Using dried beans instead of canned beans is an easy way to save money since dried beans cost about half the price per serving as canned beans. Cooking dried beans takes several hours but only requires checking on them a couple of times. For use in our meal plans, cook a bag (or two if your pot is large enough) of dried beans and freeze the beans in their own juice in 2 cup portions. Each bag of frozen beans can be used in place of 1 can of beans.
Pinto beans cooked with chopped onion (1-1/2 onions per pound of beans) are delicious served over cornbread with chopped onion and shredded cheddar cheese on top. Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper after cooking is complete.
How To Cook Dried Beans for the Freezer
- 1 lb. bag dried beans, black, pinto, kidney, etc.
- Rinse beans in a colander and check to be sure there are no stones or other debris. Place beans in a large pot and cover with water so that the water is twice as deep as the beans. Soak for at least 5 hours.
- Drain beans in a colander and rinse pot. Return beans to pot and cook at a simmer until beans are tender, which can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the type of bean. Beans can also be cooked in the Instant Pot according to the times listed on their website. If cooking in the IP, be sure to watch the levels of food and water since beans foam while cooking. The inner pot should never be more than 1/2 full.
- Drain beans, reserving liquid (place colander on a lg. pan or bowl then pour beans into the colander so that the bowl catches the liquid). Separate beans into 2 cup servings in freezer bags. Cover beans in each bag with some of reserved liquid and freeze flat.