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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!

How to grow bean sprouts: mung bean sprouts in a jar

Bean sprouts are home gardening at its simplest! Take a few dried beans, add a little water, wait a while, and boom – magic! You can sprout most dried legumes and seeds of all sorts. We’ve experimented with mung beans, the source of standard bean sprouts available at the grocery store. Keep reading for how to grow them!

Growing your own bean sprouts

Bean sprouts are young, sprouted mung beans that can be eaten just a few days after sprouting. 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 ½ 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.

It’s 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. 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.

To get started, head to the recipe below!

Frequently asked questions

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.

Do I need any special equipment?

No! You can easily sprout mung beans with just a jar, cheesecloth or a mesh lid, and some water.

How long does it take to grow mung bean sprouts?

It typically takes 2-5 days to grow mung bean sprouts to a desirable length (1-2 inches). You can harvest them when the tails are visible and the bean itself has split slightly.

More DIY recipes

Whether it’s how to grow bean sprouts or hard boil eggs, try these easy DIYs to make at home:

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Home Grown Bean Sprouts

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


  • ½ cup mung beans (or other sprouting start of your choice)
  • Water
  • Jar
  • Cheesecloth


  1. Rinse ½ 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Jack Kinsman says:

    I have never had the courage to experiment with with food that I know nothing about, but your tutorial made it sound so easy and exciting so I’m going tp give it a go — wish me luck as I can burn water!
    All the best,
    Stay safe,

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Good luck!

  2. Manuel Alvarez says:

    Thanks a lot for your instruction on how to grow beansprouts at home. It is so easy to follow and now I do not have to buy it from the grocery store. Actually very few grocery stores sell bean sprouts but now I know how to grow it myself.

  3. Simons says:

    WOW, I am glad I looked at this WEB site. It more than doubles the shelf life. I hate having to through away my homegrown sprouts, all the cleaning, sorting out the husks, and bad stuff.

  4. Jenny Gardiner says:

    Can you use beansprouts in spring rolls when the sprouts are only about 1cm long? I bought them fresh at the supermarket because I can’t find tinned ones, which I would have preferred.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, they should still work!

    2. Sam Ragan says:

      You would prefer tinned over fresh?!?

      1. Rawfoodie says:

        I’m not the original commenter but tinned is just another way of enjoying food. It’s not inherently worse than fresh! For example, I enjoyed tinned artichokes more than fresh for both taste and convenience.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You can buy mung beans from any Indian grocery store, at a good price

  6. Lilli says:

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

    1. Alex says:

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

  7. Lilli says:

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

    1. Alex says:

      How long did you grow them?

  8. Zoe Ruth says:

    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 :(

  9. Barbra Donachy says:

    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.

    1. Alex says:

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

  10. Lisa in Indianapolis says:

    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!

  11. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

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

  12. Dave says:

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

  13. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum says:

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

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