Kidney beans are a staple among vegetarians because they’re such a great source of plant-based protein and soluble fiber. But if you have too many kidney beans on hand, can you freeze kidney beans? Kidney beans are often sold canned or dried. And if for some reason you want to keep your favorite beans in the freezer, you can freeze them.
Depending on the condition of the kidney beans before freezing—whether the beans are canned, dried, uncooked, or soaked/cooked—you can prepare the beans for long-term storage.
But what about the taste of thawed kidney beans, will it be just as good as fresh beans? Again, the flavor and texture of the kidney beans will depend on the preparation.
Beans that have been soaked but not cooked before freezing will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 4 months. Cooked beans that are frozen will last about 6 months in the freezer. Leftover canned beans can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Dried or uncooked beans kept in the freezer have the longest shelf life. The beans will keep indefinitely if kept in the freezer at a constant temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you know how long kidney beans can stay fresh in the freezer, let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to freeze kidney beans:
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How can kidney beans be frozen?
Preparation depends on how you plan to freeze the beans. Do you want to freeze the beans without cooking, or do you want to cook the beans first?
Freezing dried or uncooked kidney beans
If you want to freeze dried or uncooked kidney beans, rinse the beans well first. The beans should be free of any dirt or debris that could otherwise increase the risk of bacterial growth. Essentially, the beans should be clean enough that they’re ready to use as soon as they’re thawed.
Once the beans are clean, sort them through. After rinsing, remove any rotting beans or other debris. When the beans are clean, blot them with paper towels or a clean washcloth to soak up the excess water and dry the beans thoroughly. Then pour the kidney beans into a large, rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Don’t fill the container to the brim, leave a few inches of space. Finally, close the lid, put a label and the storage date on it with a marker and stick it in the freezer.
Read Also: Can you freeze mushrooms?
Cooking dried kidney beans before freezing
If you want to reboil the cooked or dried beans before freezing, start by rinsing the beans. Sort them through and then soak them in water overnight (long soak) or 2 to 6 hours (short soak). After the beans have soaked, drain the liquid, rinse the kidney beans thoroughly, and then pour the beans into a large saucepan. Allow the beans to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turn off the heat, and then allow the beans to cool at room temperature.
Note that kidney beans require a long cooking time. Partially undercooked kidney beans cause stomach upset, so make sure the beans are thoroughly cooked.
Once the cooked beans have cooled completely, use a colander to drain the cooking water. Pour the cooked kidney beans into durable, resealable plastic bags. Before sealing, squeeze out as much air as possible. Lastly, mark the plastic bags with the label and storage dates, then stick them in the freezer.
Freezing Cooked Kidney Beans/Canned Kidney Beans
If you have leftover kidney beans, simply dump the beans into a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Leave about an inch or two for the liquids to expand as the kidney beans freeze. Close the lid, label with the storage date and stick in the freezer.
How do you thaw and reheat frozen kidney beans?
Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of leftover, cooked, or fresh kidney beans! To thaw frozen kidney beans, simply place the container in the refrigerator. Let it thaw for a few hours. If you want to thaw cooked or fresh kidney beans for cooking, you can put the kidney beans directly into the pot without having to thaw them. To prevent the beans from splitting, cook the beans at the lowest temperature. Adding salt halfway through cooking can also reduce cracking.
For leftover beans that will be cooked, you can reheat the beans in the microwave. You can also reheat the beans in a pan over low heat.
Do you love kidney beans? Kidney beans are such a versatile ingredient that you can’t have enough of them. Now that you know how to freeze kidney beans, you can have a steady supply of beans for future use.