My bean cooking method is to soak overnight, then cook in a crockpot on low all day. By dinner time the beans are ready. I have only ever done this with a single type of bean at a time. However, I would like to make chili and I have two types of beans (white beans and red kidneys) and am wondering if this method would work if I mix the two types of beans together. Would this be generalizable to other types of beans cooking together, or more than two types of beans at a time?

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    Given the nature of an all day cooking in the slow cooker, any bean is likely to be well into the "quite thoroughly cooked" zone. There is nothing in beans that I know of that would make them interact poorly. I don't see why it wouldn't work--the reason I am not typing this as an answer is because I haven't personally tried it.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 1:59
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    I think that since your using the crockpot your going to be alright (maybe even overcooked?) but in more traditional cooking I've turned to putting individual beans in big canning jars with their own aromatics so I can remove them from the water individually when they are done.
    – Brendan
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 3:35

7 Answers 7


Most beans can be soaked and cooked together with two exceptions.

The beans should obviously have similar cooking times. For example I wouldn't cook chickpeas with other, harder beans because the chickpeas would be mush. Most varieties do have similar cooking times so this isn't often a problem.

Second, black beans shouldn't be soaked with any other beans because they will stain the other beans a very unappealing gray color. Admittedly this is cosmetic but I soak my black beans separately

  • Are there any negative effects to soaking beans that don't require soaking (like lentils)?
    – mdegges
    Commented Jun 8, 2013 at 2:10
  • No, there are no negative effects to soaking lentils, they cook faster like any other bean. Go for it. There are only positives to soaking lentils - less gas. ; ) I've also soaked black-eyed peas - same thing: cook faster, less of a party in the back.
    – Laura P.
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 5:19
  • A point to @mdegges comment: Sometimes, lentils are soaked, depending on what they will be used for. Indian cooking has a number of recipes in which the lentils are soaked prior to cooking, for example. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 15:55
  • @PaulBeverage that's going into a different territory. "Soaking" lentils at 35 C frequently means a quick fermentation, especially if we are talking about lentils milled into powder for pancake-like preparations.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 17:46
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    @PaulBeverage OK, thank you for explaining. I only had the ground lentils in mind, so your comment reminded me of all the other tasty ways to have Indian style lentils.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 18:51

I'd like to mention possible 'gotchas' if you're going to do this --

  1. You want to use similar-sized beans. If you're mixing small & large beans, then they're likely not going to cook at the same time.

  2. Avoid old beans. They take longer to soften, and you don't want to find that one bean refuses to soften while the other has turned to mush.

  3. If you're cooking red beans or any kidney bean, you need to boil the beans for a few minutes at the beginning of cooking to inactivate the phytohaemagglutinin.


So, in this particular case -- you should not just soak & throw them into a slow cooker -- as you have red kidney beans, you'd need to boil them for 10 minutes before cooking. If you were doing this on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker, you'd be fine ... but not a slow cooker.

  • Actually, the original poster said they were pressure cooking the beans - they had a history of using a slow cooker. Pressure cooking beans makes removing the phytates really easy, no guess work and no pre-boiling beans.
    – Laura P.
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 5:21
  • @LauraP. : I see no mention of pressure cooking in the question posted. I see "soak overnight, then cook in a crockpot on low all day"
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 13:06
  • Sorry, I got an answer and the question confused! : )
    – Laura P.
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 19:14

Any kind of beans can be cooked together. It's all about preference and your imagination. Try white beans, kidney, lima and pinto beans. They cook well together and make an awesome baked bean dish.


I have a huge jar of mixed beans left over from other bags just a Hodge podge.. and I cook them all together I presoak them fast soak when I forgot.. it's got everything I can think of in there (were bean eaters lol). From chickpeas, limas, pinto, black, red and green lentils, black eyes peas, white beans red beans.. I just throw in a whole peeled onion (it disolves and gives the beans a nice sweet flavor) seasonings some sort of pork (bacon, sausage, ham hocks, left over ham bone, whatever's on hand) usually and let simmer all day. Never an issue.


I always mix beans for soups and chillies, only one type is too boring for me, never an issue. Actually, you can find bags of "15-bean soup" kits in the bean section of grocery store - they also needs to be presoaked and manufacturers dont expect you to sort everything out and soak/cook each type of bean separately :-)


It is okay. I'd suggest boiling them first, separately, to cook out the undesirable colors.

Also, if you boil the beans, let them cool, drain and cover with fresh water, boil again, repeat this until they will not boil up anymore. This removes the coloring and gassiness, at which point I combine them in the slow-cooker. also soaking before the boiling helps gas as well.


I cook lima and great northerns together. Beans do not have to be soaked first. Soaking takes the natural flavor out of them.

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