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Prepping meals ahead can save time and future stress, whether the prep involves assembling lunches the night before, cooking in bulk and freezing meals for later, or packing up leftovers for another day. Sturdy meal prep containers make the task even easier and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit everyone’s needs. You'll want to factor in size, material, and compartment style when deciding on containers for your kitchen.
Here, the best meal prep containers available.
Best Glass: Prep Naturals Glass 2-Compartment Meal Prep Containers, 5 Pack
The best containers for families who like to plan meals ahead, the three compartments in these containers make it easy to keep foods separate, whether it’s a salad, sandwich, and snack, or it’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
These containers are freezer safe, so meals can be prepped and saved for much later, and they can be microwaved to heat the food for serving. They’re also dishwasher safe, so cleaning is easy when dinner is done.
Each container in this set of five can hold a total of 29 ounces. While the containers are leakproof, there is no seal along the divider walls of the compartments, so if these are turned on their sides, liquids can leak from one compartment to the next.
Best Set: Pohl+Schmitt Glass Meal Prep Containers
The perfect set for lunches on-the-go, these meal prep containers even include their own cutlery, neatly tucked into a compartment in the lid where they stay clean and ready to be used, whether lunch is a salad or a hot bowl of pasta. The containers are glass, with one large compartment, and are microwave safe for easy food reheating. With each set, you'll get five 30-ounce containers and five sets of cutlery to go with them.
Reviewers point out that, because the lids are shaped to accommodate the utensils, they’re rounded rather than completely flat, which means these containers are wobbly when stacked on top of each other.
Best for Baby Food: OXO Tot Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers
Prepping food ahead of time for the baby or toddler can make homemade baby food just a little bit more manageable. These small 2-ounce containers help busy parents make serving sizes that won’t waste food. The included tray keeps all the containers neatly together whether they’re grouped by ingredients or arranged by meals, and the snap-on lids seal securely, so you can keep them in your diaper bag when you head outside.
When baby outgrows these small containers, they’re handy for freezing leftover egg yolks or whites, or for freezing herbs, tomato paste, and other foods in small portions. This set comes with six 2-ounce containers with lids, plus a tray to hold them. You can choose between pink and teal containers, and a similar set with 4-ounce containers is available for kids who are eating more food at each meal.
Best 2-Compartment: Bentgo 2-Compartment Meal-Prep Containers with Custom-Fit Lids
With two separate sections, these containers from Bentgo are great for folks who want chips or fruit with their sandwich, and they're just as good for salad and dessert. The unique colors of these containers set them apart from the usual, making them easy to spot in the communal fridge at work while also adding just a bit of an upscale look to the meal. For couples who like different meals, buying two sets in different colors makes it simple to find personalized meals in the refrigerator or freezer.
Great for portion control, the 1-cup and 2-cup amounts are embossed on the trays so there’s no need to remember how much they hold. Despite the affordable price, these are freezer, microwave, and top-rack dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to use. They nest neatly when they’re empty, so they won’t eat up a lot of storage space, and they stack nicely when they’re full.
Best Bulk: SimpleHouseware 2 Compartment Food Grade Meal Prep Containers
When you need a larger quantity of food prep containers to freeze meals or to feed a large group, this pack of 40 will come in handy. They have two compartments to keep the mashed potatoes separate from the turkey or to keep the soup separate from the snack. The lids are designed to be snug and leak proof.
These handy containers are easy to maintain, since they’re top-rack dishwasher safe, and they nest neatly when they’re empty so they won’t take a lot of space when they’re not in use. They hold a total of 28 ounces, with a smaller and a larger section to keep foods separate. They’re also perfect for taking food on-the-go, and since they’re so inexpensive, it’s not a huge loss if one gets left behind.
Best for Snacks: Good Cook 2-Compartment Meal Prep Containers
Some people plan meals ahead, while others plan snacks. Whether used for portion control of treats, or whether they’re just a handy container for bringing nuts and chips to work for an afternoon pick-me-up, these are the perfect vessels. Each of the two compartments holds 1/2 cup, so they’re great for snacks for adults or kids, and they’re a convenient way to carry a variety of snacks on the road, whether it’s a trip across the country or just across town.
These handy containers are microwave safe for warm snacks and they’re freezer safe for cold snacks or for planning ahead for future snacking. But these aren’t just for snacking—they can be used to store herbs, chopped onions, shredded cheese, and other garnishes so they’re ready to pull out when dinner is ready, or they can be used to freeze small amounts of foods. When it’s time to clean up, they are dishwasher safe. This is a set of 10 two-compartment containers.
Best 3-Compartment: Doura 3-Compartment Meal Prep Containers
With three compartments, these containers offer more versatility when planning meals. They hold a total of 32 ounces with one larger container and two smaller ones, so there’s room for salad, dressing, and a snack for later. Or a wrap, chips, and fruit. Or meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and some cookies. If the food needs to be warmed for serving, they’re microwave safe, too.
These containers are great for taking lunch on-the-go, and just as great for freezing meals ahead, or for storing leftovers in meal-sized portions. Each container in this set has a different colored lid, so family members can claim a favorite color and they’ll always grab the right one. For easy cleaning, these are dishwasher safe, and they nest for compact storage when not in use.
Best Round: Igluu Meal Prep Round Plastic Containers
Sometimes a round container makes more sense, like for salads or for arranging those bowl meals that are so trendy and look so appealing. These hold 28 ounces each and have airtight lids that will keep the food fresh on-the-go, whether it’s a breakfast bowl to eat at work or a hearty pasta salad for lunch. They’re also great for freezing soup, stews, or chili that can be thawed and heated in the microwave when it’s time to eat.
Great for leftovers or for planning meals ahead, when they’re empty they’re dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This is a set of 10 containers plus lids, and they nest easily for compact storage when they’re not in use.
Best Design: Anchor Hocking TrueSeal Food Storage Containers
Many food storage containers boast an airtight lid, but this set by Anchor Hocking is unique. Pressing down on the middle of the lid creates a vacuum that releases the air from the glass container and forms a 100% airtight seal. Plus, the lids are see-through, so you can clearly see what meals you have available in the fridge. Our tester noted that the smaller containers in this set are perfect for meal-prepping and the couple of larger sizes are great for dinner leftovers.
If you're looking to start meal prepping, you can't go wrong with Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers (view at Amazon). They're convenient, durable, and leakproof. Want to step up your meal-prep game and really stock your freezer? The SimpleHouseware 2 Compartment Food Grade Meal Prep Containers (view at Amazon) are a great bulk option.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of Make Ahead Bread, a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.