How to freeze runner beans

Get the most from this fresh summer crop for later in the year by freezing a glut. Here's how to freeze runner beans and keep their flavour and colour. 

Runner beans tied up in string

As with most vegetables, runner beans need to be blanched before freezing to help retain their fresh flavour and colour. To do this, you’ll need to chop or slice the runner beans into ribbons or chunks, remove and discard any tough ends or stringy edges, blanch in boiling water, cool and then freeze. To make cutting your beans into lengths easier, try using a bean slicer.

Basic method for freezing runner beans

  • 200g fresh runner beans
  1. Top and tail the beans then peel away any stringy edges. Chop the beans into 2-3cm chunks or slice lengthways.
  2. Heat a pan of water until it comes to a rolling boil, then add the prepared runner beans. Boil for 3 mins then drain and transfer the beans to a bowl of ice-cold water. 
  3. Leave them in the cold water until cooled completely. Then you need to open freeze them, which is a method of freezing the beans out of a bag or container – this stops them from sticking together later. The way to do this is to line a baking sheet with baking parchment then lay all the blanched runner beans out, making sure the pieces or slices aren’t touching. Put the freezer on its coldest setting and freeze until solid. 
  4. Once the beans are frozen, put them in a bag or freezer box and return to the freezer. Will keep frozen for 3-6 months. 

Runner bean recipe inspiration

Runner bean & prawn paella

Giant prawn, rice and runner bean paella in large round pan
The prawns in this delicious paella may not be essential, but they do make it extra special for a Saturday night supper with friends. If using frozen runner beans, add an extra 5 mins to the cooking time when they go in to the pan in step 2.

Runner bean & prawn paella

Runner bean samosas

Runner bean samosas on a board with two dips
Runner beans work really well with spices and these curried filo triangles are the perfect showcase – a great starter or nibble for six people. 

Runner bean samosas

Green bean mac ’n’ cheese

Green bean mac n cheese in an oval dish
Runner or green beans make a delicious addition to a comforting pasta bake – top with pumpkin seeds for added crunch. Fry the runner beans for an extra 3-5 mins in step 2 to ensure they’re defrosted. 

Green bean mac ’n’ cheese

Sri Lankan runner bean curry

Runner bean curry in wide pan with bowl o rice, coriander and flatbreads

This vegan spice pot is cooled down with coconut milk – ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and garam masala are all key flavours. You may find you need to add a further 5 mins to the cooking time at step 2 if you use frozen beans. 

Sri Lankan runner bean curry

Prawn, sweetcorn & runner bean pasta

Prawn, runner bean and penne pasta in a bowl

A quick and easy low-fat supper, ready in just 15 minutes. 

Prawn, sweetcorn & runner bean pasta.

Discover more of our delicious runner bean recipes.




What do you like to make with a runner bean glut? Leave a comment below...

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