What Are The Best Meal Prep Containers?

One of the first things you need to get started with meal prep is the right containers. Storage containers come in many different shapes and forms. After meal prepping for years, it’s become clear that certain types of meal prep containers lean themselves better for certain types of meals. In this post, I will list which types of containers are best for which types of meals!

Best Containers For Meal Prep

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There are different types of meal prep containers that are best for different types of meals:

  1. For meals that need to be reheated, glass meal prep containers are best.
  2. For no reheat meals, stainless steel meal prep containers are best.
  3. For meal prep salads, jars with a wide mouth are best.

We will also go through the pros and cons of the different types of meal prep container materials that are on the market, so you can make a well-informed decision before investing in containers! Lastly, I’ll give some insight into how many containers you’ll need to get started with meal prep.

This post is all about The Best Meal Prep Containers!

Glass Meal Prep Containers Are Best For Meals That Need To Be Reheated

Glass Meal Prep Containers Are Best For Meals That Need To Be Reheated

Meal prep containers are available in a variety of materials. Each of them is appropriate depending on your meal prep needs. Glass containers are best for meals that need to be reheated because they are microwave and oven safe.

My favorite glass meal prep container:

Glass containers
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Usually when you meal prep hot meals, you will cook your ingredients, and once done transfer them to a meal prep container to cool down and reheat later. However, some hot meals are baked in the oven! When you meal prep those, you can bake them directly in glass containers. Trust me, this makes meal prep so much more convenient. Try baking a Shepherd’s Pie in a big pie pan and then transfer it to meal prep containers… Get ready for the mess!

When it comes to reheating cooked meals, most can be reheated in the microwave, while others are best when reheated in the oven or air fryer! Meals such as Lentil Shepherd’s Pie or Chakalaka Mac And Cheese are much better when they are crispy on top. You can only conveniently reheat these meals to their best quality when you store them in glass containers.

Stainless Steel Meal Prep Containers Are Best For No Reheat Meals

Stainless Steel Or Plastic Meal Prep Containers Are Best For No Reheat Meals

To store meals that don’t need to be reheated, stainless steel containers are best! They are more lightweight than glass, so if you are not needing to reheat your meals, you might as well ditch the weight! They also don’t stain or absorb smells, as opposed to plastic containers!

My favorite stainless steel meal prep container:

U-Konserve To-Go Stainless Steel Square Food-Storage Bento Box Lunch Container 30oz - Clear Airtight Lid - Dishwasher Safe - BPA Free - Eco Friendly
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Another thing you should consider when purchasing containers for no reheat meals, is that you want them to be slightly bigger than your containers for meals that need to be reheated! Cold meals often contain raw vegetables, which are more voluminous than cooked vegetables!

Even though stainless steel containers are best for no reheat meals, there’s no doubt that they are more expensive than most plastic containers. While it’s ideal that none of us uses plastic at all, I believe that small changes have massive impacts. So, if stainless steel containers don’t suit your budget, don’t beat yourself up about purchasing a set of plastic meal prep containers. The reality is that those containers are reusable and will end up saving the environment big time when it comes to the packaging you would have consumed if you shopped and ate out more regularly, as opposed to meal prepping.

My favorite plastic meal prep container:

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Some No Reheat Meals To Try:

Jars With A Wide Mouth Are Best For Meal Prep Salads

Jars With A Wide Mouth Are Best For Meal Prep Salads

If you are into meal-prepping salads, there is no doubt that you should invest in a few jars with a wide mouth (and lid) to step up your salad game!

My favorite jars for jar salads:

Glass jars for meal prepping
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When building a jar salad, it’s all about the order of the ingredients! Add the dressing first. This ensures that the salad ingredients don’t get soggy. The remainder of the ingredients is layered from the firm on the bottom to soft and delicate on top. The bottom ingredient not only needs to be firm but also non-absorbent so that it doesn’t soak up the dressing. For this Greek Salad In A jar, chickpeas are the perfect bottom ingredient while the baby spinach is best placed on top.

Make sure to use jars with a wide mouth! This will make it so much easier to either eat directly from the jar or to pour the salad onto a plate.

More Jar Salad Recipes To Try:

Pros And Cons Of Glass vs Stainless Steel vs Plastic Meal Prep Containers

Pros And Cons Of Glass vs Stainless Steel vs Plastic Meal Prep Containers

Here’s a detailed list of the pros and cons of the different materials of meal prep containers, so you can make a well-informed decision before investing in containers!

Glass

Pros

  • Reheat friendly (microwave and oven safe)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn’t stain or absorb smells
  • Suitable for tableware (it looks neat enough to serve and eat out of)
  • Durable
  • If they have a lid with snap-lock, they are usually 100% airtight and leak-proof
  • Safer for the environment compared to plastic containers

Cons

  • Heavy (heavier than stainless steel and plastic)
  • Breakable if dropped on a hard surface
  • More expensive than plastic

Stainless steel

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn’t stain or absorb smells
  • Suitable for tableware (it looks neat to serve and eat out of)
  • Durable and almost unbreakable
  • If they have a leak-resistant lid, they are leak-proof
  • Safer for the environment compared to plastic containers

Cons

  • Not reheat friendly
  • More expensive than glass and plastic

Plastic

Pros

  • If BPA-free, reheat-friendly (microwave-safe)
  • Dishwasher safe (to be 100% safe, put them on the top rack of your dishwasher)
  • Lightweight
  • If they have a lid with a snap-lock, they are usually leak-proof
  • Less expensive than glass and stainless steel

Cons

  • Can stain easily and absorb smells
  • Less eco-friendly than glass and stainless steel containers

How Many Containers Do I Need To Start Meal Prepping?

If you are new to meal prep and are not sure how many containers to buy to start your journey, I recommend starting with six meal prep containers per person. This will allow you to prep two different dishes (three breakfast meals and three lunch meals or three lunch meals and three dinner meals), which is a great place to start.

If you know that you love eating salads for lunch, make sure three of those six containers are jars! If you are on the go a lot and often have to rely on no reheat meals, make sure to include a few stainless steel or plastic containers.

I hope this post has helped you reach a decision about which meal prep containers are best as you gear up for your meal prep journey!

Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to let me know, by leaving a comment below.

This post was all about The Best Meal Prep Containers!

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