Can You Freeze Refried Beans?


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Any Tex-Mex feast wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of refried beans. Top a taco with the refried beans or wrap them snugly in a burrito. 

Refried beans are even a great dip for tortilla chips. 

The term refried beans comes from the Spanish name for the dish which is frijoles refritos meaning well fried. This dish is made by cooking beans with seasonings, frying them, and then mashing them up and frying the beans again.   

Hence the name, refried beans. 

If you have made or opened a can of this Mexican dish and aren’t going to use it, you probably want to save it for later. To preserve the refried beans, can you freeze them?

You can freeze refried beans to save to use later. Whether they are store-bought or homemade, refried beans are freezer friendly.

The comforting food of refried beans is staple in Mexican cuisine. Not only are they yummy and taste good alone, they are also delicious in taco, in burritos, and as a dip for tortilla chips

Refried beans are also healthy. They are a good source of nutrients like fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc. But this delicious dish is also high in sodium. 

Still, refried beans are yummy and a great side dish to your Mexican meals. 

If you have leftovers, freeze them to save for later. They will still taste good after they are thawed, although they may have a thicker consistency. 

To fix this, just add some water or olive oil into the dish and mix together as you are reheating the refried beans. Now, you can enjoy refried beans in the upcoming months.

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How Do You Freeze Leftover Refried Beans? 

Have leftover refried beans from a delicious Tex-Mex dinner? You probably are wondering how to store them so you can use them later. 

Freezing is a great way to store food you want to save. So, how do you freeze leftover refried beans?

You can freeze leftover refried beans for future Mexican meals by placing them in a freezer container to keep them fresh and good for when you want to eat them.

Refrigerating refried beans will keep them good for 3 to 4 days whether they are store-bought or homemade. You can keep them in the can covering the top with plastic wrap or transfer them over to an airtight container to store in the fridge. 

But if you want to keep the beans longer than just a few days (like weeks or months) store them in the freezer. Before you go popping the refried beans in the freezer, let’s go over some important tips on how to freeze them properly. 

First of all, refried beans contain water and so this means they will expand when they are frozen. Store-bought refried beans will need to be transferred over to a heavy duty freezer container like a plastic or glass Tupperware.    

Take a little bit of oil or water and mix this into the beans so they don’t thicken too much while being stored in the freezer. Leave this at room temperature to allow for expansion. 

Now you can freeze the refried beans. Just secure the lid tightly on the freezer container and then store in the freezer for 3 to 6 months. If you have a deep freeze these could last a lot longer. 

When it comes time to cook the refried beans, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight to use the next day. Store-bought refried beans contain preservatives to extend their shelf life and so homemade refried beans don’t last as long. 

You can still freeze homemade refried beans for 3 to 6 months. Just make sure you label them so you know when they were placed in the freezer and when you need to use them. 

Refried beans used in dishes can also be frozen for future use.

Can I Reheat Refried Beans? 

You have a lot of leftover refried beans and so you decided to freeze them. Weeks later you decided to pull them out to reheat for dinner. 

After the refried beans have been stored in the freezer for a while, can you reheat them? And if you do, will they taste just as good?

Refried beans can be reheated. The consistency may be thicker after being stored in the freezer but all it takes is a little water or oil mixed in while they are being reheated to make them the right texture again.

It’s time to reheat the frozen refried beans. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. When it’s time to reheat them, you may notice they are thicker than they were right after you made them. 

So, in order to fix this, just like you did when you were going to freeze the refried beans, stir in a little bit of water, oil, or chicken broth to bring it back to the right consistency. 

Reheat the refried beans on a stovetop, adding in the liquid of your choice until they are the desired texture. Warm them up for about 5 minutes and you are all set. 

You can also reheat refried beans in the microwave, heating them on high for about 4 minutes in a covered microwave safe container and stirring them halfway through. Keep in mind that refried beans heated up in the microwave are more likely to dry out than those reheated on the stovetop.  M

But then you are ready to enjoy your warm refried beans.

It is also important to note as well that refried beans are actually a pretty healthy food. However they do have some drawbacks (higher sodium) as well. 

Healthline stated in one of their articles entitled, Are Refried Beans Good for You? Benefits and Downsides, that refried beans are good for you in certain ways. 

They state, “Beans are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium — a powerful combination that may promote heart health…Beans may help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes…Beans are high in fiber, which promotes digestion and bowel regularity…Beans contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may protect your body from free radical damage and help prevent age-related disease and death.” 

But they continue to say that, Refried beans have several drawbacks to consider. Depending on the cooking method, this dish may hinder weight loss, increase cholesterol levels, and raise blood pressure.” 

So while refried beans have some health benefits, they can also worsen some pre-existing health issues.

Final Thoughts

If you want to save leftover refried beans, just freeze them in a freezer safe container for about 3 to 6 months. Wherever you want some refried beans for a meal or snack, all you have to do is thaw them, reheat and you are ready to dig in. 

Freezing helps to preserve food so it will stay good for when you want to eat it later. Whether they are plain or in a recipe, refried beans can be frozen to save them for a delicious Tex Mex Meal in the upcoming weeks or months.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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