This Is The Best Way To Reheat Leftover Beans, According To Ina Garten

We don't know about you, but when we cook, we tend to cook for a crowd. Even when we're intending to make a couple of servings of something, the next thing you know, we turn around and suddenly find there's a giant pot of soup on the stove or an oversized chicken roasting in the oven. We love leftovers, but some are easier to figure out than others. For example, it's pretty easy to see that a dressed salad won't be worth much the following day, while a stew seems to get better and better as time goes on. 

Another dish we seem to end up cooking by the gallon is beans, from simple black bean soup to chili to fancier dishes such as cassoulet. Beans seem to reheat pretty well, but we're never quite sure if we're doing it right — do we just plop the pot back on the stove and light the burner? Thankfully, the "Barefoot Contessa" herself, Ina Garten, shared some thoughts on this very issue on her website.

Low heat and added liquid is the way to go

On her website, Garten recently answered a commenter from Kennebunkport, Maine, who asked, "Can I make the French flageolet beans a day ahead? If so what is the best way to reheat without drying them out?" Flageolet beans are a mild, creamy light green bean similar to white beans such as cannellini, per Rancho Gordo. The celebrity chef replied to their question on her site, "Yes! I would reheat the beans in a pot over low heat on the stove. You may find you need to add a little extra liquid."

We like the way Garten's mind works. Because beans are so starchy, when left in the fridge they tend to seriously thicken up all that delicious pot liquor that surrounds them, according to Clean Cuisine. So, even if you make a pretty liquidy bean soup or stew, chances are it will thicken substantially as it hangs out in the fridge as leftovers (via Frugal Cooking). Therefore it makes sense to add a dash of liquid as you reheat the beans — water is fine, but stock or broth would be even more flavorful. And don't forget about the low heat, either! It might take a few minutes for your beans to warm to perfection, but you don't want to scorch them, either.