Cooking dried beans, lentils or garbanzos is an economical and good way to control salt levels and flavors, besides also being healthy. It’s easy to make extra and freeze in portions for a quick meal.


  1. Soak 2 cups of dried garbanzos in double the amount of water- at least overnight (I prefer 24 hours). Use a big enough bowl/pot, they will expand and soak up a lot of water.
  2.  Drain water and put in slow cooker or stove top pot and cover with water.
  3. Add salt, pepper, half an onion, one or two bay leaves and smashed garlic clove. You can always just use salt or no salt for a neutral bean, but even with all these flavors, the bean is really versatile. (Salt amounts vary from bean to bean. Start with a teaspoon and go from there)
  4. Cook for 8+ hours in slow cooker or 2+hours on the stove top. Add water as needed. (See notes below)


  • For hummus you want a soft bean. Garbanzos take forever, don’t get worried.
  • Don’t throw out the cooking liquid! It’s great in soup (freezes like chicken broth) and you will need some for things like hummus.
  • This method works for pretty much for all beans. The cooking time in a slow cooker may vary. As a side note, we love our slow cooker, since you set it and forget it!
    • Beans: 6+ hours
    • Garbanzos: 8+ hours
    • Lentils: 3+ hours
  • Beans with some of them liquid freeze well.
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook on the stove top. But be aware that you will have to stir to avoid burning and you’ll have to keep an eye on the water level. Cooking on the stove top usually uses more water, and the cook time is different from a slow cooker:
    • Beans: 1 1/2+ hours
    • Garbanzos: 2+ hours
    • Lentils: 1+ hour

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