How long do cooked lentils last in the fridge?

This article will answer the question “How long do cooked lentils last in the fridge?”, and how to store cooked and dry lentils?

How long do cooked lentils last in the fridge?

Cooked lentils last a maximum of 1 week and a minimum of 3-5 days in the fridge, If stored correctly. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of lentils under different storage conditions.

Dry storage 1 year from the date the package is opened
Cooked and refrigerated 3–5 days on average, 1 week maximum
Cooked and frozen 6+ months 

How to store cooked lentils?

Refrigerate or freeze cooked lentils within 2 hours of cooking. Let the lentils reach room temperature before packing away or else the steam buildup will lead to spoilage. 

Use a shallow air-tight container or freezer bag to store cooked lentils. To minimize air exposure especially If there’s a lot of unexpected headspace in the container, pack the lentils with a sheet of plastic on top. Similarly, squeeze as much air as possible from the freezer bag before freezing.

How long will lentil soup last in the fridge?

Lentils, on their own, have a shelf-life of 1 week in the fridge. But the shelf-life of lentil soup depends upon the most perishable ingredients in the soup other than the lentils. To be on the safe side, do not keep the lentil soup for more than 3-4 days in the fridge.

How long do canned lentils last in the fridge?

An unopened can of lentils has an indefinite shelf-life provided that you follow the storage instructions carefully. Generally, canned lentils do not require refrigeration. 

They can sit in a dry, dark, and cool place with a stable temperature as long as the can is unopened. After opening the can, the lentils must be kept in the fridge just like the cooked lentils. It will preserve the lentils for about a week at maximum. 

Can you freeze cooked lentils?

Yes, you can freeze cooked lentils. Freezing will extend the shelf-life of cooked lentils. It works best if the lentils are to be pureed after thawing since the texture becomes somewhat mushy.

Pro tip: Leave the lentils slightly undercooked If they are to be frozen. This will prevent the lentils from becoming mushy after thawing and reheating. 

How to freeze cooked lentils?

This method of freezing is particularly helpful if the lentils are to be consumed whole after thawing. Follow the steps below:

  1. Spread the cooked, drained, and cooled lentils in a single layer onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
  1. Slide the tray into the freezer. Pre-freeze the lentils for 1-2 hours. Pre-freezing is not needed if the lentils are to be pureed after thawing.
  1. Empty the tray into a freezer bag with a tight seal. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and label it before chucking it into the freezer.

Can you freeze canned lentils?

Unopened cans should not be frozen. Freezing will result in the expansion of the liquid inside the cans, forcing the cans to explore. Once opened, canned lentils can be frozen the same way as cooked lentils (instructions are detailed above in the article).

Other FAQs about Lentils which you may be interested in.

Can you get sick from eating undercooked lentils? 

Do dried lentils go bad?

Degraded quality and vitamin content are common with old lentils. But dry lentils rarely go bad unless you help it.

Insect infestation: If you notice insects in the package of lentils, whether one or two, dead or alive, it is better to discard these lentils. 

Off-putting smell: The funny smell comes from the growth of molds in the lentils. Bt rancidity also makes the lentils smell bad. In either case, It is best to discard the lentils.

Mold: Mold is an obvious spoilage sign and moldy lentils should be thrown away without any second thoughts. Mold growth indicates that the lentils were exposed to moisture. 

How to store dry lentils?

Dry lentils will last years past their printed date if kept quality. However, old lentils will have a poor nutritional profile. 

The best-by date printed on the label is an estimate for how long the manufacturer thinks that the lentils will remain in their peak quality. These dates are very strict to protect the company from any legal trials in case of food safety issues.

The best way to store dried lentils is to keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place away from heat sources and bugs. A kitchen cabinet or a pantry is a good storage place. 

If the original package is not resealable, consider transferring the lentils to an air-tight container or a freezer bag after tearing open the original package. 


This article answered the question “How long do cooked lentils last in the fridge?”, and how to store cooked and dry lentils?