Can You Freeze Canned Refried Beans?

Freezing leftover refried beans from a can is the ideal method to prolong their longevity. Refried beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine, but today, they’re consumed worldwide.

If you’ve opened more cans of refried beans than you actually needed, don’t fret. You can store them in the freezer and save them for the next occasion.

When freezing canned refried beans, it’s important to never do it in the can. Always transfer the content into a freezer-safe container before you set it away.

This helps preserve the quality and safety of the food and ensures maximum longevity in the freezer.

Refried canned beans which haven’t been opened don’t need to be kept in the freezer. They will do just fine in the pantry or in your cupboard.

Open Canned Refried Beans over white.

How to Freeze Canned Refried Beans?

Refried canned beans have a high amount of water.

So, they will expand when you put them in the freezer. This is why you should never freeze cans of refried beans or cans of any other type of food.

What you should do instead is transfer the refried beans into a freezer-safe container, whether glass or plastic.

Add a bit of water or oil to the refried beans before freezing. This prevents them from becoming too thick. Don’t overfill the container-leave some space between the food and the lid for expansion.

In this way, you can store the beans for three to six months. In the deep freezer, they may do just fine for up to a year. When you want to use them, thaw them in the fridge and then use them in your recipes.

Can You Freeze Refried Beans in the Tin?

It’s never recommendable to freeze refried beans in a tin. Freezing food is a great way to prolong the shelf life of your foods, but not all containers are suitable for the freezer.

When it comes to freezing refried beans, you can do it, but you should never leave them in cans. If you do this, the liquid inside the canned food will expand once it’s exposed to cold temperatures.

This increases the chances of the cans exploding or cracking, resulting in not just damage to your freezer, but also a decline in the food’s quality and a higher risk of food-borne diseases.

Knowing this, it’s always a much safer and smarter option to transfer the refried beans from the can into a freezer-safe bag or a container before freezing.

Should You Freeze Unopened Cans of Refried Beans?

You should avoid putting both opened and unopened cans of refried beans in the freezer. When you put open cans with food inside in the freezer, you can never close the tin as perfectly as it was closed before opening.

Keeping open cans of food in the fridge or freezer isn’t recommendable due to several risks, including oxidation and contamination, as well as a change in smell.

The former is an issue because cans today are made of aluminum or steel.

They’re lined on the inside with a plastic layer.

If the food inside is acidic (some bean types are) and you’ve opened the can or scraped it off with a knife, the acid will react with the metal and some of it may leach into the food.

Though this isn’t toxic, the food will taste bad.

Another risk of storing opened cans of beans in the freezer is contamination. The can or food may become contaminated if an airborne water droplet with microbes enters it. 

What’s more, leaving open cans of refried beans in the freezer may cause a change in their smell. This is because they’ll start to absorb all the other smells from the surrounding foods.

Can You Store Cans of Refried Beans in the Fridge?

The cans of refried beans that have been opened are safe for consumption within three to four days.

Whether they’re from a can or you’ve made the refried beans at home, they won’t be safe or tasty for consumption after more than four days or so in the fridge.

If you plan to eat the leftovers within this period, it’s all good. Just, don’t forget to cover the tin well to prevent the food inside from absorbing the smells of other foods.

What Are the Best Ways to Serve Canned Refried Beans?

Refried beans are a tasty side dish to a long list of Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes, including tacos.

Without a doubt, there are so many interesting ways to serve them for your get-together lunches and dinners. Check out some of our suggestions below:

  • Excellent topping for nachos
  • Delicious dip to serve with tortilla chips and salsa; you can also use them as a base to make a layered dip
  • If you’re looking for a yummy burrito, taco, or enchilada filling, refried beans are the best
  • Enrich the taste of quesadillas by filling them up with refried beans or spreading them on top of the quesadillas

Final Thoughts

Refried beans aren’t just tasty and one of the most versatile foods out there packed with stunning nutrients, but they’re also freezer-friendly.

Whenever you have opened cans of refried beans, prolong their lifespan by putting them in the freezer. Never leave them in the can.

This will prevent food waste and avoid complications. When you want to freeze them, transfer them to a freezer-safe container first. This is a practical and easy way to preserve leftovers.

You needn’t worry about the refried beans going bad in the fridge because you left them there for too long!

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