How to Cook Yellow Eye Beans

Yellow eye beans have a similar taste to navy beans or great northern beans, but with more flavor. Look for dried yellow eye beans, also known as Maine yellow eyes, in specialty stores, especially those catering to Northeastern or Maine regional foods. Like most beans, retailers sell yellow eyes year round in dried form. At home, store the beans in a resealable jar to keep out moisture. See the Resources section for links to recipes using yellow eye beans.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 qt. soup pot with lid

  • 2 cups dried yellow eye beans (to make 5 cups cooked)

  • Water to cover the beans

  • 5 to 6 cups water, additional

  • Ham bone (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1

Place the dried beans into a large soup pot and cover with water. Soak overnight or at least eight hours. Plan that every 1 cup dried beans yields 2-1/2 cups cooked beans, not including additions.

Step 2

Retain the water from soaking the beans. Add enough water so that 5 to 6 cups of water covers the beans completely. Add the ham bone to the pot, if using. Cook with a ham bone in the beans for a meaty flavor, but do not add salt until after the beans have thoroughly cooked.

Step 3

Bring the pot to a rapid boil over medium-high heat on top of the stove. Cook at a boil for five full minutes.

Step 4

Lower the heat to medium-low or low so that the beans cook at a slow simmer. Cover the pot and leave the beans to cook for 90 minutes to two hours or until tender. Add salt only after the beans have cooked to prevent toughness.

Step 5

Use the cooked beans in a recipe requiring yellow eye beans or substitute them in recipes calling for great northern beans or navy beans.

references & resources