Skip to Content

Can you use dry beans for chili?

Chili is a hearty and satisfying meal that is perfect for a cold day. While many people prefer to use canned beans for convenience, some people wonder if they can use dry beans for chili. In this blog post, we will explore whether or not dry beans can be used for chili.

What Are Dry Beans?

Dry beans are a staple ingredient in many cultures’ diets. They are beans that have had all the moisture removed from them, leaving them dry and hard. They are often sold in bulk at grocery stores and come in a variety of types, including kidney, pinto, navy, and black beans.

Rehydrating Dry Beans

If you plan to use dried beans for your chili, there are two ways to rehydrate them. The easiest is to soak the beans in room-temperature water overnight or for approximately eight hours. Be sure that the beans are completely covered by at least three to four inches of water.

If you’re planning to make a last-minute decision to cook chili, you don’t have to give up on dry beans. You can also use the quick-soak method. To do this, place the beans in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and let it cook for two minutes. Then, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for one hour.

Advantages Of Using Dry Beans

One of the benefits of using dry beans is that they are less expensive than canned beans. When you buy canned beans, you are paying for the convenience of having the beans already cooked and ready to use. When you buy dry beans, you are paying for the beans and the work you have to put into cooking them. However, the cost savings can be significant if you use beans often.

Another advantage of using dry beans is that you can control the amount of salt and other seasonings that go into them. Canned beans are often high in sodium, which can be unhealthy if you eat them frequently. With dry beans, you can choose not to add any salt or add only a small amount, allowing you to control the flavor and keep the dish healthier.

Disadvantages Of Using Dry Beans

The main disadvantage of using dry beans is that they require more time and effort to cook. With canned beans, you can simply drain and rinse them before adding them to your chili. With dry beans, you have to soak them overnight and then boil them for several more hours before they are tender enough to eat.

Another challenge with using dry beans is that they can be more difficult to cook consistently. The age of the beans, the amount of water used, and the temperature of the cooking water can all affect how long the beans take to cook and how tender they become. If the beans are not cooked enough, they may be tough and dry, while overcooking can turn them mushy.

How To Cook Dry Beans For Chili

When cooking dry beans for chili, it’s important to start by soaking the beans. This step ensures that the beans cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the chili without becoming too dry or hard. Here are the steps to cook dry beans for chili:

1. Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any debris or dirt.
2. Cover the beans with water, ensuring they are completely submerged by at least three to four inches of water.
3. Soak the beans either overnight or with the quick-soak method.
4. Rinse the beans again and place them in a pot or slow cooker.
5. Add enough water or broth to cover the beans by one inch.
6. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the beans simmer.
7. Cook the beans for one to two hours, testing for tenderness every 30 minutes.

Once the beans are fully cooked, they can be added to your chili recipe. Keep in mind that dry beans will absorb more liquid than canned beans, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe.


In conclusion, dry beans can be used for chili, but they require more time and effort to cook than canned beans. However, the cost savings and ability to control the seasonings make dry beans a worthwhile option to consider. If you decide to use dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight and cook them until they are tender and flavorful.


Do beans need to be soaked for chili?

Whether or not to soak beans for chili is a topic of some debate among home cooks and professional chefs alike. Some say that soaking beans isn’t necessary at all, while others insist that it is essential for the best taste and texture. the decision of whether or not to soak beans for chili will depend on your personal preferences and cooking style.

Soaking beans for chili is a process that involves letting dried beans sit in water for several hours or overnight prior to cooking. This allows the beans to take on water and begin to break down the starches that would otherwise upset your stomach. This soaking process can also help reduce cook time and ensure that the beans are evenly cooked and tender throughout. In general, it is recommended that you soak beans for at least 8 hours or overnight before using them in chili.

One of the primary reasons many people choose to soak their beans for chili is because it helps make them more digestible. Beans are notorious for causing gas and bloating, and soaking is thought to reduce these effects by breaking down complex sugars that can be difficult for the body to digest. Soaking also helps to remove any excess dirt or debris from the beans, which can lead to a more consistently delicious final product.

While many recipes for chili call for soaked beans, some chefs and home cooks prefer to use unsoaked beans instead. This may be because they like the texture of the beans when they are firmer and have more bite. Some also believe that unsoaked beans have a more complex flavor than soaked beans. However, using unsoaked beans may mean that you will need to cook your chili for a longer period of time to ensure that the beans are fully cooked and tender.

Whether or not to soak beans for chili is a personal choice that will depend on your individual preferences and cooking style. While soaking beans can help make them more digestible and easier to cook, it is not strictly necessary for a delicious pot of chili. you should experiment with both soaked and unsoaked beans to see which you prefer and will give you the desired taste and texture you want for your chili.

Can I substitute dry beans for canned beans?

Yes, you can substitute dry beans for canned beans in recipes as it is a more economical and healthier option. Dry beans are less expensive, have a longer shelf life, and do not contain any preservatives, while canned beans are more convenient, as they are already cooked.

When substituting dry beans for canned beans, it is essential to note that the cooking time will vary. Dry beans require soaking before cooking, which means you need to plan ahead. To soak the beans, rinse them in cold water, and then cover them with water and let them soak overnight.

When you are ready to cook the beans, drain the soaking water, and rinse them again. Then put them in a pot and cover them with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the beans until they are tender, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the variety of beans.

Once the beans are cooked, you can use them in recipes just like canned beans. You can also freeze cooked beans for later use, making meal prep easier and quicker.

It is essential to note that the quantity of dry beans required for recipes will vary from canned beans. For a recipe that calls for one 15-ounce can of beans, you can cook 3/4 cup (4.5 ounces) of the dried version and be in the ballpark. Conversely, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of dried beans, you’ll need to buy two 15-ounce cans to have the 2+ cups worth of cooked beans the recipe will eventually yield.

Dry beans can be an excellent substitute for canned beans, but they require more preparation, planning, and cooking time. However, they are an economical and healthier choice, making it worthwhile to consider substituting canned beans with dry beans in many recipes.

How much dry beans equals 1 can?

When it comes to cooking with dry beans, you might frequently come across recipes that call for canned beans. But what if you don’t have any canned beans on hand and only have dry beans at home? How much dry beans should you cook to get the same amount as 1 can?

Typically, a standard 15 oz. can of beans will yield you about 1.5-1.75 cups of cooked beans, depending on the type of bean. This means that you will need to cook approximately 1.5-2 cups of dry beans to replace a can of beans.

However, it’s worth noting that not all beans cook at the same rate. Some varieties, such as black beans and navy beans, tend to take longer to cook than others like lentils and split peas. To ensure that you get the correct amount of cooked beans, you should follow the cooking instructions on the package of dry beans that you are using.

To cook dried beans, you usually need to soak the beans overnight in water. Then, drain the water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook them until tender. This usually takes anywhere from 1-2 hours, again depending on the type of bean.

Once the beans are cooked, drain them and measure out the required amount for your recipe. If you have leftover cooked beans, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for several months.

To replace 1 can of beans, you will need to cook about 1.5-2 cups of dry beans. However, it’s important to keep in mind the cooking time and instructions for the type of bean you are using to ensure that you end up with the correct amount of cooked beans for your recipe.