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HOW TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS

Beautiful shiny, healthy and full of protein those lovely brick red beans are just right for dinner and EASY to prepare too! If you don’t know how to cook canned kidney beans, no worries! I’ll show you how nearly every way possible!

What could be easier than opening a can of kidney beans and serving up a hot, DELICIOUS and healthy meal to your family? I know you have a lot of questions so let’s start with…

A close up of some kidney beans in a blue bowl with a black rim

How to cook canned Kidney beans

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS…

  • It’s EASY!
  • Healthy right out of the can!
  • Tastes Great!

You can add a lot of flavor and make it your own!

Canned Kidney Beans

Drain canned kidney beans. Rinse the canned kidney beans with running water to remove the canning liquid. Add ½ cup of water or chicken stock. Heat in saucepan over medium heat for 20-30 minutes adding garlic powder, onion powder, oil or butter and a dash of cayenne.

DO CANNED KIDNEY BEANS NEED TO BE COOKED? (ARE THEY READY TO EAT?)

Actually, no, canned kidney beans do not have to be cooked. So, if you are trapped from a storm with no power or if you are out camping and can’t get the fire going then yes, go ahead, you are safe.

If, however, you have access to a stove and just a few ingredients, you can make your canned kidney beans taste a heck of a sight better!

DO CANNED KIDNEY BEANS GO BAD?

If you have a can of kidney beans and are trying to figure out if they are still good past the expiration date, my recommendation is to toss them and go get another can.

However, in a pinch, that expiration date is usually a “best by” date and doesn’t really indicate the date that the beans will actually go bad and be unsafe to eat.

CAN CANNED KIDNEY BEANS BE FROZEN?

This answer depends. Have you taken the beans OUT of the can? If so, then yes, they can be frozen. If they are still in the can, then no.

When you freeze beans in a can like that, the can will likely punch out or even explode open. But, if you have put the canned kidney beans into a freezer container then, yes, they will be fine.

DO CANNED KIDNEY BEANS NEED TO BE DRAINED?

This is a topic of some controversy if you read any of my other “how to cook canned” posts. I always advise you to drain canned foods.

The reason I ask you to drain them is because the canning liquid is usually full of starchy liquid and salt (in the case of beans). I think your beans will have a better taste and a nicer flavor if you drain them, use some fresh water and add some seasoning.

Not everyone agrees. The canning liquid won’t hurt you. I just don’t think it has a very good flavor.

A small blue bowl of kidney beans sitting on a white plate with a wooden spatula

How to Cook Canned Kidney Beans

DO CANNED KIDNEY BEANS CONTAIN TOXINS?

This is kind of a tricky question. I’m sure that there is a chance (just like any of our other non organic foods) that there could be some toxins in a can of kidney beans.

Kidney beans, however, are not toxic specifically and are perfectly fine for you to eat.

WHY ARE MY CANNED KIDNEY BEANS HARD?

Canned kidney beans are cooked during the canning process at the factory and therefore, they haven’t been cooked to kitchen perfection like a loved one might make from scratch.

You’ll have to do that part yourself by cooking them. They will soften up as you cook them longer.

WHY RINSE MY CANNED KIDNEY BEANS?

You might want to rinse your canned kidney beans to remove the canning liquid and salts that are used in the canning process. That said, it isn’t necessary and nothing in there will hurt you.

Rinsing the beans will give you a more definitive bean texture.

DO CANNED KIDNEY BEANS NEED TO BE SOAKED?

Canned kidney beans do not need to be soaked. For the best taste, you will want to warm them up and add some seasonings. Follow the map I’ve included below or the full recipe at the bottom of the post.

HOW LONG ARE COOKED CANNED KIDNEY BEANS GOOD FOR?

Your cooked canned kidney beans will last for about 5 days once they have been cooked if you keep them refrigerated.

HOW LONG CAN COOKED CANNED KIDNEY BEANS SIT OUT?

Your cooked beans can sit out for up to 2 hours and then you need to cover them and put them in the refrigerator.

HOW TO FREEZE THE ALREADY COOKED CANNED KIDNEY BEANS?

Freeze them by placing into a freezer bag, squeezing out the extra air, label the bag with name of what it is and the date you froze it then toss it in the freezer!

CAN I USE CANNED KIDNEY BEANS IN A SALAD?

Yes, you can use canned kidney beans as a delightful salad topping directly from the can. No worries! We like them over a taco salad or even in a light summer salad. Try them in pasta salad for a nice kick of protein!

HOW TO USE KIDNEY BEANS IN CHILI

If you need a terrific chili recipe using kidney beans, then I encourage you to check out this Party Chili!  It’s perfect and you can change up the bean mix however you like!

HOW TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS AND RICE

If you need a terrific recipe to add kidney beans to, let me suggest my two ingredient favorite rice dish. You can leave the sausage out and simply add the kidney beans OR let the kidney beans mingle with the sausage too.

Simply heat the kidney beans (drained) and add ½ cup of water. Heat until bubbly then add to the rice and sausage dish.

WHAT GOES WITH CANNED KIDNEY BEANS?

At my house we love to make a Tasty Easy Meatloaf, How to Cook Canned Green Beans on the stove and some Easy Southern Cornbread with our Canned Kidney Beans for an easy weeknight meal!

A photo of a blue bowl of kidney beans sitting on a white plate for how to cook canned kidney beans

How to Cook Canned Kidney Beans

HOW TO MAKE CANNED KIDNEY BEANS TASTE BETTER

To make your canned kidney beans taste better, you will want to add a few ingredients from the following list:

FAT

Adding some fat to your kidney beans is essential, even if it is just a dash of a healthy oil. Choose from:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Sesame Oil
  • Olive Oil

SPICES, HERBS AND SALT

I recommend hitting a couple spices that will add a load of flavor to your beans, you  might choose from:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Chili Powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cayenne
  • Black pepper
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Kosher salt

Then, you will want to pair your kidney beans with something delicious for dinner. At our house we prefer a good ol’ country meal like Oven Fried Baked Chicken, Classic Mashed Potatoes, Southern Collard Greens and Southern Cornbread.

Then you’ll want to know the ways to cook kidney beans!

TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS IN THE MICROWAVE:

  1. To cook canned kidney beans in the microwave, first cook your bacon either in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.
  2. Then place the other ingredients into a microwave safe bowl, crumble the bacon over the top and add a tsp of the bacon grease.
  3. Heat on high for 1 minute, remove and stir and continue to heat in 30 second intervals until heated through.

TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS IN THE OVEN

  1. First, cook your bacon in a skillet on the stove top.
  2. Place all of the other ingredients into an oven safe dish that is the proper size (for 1 can of beans a 1 quart dish is enough).
  3. Crumble the bacon over the top  and add 1 tsp of the bacon grease and stir everything together.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS IN A SLOW COOKER OR CROCKPOT

  1. First, cook your bacon in a skillet on the stove top.
  2. Place all of the other ingredients into the slow cooker.
  3. Crumble the bacon over the top  and add 1 tsp of the bacon grease and stir everything together.
  4. Cook on low for 4-8 hours. (This will soften the beans considerably)

TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS IN A PRESSURE COOKER OR INSTAPOT

I’ll just say, I don’t recommend cooking canned kidney beans in a pressure device.  You will be able to cook your kidney beans quicker on the stovetop, however, if you simply need a recipe then here is the best one I have.

  1. First, cook your bacon in a skillet on the stove top.
  2. Place all of the other ingredients into the pressure cooker.
  3. Crumble the bacon over the top  and add 1 tsp of the bacon grease and stir everything together.
  4. Close the lid, bring to pressure, cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Allow to slow release.

LETS SEE HOW TO DO THIS.

First brown the bacon (I used sausage this time) …

Adding sausage to the saucepan for how to cook canned kidney beans

How to Cook canned Kidney beans

 

Then pour the beans in with the water after the meat has browned …

Adding the beans and water to the sauce pan

How to Cook canned kidney beans

Then pour in the seasonings you like…

Adding the spices to the sauce pan

how to cook canned kidney beans

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR HOW TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS

Fresh ingredients:

  • You will see that the recipe calls for bacon, however it is just fine to use sausage, hamburger, ham or another type of meat that you might have a ¼ of a cup extra of (chicken, turkey, etc). You will need to add 2 Tbs of oil if the meat doesn’ t have any fat.
  • If you have fresh onion available, you might want to chop some up small and use a slice or two by cooking it with the meat first before adding the beans. This will add a nice flavor. The recipe is written for the quickest possible cooking with the best possible flavor.
  • How about if you have fresh garlic? Use it like the onion, mince a clove and add it to the pan when you add the meat. You will want to add at least a tsp of oil so that the garlic cooks properly.

Handling the beans:

  • Drain the kidney beans and then add ½ cup of water to your recipe. We do this because the canned liquid often doesn’t taste very good and it can change the texture of your beans. It will NOT hurt you and you CAN ingest it.
  • You only need to heat the beans until they are heated through and bubbly.
  • Feel free to use either dark red kidney beans or the lighter colors. They taste the same for all intent and purposes.
  • Refrigerate your leftover beans after cooking. It’s ok to let them set out for 2 hours after cooking.
  • They will last for about 5 days in the refrigerator

Freezing:

  • It is OK to freeze your leftovers for later. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Freeze them by placing into a freezer bag, squeezing out the extra air, label the bag with name of what it is and the date you froze it then toss it in the freezer!

IF YOU NEED MORE INFO ABOUT COOKING BEANS YOU  MIGHT WANT TO TRY THESE POPULAR POSTS:

A close up of some kidney beans in a blue bowl with a black rim

HOW TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS

This recipe is a basic recipe for canned kidney beans.  There are many options and ideas for other ways to prepare your beans within the post at Loaves and Dishes.  I hope you’ll come back and try many of our other recipes for new cooks!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook canned kidney beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Slices bacon cut into 8 pieces each slice
  • 1 15.5 Oz can of kidney beans
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat on the  stove top cook the bacon until crispy.
  • While bacon is cooking, drain the beans to remove the liquid from the can.  Set the beans aside.
  • When the bacon is crispy, add the beans all at once as well as ½ cup of fresh water.
  • Add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir well.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring often until heated through and bubbly.

Notes

Fresh ingredients:

You will see that the recipe calls for bacon, however it is just fine to use sausage, hamburger, ham or another type of meat that you might have a ¼ of a cup extra of (chicken, turkey, etc).
You will need to add 2 Tbs of oil if the meat doesn’ t have any fat.
If you have fresh onion available, you might want to chop some up small and use a slice or two by cooking it with the meat first before adding the beans.  This will add a nice flavor. The recipe is written for the quickest possible cooking with the best possible flavor.
How about if you have fresh garlic?  Use it like the onion, mince a clove and add it to the pan when you add the meat.  You will want to add at least a tsp of oil so that the garlic cooks properly.

Handling the beans:

Drain the kidney beans and then add ½ cup of water to your recipe.  We do this because the canned liquid often doesn’t taste very good and it can change the texture of your beans.  It will NOT hurt you and you CAN ingest it.
You only need to heat the beans until they are heated through and bubbly.
Feel free to use either dark red kidney beans or the lighter colors.  They taste the same for all intent and purposes.
Refrigerate your leftover beans after cooking.  It’s ok to let them set out for 2 hours after cooking.
They will last for about 5 days in the refrigerator

Freezing: 

It is OK to freeze your leftovers for later.  They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Freeze them by placing into a freezer bag, squeezing out the extra air, label the bag with name of what it is and the date you froze it then toss it in the freezer!

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
HOW TO COOK CANNED KIDNEY BEANS
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A VERSE TO SHARE

It is always a great peace to me to know that God already knows what we need. We don’t really have to ask.

Jesus has already told us how to pray and even HE says “don’t go on and on with your prayers”. It isn’t a race to see who can give the longest prayers.

In fact, Jesus just says, “Say the Lord’s prayer” and then he gives us the words.

I think, just like me as I get older and my children have hit the door running towards their own lives, God just wants to be remembered.

Personally, I say the Lord’s prayer a LOT and sometimes like a chant when I am feeling nervous. It helps. I encourage you to try that when you are feeling panicked or nervous.

Matthew 6: 9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

   on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

   as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

   but deliver us from the evil one.

Then, I always add (because I was taught this way) “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen”

Let’s just admit, depending on the brand of faith you were raised in,  you may say “trespasses” instead of “debtors”. Either way, let’s not argue, we know what it means and God does too.

 

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Recipe Rating




Yanal

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Wonderful and so helpful!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 11th of January 2021

So sweet. Thank you!

Meg

Thursday 31st of December 2020

Very helpful article! Wasn't sure what to do with those canned kidney beans I had in the cupboard. Going to try recipe above with sausage (and possibly rice) since I have both of those on hand. Thanks!!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 1st of January 2021

Hi Meg, I hope you absolutely love them!

Asia

Monday 5th of October 2020

Literally the only recipe I actually read through because of the actual useful information about the why's and how's behind cooking red kidney beans.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 5th of October 2020

Hi Asia! Thanks for visiting. I hope you will come back and find more recipes here!

Sarah

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Just so you know, kidney beans definitely can be toxic! If they're not cooked in boiling water they contain high levels of a chemical called phytohemagglutinin - it can cause nausea and vomiting. However, tinned beans are already cooked so they should be perfectly safe. Thanks for the recipe!

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Thanks for the information Sarah, I'll have to look into that. Yes, you are correct,canned beans are cooked during the canning process and are safe to eat right out of the can.

Francine Smith

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Thankyou with love

Wendi Spraker

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Hi Francine, Thank YOU with love too!

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