Can You Freeze Refried Beans? A Fast 5-Step Guide

Refried beans are a great meal to freeze, whether you’re cooking a batch in advance or saving leftovers. This guide makes freezing refried beans a breeze.


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Five

How Long in Freezer
Homemade: 3 months
Canned: 6 months

Best Stored In…
Airtight container or freezer bag

How to Thaw
Refrigerator

What to Expect
Thicker, but overall no change


Can Refried Beans Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze homemade, canned, or store-bought refried beans. This popular side dish freezes so well that you’d never notice it was frozen in the first place.

It’s an excellent choice for batch cooking and turning into freezer meals you can quickly reheat and serve.

Airtight, freezer-friendly containers

How To Freeze Refried Beans Using A Container

Here's a quick guide on how to freeze refried beans in a container. Tip: Use small containers for faster freezing and thawing.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A slotted spoon
  • Clean airtight, freezable containers
  • A teaspoon
  • Olive oil (or another cooking oil)
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Let the refried beans come to room temperature. If you put hot refried beans straight into the freezer, the container can break because of a dramatic change in temperature.
  • Fill the container with refried beans. Important: leave 1 inch of room at the top of the container to let the frozen beans expand.
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil) over top of the refried beans to protect them from freezer burn:
    Can You Freeze Refried Beans? Add a little olive oil (or other edible oil) to protect refried beans from freezer burn.
  • Seal the container, write today’s date on a freezer label and stick it to the container.
  • Store the container at the back of the freezer. Avoid putting the container in the freezer door, which isn’t as cold as the rest of the freezer.
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The Best Airtight Meal Prep Containers (FineDine)

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These airtight glass containers from FineDine don’t leak or absorb food smells, they’re oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwavable, and affordable.


Plastic freezer bag

How To Freeze Refried Beans In A Freezer Bag

Follow these steps to freeze either homemade or canned beans in a freezer bag.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A slotted spoon
  • Resealable, plastic freezer bags
  • A teaspoon
  • Olive oil (or another cooking oil)
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Let the refried beans come to room temperature.
  • Fill the freezer bags with refried beans. 
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil (or your preferred cooking oil) on top of the refried beans to protect them from freezer burn.
  • Gently squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it.
  • Write today’s date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag and store it at the back of your freezer.
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Equipment Shopping list

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags, labels, or you feel like picking yourself up a little present.

I’ve either used these tools or added them to my own shopping list because they’re affordable and they get great reviews. Add them to your next Amazon order!


The Best Slotted Spoon (OXO)

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• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Solid, stylish, & dishwasher safe

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

• Over 2,000 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Tough and easy to fill

The Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The Best Olive Oil Dispenser (Aozita)

• Over 3,200 Reviews
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• Elegant & no-drip


Freezing Refried Beans Out of a Can – Is It Safe?

Never put a can of refried beans directly into the freezer—it may burst. Take canned refried beans out of the can and put them into a separate container or bag before freezing.

Can You Freeze Refried Bean Dip?

Can you freeze refried bean dip? Yes, you absolutely can.
You can freeze refried bean dip, which is handy when you need to prepare a snack in advance for an upcoming potluck.

You sure can! Keep this in mind for your next Superbowl party—you can make this dip several days in advance. All you need to do is:

  1. Make your dip in an oven-safe pan.
  2. Cover the pan in tinfoil.
  3. Slide the pan into a large freezer bag and put it in the freezer.

You can keep it in the freezer for up to 1 week. Defrost the dip overnight in the fridge before reheating. Here’s a great little recipe for a 6-layer nacho dip made with refried beans.

How Long Can refried Beans Stay frozen?

Homemade refried beans can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Canned refried beans can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months. But, don’t bother freezing canned beans for the sake of preservation—the shelf-life of an unopened can is up to 5 years.

How to Thaw Frozen refried Beans

There are a few options for thawing refried beans. The easiest way is to let them defrost overnight in the fridge.

The fastest way is to defrost frozen refried beans is in the microwave. Another quick way to defrost refried beans is to heat them up directly in a pot on the stove.

Fridge

How To Thaw Refried Beans in the Fridge

Defrost Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d

Equipment

  • A Towel OR a plate

Instructions
 

  • Place the container or freezer bag of refried beans on a towel or a plate. Put it in the refrigerator.
  • Leave the beans to thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Gently reheat the refried beans after defrosting.
  • If the beans are too dry for you, stir in a bit of olive oil or water for moisture.
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Microwave

How to Thaw Refried Beans in the Microwave

Follow these steps if you’re short on time. The total time to defrost depends on the volume of refried beans.
Defrost Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A microwave-safe bowl
  • Waxed paper OR a microwave-safe cover

Instructions
 

  • Run the container(s) or freezer bag(s) under warm/hot water to loosen the refried beans.
  • Empty the container(s) or freezer bag(s) into a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Place the bowl in the microwave with waxed paper or a microwavable cover over-top.
  • Microwave the refried beans at 50% power for 5 minutes.
  • Take the beans out of the microwave and stir them.
  • Microwave the refried beans again at 100% power for 1 minute, then stir them. Repeat this step two more times. The beans should be defrosted now. If not, put them into the microwave again for 1 minute at 100% power.
  • Gently reheat the refried beans in a separate pot after defrosting.
  • If the beans are too dry for you, stir in a bit of olive oil or water for moisture.
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Pot

How To Thaw Refried Beans Over The Stove

Here’s another short way to thaw frozen refried beans. The total time to defrost depends on the volume of refried beans.
Defrost Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A pot
  • Water
  • A tablespoon

Instructions
 

  • Run the container(s) or freezer bag(s) under warm/hot water to loosen the refried beans.
  • Pour the beans into a pot and place it on low-medium heat on the stove.
  • Add a little water to the pot (a tablespoon or two should be fine.)
  • Heat until the refried beans have defrosted. Stir occasionally.
  • If the beans are too dry for you, stir in a bit of olive oil or water for moisture.
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What to Expect After Defrosting

Defrosted refried beans will taste the same as they did before they were frozen. They might be a bit thicker in texture, but you can mix in some olive oil or water to resolve this.

Can You Re-Freeze refried Beans After Thawing?

Yes, you can re-freeze them as long as you keep the defrosted beans in the fridge and re-freeze within the same day of defrosting them.

It’s better to divide the beans into smaller portions when you first freeze them and thaw them as needed.


Ok, But What About…

Do you know a better method for freezing refried beans? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!


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