How long do dry beans last? (+3 ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long do dry beans last?”, and how to tell if the dried beans are bad?

How long do dry beans last?

Dry beans kept in a cool, dark and dry place in the pantry will last indefinitely if it is stored properly. It is recommended to use dry beans within 2-3 years of drying. 

After 2-3 years, the quality starts to degrade and the nutritional value of the beans reduces. In 5 years, the important vitamins will be lost.  Despite the nutritional loss, the beans remain safe for consumption beyond 5 years.

How to store dry beans?

Dry beans come in different varieties like white beans, black beans, kidney beans, chickpea, and navy beans. The storage guidelines given below can be adopted for any bean variety.

  1. The rule of thumb is to store the beans in a cool, dark, and dry place much like dry lentils and dried pasta. Any cool place in the pantry like a kitchen cabinet can be used for the storage of dry beans.
  2. If the dry beans will be used up within a few months, they can be stored in their original plastic bag which they came in.
  3. For long storage periods, air-tight containers and freezer bags should be used for maximum protection. Squeeze out all the air from the bag before storing it.
  4. If you want to go the extra way, you can keep oxygen absorbers inside the storage bags or containers of dry beans. This practice is recommended only if the beans are to be stored for more than 5 years.

How to tell if the dried beans are bad?

Pantry bugs

The presence of pantry bugs or weevils in the dry beans is an indication of spoilage. Such dry beans must be discarded immediately.

Mold growth 

Mold growth in the form of dark spots is an obvious sign of spoilage. Besides, mottles skin also indicates spoilage.


Dry beans that give off a rancid or sour odor should be thrown out immediately. A strong pungent smell is an indication of pest droppings, fermentation, and molding. Moreover, shriveled textured beans should be tossed in the bin. 

What are dried beans and how to cook them?

Dry packaged beans are reconditioned beans that can be added to various side dishes and meals after soaking and cooking. They come in plastic bags in uncooked form or tin cans in pre-cooked form.

Dried beans are also referred to as legumes and are very nutrient-dense. Green, string or soya beans are not included in the dry bean variety. Dry beans do not contain cholesterol and fats.

They are a rich source of vitamin B and fiber. They improve gut health by preventing constipation and regulating bowel movements. They also prevent colon cancer.

Follow the steps below to cook beans.

Step 1 

In a large pot, add beans followed by enough water to soak them. Leave the pot in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, bring the water and the beans to a rolling boil. Turn off the flame, cover th epot with the li and let it stay for an hour. Now drain the water.

Step 2

In anothe pot, transfer the drained beans, add 2 inches of water along with salt. Flavors like garlic, rosemary and bay leaf can be added but they are optional.

Step 3

Simmer the beans on low-medium flame. This process takes about 1-3 hours. After the beans are cooked and tender, let them stay in the broth for at east 30 minutes to let the flavors infuse in them.

7 easy to use dried beans

Make white turkey chilli with avocado with corn and white beans. The go-to vegetarian cauliflower chilli can be made with sweet potato and black beans. If you are a sucker for spicy food, make spicy coconut black bean soup. 

If you are not in the mood for making a lot efforts, make white beans with rosemary and caramelized onions or braised cannellini beans with prosciutto and herbs. These two quick recipes can be served as a side dish.  If you want beans for dinner, cook the nutritious and delicious one-pan sausage with broccoli rabe and white beans.

Smoky Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili is made with the perfect combination of smoke-infused bean and spice. Madhur Jaffrey’s Instant Pot Buttery Dal is made using red kidney means and urad dal. As the name indicates, this Indian dish is buttery, creamy and utterly delicious.


In this article, we answered the question “How long do dry beans last?”, and how to tell if the dried beans are bad?


How Long Do Dried Beans Last? Do They Go Bad?