Great Northern Beans Cooking Instructions

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If you don’t know how to prepare great northern beans, you’re not alone. Most people avoid cooking great northern beans because they have heard how difficult they are to prepare. With our help, you’ll be cooking flavorful, creamy, and delicate great northern beans like a pro in no time.

What Are Great Northern Beans?

This white bean is often confused with the cannellini bean. Great northern beans, on the other hand, are smaller than cannellini beans. They also have a flatter profile and are mostly made in North America.

Great northern beans are off-white while raw but become cream when cooked. They also have a more subtle taste than other white beans. They may also keep their form when cooked.

Yet, one of its most notable characteristics is their texture. As compared to other white beans, their texture is somewhat gritty and light. This is why they are ideal for fast absorbing soups and sauces.

How To Cook Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans may be prepared in a variety of ways. But, this part includes a simple step-by-step tutorial for the cooktop and slow cooker approaches.

The Stove Method 

This is by far the simplest method for cooking great northern beans. All you’ll need are a few materials, and you’ll be ready to go.

  1. You must thoroughly rinse Great Northern beans before cooking them, whether they are fresh or dried.
  2. If you’re using dried great northern beans, be sure you soak and rinse them first. If they are still fresh, you may skip to step 3.
  3. Place the beans in a big saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water each cup of beans.
  4. Season with salt, cumin, garlic powder, and other ingredients to taste. You might also add some vegetable oil to the saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked and soft on the inside.
  6. Remove the beans from the pot and season with black pepper or your preferred topping.
  7. Serve with a tasty side dish or on its own. Mash the beans to form a paste, spread, or substitute for mashed potatoes. Instead, any remaining beans may be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerated for up to 7 days.

The Slow Cooker Method

Great northern beans may also be cooked in a slow cooker. It will, however, add a few hours to the entire cooking time. But, because of the extended cooking period, you may prepare them with a variety of vegetables and meats.

  1. Put the Great Northern Beans in the slow cooker after washing them. Rinsing the beans is necessary because it eliminates any debris that may have accumulated after harvesting and packing.
  2. Add enough water and chicken stock to completely cover the beans. To increase the volume of liquid, use equal amounts chicken stock and water. And then, in a 2:1 ratio, blend the liquid with the beans.
  3. Season the beans with garlic powder, salt, cumin, and other ingredients to taste. Be careful to thoroughly mix everything in the slow cooker.
  4. To make your beans into a stew, add meat pieces or additional veggies.
  5. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat, or until the beans are tender.
  6. You should be able to serve your delicious northern beans right from the slow cooker. You may eat them as a side dish or on their own.

You may also refrigerate any leftovers for up to 7 days if necessary.


Great northern beans are a pantry staple for many people. These beans are not only inexpensive, but they are also easy to prepare, nutritional, and adaptable. But, in order for your meal to come out successfully, you must first learn how to prepare it. You may experiment with other recipes after you’ve mastered how to cook great northern beans.


Do you have to soak Great Northern beans before cooking?

Here’s a little-known fact: You don’t have to soak your beans at all. Just add them to your pot and simmer your meal for an additional hour or two beyond the typical cooking time. Keep an eye on the liquid level and add extra water, broth, or stock if the pot seems to be drying out.

How long do northern beans take to cook?

60 to 120 minutes for medium beans (Great Northern, kidney, pinto, and garbanzo beans). 80 to 180 minutes for big beans (giant Lima, Cannellini, and butter beans).

How do you cook Great Northern?

Drain the beans and put them in a large stockpot when ready to cook. Bring 6 cups cold water, the ham bone, ham, onion, garlic, chili pepper, and bay leaf to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring periodically, for 6 to 8 hours.

How do you cook dried Great Northern beans?

Drain the beans and place them in a big bowl, cover with water 3′′ above the beans, and let aside for at least 1 hour. Drain the water and add the soaked beans to the slow cooker. Cover with chicken broth (or water). Simmer white beans for 4-6 hours on high heat, or until fork tender.

What happens if you don’t soak northern beans?

Here’s the thing: cooking beans that haven’t been soaked ahead of time will always take longer, but they will cook. Yet, scheduling aside, we occasionally prefer to boil beans directly from the can, like in this simple black bean soup recipe.

What happens if you don’t rinse beans before cooking?

The outlet agrees that just washing canned beans before consuming them would reduce the amount of salt in them. The starch in the canned bean solution has its own set of cooking effects. It has the potential to change the texture, composition, and liquid ratios of the recipe you’re working on.

How long to cook dried great northern beans?

These are some estimated bean cooking times:
60-90 minutes for black beans.
45-60 minutes for Great Northern beans.
90-120 minutes for kidney beans.
Navy beans need 90-120 minutes to cook.
90-120 minutes for pinto beans.

Can you cook great northern beans too long?

It takes skill to get the ideal bean doneness. Stopping the cooking process too soon may result in over-firm beans, particularly if you refrigerate them after cooking (cooked beans become more firm once chilled). But if you leave them too long, you’ll end up with mushy, broken beans.

Can great northern beans be soaked too long?

It is possible to soak beans for an excessive amount of time before cooking. Soak the beans for 8 to 10 hours overnight. If you soak them for more than 12 hours, they will lose their taste and become too mushy. To get the greatest results, don’t immerse them for too long.

How to cook great northern beans without soaking overnight?

Place dried beans in an oven-safe saucepan after rinsing them. Add salt and enough water to cover the beans by two or three inches. Cover with a thick cover and bake at 375° for 2 hours. Check for doneness with a taste test; bake for another 30 minutes if necessary.

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