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11/8/08

Dried to canned beans conversion

Image from Wikipedia.

Here is a conversion chart that I compiled to help me use more dry beans. All numbers are approximate, of course, but they've worked for me so far.

A standard can of beans is 15 ounces. Small bags of beans you get at the store are usually 1 pound, but sometimes 2.

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1 15-ounce can of beans equals
  • 1/2 cup dry beans, before cooking
  • 1 1/2 cups beans, after cooking

1 pound dry beans equals
  • 2 cups dry beans, before cooking
  • 6 cups beans, after cooking
  • 4 15-ounce cans of beans

1 part dry beans equals
  • 3 parts cooked beans

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See the rest of the dried beans series here.

Related links: 
Dry vs. canned beans: cost comparison
Roasted applesauce
How to use up what's in the fridge




You can find more conversion information here. Picture by Kate Greenaway.

39 comments:

  1. I need to use beans more. Thanks for this conversion table.

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  2. I also need too! Thanks!

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    1. I just started eating more beans, cutting meat down to a minimum and I have lost a lot of weight and feel much healthier. I have discovered so many kinds of dried beans. Thank you for this conversion table.

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  3. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been trying to figure this out. We usually use canned beans but since they are so much more expensive, I am trying to plan ahead and use dried. Thanks again for the help!

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  4. Thanks for posting this series! I was wondering about the conversion from a can of beans to dry beans...since most of the recipes now call for 1 can of beans instead of cups.

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  5. Oh thank you for posting this! I have so many recipes that call for canned beans and I like to use dry, so I give up because my brain can't handle thinking about making the conversion. Thank you!

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  6. Thanks! I am making a big pot of chili today and the recipe called for canned beans and I wanted to use dry. Perfect!

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  7. Thank you! I'm making some chili and we have lots of dried beans in the house, but we don't use them because it's easier to get the canned and I wasn't sure how the conversion worked!

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  8. My question: what's the fastest way to prepare dry beans so they are edible? I'd use them more, but have never found a quick, easy way to soften them.

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    1. Pressure cooker:) 12 minutes for larger beans like a lima or kidney bean.

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    2. Not nearly as fast as a pressure cooker, but if you don't have one: You can cover the beans in water in a pan and bring them to a boil - take it off, cover them, and let them soak for an hour (rather than overnight) and then change your water and boil them for 1-2 hours. I know that's not very quick, but faster than overnight and a few hours simmering!

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  9. Thanks so much, just what I was looking for!

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  10. Your chart is a lifesaver -- thanks!

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  11. I have been trying to find this for so long! Thank you so much for posting.

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  12. I try to use dried beans over canned as much as possible. A pressure cooker makes it easier! You still soak them, but they cook up much faster and they are very tender.

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  13. Thank you so much. i eally needed this

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  14. I have used your bean conversion so many times. Thank you so much for figuring it all out! I did a price conversion for where I live. I thought I'd share (hope that's alright).

    1 can of black beans = .80
    1 lb of dried beans = 1.10

    I have a gas stove. I couldn't find how much it costs to run my stove exactly, so I took the cost of filling our tank once a year, divided it by the number of days in a year, then divided it by the number of actual meals I cook a day. It came out to $0.27 per meal. (I think it's actually less because I didn't figure in the cost of baking all our bread and the cost of canning, but I'd rather over estimate my cost than under estimate).

    So ...
    1 lb of dried beans = $1.37
    4 cans of beans = $3.20

    Mary

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  15. I'm finally ready to make the switch from canned beans -- thank you so much for helping guide the way!

    And although I'm sure Kevin has already had his questions answered (since 2009), I've found this site useful for prepping dried beans: http://missvickie.com/howto/beans/howtosoak.html

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  16. Thank you for the conversion table. I cooked up a bag of red beans for beans & rice and didn't know how much 28 oz. would be. This will also help me freeze the extras in "can equivalents" for later use.

    I am looking forward to reading through your newer posts. Blessings on the new year!

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  17. I needed to find a conversion to avoid using canned beans because of the high salt content. I have congestive heart failure and am limited to the amount of salt in my diet. I also have to avoid using ham to cook the beans. Thank you for your work with the conversion!

    Judy Anderson

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  18. Thank you for you posting this conversion table. I am searching for ways to add more healthly sound nutrition to our meals and keep costs down. So according to the coversion table, a 1 lb bag of red kidney beans which equals 2 1/2 cups. (I did measure) Price in our area $1.59. This should yield about 7 1/2 cups when cooked. A lot less cost than 4 cans (about 8 cups worth based on 15 or 16 oz. Cans prepared )

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  19. I was glad to find this table. I wanted to add that I use a pressure cooker to make my dried beans. I am making chili in a crock pot today and am using cannelini beans (almost $3 per can!). I used 1 1/2 cups dried beans plus about 8 cups of water and a smidge of oil in the pressure cooker. I cooked it on high pressure for 10 minutes and they were done but just firm enough so that when I cook them in the crockpot for another 5 hours, they won't become mush. A pressure cooker is a huge energy saver and time saver for beans.

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  20. Gah! I am trying to find weight conversions from tinned beans to dried beans for the same reasons as everyone else - recipes say tins of beans and I'd rather use dried. But I'm in the UK and we don't use cups, we use weight. It seems really strange to me to convert a 400g or 14oz tinned weight to a volume measure like cups - why not convert it to dried weight?

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  21. I buy my dry beans from a health food store, and they take half as long to cook, because they are fresher than the regular store, purchase....

    Thank you for your site!!

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  22. thank you was exactly what i was looking for

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  23. Thanks! Am prepping for hyperinflation and canning chili with dried beans. Greeks announced today they are pulling their bank funds to buy "canned" goods..it's a comin' to the US folks so get prepared!

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  24. Thank you, thank you!! I have so many dried beans I need to use up. Can't emphasize my appreciation enough!!

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  25. before finding your blog here's how I did it.
    Look at the nutritional information on the can of beans. EX: my 15 oz can of white beans says it has 3.5 servings and that a serving = 1/2 cup. I'll take my cooked beans and freeze them in 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup packages for quick dinners.
    I'd think the same method would work in the UK.
    My other problem has been getting the dried beans to cook up soft enough. I don't want to had baking soda because of the sodium and if I use too much baking soda I'll deplete the B vitamins. Pressure cooking gave me soft, low sodium beans.

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  26. Thanks for your help! This chart covers every question I had about bean conversions. I really appreciate you putting this online. :-)

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  27. Pinned it to my Pinterest so I don't forget link. Thanks!

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  28. This is so helpful! I am repeatedly searching for this information when I need to make beans, so I appreciate having it all in one place! I even printed it out for my bean jar!

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  29. Very useful page -- thanks! I found it because I'm working from a recipe for that uses canned beans.

    I eliminate the cooking costs entirely by cooking beans (and lots of other things) in a solar oven. Aside from a little preliminary saute-ing and blending, my recipe will be cooked cost- (and carbon-) free.

    -- Drew

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  30. Thank you! This helps me tremendously!!!

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  31. I just wanted to say a quick thanks! This is exactly the info I have been looking for! =)

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  32. Thank you - This is very helpful - with the news of how bad the lining of cans to our health, the switch to cooking dry beans is the answer to DIY healthy and yummy beans.

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  33. I've found recipes lately that called for canned beans taste bland when using dry beans. Are there suggestions for adding flavor without all the salt and sugar that canned beans have?

    I usually cook my beans in the oven or in a crock pot

    Here's the directions I copied from an internet search.

    How to cook dry beans in the oven:
    Heat the oven to 325°. Put 1 pound of beans in a 3-quart (or larger) Dutch oven or pot with a tight-fitting lid. A clay pot is ideal. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 1 inch. Put on the lid and bake for 75 minutes. Check the beans and stir them. If they are tender, take them out of the oven. If they aren't done, put them back in for 15 minute intervals until they are, adding a cup of hot water if they seem to be drying out. This will take at most 2 hours, but will probably take less than 90 minutes.
    You can add aromatics like a bay leaf, chipotle pepper, or a few cloves of garlic, but do remember that fresh heirloom dried beans have enormous flavor all on their own. They are not the bland mush of canned beans.
    More bean basics:
    • Canned vs. freshly-cooked beans: I always substitute based on volume. So, since a 15-ounce can of beans will give you slightly less than 2 cups of beans, then I substitute about 1 3/4 cups of freshly cooked beans for a can.
    • Canned vs. freshly-cooked bean equivalents: 1 pound of beans will give you roughly the same amount as 3 15-ounce cans of beans, or about 5 cups.
    • Using beans in soups: I would personally cook the beans slightly less, leaving them a little al dente in the center, before adding them to a long-simmered soup.
    Readers, do you have other tips for Jeff, and have you ever tried this method of baking beans in the oven? If you haven't, give it a try! It works!
    Related: Heirloom Beans by Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo

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    1. You might try adding salt, garlic and onion powder, and a bay leaf to your cooking water. I cook my beans without salted water and they are a bit bland until I spice them up in recipes.

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