Do you plan to cook the pinto beans in bulk and freeze them after that? or did you just have some cooked pinto beans leftovers and wonder if they freeze well? Yes, you can freeze them but read further to find out what you should pay attention to in order not to lose their texture and taste
Pinto beans are one of the most used beans in the US, and that is for a reason. The pinto beans are versatile and cheap, and you can use them in many delicious dishes.
They are a good source of protein (1 cup of raw pinto beans contains 41 grams of proteins), folate, and magnesium. They’re also high in potassium and soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to keep your gut healthy.
Can You Freeze Cooked Pinto Beans?
Yes, you can freeze cooked pinto beans for up to 4-6 months without losing the texture and taste. The most important is to wait until pinto beans cool down completely, then freeze them in airtight containers or freezing bags.
I usually cook the pinto beans in a larger quantity, divide them into different portions and freeze them for a few months.
Keep reading to find all the information you need to freeze the cooked pinto beans.
Needed Items for Freezing:
How to Freeze Them?
After you cook the pinto beans, you should wait until the beans cool down completely. Otherwise, if the beans are still warm, when you put them in airtight containers or freezing bags, the heat will condensate and form water which will transform into ice in the freezer. Those ice crystals will ruin the texture of the beans, and you will not like their texture after thawing.
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Quick Note: If you will use freezing bags, consider removing the air excesses from them to improve the texture of the beans after thawing.
After the cooked pinto beans cooled down, consider dividing them into a few portions if you have a large quantity. In that way, you will remove from the freeze the exact amount of cooked pinto beans you will eat in one sitting, and you don’t need to refreeze them a few times.
Quick Note: If you freeze the pinto beans in airtight containers, don’t fill the container to its maximum capacity as the beans will expand a little during the freezing, and you need to leave them a little space not to deform the beans.
Finally, don’t forget to stick the freezing label with the date you freeze them and the expiration date 4-6 months from now.
How Long Do They Last in the Freezer?
You can keep the cooked pinto beans in the freezer for about 12 months; however, after 6 months, the texture of the beans may start to suffer. Because of that, try to eat the beans in 4-6 months after freezing them.
Will the Taste and Texture Change?
If you keep the cooked pinto beans in the freezer for up to 4-6 months, there will be a slight difference in the texture but not so much that everybody will notice. The beans will remain tasty and be a great side dish to any other ingredient you plan to serve them with.
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How to Defrost Them?
If you are short on time, place the bowl containing your frozen beans into a large bowl of warm water and occasionally mix until they thaw.
You can also place the container or freezing bag under running water. This will make thawing faster because you speed up the heat transfer process. Make sure that you don’t use hot water, as there is a risk of bacteria growing.
Also, you can defrost the cooked pinto beans in the microwave using the thawing option, but keep in mind that in that case, we will hurry up the thawing process, and the beans may lose a little bit from their texture. Use this method only as the last option.
If I’m limited in time, I usually prefer to defrost the beans directly in a saucepan on the stove. Set the heat to low and mix them occasionally until the beans thaw.
Can You Refreeze Them?
No, refreezing the cooked pinto beans is not recommended as the texture will suffer. If you try to refreeze the beans, they will become mushy.
To avoid this situation, divide the cooked beans into a few portions from the beginning and freeze them individually. In that way, you will remove from the freezer the amount of beans you plan to eat in one sitting.
How to Know if They Go Bad?
There are a few ways to tell if cooked pinto beans have gone bad:
- Smell it! If the cooked pinto beans smell off or sour, don’t eat them.
- Look for signs of mold on the surface of the cooked pinto beans. If you see any mold, discard it immediately since there’s an open wound in your food (i.e., bacteria and other nasty stuff).
- If the texture has changed (the beans are slimy or mushy), this is a sign that the beans have gone bad.
Answering Your Questions:
Can You Leave Out Cooked Pinto Beans?
It is not recommended to leave the cooked pinto beans overnight as there will be different bacteria that will spoil the dish and harm you.
Other Ways to Store the Cooked Beans?
After the beans have been cooked, you can store them in the fridge in airtight containers for about 5 days without needing to freeze them.
As we discussed, you can easily freeze the cooked pinto beans and keep them in the freezer for up to 12 months without losing too much of the texture of the beans. Just make sure that you freeze them properly. I hope this article answered all your questions about how to freeze cooked pinto beans.
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