Can You Freeze Kidney Beans?

Kidney beans are a staple in every kitchen and are an affordable source of protein for families all over the world.

Whichever way you prefer to buy them, the good news is that you can freeze kidney beans, so they’re ready to use whenever you need them. Let’s take a look at how you can freeze them safely.

Kidney beans can be frozen for up to 6 months. There’s not much point in freezing dried kidney beans. It’s much more common to freeze beans that have already been prepared.

Can You Refreeze Kidney Beans? Yes

Do Kidney Beans Freeze Well? Yes

How to Freeze Kidney Beans

If you prefer buying your kidney beans in large quantities and cooking them in batches, the good news is that it’s really straightforward to freeze them once cooked.

That being said, you can also freeze leftover kidney beans from a can if you don’t get around to using them all. Follow these instructions, and you will have access to kidney beans from your freezer all year round.

  1. Rinse, Drain, and Cool
    Once your kidney beans have been cooked, rinse them thoroughly under cold water. Drain the remaining water and transfer them to a container. Even after rinsing with cold water, you should leave them to thoroughly cool on the countertop before placing them in the freezer. 
  2. Separate Into Portion Sizes
    Split the beans into individual portion sizes. You don’t have to weigh them out if you don’t want to, but one cup per bag should work just fine. 
  3. Place in Freezer-Safe Bags
    Place your beans in airtight sealable freezer bags and press out as much excess air as you can before placing them in the freezer. 
  4. Label and Freeze
    Write the date that you prepared the beans on each bag, as well as the use-by date, then place them in the freezer. Your beans will last for six months when frozen.

How to Freeze Kidney Beans in Sauce

Some people prepare their kidney beans in a chilli or tomato sauce, which adds lots of flavour to the beans and means they’re suitable to add to popular recipes like chilli con carne.

The good news is that it’s perfectly fine to freeze kidney beans that are coated in sauce; follow the same instructions as above. Just be careful to leave a little extra space in the bag or container before freezing to allow the sauce some space for expansion. 

3 Tips for Freezing Kidney Beans

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing kidney beans to have the best results:

Kidney Beans are Diverse
Kidney beans freeze perfectly well on their own, in a pre-prepared sauce, or even part of a larger dish. They’re extremely versatile when you place them in the freezer, so you don’t have to worry about their texture deteriorating over time. 

They’re Better Dried
While it’s perfectly fine to freeze kidney beans, if you’re looking to preserve them for a long time, it’s much better to leave them uncooked in your pantry instead of cooking and then freezing. If you store them appropriately, uncooked beans in your pantry can last for a number of years. 

Store in the Fridge
If you have leftover kidney beans in a can, they can last in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Just make sure you remove them from the can and place them in a sealable container. This is a good option if you’re likely to use the beans in the near future, as it will save you from having to defrost them.  

How Long Can You Freeze Kidney Beans?

You can freeze kidney beans for around six months. 

That being said, when well preserved, kidney beans last for a long time and don’t tend to go bad. Because they’re such an important source of protein, people like to buy them in bulk and use them up whenever they need them.

As such, freezing is a popular way of preserving cooked kidney beans. 

You Can Freeze Kidney Beans for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Kidney Beans?

Defrosting kidney beans is straightforward. The best way to thaw the beans is to take them out of the freezer the night before you plan on using them. You should transfer them to the refrigerator and leave them covered overnight.

When you come to use them the following day, they will be ready to prepare or add to your preferred recipe. 

Alternatively, if you have frozen your beans in a sauce, you can simply empty them into a pan and prepare them directly from frozen. It’s a good idea to add a little bit of extra water to the pan if you choose to do this.

Alternatively, for ultra-convenience, you can transfer your beans to a microwave-safe dish and defrost them on low heat. This works just as well as leaving them overnight in the fridge. 

Can You Refreeze Kidney Beans?

It is perfectly safe to refreeze kidney beans after they have been cooked and thawed. That being said, the more you refreeze them, the more chance you have of the beans turning mushy as a result of the water content.

This is why it’s important to freeze your beans in appropriate portion sizes, so you don’t have to worry about refreezing them once you’ve left them out overnight.

Do Kidney Beans Freeze Well?

Kidney beans freeze extremely well, and you shouldn’t encounter any issues when it comes to preserving them in the freezer. It’s totally up to you how you decide to freeze them (whether in sauce or just as they are), as the result will be the same either way.

If you enjoy your beans as part of a variety of dishes, it’s probably best to freeze them plainly, so you can get the most out of them when they’re defrosted. 

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Chilli Con Carne?

You can freeze chilli con carne (which often contains kidney beans). The best approach is to portion into freezer bags before sealing up and place in the freezer. To eat, defrost overnight in the fridge before warming through over a gentle heat. 

Can You Freeze Chilli Con Carne

Can You Freeze Black Beans?

The method used here for freezing kidney beans can be applied to most other beans. This includes freezing black beans.

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