How Long Will Canned Beans Be Good For After Opening?

Open cans of beans
Open cans of beans - Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Canned beans are a necessary item in every home cook's pantry. They are a nutritious food source loaded with protein, quick to prepare as the long bean-cooking phase has already been done, and they fill you up even on a skint budget. In fact, beans fill you up so well that you will likely not be able to finish a whole can of beans in one sitting, as each contains about three servings. What then of the leftover canned beans? How long will they be good for, now that you have opened the can?

According to the USDA, the good news is that canned beans last in the fridge for about three to four days. This means that if you are dining solo or just using a portion of the can for a particular dish, your leftover beans will remain tasty and safe to eat for a few days more — great news for future you!

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

Ways To Store Leftover Canned Beans

Frozen chickpeas
Frozen chickpeas - Ahanov Michael/Shutterstock

There are two main ways of storing leftover canned beans, either chilled in the fridge or frozen for longer storage. Whichever way you choose, the USDA recommends that the beans be transferred out to a separate container before storing, one ideally made of glass so that it's non-reactive. Whether in a fridge or freezer, make sure to rinse and drain the beans first! While keeping them in the can is fine, the beans may take on a little bit of a metallic "canned" flavor that's associated with canned food. Transferring them out to a different container eliminates this issue instantly. Mark the date on the container so that you use these beans before the requisite four days in the fridge are up!

If you decide to freeze leftover canned beans, maximize freezer space by using freezer bags. Place the beans in a freezer bag, then remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag shut. Then, gently pat the beans into an even layer (be careful not to squish them!) and transfer the bagged beans onto a quarter sheet pan. Write the date on the bag, transfer the whole thing to the freezer, and let the beans freeze flat. You can then arrange them neatly with other similarly packed freezer bags, in a stack or on their side like a frozen food library. Frozen cooked beans can last for up to six months. If you prefer to store the beans in a container, place the rinsed and drained beans in one and cover them with a fresh layer of water before keeping in the freezer.

Ways To Use Up Canned Beans

Bean salad in bowl
Bean salad in bowl - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Now that you have all these leftover canned beans, there are multiple ways to use them up in time. If you are the type to prepare each meal before mealtimes, try incorporating a portion of beans with whatever you are having. Salads are a great weeknight option for those who crave nutritious variety, and canned beans can be added to virtually any salad, even if you are tired of salads that are lettuce based.

If you are in the mood to use up the beans all in one go, there are a multitude of options. Marinate the beans for a flavor boost and serve them alongside a meaty main dish, or mash them into soup with a fork to amp up the creaminess factor. Mix them into a colorful hash for a hearty brunch, or add them to a hearty chili. Whatever it is, do not pour the precious bean liquid down the sink. Use this bean liquid, or aquafaba, to make a whole host of vegan alternatives for items that otherwise use eggs, like baked goods and mayonnaise.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.