How Long to Cook Navy Beans
Navy beans are small, so they only need to be cooked for between 45 and 90 minutes, depending on whether or not they've been soaked. Once you master cooking navy beans, you'll be well on your way to a variety of delicious recipes, from simple side dishes to soups and stews.
Before cooking navy beans, make sure to give them a once-over and throw away any that look wrinkled. Although navy beans are dried, they will not cook well if they were harvested more than two years ago. Once you have separated the bad beans, rinse the rest under running water.
Soaking the Beans
You do not need to soak the beans before cooking them, but soaking them will help them to cook faster. Soaking the beans will not impact the flavor, though they may be easier for your body to digest. If you choose not to soak the beans, the result of cooking them may be creamier. If you choose to soak the beans, be sure to drain the excess water before cooking them.
Cooking Navy Beans
Once the beans are ready for cooking, put them in a pot and add water until it rises about 3 inches above the beans. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat until the water is at a nice simmer. You can salt the water they are being cooked in, but it's not necessary. There is also the option of salting the water part-way through cooking, which can make them creamier.
After about 45 minutes, check the beans. Depending on what you are using the beans for, you will want to stop cooking at different points. If the beans are meant to hold together and be tender, like in a soup, you will want to stop cooking sooner. If you want them creamier, like for a dip or as a side dish, let them cook longer.