Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

Growing bean sprouts at home is a really easy and fun activity to do with kids! It’s a great way to introduce them to the joys of growing their own food, even if you have limited space or no garden. Plus, you get to enjoy fresh, crunchy sprouts whenever you want! 

Bean sprouts are a nutritional superfood, being low in calories but high in vitamin C, protein, fibre and antioxidants. Plus, sprouting enhances the nutritional value of foods such as grains, legumes and beans, dramatically increasing their levels of vitamins and minerals. 

All you need is a clean jar with a mesh lid or some muslin and elastic band and a few mung beans, and you can begin producing your own bean sprouts that will be ready to eat in just a few days!   

Items needed

  • 1/4 cup good quality mung beans
  • 1 large glass jar 
  • Mesh lid OR clean muslin cloth / cheesecloth + rubber band
  • Clean, cold water


Make sure you buy good quality, whole, untreated beans that are intended for eating, and definitely avoid those sold in gardening sachets which have likely been chemically treated. 

Always wash your hands before handling beans, only use clean, fresh water for rinsing the sprouts, and make sure you are aware of current health guidelines regarding eating sprouts raw, particularly for those who are pregnant or with low or compromised immunity. 

Grow as many beans as you wish. We started with 1/2 cup for a 1 litre jar, but this was way too many for us as the jar was full after just a couple of days! That’s fine if you want small sprouts for salads and sandwiches, but if you want to grow long sprouts like those you would use in a stir fry or noodle soup, I’d recommend 1/4 cup beans for a 1 litre jar, and less for a smaller jar. 

Harvest your sprouts when they reach your desired length. We harvested half at Day 3, when they were about 1.5cm long, and the rest at Day 6 when they’d reached about 5cm. 

Sprouts grown in the light will have a green tinge and green heads. If you prefer very white bean sprouts with yellow heads then simply grow them in a dark area. 

Do not eat sprouts if they smell bad, look brown or have turned limp and mushy. 


1. Sterilise your jar and lid or cloth, by boiling in water for 10 minutes.  

2. Measure out your beans and rinse them several times until the water runs clear. Remove any split or damaged beans. Then add the beans to your jar.   

Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

3. Fill the jar with water, put the lid on, or cover the top with the cloth and secure in place with an elastic band. 

Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts
Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

4. Leave the jar in a cool spot out of direct sunlight for 8 to 12 hours. We started at 7pm so the beans would soak overnight. 

5. After 8 to 12 hours, tip the water out of the jar. Refill the jar to rinse the beans, then tip the water out again. (You can do all of this without removing the lid or cloth.) 

Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts
Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

6. Place the jar back in a cool place, on an angle to continue to drain. If you don’t have a stand, simply lie it on a tea towel, rolled up at one end to rest the bottom of the jar on. 

7. Repeat the rinsing at least twice a day (up to 4 times a day) and always leave the beans to continue draining in between.   

8. Grow the sprouts until they are the length you desire (up to 5 or 6 days). They are ready to eat from when the sprout is over 1.5cm long (around 3 days). 

9. Once the sprouts are the desired length, remove the lid or cloth from the jar, tip the seeds into a large mixing bowl filled with clean, cold water. Rinse several times to remove the green hulls, and discard any unsprouted beans. 

10. Drain the bean sprouts. Spread them out in a single layer and dry them thoroughly. Use straight away, or store in a clean container in the fridge and eat within a few days. 

Day 1

Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

Day 2

Easy Home-grown Bean Sprouts

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Ready to eat!

Other Sprouts to Grow

Mung beans make the perfect sprouts for first-time growers because they are fast and easy to grow. Other items that are great for sprouting include:

  • alfalfa seeds
  • whole lentils (split lentils won’t work)
  • chickpeas
  • adzuki beans
  • radish seeds
  • kale seeds
  • fenugreek seeds
  • mustard seeds
  • clover seeds

Enjoy your sprouts in salads, sandwiches and stir fries! For a quick an easy fried noodle recipe with bean sprouts as the hero ingredient, check out these amazing fried noodles recipe!

fried noodle recipe

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