Can You Freeze Black Beans?

An essential staple in many countries, black beans are extremely popular in Central and North American cuisine. Yet because they take quite a while to prepare, it’s helpful to always have some on hand and freezing them is an excellent option. Let’s take a look at exactly how to freeze black beans, so you can save yourself preparation time when preparing your tasty evening meal.

The Quick Answer

Can You Freeze Black Beans?

You can freeze black beans for around 3 months. The great news is that you can freeze both cooked or uncooked beans, and they both preserve well in the freezer for the same amount of time.

You can use the links below to jump through this article if you need help with how to go about freezing black beans, how to defrost them or whether it’s actually worth doing in the first place:

How to Freeze Black Beans

Black beans can be frozen both uncooked or cooked. If freezing them uncooked, you will need to soak dried beans overnight, of course. Below are the two methods for freezing black beans: 

How to Freeze Uncooked Black Beans

Freezing your black beans actually depends on how you intend to cook them. This section deals with how to freeze soaked, uncooked black beans, and the following section deals with how to freeze cooked black beans. Either way is fine, there are just slight variations in methods that you need to consider.

  1. Rinse Well
    To freeze uncooked black beans, you need to make sure you soak them overnight beforehand. You will then need to rinse them thoroughly in cool water before you freeze them.
  2. Spread Them onto a Baking Sheet
    Once you’ve soaked and rinsed your black beans, spread them out onto a baking sheet so they’re not all on top of each other.
  3. Allow Them to Dry
    It can take up to 24 hours for your black beans to dry after they have been soaked overnight. This is super important, as any ice crystals that form on the outside will turn your beans to mush when it comes to thawing. Leave them on the baking tray and cover with a paper towel to dry.
  4. Bag Up
    Once you’re confident that they’re completely dry, bag up your beans into individual portions. It’s best to use clear freezer safe bags.
  5. Label and Freeze
    Write the date that you portioned the beans on the front of the bag, as well as the use-by date, which should be three months from the date that you freeze them.

How to Freeze Cooked Black Beans

While some people prefer to freeze the beans as they are, others prefer cooking them all at once to get that process out of the way. If you wish to cook your beans first, you need to do the following:

  1. Drain and Cool
    Although you can freeze your cooked beans in their cooking liquid, it’s best to drain them first and allow them to reach room temperature before you freeze them.
  2. Transfer to Bags
    Once they’ve cooled (this only takes a couple of hours) transfer them to freezer-safe bags. Note: when cooked, you don’t have to leave the beans to dry overnight. Again, you should separate them into individual portion sizes before freezing.
  3. Label and Freeze
    Once your beans are in a freezer-safe bag, label them with the current date and use-by date, and place them in the freezer.

4 Tips for Freezing Black Beans

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing black beans to have the best results:

  • Reduce Cooking Time – If you plan to freeze cooked beans, reduce the recommended cooking time by about fifteen minutes. This will allow you to reheat them at a later time, without overcooking them and compromising the texture.
  • Freeze Tinned Beans – You can freeze canned black beans similarly to how you freeze cooked beans. This is only really relevant if you’ve opened the can and haven’t used all of the contents. Black beans are actually preserved longer in a can than in the freezer.
  • Buy in Bulk – It’s generally more cost-effective to buy large bags of black beans and freeze them yourself, rather than buying individual cans each time. Although it takes a little more time, it’s good for the bank balance!
  • Choose Black Beans – Because of their small size, black beans stand up to freezing really well, particularly when compared to some of the larger beans.

How Long Can You Freeze Black Beans?

You can freeze black beans for around three months. Don’t be tempted to leave them any longer than that, as their texture will deteriorate.

It’s so important that you leave soaked beans out to dry for sufficient time, or you will have to get used to mushy beans when it comes to defrosting them!

You Can Freeze Black Beans for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Black Beans?

You don’t actually have to defrost black beans, as it’s safe to cook them straight from frozen.

However, if you would prefer to thaw them before using them, place them in the refrigerator overnight in their freezer-safe bags. They will then be ready to be cooked or heated when you take them out of the fridge.

Can You Refreeze Black Beans?

It’s perfectly safe to refreeze black beans. Just be aware that because of the texture of the beans, you need to be extra careful that they’re dry when you refreeze them. If they’re not, they will turn mushy and won’t be good to use in most recipes.

Do Black Beans Freeze Well?

Because of their small size, black beans freeze a lot better than other beans and chickpeas.

Some of the larger beans tend to split when they’re frozen, but this doesn’t happen to black beans, so providing you dry them well, you should have no problems when it comes to freezing.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing black beans or black beans in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Black Bean Sauce?

Black bean sauce can be frozen. The best approach to take is to use an ice cube tray. Portion the sauce into the slots of an ice cube tray, flash freeze and then pop the cubes out once frozen. 

When you want to add black bean sauce to stir fry or noodles, grab a cube from the freezer and thaw it in the pan instantly.

Can You Freeze Black Bean Soup?

Like most soup, black bean soup can be frozen. Use good-quality, thick freezer bags and portion your soup into them. Seal them up, removing as much air as possible, then place them into the freezer. 

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