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bird's eye view of a blue ceramic bowl filled with cooked cranberry beans

Fresh Cranberry Beans with Olive Oil & Garlic

  • Author: Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox
  • Total Time: 50- 65
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


If you ever wondered how to cook cranberry beans and what to do with them, this recipe is perfect for you. It is quick, simple and super flavorful.


  • 2 lb fresh cranberry beans ( about 4 cups shelled) ( See Note 1 for dry cranberry beans)
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt ( more or less to taste)


  1. Shell the cranberry beans, rinse and drain
  2.  Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and  tilt the pan so all the oil goes to one side of the pan and the garlic cooks evenly.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until it starts to get a slight golden color (make sure it doesn't burn!)
  3. Add the red hot pepper flakes and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes
  4. Add the shelled beans, stirring well so the beans get evenly coated with the oil and cook for 3 minutes
  5. Add 2 cups of water, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, uncovered
  6. Turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the beans are tender but not mushy. (See Note 2).  You should have some cooking liquid remaining in the pot. If the beans are not tender and there is little water left, keep adding water until thy soften. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed (take into consideration that, as the beans, cook the flavor and saltiness concentrates. Do not oversalt!)
  7. Mash the garlic into the cooking liquid ( It should be very tender and mash easily. These are delicious eaten plain, served over rice or with crusty bread


  1. If you can only find dry cranberry beans, you will need to soak them overnight in 2.5 times their volume in water. Add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda.  The next day, rinse the cranberry beans really well and follow the cooking instructions. You will probably need to use more water (just remember to check the pot periodically during the cooking process).
  2. It may take longer than 20 minutes for the beans to get tender, it will depend on your stove and the beans.  Just keep adding water as it cooks out.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35 - 50
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spain


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 331
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 292
  • Fat: 11.3
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.5
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 43
  • Fiber: 15.2
  • Protein: 16.5
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: how to cook cranberry beans, what are cranberry beans ?

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