How to freeze cooked beans

It's been a few years since I wrote about dry beans, but I still love cooking with them. It takes a lot of forethought and planning to use dry beans in your recipes if you don't cook your beans ahead of time. By freezing beans, I'm able to cook up a from-scratch meal in thirty minutes instead of thirty hours.

It's not terribly complicated, but here's how I freeze my beans. It takes only about twenty minutes total to soak the beans, cook them in the slow cooker, and package them up for freezing.


Packaging cooked beans for the freezer

1. Drain your cooked beans. Rinse them under cold water to speed up cooling. (You might want to skip the rinse if your beans are very mushy.)

2. Prepare your bags. I use sandwich-size zipper bags to hold the individual portions of beans and a regular gallon zipper bag to hold the smaller bags. I've found that since I'm double-bagging, freezer bags aren't necessary.

3. Divide beans into sandwich bags. Put about 1 3/4 cups beans into each bag. That's about how much is in a can of beans. I don't measure exactly; I just use my 1/2 cup measure and fill it generously three times. (I've tried using a one-cup measure before, and it was too big to fit into the bag and spilled everywhere.) If I have extra beans at the end, I usually just divide them between the bags.

I don't add any liquid, just the beans. If they seem dry later when I use them, I can always add water, but usually they're fine.

4. Zip up your bags and pack them into the gallon bag. I got five "cans" of beans from the four cups of dry black beans I cooked. I try to pack the gallon bag as flat as possible to speed up freezing and to save space in the freezer.


  1. We think cooked-from-dry beans taste so much better than canned. We keep and use a wide variety of dry beans and I've discovered another quick way to have beans when I need them. I use my pressure cooker. I first do a standard "quick soak" method - cover with water, bring to a boil, cover, turn off and leave it sit for an hour. Then I rinse, cover with water again, and lock the lid on. I cook them just until they "whistle" or the pressure is up and begins to vent. Turn it off, let it cool while you get your other ingredients together and you can be using dry beans that are cooked tender in just over 2 hours.

    1. That's a great idea! I don't have a pressure cooker, but I know lots of other people do.

  2. What a great idea...Thanks for sharing

  3. This is a great idea! I need to start doing this! Thanks for sharing!