Can You Freeze Refried Beans?

Q. 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?

refried-beansA. 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 it 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 defrost refried beans?

To thaw refried beans, 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 flavour should not be affected. Eat thawed refried beans immediately, and throw out any leftovers that are not consumed within 48 hours.

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