Cook Your Dry Beans In Broth For Deeper Flavor

From adding them to salads or as an accompaniment to a bowl of rice, beans are a versatile, tasty plant-based protein and fiber source. Although it's easy and a time-saver to open a can of beans, having a bag of dried beans in your pantry can help you stretch your grocery budget since dried beans are typically cheaper than canned beans. According to The Bean Institute, if a family of four eats beans once a week on average, the cost savings of consuming dried beans instead of canned would be a savings of about $80 in a year.

But if you've never cooked dried beans from scratch, or if you've tried in the past and achieved less than stellar results, the amount of money you save using dried beans may not matter much to you. If you're resistant to cooking dried beans, you can help them turn out more flavorful — no matter how you plan to serve them — by cooking beans in your choice of broth.

Swapping water for broth

One of the best things about cooking dried beans is the amount of creativity you can incorporate to help flavor the beans, per Food 52. The article explains you can add everything from your favorite herbs and aromatics to alternate liquids to add depth like beer, wine, and your broth of choice. Even if you don't add any seasoning beyond salt, cooking beans in store-bought or homemade broth is a simple way to make them more flavorful compared to cooking them in only water.

But cooking beans in broth doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Food & Wine explains that you can completely swap water for broth, or use a mix of broth and water. And just as certain herbs and seasonings can pair better with different beans, such as using cumin and paprika with pinto beans, consider playing around with different stocks for each type of bean you cook. The New York Times suggests using chicken stock with cannellini beans and vegetable stock when cooking lentils. So the next time you're putting on a pot of beans, add a little, or a lot, of your favorite stock to the pot to get the most flavorful batch of beans yet.