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Overhead shot of Black Beans, Green Lentils, and Pinto Beans all in separate pots on counter top.

How to Cook Beans – Black, Pinto, Navy, Kidney, Chickpeas & Split Peas

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  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4-5 cups cooked beans/chickpeas and 2 1/2 cups cooked split peas 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Learn how to cook beans, their health benefits, how and why we soak them, and more to achieve tender, flavorful beans for every recipe and occasion! 


Units Scale

Black Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto and Kidney Beans

  • 1 lb beans or about 2 cups (black, pinto, navy, kidney)
  • Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)


  • 1 lb dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Water

Split Peas 

  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Salt, to taste


Prep – Soak Beans

  • Quick Soak – In a large pot, place 1 lb beans (around 2 cups) and 8 cups of water. Bring the pot to a rapid boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 1 hour. Drain water and rinse beans.
  • Overnight Soak –  In a large pot, rinse beans then fully cover beans with water. Cover the pot and let it sit on the countertop overnight (6-8 hours) or place in the refrigerator if soaking longer than 8 hours. Drain water and rinse beans.
  • No soak – No soaking is required for split peas,  BUT rinse the split peas well in a fine-mesh sieve removing any debris.

Stovetop Option

Black Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto and Kidney Beans (w/ Soaked Beans)

Chickpeas(w/ Soaked Beans)

Split Peas

  1. In a large soup pot, add split peas, water or vegetable broth . Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir peas.

Instant Pot Option

Black Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto and Kidney Beans (w/ Soaked Beans)

Chickpeas(w/ Soaked Beans)

  1. Place soaked chickpeas, salt and enough water to completely cover the chickpeas in the inner pot of a pressure cooker.

Split Peas

  1. Place split peas, water or vegetable broth to inner pot of a pressure cooker.

 *See blog post for slow cooker split peas


TIPS for instant pot – The pressure cooking time for unsoaked is “generally” double the time as soaked. Please note that  depending on the age of beans and your pressure cooker, the texture (post natural release) will vary. Lower end range will result in firmer beans for tacos/salads/soups. Higher end will result in a soft buttery texture for blending or mashing.  Better to undercook then finish cooking on stove top if beans are too dense. *Navy beans can become mushy quite fast, so start with the shortest time and adjust to desired taste/texture.

Salt – Add salt for desired texture – add before for soft beans or near end for more al dente. With some beans, salting too early can affect the tenderness of your beans, and salting after they’re completely cooked will prevent the beans from absorbing the flavor.

Nutrition below based on 1/2 cup variety of cooked beans.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • soak time up to 24 hours:
  • Cook Time: 15-90 minutes
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stove/instant pot
  • Cuisine: multicultural


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup cooked beans
  • Calories: 90-120
  • Sugar: 0-3 grams
  • Sodium: 0-2 mg
  • Fat: 0-2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 17-22 grams
  • Fiber: 6-10 grams
  • Protein: 7-11 grams