A recipe calls for a can (15oz) of cooked beans. How many cups or oz's is that to dry beans? Is this conversion even possible to estimate given that beans differ in amount of water absorption?


1 Answer 1


According to the Kitchen Companion, a terrific general handbook which I recommend, 1 lb (about 2 cups) of dried beans is roughly 6 to 7 cups cooked beans, and one 15oz can of cooked beans is roughly 1.75 cups drained, making it equivalent to 1/4 to 1/3 lbs ( or 1/2 to 3/4 cup) dried.

Per my personal experience, dried beans increase in volume from 2.5X at the low end (red lentils, mung beans, etc.) to 5X at the high end (garbanzos). 3X or 3.5X is a good median value for this.

So what kind of beans are we talking about?

  • Thanks! That's really helpful. I'll check out the kitchen companion too!
    – chrisjlee
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 19:42
  • Small white beans? Conversion would they be the average?
    – user20935
    Commented Oct 26, 2013 at 18:14
  • @GALEMCINTOSH I think so, roughly - they're certainly bigger than lentils but smaller than garbanzo or kidney beans. If they're pretty small (like black beans or smaller) I'd probably guess 3x.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Oct 26, 2013 at 20:08

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