Lentils are easy to make and delicious. They are also a rich source of protein. You can easily make a delicious cooked lentil dish without using much time. You can also store leftover lentils for future use. But if you don’t store them well, they won’t taste as well as they did.
Lentils, once cooked, can last up to 3-4 days at most when stored in the fridge. If you freeze the lentils, their life becomes about 6 months. But after that, they start losing their taste. You might not be able to use them after that.
There is a way that you can store lentils so that they stay fresh and delicious when stored. I have mentioned the time and ways in which you can store cooked lentils.
How To Perfectly Store Lentils In Fridge?
It is very important to store the lentils correctly. If you don’t store the lentils properly, they might lose their taste and texture. They might become unfit for further use. So, it becomes important to store the lentils properly.
There are a few steps to store lentils perfectly.
You must allow the cooked lentils to cool down completely before storing them. If you put it in the fridge while they are hot, the sudden change in temperature may change the taste of the lentils. So, always make sure the lentils have cooled down before storing them.
Another important thing to keep in mind when storing lentils is that to store them within 2 hours of cooking. If you want to store lentils for further use and want them to be fresh, it is advised to store them as soon as possible once cooked. The maximum you can wait is 2 hours. This ensures the lentils taste fresh and their texture is good too.
Last, and the most important point, is to store them in an airtight container. It is no rocket science that, storing things, especially cooked food, in airtight containers helps them last longer and stay fresh. You can store them in a shallow airtight container and even in a ziplock bag. When doing so make sure, you fill the container to the brim. This reduces air contact of the lentils. The lesser the air contact, the lesser the lentils will react and the more they will stay fresh.
So, these are the points you should keep in mind when storing lentils. The time of storage also depends on the type of lentil recipe you are storing and whether you are freezing it or not.
How Long Do Cooked Lentils Last In Fridge?
As I said earlier, cooked lentils last for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored properly. If you want to stretch it a bit more, you can use it up to 1 week, but I can’t guarantee they’ll be as fresh and delicious.
Although, if you want to increase the storage period of the lentils without having to compromise their taste, you can freeze the cooked lentils. Freezing the lentils can increase their life up to six months. But there are a few things you should do if you want to freeze the lentils.
You shouldn’t cook the lentils completely before freezing them. You should remove the lentils 5 minutes before the lentils are completely cooked. This is because the lentils will become softer after they have been frozen for a long time.
After this, you need to lay the lentils on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. This will dry out the moisture in them. This will also help them last longer.
After you have dried the cooked lentils, you’ll have to pre-freeze them. Place the baking tray in the freezer for about 1-2 hours.
Once you have pre-frozen the lentils, place them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. If you follow all these steps then, you can store your cooked lentils for up to 6 months.
How Long Does Lentil Soup Last In Fridge?
Cooked lentils, although they can last for about a week, that is not the case with lentil soup. This is because the other ingredients of the soup might not last that long. You can store a cooled-down lentil soup in an airtight container for about 3-5 days. This is the time limit in which the soup will stay fresh.
How Long Do Canned Lentils Last In Fridge?
If you want to store unopened cans of lentils, you don’t have to keep them in the fridge. You can store them in a dry and cool place until the best before-use date on the can.
If you have to store an opened can of lentils, you can store them in the fridge for about 5 days after the day of opening. You can also freeze canned lentils the same way you freeze cooked lentils.
You have to dry them, pre-freeze them and then, place them in an airtight container and freeze them. You can use frozen, canned lentils for about 6 months.
So, you can easily store cooked lentils for about a week. You can use them to make different recipes. You can also use them after a long time after freezing them.