Can You Freeze Refried Beans?

Refried beans are a staple of Mexican cuisine, so if you find that your family is regularly serving up delicious tacos or quesadillas, you might get a lot of use out of refried beans.

But, can you freeze refried beans to ensure you can access them whenever you need them? Let’s take a look now.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze refried beans. Refried beans can be frozen for around 12 months. If refried beans are shop-bought, make sure you remove them from the can before putting them in the freezer.

How to Freeze Refried Beans

Without trying to sound condescending, refried beans are made from mashed beans, but there are many different recipes that you can follow to get the taste and texture that you desire.

In restaurants, you will often find that refried beans are served with melted cheese, guacamole, and perhaps rice and form a tasty side dish to your main meal.

If you’re preparing refried beans at home, you will likely use pinto beans, as they aid with the unique texture that is the signature of the dish. Here’s how you can freeze them to ensure you have access to refried beans whenever is convenient for you:

  1. Leave to Cool
    When you’ve finished preparing your refried beans, remove them from the pan and leave them to cool on a countertop. This can take a couple of hours, but you should wait until they are at room temperature before placing them in the freezer.
  2. Separate Into Portions
    You must separate your refried beans into portions before you freeze them. If you put them into a freezer as a batch, they will freeze as a batch, which will cause you problems when trying to defrost them. If you have space, separate them into individual portions, as this will ensure you only remove what you need when it comes to defrosting them.
  3. Place Portions into Containers
    You can use either heavy-duty freezer bags or airtight containers to freeze refried beans. Your choice is likely to depend on the space you have in the freezer. If you do use an airtight container, it’s best not to fill it all the way to the top.
  4. Label, Date, and Seal
    When your portions are ready to put in the freezer, label, date, and seal them. It’s helpful to put both the date they were prepared, as well as the date you should use them by, to save you from remembering how long you can keep them in the freezer off the top of your head.

How to Freeze Refried Bean Dishes

Who doesn’t love refried beans topped with melted cheese and guacamole? There are so many ways you can prepare refried beans, and it’s really up to you how you decide to serve them up to your family.

That being said, for best results, you shouldn’t attempt to freeze refried beans when they’re topped with another ingredient. It’s always best to freeze ingredients separately and defrost them whenever you want to put them together to create your favourite dish.

This is because each ingredient has different textures and is likely to freeze differently. So for best results, freeze your refried beans separately and add other ingredients when already defrosted.

3 Tips for Freezing Refried Beans

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

  • Remove from the Can – You can freeze both shop-bought and homemade refried beans. However, if you’re freezing shop-bought beans, make sure you remove them from the can before placing them in the freezer. You should then follow the same process as you would if you were freezing homemade beans as outlined above.
  • Add Extra Protection – If you freeze your refried beans in an airtight container, you can also add a layer of plastic wrap before putting the lid on to give the beans extra protection from the air.
  • Reheat from Frozen – Refried beans can be reheated from frozen, making for the ideal dish to be frozen for ease of use. 

How Long Can You Freeze Refried Beans?

For best results, you can freeze refried beans for up to twelve months. As we’ve mentioned, several sources will tell you that refried beans can be frozen indefinitely and won’t go bad.

While this is likely true, it’s best to use them within one year. The fact that they’re so inexpensive and easy to prepare, you should be able to get good use out of them within the first year and can then make a new batch when you run out.

You Can Freeze Refried Beans for up to 12 Months

How Do You Defrost Refried Beans?

Refried beans are really easy to use from frozen. You can toss them into a skillet or pan and reheat from frozen, giving you excellent results straight from the freezer. Start with a low heat before turning it up. This will allow the refried beans to thaw slowly in the centre. 

However, if you prefer defrosting them first, take them out of the freezer and let them sit in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Can You Refreeze Refried Beans?

Yes, you can. As you can probably tell, refried beans are very freezer friendly, and you can refreeze them after they’ve been defrosted. Just make sure you let them cool down to room temperature before putting them back in the freezer.

Do Refried Beans Freeze Well?

Refried beans freeze extremely well. As long as you follow the guidelines and freeze them in a freezer-safe container, you will be able to enjoy them on demand whenever you need them.

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Black Beans?

You can freeze both uncooked and cooked black beans for around 3 to 4 months. The process is similar to freezing other beans. Portion out into bags, seal and then freeze. You can then reheat them from frozen. 

If you plan to freeze uncooked black beans, then we’d advise soaking them if they’re dried. This will make it easier to use from the freezer. 

Can You Freeze Pinto Beans?

Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and more can be frozen using the same process. Soak, portion, seal, freeze. It’s as simple as that. 

Can You Freeze Pinto Beans

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