How Long do Kidney Beans Last in the Refrigerator?

Kidney beans are delectable, wholesome foods that can be prepared in various ways, such as adding them to soups and stews, pasta meals, and salads.

Kidney beans are a little more difficult to portion out than pork chops or chicken cutlets. You might wonder how to store the leftovers and how long they will last if you cook one extra can of kidney beans.

Continue reading for the answers to your questions and others you didn’t know you needed to ask.

Kidney Beans

What are Kidney Beans?

Common beans come in a type called kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

Kidney beans are named for their deep, dark red to maroon hue. They are also known as red kidney beans or Mexican red beans.

They are available in different cooking times and are sold dried (from 4-hour soaking to 30-minute cooking).

Kid beans come in various formats, including whole, ground, canned and dried varieties.

In America’s cuisine, particularly in the South, the kidney bean is a very well-liked ingredient (particularly in New Orleans, where red beans and rice are traditional dishes).

How Long do Kidney Beans Last in the Refrigerator?

1-2 hours at ambient temperature and 3-4 days in the refrigerator are the shelf lives of kidney beans. Although frozen cooked kidney beans can be consumed indefinitely, their optimal quality is only maintained for 9 to 12 months. 1 Avoid storing cooked kidney beans at room temperature, which food safety experts refer to as the “danger zone,” as this puts them in danger of spoiling. 2, too much time.

In the 40°F (4.4°C) to 140°F (60°C) range, bacteria reproduce quickly and thrive on cooked kidney beans. A few hundred bacteria can cause a lot of damage, but a dozen germs on your remaining kidney beans probably won’t cause much damage.

How to Freeze Kidney Beans?

Both cooked and raw kidney beans can be frozen for later use. They’ll be simpler to prepare if you freeze them before cooking the beans.

The general guideline is that you can freeze raw kidney beans for six months if you’re unsure.

Most people freeze food incorrectly at this point by assuming that if they place the frozen food in a freezer bag, it will always survive longer than this.

Food spoils far more quickly in freezer bags made of plastic than it does when it is just left out and not frozen. Beans should always be cooked before freezing to ensure their safety.

This article will show you exactly how to freeze kidney beans.

Create little chunks of the beans. The beans should be chilled and rinsed under cold water after cooking. You can store one to two cups of beans per bag or container for later use.

The liquid inside the beans will expand when frozen, so leave some room when putting the beans in plastic bags or containers. Each bag’s label must include the date and the number of beans.

The beans should be frozen within a month after being cooked, so store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Some favor freezing the beans in a flat container with liquid rather than bags. Beans can be frozen for up to six months.

How to Thaw Kidney Beans?

Frozen kidney beans can be thawed in two different methods. You may heat them in a microwave or toaster oven or let them defrost naturally at room temperature.

The cheapest and most natural approach to defrost kidney beans is at room temperature.

There is only one requirement: time (about 5 hours). Additionally, this is the greatest method for quickly defrosting tiny amounts of dried beans.

You should cook the kidney beans again if they are not consumed quickly. For individuals who don’t mind mushy or undercooked beans, this guideline does not apply.

The frozen beans should be put in a pot with some water and deflect naturally at room temperature.

You can use sauce, broth, or any combination of these as a cooking liquid. When beans are soft and suitable for consumption, periodically check them.

Frozen beans should only take 2 to 3 minutes to thaw in the microwave. It will heat up and maybe cook kidney beans if you put too many in the microwave, but doing so is not advisable for your health.

The ideal cooking method is in the oven if you intend to utilize frozen kidney beans right away after defrosting them. Kidney beans may crack or break if you cook them frozen in a pot while on the stove.

Therefore, cover each bean firmly in aluminum foil before thawing frozen beans in the oven. Avoid wrapping it too loosely because this will lead to burning and uneven heating.

Four hundred degrees should be the preheated oven temperature. The wrapped kidney beans should be put in a baking dish, thawed, and then cooked for about 40 minutes.

How to Store Kidney Beans?

If you prepared more kidney beans than you and your family can have in one meal, take them off the stove, let them cool down as quickly as possible, and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

The growth of bacteria on our food is slowed but not prevented by refrigerator temperatures (40°F/4.4°C or lower). Therefore, use the cooked kidney beans no later than four days after refrigerating them to avoid bacterial growth that could render them unsafe to consume.

Leftover cooked kidney beans should be stored in the lower, coldest portion of your refrigerator in a ziplock bag or other food storage container with the lid securely closed.

Zero degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius halts all bacterial activity. As a result, technically, cooked kidney beans that have been frozen are always safe to eat. Use them within 9 to 12 months, as they will gradually dry up and lose their texture, flavor, and aroma.

If you want to freeze cooked kidney beans left over, put them in a freezer bag or other sturdy food storage container and seal the lid. The kidney beans may freeze-burn if only loosely wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

What are Different Ways to Include Kidney Beans in the Diet?

Kidney beans are a potent pantry staple with a wide range of health advantages and taste nice. They are a rich source of protein, calcium, dietary fiber, and slow-release carbs.

Include in Soups and Stews

Kidney beans are a popular addition to stews like chili, bean soups like minestrone, and dishes with vegetables and chewy grains like pearl barley or farro or al dente pasta because they maintain their shape when cooked.


Kidney beans’ thick skins and velvety, soft texture make them perfect for creating baked beans, a traditional Southern side dish. They take in every last bit of flavor without becoming mushy. Use our recipe to learn how to prepare baked beans.


Even though cooking kidney beans on the stovetop is more time-consuming than baking them, it gives cooks more control over the final flavor because they can season and check for doneness.

Red rice beans and rice prepared in the Louisiana Creole style feature kidney beans and little red beans; rajma, a vegetarian version of this dish, is popular in India.

How to Cook Kidney Beans?

Before using canned kidney beans in your favorite bean recipes, drain the beans and give them a quick rinse under cold water. There are a few extra steps in the cooking procedure if you’re using dried beans:

Quick Soaking

Dry beans can be cooked faster if you soak them first. Add one cup of kidney beans and a few cups of water to a big pot to utilize the quick-soak method. It should boil for one minute after that. After turning off the heat, cover the pan and leave the soaked beans alone for an hour. Return the beans to the pot after draining and throwing away the soaking water.

Both Simmer and Boil

Cook the beans for one to two hours, or until they achieve the consistency you choose, by reducing the heat to a simmer and covering the pot. A few bay leaves and any additional seasonings of your choice should be added to the pot before it is boiled. Two cups of fresh water should be used to cover the beans.

Drain, then Plate

After removing the beans from the cooking liquid, let them cool to room temperature. Until you’re ready to use them, keep the cooked beans in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

The USDA suggests boiling beans for at least 30 minutes to completely remove the phytohaemagglutinin toxin, which sets kidney beans apart from other bean varieties. Skip the slow cooker if you’re using dried beans because the toxins won’t properly degrade if the cooking temperature is too low.

How to Identify Kidney Beans are Gone Bad?

Kidney beans may appear or smell unpleasant. They lose their nutrients after two to three years and begin to rancid after five. Buy fresh kidney beans as soon as possible if you’re most worried about the nutrients they contain. However, there are a few techniques to spot faulty dry goods if you’re unsure of how to do so:

There are No Pantry Bug Symptoms

It’s time to remove your container or bag if weevils have moved in.

There is No Mold Development

Typically, kidney beans have a tan or yellowish color. So throw them away if they have mottled skin, dark areas, or appear to have mold spores.

There Shouldn’t be Any Odd Smells

The smell of kidney beans shouldn’t be overpowering. When you open a bag of beans, the smell can indicate the presence of mold, fermentation, or bug droppings. Throw them up in the air.

Inspecting the packaging when purchasing dried beans is generally a good idea. You should discard them if they are rusted, damaged, or hissing or spraying. Check the container for pests or mold if you’re concerned about the nutrition. If you’re doubtful, look for more indications of ruined or rotten beans before buying them. This won’t hurt, though, if using them within a year of purchase is just a fantastic concept.

What are the Side Effects of Consuming Spoiled Kidney Beans?

Certain health hazards apply to kidney beans. Protein, carbs, vitamins, and fiber are all abundant in them. To reduce hazards, it’s crucial to include kidney beans in the diet properly. About 25 to 38 grams of fiber can be included in the diet for good outcomes and health, but you should cut back on this amount as you get older. Large kidney bean consumption can affect your digestion and bowel function.

Blocked intestines, stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas are a few of the issues that can result. The risk of developing cancer can be increased by consuming too much folate from kidney beans.

Since eating too many kidney beans can harm the organs, it’s crucial to regulate your diet carefully. Excess iron in the diet, which can harm the brain and potentially induce heart attacks, should also be watched carefully.


Cooked kidney beans have a shelf life of three to five days in the refrigerator, depending on how long you leave them there. If you leave them in the freezer, they will stay fresh for up to six months. However, they may last longer if you freeze them.

So how do you keep your cooked beans from spoiling? There are many ways to do it, but one of the most important things is to store them properly. Not only will it ensure that you can enjoy your beans for longer, but it will also protect you from foodborne illnesses. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have an airtight container. You can put your beans in a glass or plastic container, but a metal one will not work as well.