Rice and beans is a plant protein-rich, gluten-free meal. It requires pantry items to get ready in just 30 minutes and is loved by everyone due to its rich taste.
People cook it often in massive quantities because it is a nutritious and hearty meal. Then they find it hard to throw away the remaining rice and beans and look for ways to store the leftovers and enjoy them later.
If you are in the same boat and need our guidance, you have hit the jackpot.
We are about to tell you everything you need to know about freezing rice and beans. Let us start with the article’s focal point and then move forward with essential information about storing rice and beans.
Can You Freeze Rice and Beans?
Yes! Definitely, you can freeze delectable rice and beans and use them later after reheating properly.
Let me elaborate!
If you have made extra rice and beans or the guests could not make it to dinner, you can freeze rice and beans without worrying about their freshness. However, they will not remain fresh after getting frozen. Still, you will not lose their taste.
But not to compromise on the quality and taste of your meal, you should consider the following two things.
- How to freeze rice and beans properly
- How to reheat rice and beans properly
Rice and Beans: How to Freeze Them
As long as you know the appropriate measures to take, freezing grains and beans is a relatively simple task. Here’s how to store rice and beans in the freezer:
Step#1: Bring Rice and Beans to Room Temperature Before Freezing Them
Before freezing rice and beans, it is necessary to bring the meal to room temperature. The dish will cool down to room temperature in about 30 minutes. You may also put the rice and beans in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
Step#2: Divide Rice and Beans into Equal Batches
Depending on how much meal is left, divide the cooled rice and beans into 1 or 2 cup servings. This will keep the rice from clumping together and becoming mushy. Furthermore, you will be able to reheat the exact amount of rice and beans whenever you desire.
Step#3: Pour Rice and Beans into Freezer Bags
Fill airtight freezer bags with the divided rice halves, such as Ziploc bags or vacuum sealer bags. Flatten the bag once all of the rice and beans are in it to make a thin, equal layer.
Step#4: Label the Bags and Store Them in a Freezer
It would help if you labeled each bag with the contents and the amount inside. Add the storage date to the label as well. When you pull the rice and beans out of the freezer to reheat them, you’ll be able to tell how long the dish has been in the freezer and how many servings you have. Place the rice and bean bags in the freezer.
Rice and Beans: How to Reheat Rice and Beans
Freezing rice and beans is not rocket science. However, the aim is to store them correctly so that you can enjoy them later. Therefore, learning how to reheat rice and beans properly is also essential. The following listed methods will assist you in doing your task accurately.
Pro Tip: When you take rice and beans out of the freezer, do not thaw them at room temperature as they will sweat and become mushy. Instead, reheat them immediately.
Method#1: Reheating Rice and Beans on the Stovetop
The right approach to reheating rice and beans is to do so immediately in a frying pan. To defrost the rice and beans, simply add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and place it over low heat. As the clump breaks down, make sure to mix the rice and beans slowly.
Method#2: Reheating Rice and Beans in the Microwave
If you wish to reheat rice and beans more quickly, put them in the microwave with a glass of water. The water will aid in preserving the rice and beans’ moisture. Make sure to stir the rice and beans once or twice during microwaving to ensure thorough reheating.
How Long Can You Freeze Rice and Beans?
You may preserve frozen red beans and rice for 3-6 months in the freezer. Your frozen beans and rice will taste delicious whether you reheat them in three weeks or three months, as long as you avoid freezer burn.
How to Defrost Rice and Beans?
The fool-proof way to defrost rice and beans is to take frozen rice and beans out of the freezer the night before you need them and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat over the stovetop or microwave once thoroughly defrosted. To avoid bacteria growth, do not defrost rice at room temperature; also, warm the rice thoroughly to avoid food poisoning.
What Can You Make with Leftover Rice and Beans?
There are numerous ways to use the leftover rice and beans and turn them into whole new meals. Let us tell you a few ways to utilize leftover rice and beans.
- A Bean burrito in a tortilla sounds yummy.
- Black bean soup would also be a great idea.
- How about a burger patty using rice and beans.
- Toss your next salad with cooked red beans and rice.
- As a side dish, combine cooked red beans and rice with salsa.
Freezing Rice and Beans: Things to Consider
- Cooked rice is susceptible to microorganisms due to its high moisture content. Do not leave rice and beans at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- If your rice and beans are in the cardboard take-out container, transfer them to a sealed container because cardboard containers allow the rice to become stiff and chewy.
- Ensure the rice and beans are tightly sealed in an airtight or Ziplock bag; otherwise, they may get freezer burn.
- Before putting food in the freezer, be sure it has cooled down to room temperature.
- Maintain a steady temperature in your freezer. This is because temperature variations might raise the risk of freezer burn.