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Jun 21, 2013 03:38 PM

Freezing cooked beans?

I have recently become a big fan of cooked beans and love the wonderful heirloom beans available from Rancho Gordo. I know that bean soups generally freeze quite well, but am wondering about how well leftover cooked beans freeze. I love the creamy texture that a freshly cooked pot of beans usually has. Do the texture and flavor of beans degrade significantly after freezing?

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  1. I've frozen cooked beans many times and have had no problem with texture and creaminess. I usually use them when making beans and greens and I tend not to puree them but only mash them slightly because I love the chunky aspect they give a dish. Great on crostini too.

    Rancho Gordo beans are wonderful as are the beans from Purcell Mountain Beans.

    1. I too have had success freezing beans. Usually I freeze black beans or pintos and they hold up quite well, suitable for soups, bean salads, etc. I drain them well before freezing and pat dry with a towel.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tcamp

        That surprises me! I would have thought you would want to freeze them in the broth (bean liquor) they were cooked in. The broth is often as tasty as the beans.

        1. re: josephnl

          I freeze them in their pot liquor and drain/rinse after thawing if needed. Just goes to show that they freeze well a number of ways. :)

      2. I don't even used canned beans, so chickpeas, black beans, red/white kidney beans all get mass-cooked (1 pound at a time) and then frozen in ziploc bags, about 1.5 cups a bag that I let cool before closing and freezing in a bigger freezer-type ziploc. 1.5 cup is a good approximation of 1 can of beans. Sometimes i don't even soak them, just use a oven/dutch oven method to cook them. Taste and texzture are just fine and I save about 4 times the cost of canned beans.

        8 Replies
        1. re: NanaMoussecurry

          It is important to soak the beans for 8-12 hours - this increases their nutritional value and rectifies digestion issues. I usually freeze spread in one layer on a sheet pan and once frozen, put into Ziploc bags - like you would freeze berries.

          1. re: herby

            I like them much better frozen in their pot liquor, and it is simpler too.

            1. re: herby

              Re: digestion issues - pretty much a myth, as i've been doing this for a decade with no issues for me or my household. As for nutritional values, I'd like to have a link for evidence of this.

              1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                The Art of Fermentation discussed beans in some details - well researched and referenced. There are other books that discuss availability of nutrients in beans and benefits of soaking and sprouting. Do not books with me but will provide titles/authors if you are interested.

              2. re: herby

                How could soaking increase their nutritional value?

                I always freeze in their cooking liquid and, when thawed, reheat gently

                  1. re: c oliver

                    The common method of soaking beans in warmed water for a few hour or over night is a matter of softening the beans and speeding cooking generally. It can begin the sprouting process, which some claim makes it healthier by making more of the nutrients available for digestion because the seed is already beginning to digest itself to become a plant. There are plenty of books and studies on both sides of the argument as to weather or not this actually matters in terms of human digestion of the sprouted legume seed or grain. The trouble in finding the truth in the issue is that it has become one of the fad eating trends. Food fads of a health nature tend to gain momentum and become almost cultish, and the info becomes distorted, and embellished while some of the information (usually the things that support the cons argument of the fad) get dropped all together. There is always a search for that next Superfood that will cure all ills, provide perfect nutrition and fuel a sense dietary superiority.
                    Side note: Most things that are sprouted are mildly toxic, research before consuming large quantities or eating daily.

                1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                  I never found that much cheaper, but they certainly taste better.

                2. When I expect a series of houseguests in the summer I cook a big pot of Cuban-style black beans and freeze them. Then when I need a quick meal I thaw some beans, cook rice, make a salad, and roast or grill some kind of meat for a Cuban-style meal very fast. No problem freezing the beans.

                  1. I've had no problem freezing beans either. I freeze them in mason jars. Some types of beans seem to do better than others for me, but overall all have been pretty good after thawing.