How to Grow Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are a healthy and tasty vegetable that are easy to grow at home. They’re crunchy and perfect for throwing in stir fries and salads!

Home Grown Bean Sprouts | A Couple Cooks

Bean Sprouts FAQ

What are bean sprouts?

Bean sprouts are young, sprouted mung beans (eaten just a few days after sprouting).

Are bean sprouts healthy?

Yes! They are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron.

Are bean sprouts dangerous?

Raw bean sprouts can harbor bacteria if left in a warm and humid environment. If you are pregnant or young, you may want to only use them in cooked recipes like a stir fry.

Can I grow my own bean sprouts?

Yes! See below :)

Growing your own bean sprouts

Bean sprouts – home gardening at its simplest! Take a few dried beans, add a little water, wait a while, and boom – magic! You can apparently sprout most dried legumes and seeds of all sorts, but we have only experimented with mung beans, the source of standard bean sprouts available at the grocery store.

Sprouting mung beans can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days, depending on how big you want them. The photo above shows them at 2 1/2 days, which we thought was about perfect (though they were tasty when they were smaller as well). You can expect the beans to expand 2 to 4 times their original quantity by the time they are fully sprouted.

We found it a lot of fun to make sprouts at home. While they are easy and cheap enough to purchase at the store, there is something special about watching them grow in your own kitchen (and avoiding processing plants). I generally don’t pay too much attention to the the raw food movement, but it feels wonderfully healthy to eat something that is so alive and and tasty. Enjoy them on salads, in a stir-fry, or just by the handful!

Looking for other essential recipes?

Whether it’s how to grow bean sprouts or hardboil eggs, our essential recipes are easy DIYs to make at home! Here are few more of our essential and DIY recipes:


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Home Grown Bean Sprouts

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (27 votes, average: 3.85 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 4 days
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 days


Bean sprouts are a healthy and tasty vegetable that are easy to grow at home. They’re crunchy and perfect for throwing in stir fries and salads!



  • 1/2 cup mung beans (or other sprouting start of your choice)
  • Water
  • Jar
  • Cheesecloth


  1. Rinse 1/2 cup of mung beans thoroughly, picking out any nasty-looking beans.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of a jar and cover with several inches of water. Cover the jar with cheesecloth (or some foil with holes punched in it) and secure the cloth with a rubber band or jar band.
  3. Place the jar in a dark location at room temperature. Let the beans soak for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
  4. Drain the water from the beans and rinse the beans in the jar. Drain all of the water out of the jar, re-cover with the cheesecloth, and return to the dark location.
  5. At least twice a day over the next several days, rinse the beans in the jar thoroughly, drain the water completely, and re-cover. This prevents the beans from getting musty or moldy. Remove any suspect sprouts.
  6. When the sprouts have reached the desired size (around 2 to 4 days), remove them from the jar and rinse well. Eat immediately, or store dry in a container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  • Category: Pantry
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Bean Sprouts, Mung Beans, Sprouts, Gardening, DIY


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    May 24, 2011 at 7:25 am

    You guys are the real deal! And now I’m feeling inspired to grow something. Anything. :)

  • Reply
    May 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Indeed. I have stainless steel strainers on Ball jars from (I get my seeds from them also). Those guys are the best for sprouting.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    May 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    How cool is this! Never knew you could do this!

  • Reply
    Lisa in Indianapolis
    August 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I like the idea of being able to enjoy these fresh homegrown bean sprouts, especially with the recent stories of e-coli from store-bought bean sprouts has me avoiding them. Questions: where can I get mung beans? Are they just dried beans or will any dried bean work? Can you spread the beans in a shallow, flat glass pie plate so that all of the sprouts have water touching them? Your sprouts looks so fresh and crunchy. Thanks, Alex!

  • Reply
    Barbra Donachy
    May 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. We just finished our annual shopping list and were going over our recipes we want to try during the next school year. Different chinese food calls for bean sprout recipes…and we have no store that sells these items. You just solved our problem!
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Awesome! If anything grows up there, this surely will :)

  • Reply
    Zoe Ruth
    January 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. My mung bean sprouts sprouted beautifully, but of course I made way too many. We’ve been eating sprouts on and in everything for last 4 days and still will have some to add to the compost pile :(

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Why did my sprouts come out with green leaves and tree liki root!!!!!??????

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      How long did you grow them?

  • Reply
    April 22, 2015 at 1:26 am

    I believe 5days and o
    and 2 inches long
    i pulled the leaves out and cut the roots they tasted alright

    • Reply
      April 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

      I think you could probably eat them after 2 or 3 days.

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