Refried beans are absolutely delicious, but when you hit your limit and you can no longer eat more, you can just store them for later. But, can you freeze refried beans?
A stable for Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, refried beans doesn’t mean the dish is fried again, but rather well fried, as the name comes from the Spanish ‘frijoles refritos.’
Can You Freeze Refried Beans?
One of our readers sent us a message about having too much refried beans. Here’s their question:
I made a big batch of refried beans over the weekend to use in burritos, but I didn’t use it all.
I don’t really feel like eating them after having burritos, and I don’t know what to do with them. Can you freeze refried beans?
Yes, you can freeze refried beans. Beans of all types tend to freeze well, whether they’ve been baked, boiled, or fried.
Refried beans are susceptible to drying out and freezer burn though, so they must be wrapped really, really well to protect them from freezer burn.
Simply following a few tips will help keep your refried beans as tasty after being frozen as they are freshly cooked.
How to Freeze Refried Beans?
Refried beans will thicken up during the freezing process, so adding an extra little bit of oil or water to the mix and stirring to combine can be a good idea before freezing.
Allow the beans to cool completely before freezing, and freeze them as quickly as possible for best results. Unless you are going to eat the whole batch you’re freezing in one sitting, it’s a good idea to separate it into serving sizes, since thawed beans cannot be refrozen.
- To freeze refried beans, separate cooled beans into the serving sizes you desire.
- Scoop refried beans into freezer bags.
- Squeeze the bags to remove excess air and then smooth the bags flat so they can be stacked to freeze, taking up less space in the freezer.
- Seal the bag, then label and date.
- Frozen beans should be eaten within a few months of freezing, as they slowly lose moisture the longer they’re frozen.
Refried beans can also be frozen in freezer-safe hard containers:
- Fill the container until almost full, and then pour a thin layer of oil over the top of the beans to protect from freezer burn.
- The oil may go cloudy when frozen, but will return to normal upon thawing.
- Place the lid on the container, and then label and date it.
How to Keep Refried Beans for Longer?
If you want to make sure that your refried beans will have a longer life in the freezer, you can use a vacuum sealer. These appliances can take out all the air in the bags or containers, which slows down the deterioration of the dish.
We have a list of great vacuum sealers you can try out, but our favorite is the FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine. The FoodSaver works with both freezer bags and containers, so you can use it regardless of how you choose to store your refried beans.
How to Thaw Refried Beans?
To thaw refried beans, there are a few steps to follow.
- Remove the container from the freezer and place in the fridge to thaw for several hours or overnight.
- Once thawed completely, the beans may look a little dried out or pale.
- Simply pour in a bit of water or oil to moisten, then stir to combine.
- The beans should return to their regular consistency and the flavor should not be affected.
- Eat thawed refried beans immediately, and throw out any leftovers that are not consumed within 48 hours.