How to Cook Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are large, white Italian beans that have a creamy texture when cooked. Enjoy cooked cannellini beans in chili, soups, stews or bean salads. Use canned cannellini beans, which are already cooked, when you are in a hurry, or save money by cooking your own dried beans. You can soak your beans overnight, or do a quick soak method to speed things along. Dried beans cook easily on the stove, with little attention required.

Overnight Soak

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of dried cannellini beans into a mesh strainer. Rinse the beans and pick them over with your fingers, throwing out any beans that look wrinkled or discolored. Throw out any small rocks that are in the beans.

Step 2

Place the beans in a large pot and cover the beans by 1 in. with fresh, cool water. Cover the pot and let the beans soak for at least five hours or overnight.

Step 3

Pour the beans into the strainer, and rinse them with cool water.

Step 4

Return beans to the pot along with enough water to cover the beans by 2 in. Place the lid on the pot and bring the beans to a boil.

Step 5

Remove the pot lid and scoop off and discard any foam from the surface of the water with a spoon. Boil the beans, covered, for another 10 minutes, then repeat the scooping process.

Step 6

Add a pinch of salt to the cooking water and reduce the heat on the stove to simmer. Place the lid half on and half off the pot and let the beans cook for another hour to an hour and a half, until tender.

Step 7

Drain the beans and add them to your soup, stew or salad dish.

Quick Soak

Step 1

Place your beans in the mesh strainer, rinse the beans and discard any that are wrinkled or discolored, also removing any rocks.

Step 2

Place the beans in a large pot on the stove and add enough water to cover the beans by 1 in. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.

Step 3

Boil the beans for two minutes, then turn off the heat and let the beans sit, covered, for one hour.

Step 4

Drain the soaked beans and cook them following steps four through six in the overnight soaking method.

Things You'll Need

  • Mesh strainer

  • Large, lidded pot

  • Spoon

  • Salt


1 cup of dried cannellini beans will result in 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

Cooked cannellini beans will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container with the cooking liquid for up to three days.

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