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a close up shot of black beans cooked on the stove.

Cooking Beans for Babies (3 Methods)

Beans are terrific first foods for babies! Here are three methods for cooking dried beans.
Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
soaking time 8 hours
Servings 12 (makes about 6 cups)
Calories 129kcal



  • 1 pound (2 cups) dried beans
  • Water or broth


Prepare the Beans

  • Sort through the beans to remove any debris or shriveled beans. Soak overnight or quick soak. Drain and rinse well.

On the Stove

  • Soak for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.
  • Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook, covered with lid slightly ajar,. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  • It will generally take about 1-2 hours to cook. Start checking for doneness after an hour. Continue cooking until beans are tender.

Slow Cooker

  • Place beans in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover beans with water. Close the lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. See note if using red kidney beans.

Instant Pot

  • Add beans to the Instant Pot. Cover with water and stir. Close the lid, making sure to turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Set the cook time using the Pressure Cook or Manual button, at high pressure. Keep in mind the IP will take about 15-20 minutes to reach pressure before cooking begins.
  • Cook for 8-15 minutes, depending on the variety. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. This will help beans retain their shape and avoids the liquid from foaming up into the steam valve.
  • If you find that beans are not as soft as you want them to be, put the lid back on, making sure the release valve is set back to "sealing" and cook at high pressure for several more minutes.


  • When cooking beans for the first time, start checking for doneness at the start of the cook time range. Write it down for future reference.
  • If cooking kidney beans in the slow cooker, be sure to soak and then boil for at least 10 minutes before adding to the slow cooker to make them easier to digest.
  • To store:
    • In the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container with or without the cooking liquid.
    • In the freezer: recommend freezing in 1 ½ cup portions. Freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg