m gonna give this a try. Glad I found your site, your recipes look right up my alley! I do a ton of traditional baking (probably why I haven’t found this site before, lol) but when it comes to dinner, a hearty healthy meal is where its at, so we eat a lot of legumes and pulses. I think your recipes will really come in handy. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kevin I used the quick soak method and saved myself a lot of time thanks.
      I have a question though, can sugar be added in beans to make them sweet? I’m cooking them in a crock pot, my mom always made the sweetest tasting pot of beans I have yet to mimick.

      1. Definitely Cindy. I have several beans recipes for you here on the site. Just type beans in the search bar and you’ll find them all. 🙂

  3. I asked my mum to make a dish with soaked beans and she said we have to soak them overnight before making any dish. I shared this article with her and my mum learned something new.

    Thanks for sharing mate.

      1. In a pressure cooker, there is a whistle on top. When the pressure is formed inside then it release air out making a whistle sound. So he means that you have to wait for that to happen 4 times. 🙂

      2. 5 stars
        Most Indian pressure cookers release excess pressure / steam in periodic whistles. Hence many Indians talk about cooking duration in number of whistles. Counting whistles is not an accurate method to time the cooking as the duration between whistles varies depending on the amount of heat / gas setting used i.e. 4 whistles on high flame is 5 mins while it might be 30 mins on a very low flame. For soaked chickpeas my suggestion would be to cook them for 8 mins on a low flame once the pressure us built up (or the first whistle has whistled if you were using any brand of Indian pressure cooker except Hawkins Futura) 😀

  4. Ohh I can relate to this. One day I completely forget to soak them overnight and my guests were coming. I got up in my dreams at 5 Am in the morning and tried this trick. By 7 AM they were ready to be cooked.

  5. Hi, is it normal for them to pop around the oven after this quick method? I dried mine for about half an hour then put then in the oven at 200’C and within 15 minutes they were popping all over the place…

    1. Not quite sure what you mean. At no point are the dried beans not in a liquid. The idea is to rehydrate the dried beans. What do you mean by popping around the oven?
      Rinse your dried beans in a colander with cool water. Pick through and discard any little stones that may be packaged with them accidentally. Cover the beans in a pot with about 2 inches of water. On high heat, bring the water to a boil and cook the beans for 5 minutes without a lid. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with a lid. Let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour. Drain the beans into a colander sieve, rinse and then cook according to your favorite recipe. Let me know!

      1. Oh sorry missed an important point! After following your instructions to quickly rehydrate my peas, I followed a recipe here: to make a nice snack… At the cooking at 200’c for 40 mins bit my peas started popping about… I just wondered if they need longer drying out before going in the oven having been in hot water?

      2. I can’t speak to another person’s recipe, but I could direct you to my Turkish Roasted Chickpeas. When using canned or cooked chickpeas for my recipe you need to make sure the chickpeas are dried off with a paper towel and then coated in the spice and oil mixture prior to roasting.

    2. I know this is late to the party, but you need to cook them in simmering water before baking them! That’s what’s going on. She was basically making popcorn with dried garbonzo beans. Cook the beans all the way through before starting any roasted bean recipe. And yah, dry them before going in the oven. I just put them in a colander and let them sit out for a while to get them mostly dry.

    3. Oh my lanta fran, when I read your post I laughed so hard I about peed my pants! I could not stop thinking of all these chickpeas poppin around the oven and I dont know, it brought me to tears. So many emotions!

      1. I’m right with you, Lola, except for the damp drawers. And I’ve never tried roasting pintos, so I was a little lost for a sec. (Take cover! Incoming!) 🤭😂🤣 Thanks for the laughs y’all!

  6. For chick peas for 500 grams you can use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and soak them overnight. It works wonders way better than salt.

    1. I guess “quick” is a relative term… Four hours doesn’t seem quick, unless, of course, that’s all the time you have left.