How To Cook Great Northern Beans 

You’re not alone if you have no idea how to cook great northern beans. Most people avoid cooking great northern beans because they’ve heard they are tricky to prepare. But with our guide, you’ll be cooking tasty, creamy, and tender great northern beans like a pro.

What Are Great Northern Beans?

This type of white bean is commonly mistaken for the cannellini bean. However, great northern beans are smaller compared to cannellini beans. And they have a flatter shape and are mainly produced in Northern America.

Great northern beans are off-white but turn a cream color when cooked. They also deliver a subdued flavor than other white beans. And they can hold their shape when they are cooked.

But one of the most standout qualities is their texture. Their texture is slightly grainy and light compared to other white beans. This is why they’re perfect for absorbing soups and sauces quickly.

How To Cook Great Northern Beans

There are different ways to cook great northern beans. But this section provides an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide for the stovetop and slow cooker methods.

The Stove Method 

This is by far the easiest way to cook great northern beans. All you’ll need is a few ingredients, and you are ready to get started. 

  1. Whether you’re cooking with fresh or dried Great northern beans, you must rinse the beans properly before cooking them. 

  2. If you are cooking with dry great northern beans, ensure that you soak and rinse them prior to cooking. However, if they are fresh, you can skip to step 3. 

  3. Transfer the beans to a large pot and put in 2 cups of water per cup of beans.

  4. Add seasonings such as salt, cumin, garlic powder, and more for taste. You can also drizzle some vegetable oil into the pot. 

  5. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat for it to simmer until they are tender and soft on the inside. 

  6. Drain the beans from the pot and garnish with black pepper or a topping of choice.

  7. Serve with a delicious side dish or alone. You can also mash the beans to make a paste, spread, or replacement for mashed potatoes. Alternatively, you can save any leftover beans in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

The Slow Cooker Method

You can also cook great northern beans using a slow cooker. However, it will add a few hours to the total cooking time. But this way, you can cook them with an assortment of vegetables and meats, due to the lengthy cooking time.

  1. Wash the Great Northern Beans and put them into the slow cooker. Rinsing the beans is essential because it removes any debris present after harvesting and packaging.

  2. Add enough water and chicken stock to cover the beans fully. Add equal parts of chicken stock to water to bulk up the amount of liquid. And combine the liquid with the beans at a ratio of 2:1.

  3. Sprinkle some seasonings over the beans, such as garlic powder, salt, cumin, and more, as desired. Make sure to stir everything properly into the slow cooker.

  4. Add meat chunks or different vegetables to turn your beans into a stew.

  5. Cook for 4 to 5 on low until the beans are soft. 

  6. You should be able to dish up your great norther beans straight from the slow cooker. And you can enjoy them as part of a dish or on their own. 

Note that you can also refrigerate any leftovers for up to 7 days if needed.


Great northern beans are a staple in many pantries. Not only are these beans cost-effective, but they are also simple to make, nutritious, and super versatile. But to ensure your dish turns out well, you must know how to cook them. Once you’ve learned how to cook great northern beans, you can experiment with different recipes.