I cook beans and then eat them (usually without adding anything else). I know that soaking water for beans should be drained. However, I haven't seen anything definitive about the water that the beans are cooked in. As far as I can tell, it contains nutrients that I prefer not to get rid of. Should I allocate it then along with the servings of bean, or is it inconsequential enough to get rid of?

  • 3
    Note that the nutrition aspect is off topic, but I read it as a side comment about your reasoning, rather than a key part of the question.
    – Chris H
    Jun 16, 2019 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


It depends what you want to do with the beans.

  • If you cook dried beans in chilli stew, or similar dishes, you don't have cooking water, you have sauce, which is meant to be eaten. This applies to many other dishes, and of course soup.
  • If you want to make bean burgers, you need to drain them fairly well or you end up with even more of a sticky mess when forming them.
  • If you're making hummus, you should drain the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and reserve some of the water to adjust the consistency.

If you're eating them fairly plain, it's up to you whether you want to eat something very wet or not, and that might depend on what else is on your plate. If having them wet alone, over rice or something like that, I'd try not to use too much water, and season it with garlic, herbs, chillies etc., or use stock in place of some of the water.

  • 1
    Also there's soup, where the beans and their cooking liquid is part of the soup.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 17, 2019 at 17:07
  • @FuzzyChef true, having not made bean soup personally that was a bit of an afterthought to chilli etc.
    – Chris H
    Jun 17, 2019 at 17:42
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    There are also some tipical brazilian stew recipes with white and black beans where the bean water is part of the stew.
    – Luciano
    Jun 18, 2019 at 8:22
  • 1
    Picking up on above comment, the classic brazilian way of eating beans (rosetta beans, black beans, red beans...) is with the water over rice. Jun 20, 2019 at 13:18

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