Simple Seasoned Adzuki Beans

March 16, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Adzuki beans (aka aduki beans) are small red beans that are most typically used in Japanese cooking. They are often featured in sweet recipes such as red bean paste. Adzuki beans also make an appearance in macrobiotic cooking.I like aduki beans because they do not require soaking and because they don’t take all that long to cook compared to other bean varieties. If you can’t find them, though, feel free to use pinto or another type of beans instead. This recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. - WinnieAb


Food52 Review: Most beans need strong aromatics and bold spices to make them palatable. Not so with adzukis. This recipe uses them to best advantage, by showcasing their lovely flavor. The beans, while cooking, create their own sauce that’s mildly seasoned with bacon. WinnieAb suggests that you then add garlic powder and chili powder, but says you can use other spices, if you prefer. I added a touch of toasted cumin and one black cardamom pod instead, shortly before the beans were done cooking. Delicious!! Thank you, WinnieAb, for my new go-to “basic bean” recipe! - AntoniaJamesAntoniaJames

Serves: 8-10
Prep time: 10 hrs
Cook time: 3 hrs


  • 4 cups dried aduki beans (or pinto or another type of beans)
  • 4 slices preservative-free bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces- optional; bacon lends a nice smoky saltiness but you can leave out for vegetarian beans
  • 1 teaspoon course sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
In This Recipe


  1. If not using aduki beans, it's best to soak your beans overnight in a large pot covered with water. After they have soaked, drain them and rinse several times. If you are using the aduki beans, just go ahead and rinse them.
  2. Place rinsed beans and bacon in a large pot on the stove. Pour water over the beans to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Skim any foam that might rise to the top while cooking, and add additional water (or stock), if there does not seem to be enough liquid.
  4. Cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours (or as long as 3 hours for pinto and other beans).
  5. 5. Add the sea salt (don't add too much if you've used stock) and pepper, plus the seasonings I mentioned (or others that you like) to taste. You can serve these in whole wheat or corn tortillas with the toppings of your choice: think grated raw cheese, fresh salsa, guacamole, organic sour cream, etc. Or have some in a bowl with a side of cornbread. Fresh chopped tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and sliced avocado are also wonderful additions.
  6. My favorite healthy way to eat these, though, is this: chop some collard greens very fine, add some olive oil and fresh lime juice, and mix with the beans, veggies, and salsa. Top with some green onions and minced cilantro.

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Hilarybee May 9, 2011
I made this in my slow cooker this morning. (On high for about 2 1/2 hours). I had a few "tastes"- it is wonderful. I used chili powder, garlic powder, and a touch of cumin. I'm serving it with spelt berries, avocado and spicy pan-fried tofu this evening. Thank you!
Author Comment
WinnieAb May 19, 2011
Sounds so delicious!
AntoniaJames April 2, 2011
I just stirred some of these into my morning steel cut oats -- I'd frozen half of last weekend's pot of them -- with a few shavings of ricotta salata and a splash of red wine vinegar. Sensational! It's my new favorite breakfast. I have another pot on the stove, as I write this. ;o)
Author Comment
WinnieAb May 19, 2011
Love this breakfast idea AJ!
AntoniaJames March 25, 2011
So looking forward to trying these! Will not be using chili powder, but instead some toasted cumin and one black cardamom pod. Really like all the serving suggestions . . . haven't made corn muffins for Mr T for a while, so I plan to make some to go with these. ;o)