Can You Freeze Kidney Beans?

Kidney beans are a staple among vegetarians because they’re such a great source of plant-based protein and soluble fiber. But if you have too much kidney beans in your hand, can you freeze kidney beans? Kidney beans are often sold in cans or dried. And if for some reason you’d like to store your favorite beans in the freezer, you can.

Depending on the state of the kidney beans before freezing – if the beans are tinned, dried, uncooked or soaked/cooked – you can prep the beans for long-term storage.

Soaked beans in a bowl
Image used under Creative Commons from Marco Verch

But how about the taste of thawed kidney beans, will it be just as good as fresh beans? Again, the flavor and texture of the kidney beans will depend on the prep.

Beans that have been soaked but uncooked prior to freezing will keep fresh for up to 4 months in the freezer. Cooked beans that are frozen will last in the freezer for 6 months or so. Leftover canned kidney beans should keep in the freezer for up to a month. Dried or uncooked beans that are kept in the freezer have the longest shelf life. The beans will keep indefinitely when kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer.

Now that you know how long kidney beans could keep fresh in the freezer, let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze kidney beans:

How to Freeze Kidney Beans?

The prep will depend on how you’d like to freeze the beans. Would you like to freeze the beans without cooking or would you like to cook the beans first?

Freezing Dried or Uncooked Kidney Beans

If you’d like to freeze dried or uncooked kidney beans, give the beans a good rinse first. The beans should be free from dirt or debris that could otherwise increase the risk of bacterial growth. Essentially, the beans should be clean enough that they’re ready to be used as soon as they are defrosted.

Beans in a glass bowl
Image used under Creative Commons from perkumpulan lesman

Once the beans are clean, sort through them. Remove rotting beans or other debris left after rinsing. When the beans are clean, pat them with paper towels or a clean washcloth to soak up all the excess water and dry them up thoroughly. Then, pour the kidney beans in a large, rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Don’t fill the container to the brim, leave a couple of centimeters of space. Finally, close the lid, add the label and storage date using a marker and stick in the freezer.

Cooking Dried Kidney Beans Prior to Freezing

If you’d like to boil the cooked or dried beans prior to freezing, start by rinsing the beans. Sort through them and then soaking them in water overnight (for long soaking) or 2 to 6 hours (short soak). After soaking the beans, drain the liquid, give the kidney beans a thorough rinsing and then pour the beans into a large pot. Boil for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turn off the heat, then leave the beans to cool at room temperature.

Do note that kidney beans take a long time to cook. Partially uncooked kidney beans will cause gastric problems so be sure the beans are cooked thoroughly.

Once the cooked beans have cooled completely, drain the cooking water using a colander. Pour the cooked kidney beans in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Finally, mark the plastic bags with the label and storage dates then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Leftover Cooked Kidney Beans/Tinned Kidney Beans

If you have leftover kidney beans, just pour the beans in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Leave about an inch or two of space so the liquids could expand as the kidney beans freezes. Close the lid and then label with the storage date and stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Johnson

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Kidney Beans?

Freezing is a great way to lengthen the shelf life of leftover, cooked, or fresh kidney beans! To defrost frozen kidney beans, simply transfer the container to the fridge. Leave it to thaw for a few hours. If you’re defrosting cooked or fresh kidney beans for cooking, you can pour the kidney beans directly into the pot, no thawing required. To prevent the beans from splitting, simmer the beans in the lowest temperature. Adding salt halfway through cooking may also reduce splitting.

For leftover beans that are cooked, you can reheat the beans using a microwave. You can also reheat by simmering over low heat in a pan.


Do you love kidney beans? Kidney beans are such versatile ingredient, you cannot have enough of them. Now that you know how can you freeze kidney beans, you can keep a steady stock of beans for future uses.