When the beans are done, I let them cool, remove the garlic and vegetables, and add a little white wine vinegar, about 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound of dry beans. The acidity of the vinegar helps keep the beans from splitting while frozen, without affecting the flavor. I portion the beans into 16-ounce deli containers, making sure to cover them completely with their cooking liquid, and freeze them for up to 3 months. (Any longer than that, and their texture becomes a bit dry.)
To use the frozen beans, I either defrost them in the microwave or thaw them in the refrigerator. For salads or dips, I drain them before using, but for soups, stews and other saucy dishes, I incorporate the flavorful cooking liquid into the dish. Stocking my freezer with a variety of beans is now a regular habit — I can't imagine weeknight dinners without them!
Do you freeze cooked beans? How do you do it?
(Images: Anjali Prasertong)