How Long Do Cooked Beans Last? And How to Store It

How long do cooked beans last

Legumes, pinto, and lentils are healthy ingredients and substitute for meat. That’s why it’s a common ingredient for most healthy dishes. And it’s easy to whip up healthy meals with home-cooked beans.

But cooking beans can take a chunk of your time. That’s why it’s a common practice to cook more and store them in the refrigerator for later consumption.

So, how long do cooked beans last? Typically, cooked beans last 1 to 2 months in the freezer. If you want your cooked beans to last longer normally, then put them in an airtight box. Cooked beans can last for 3-5 days when kept in the refrigerator.

How Long Cooked Beans Last in the Freezer

Typically, cooked beans last 1 to 2 months in the freezer when properly stored. All types of beans can be frozen. If you want to save money, this is the best way to store them. Though it’s still safe to eat in 6 months, the taste and flavor can change.

It’s better to cook dried beans because they are cheaper than canned beans bought at the store. But the thing is, it takes a while to cook. That’s why you’ll be compelled to cook pinto beans in large batches. And that’s fine because you can freeze them for later consumption. 

  How to Store Cooked Beans

If you want your cooked beans to last longer, then put them in an airtight box. Keeping in the airtight box is more reliable. Because it will make your beans last far longer than they normally will be. In fact, it lasts longer than covering it with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  

 How to Properly Freeze Cooked Pinto Beans

You can do the following procedure with pinto, red, white beans, or even lentils. Though lentils take quicker to cook, freezing them can still save you time in the kitchen. 

  1. After cooking, cool them down.
  2. Then divide them into batches. This will make it easier to thaw them so you don’t have to thaw the entire batch. You can decide to divide them into portion sizes such as 1 cup, 2 cups or so. 
  3. You can make use of freezer bags, plastic bags, or storage containers. Pop in the cooked beans and see to it that they are covered with the cooking liquid. Ensure that you remove as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Don’t forget to leave an inch of headspace. This will allow for the expansion of the contents. 
  5. Store cooked beans in the freezer for a maximum of 2 months.

How Long Pinto Beans Stay in Fridge After Soaking

The good news is that you can keep the soaked beans in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days. And it will not change the taste or the quality of the beans.

Because pinto and other types of beans take longer to cook, it’s often soaked beforehand. Soaking them will shorten your time in the kitchen. Ideally, most people soak the beans in the morning and then cook them at night

But how long will soaked beans keep in the refrigerator? Because sometimes, your plans to cook are thwarted by a dinner invitation. 

Place them in a bowl and soak them in cold water for about two inches. Don’t forget to cover tightly with plastic wrap. 

Before adding them to your dips and salads, make sure to get a whiff first. If it smells alright, it’s good to go. 

What Is the Shelf Life of Cooked Beans

When kept in the fridge, cooked beans can last 3-5 days. And you have to properly store them so that they can last this long.

To properly store beans, cool them immediately after cooking, more so after an hour. Then transfer them to plastic containers with lids and cover tightly. Pop them in the fridge

And cooked beans should never be left at room temperature. After cooling, you have to store the beans in the refrigerator. As a rule, any food should not be left too long for more than 2 hours at the counter. That’s the basics of food safety.

How Do You Know If Cooked Beans Have Gone Bad

There are 3 ways to tell if your cooked beans have gone bad.

  • it will develop a sour taste. 
  • you’ll notice that there’s a white film surrounding the beans. 
  • they will give off a very unpleasant aroma. And this can happen if the beans have been sitting too long in the fridge. 

When any of these three happens, you have to discard them immediately. 

Consuming bad or spoiled beans can cause an upset stomach and food poisoning. And you will not be able to eat spoiled beans because it has one of the most terrible smells when it goes bad. 

cooked beans
Image credit: Shutterstock

How Long Do Unopened Canned Beans Last

You can keep unopened canned beans in your pantry or cupboard for as long as it has not yet passed their best before date.

However, once opened, you should transfer the leftover contents into a plastic container for the freezer bag. Leftover canned beans last pretty much the same as home-cooked ones. You have to consume the leftover canned beans in 3- 5 days if kept in the fridge.

Use a container with a tight lid. This will prevent bacteria, any contaminants, and moisture from reaching the contents.

And if you want to extend the shelflife of the leftover canned beans, you can toss them in the freezer instead. Just pop them in freezer bags or storage containers, cover them with a lid and seal them properly before tossing them in the freezer. Make sure to remove as much air as you can to prevent freezer burns. It will keep for 1-2 months. 

What Can You Do With Leftover Beans

A lot of healthy recipes! And here are some of our favorites.

Loaded Nachos

Why settle for the basic nacho dip when you can immerse it in full of proteins? These are a good source of lean protein. So you can add more hefty muscles to your nachos.

We need the following ingredients:

  • 1 slice tomato
  • ½ cup thawed frozen black beans
  • ⅓ cup corn kernels
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 ½ cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 4 cups tortilla chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease an 8 by 8 baking dish.
  3. Spread the tortilla chips on the baking dish. Sprinkle the risk of the ingredients over the chips.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. For best taste, serve with pickled jalapenos.
loaded nachos presented on a wooden board with a knife
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Garlic Shrimp and White Beans

Shrimp and beans are a marriage made in the kitchen’s heaven. This can be your comfort food on a rainy day. 

We need the following ingredients:

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chili
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups thawed frozen white beans


  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Get a medium pot and heat the 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the 2 cloves. garlic, chili and bay leaf. Saute for 1-2 minutes but don’t burn the garlic.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are done for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste while stirring continuously. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Add in the beans and the broth.
  6.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the juice has reduced. 
  7. In a separate bowl, toss in the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, paprika, 2 tbsp oil, and shrimp. Add salt and pepper. Cover the shrimp with the mixture.
  8. Lay the shrimp over the beans evenly.
  9. Pop in the broiler and cook until the shrimps are done. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. 

Final Say

Cooking the beans beforehand can save you precious time. It will also extend their shelf life. Cooked beans stored in the refrigerator or freezer are just as good. Just make sure to consume them at our recommended timelines.

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