You have some leftover cooked lentils, and no to plan for using them in the next couple of days. How lengthy do cooked lentils last?

Or her dried lentils are method past the day on the label, and you’re wondering: do dried lentils ever go bad?

Dried and also canned lentils come v a very long shelf life, but once you cook the legumes, the clock start ticking.

You are watching: How long do cooked lentils last in fridge

You only have actually a pair of days come eat the leftovers. Or you can freeze them if that’s not lengthy enough.

Want come learn everything you have to know around the shelf life, warehouse practices, and going bad of lentils?

Read on.


Everything that us discuss listed below should work-related for her lentils, no matter if you have green, brown, or red lentils on hand.

If you’re in a hurry, jump straight to what you have actually on hand:

Bag of lentils

Cooked Lentils

You took your dried lentils or opened a can, and also cooked them. Currently you have some leftovers you have to deal with.

How long Do cooking Lentils Last?

Cooked lentils critical for up to a week in the refrigerator in a sealed container. If that’s no long sufficient for your needs, you deserve to freeze them because that at least 3 months without any substantial quality loss.

If the stated 7 day duration seems choose a little of a stretch, you deserve to go with the conventional USDA guideline of using any leftovers in ~ 3 come 4 days. Nothing wrong through that approach.

For me, the ideal option is to leaving in the refrigerator whatever you’re walk to use within the next 3 to 4 days, and freeze the rest. This way, you keep the danger of spoilage to the minimum.

Speaking that lentils going bad, let’s talk around the common signs the spoilage.

Washing lentils before cooking

How to Tell if cook Lentils space Spoiled?

Discard your cooked lentils if:

There’s mold or discolorations top top the surface or sides. If any kind of microbes obtain into the container before you put it in the fridge, her lentils will go moldy. Indicators of mold can show up also the very next day, so constantly check the food before reheating.The lentils odor off. Sometimes, there room no visible signs of spoilage at first. Fortunately, her sniffer often comes to the rescue. If there’s other wrong through the odor of the lentils, discard them best away.They sit too lengthy in the fridge. maintaining cooked food in the refrigerator for end a main is rather iffy. That means if your lentils currently celebrated your one-week anniversary in the refrigerator, it’s time for them come go. No ifs or butts.

If her lentils don’t autumn under any type of of the points over and seem come be perfectly fine, you can chef them.

One more thing to do before serving lock is tasting a little amount. 99 the end of 100 times, the lentils will taste simply fine. However if there’s miscellaneous off about the flavor, don’t hesitate to litter them out.

How To save Cooked Lentils

You must refrigerate cooked lentils, one of two people in a food container or at the very least in a lidded pot.

That applies no issue if it’s a lentil soup, the lentils space a component of a side dish, or you have actually a pot of cooking lentils.

Before you lining them right into the refrigerator, allow them cool under a bit. If you cooked a huge batch, spread it over a large surface, like a couple of plates, to cool the faster.


Make sure the leftovers find their way into the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Or sooner, if possible.

Lentils soup with coconut cream

Can You frozen Cooked Lentils?

You deserve to freeze cooked lentils, both in the type of a dish and also lentil soup, and also they freeze well.

There space no extra steps involved. Once you have the food cooked, every you should do is to portion it right into freezer containers and also place lock in the freezer.

If you’re going v freezing a lentils-based dish, make certain the rest of the ingredients freeze well too. Otherwise, you might not it is in pleased through the results.

When it involves lentil soups, many of castle freeze simply fine. Nevertheless, it always pays to inspect the recipe you’re using for any extra info regarding freezing.


If you’re freezing lentil soup, leaving out any type of fresh herbs girlfriend usually add at the end. Instead, wait until you defrost and also reheat the soup, and include the herbs right before serving it.

When it pertains to thawing, place the container in the refrigerator the night prior to you need it. It must be (mostly) defrosted in the morning.

When reheating, you could need to include some extra water, especially if it’s a lentil soup. Add a tablespoon at a time and give the totality thing a great stir before including more.

Dried Lentils

You have a package or container of dry lentils and a inquiry or two around the legume. Below are the answers come the most frequently asked ones.

Dry lentils closeup

How lengthy Do Dried Lentils Last?

Dried lentils retain top quality for at the very least 2 come 3 years, if you store them sealed and away from moisture and also heat.

They continue to be safe for months and also even years longer, but their nutritional worth diminishes end time. After about 5 years, most of the vitamin content is pretty much gone.

If friend buy castle packaged, dried lentils typically come with a best-by date, i m sorry indicates just how long the product need to retain optimal quality. It’s not an expiration date and has naught to do with food safety.

And once it involves dry lentils (similar to dried beans), they save well because that months or even years past that date, depending on storage conditions.


Before you chef the lentils, type through lock to pick out any debris, and then rinse lock to remove dirt. No require for presoaking, though.

If the package or the lentils friend bought in mass are a pair of year old, and there’s nothing wrong v them (more in the following section), feel complimentary to use them.

You will chef the lentils before serving, so any bacteria that can be there will certainly be eliminated anyway. The realistic worst-case script is that you finish up through not-that-great lentils, and perhaps a pair of really nasty farts.

Lentils day on label

Do Dried Lentils go Bad?

While dried lentils last because that a really long time, in some cases, they space no much longer safe come eat. Discard yours when:

Insects in the package. Okay, pantry bugs don’t magically make the lentils spoiled or bad, yet I’m pretty sure you don’t desire to eat those lentils (I don’t). Uneven you’re keen on acquiring some additional proteins indigenous an unexplained source.Signs that mold. If that happens, it’s most likely because water got into the package, enabling microbial growth. Throw out the entirety thing rather of scooping the negative part.Strong or off smell. Lentils have actually a specific, pretty mild odor. If it turns sour, off, or specifically strong, discard them.

When it concerns discarding dry lentils that space older than X years yet seem okay otherwise, that’s your call.

How To save Dried Lentils

Store dry lentils in a cool and also dry place, sealed tightly. The pantry is perfect, but a cupboard in the kitchen works well too.

Once you open the plastic package, it’s ideal if you deliver the leftovers right into an airtight container or freezer bag. This way, her lentils are safe from any kind of smells and moisture.

Truth be told, I regularly omit this step and also keep the lentils in the original bag with simply the top wrapped, and also they stay simply fine this method for months on end.

The exact same practices job-related for various other dry foods, such as rice or quinoa.

Lentils bag sealed v a clip

Canned Lentils

Canned lentils space a great option if you want to include some lentils to your diet, yet you can’t it is in bothered with cooking dry lentils.

Do box Lentils go Bad?

Canned lentils normally last for months (if no years) past the date on the label.

As lengthy as the have the right to looks perfect intact, the contents of the deserve to should be it s okay as well. That’s true even if the product is a couple of years previous the best-by day on the label.

It happens very rarely, yet canned lentils can go bad. Here’s when you should discard them:

The tin is rusting, leaking, or dented. If there’s miscellaneous wrong v the can, girlfriend should remove it, even if the components seem come be just fine.There’s something wrong through the lentils. If the package is okay, you open it up and see what’s inside. The food inside need to look like, well, cooking lentils in braided water. That method no mold, turn off discolored parts, or funny smell. If it’s one old package, give the lentils a ideal check when rinsing to it is in sure whatever is okay.

When it comes to leftovers, follow the advice I offered in the cook lentils section.

Storing canned Lentils

You treat them the same method you treat various other canned foods. That means the deserve to should sit in a cool and dry place, and also that’s around it.

See more: Dicks Sporting Good Christmas Eve Hours ~ Closed/Open Today, 2021 Dick'S Sporting Goods Holiday

Once you open up it up, refrigerate the leftovers in a food container if there space any.