Just like most new routines, taking up meal prep is a learning curve. One of the things I didn’t know much about when I first started out, was meal storage! Over the years, I’ve learned how long vegan meal prep lasts, but also how to store it to keep it fresh for as long as possible.
As a general rule, prepared foods including vegan meal prep, maintain their freshness and quality for up to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer, according to the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration).
Some prepared foods last less long than others. For example, did you know that baked goods and hummus easily last up to 7 days in the refrigerator, while cut fruit and vegetable soup last up to 4 days? Some prepared foods are extremely freezer-friendly while others are not at all. There are also precautions you can take to make sure they last as long as possible. Let’s get into it…
This post is all about How Long Vegan Meal Prep Lasts!
How Long Does Vegan Meal Prep Last?
1. Baked Goods
Baked goods, such as muffins and cinnamon rolls, are the best food ever to prep on a Sunday. It’s a fun activity you can do together with your children and it gives you breakfasts and/or snacks for an entire week! If you freeze your baked goods, you can enjoy them for up to 12 months!
I highly recommend trying out one of the VMPS baked goods recipes:
2. Cut Fruit
Cut fruit is another meal prep champion! Cutting fruit on a Sunday definitely increases the likelihood of eating fruit throughout the week. Generally, cut fruit lasts up to 4 days in the fridge! It is perfect to serve with a muffin for breakfast or eat as a snack. It’s also great to add it to overnight oats or chia pudding.
Links to find the VMPS overnight oats and chia pudding recipes:
- Overnight Proats (Protein Oats)
- 3-Ingredient Chia Pudding – Thé Vegan Meal Prep Breakfast For Meal Prep Newbies
3. Pasta Salad And Other Salads
A wonderful no reheat / cold lunch option to take on the go is pasta salad and other salad (jars)! They last in the fridge for up to 4 days and don’t need to be reheated. It’s NOT recommended to freeze them.
Delicious VMPS pasta salads to try:
4. Vegetable Soups and Stews
Soups and stews are pretty much the easiest main meal types to meal prep. They are super easy to make in bulk, they last up to 4 days in the refrigerator, and are very freezer-friendly too! They maintain perfect quality and freshness for up to 6 months in the freezer.
The ultimate VMPS freezer meal prep:
5. Most Other Vegan Meals
Most other vegan meals will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Think pasta dishes, rice bowls, enchiladas, etc. Some of those are definitely safe to freeze, but you need to keep in mind that the quality might change!
Other VMPS meals:
- Easy Peanut Tofu Meal Prep Bowls
- One-Pot Cheesy Chickpea Broccoli and Rice Meal Prep – Super Cheap Vegan Meal Prep
6. Home-Made Hummus And Salsa
Hummus and salsa are very popular vegan foods to prep, to serve with crudites and/or chips for snack time! I’m guessing their popularity is a consequence of their ability to last for long (and their deliciousness of course!). They both easily last in the fridge for up to 7 days, but it is not recommended to freeze them.
There’s a fun Halloween-themed hummus recipe linked on the blog:
I hope this breakdown gives you a good idea of how long your vegan meal prep can last in both the refrigerator and freezer!
Meal Prep Storage Tips
Storing meals properly will help you make sure that your meal prep lasts for as long as possible. Here are some basic meal prep food storage tips to try:
- Invest in meal prep containers: store your meals as often as possible in glass or stainless steel airtight containers! You can find the links to the meal prep containers I recommend on the VMPS Shop Page. It is really worth it to invest in high-quality containers because they make a noticeable difference in the quality and freshness of your meals throughout the week. However, if your budget doesn’t allow the investment, do not allow this to be a barrier to meal prep. Use the best containers you have access to. I share some great budget-friendly options in this post.
- Clean the refrigerator regularly: if food spills in the refrigerator, make sure to clean it immediately. Also regularly clean the refrigerator, to make sure that bacteria don’t have a chance to spread.
- Refrigerate or freeze your meal prep as soon as possible: prepared foods should never be left out at room temperature for longer than two hours! Also make sure to not crowd your refrigerator or freezer too much, so that air can still circulate.
- Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are kept at the right temperature: your fridge should be kept at or below 4° C (40° F), while your freezer should be kept at or below -18° C (0° F). If your appliances don’t have a built-in thermometer, you can purchase an inexpensive appliance thermometer.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed if you lose electricity: If unopened, your refrigerator will keep its content cold for about 4 hours after losing electricity! Your freezer should keep an adequate temperature for 48 hours if the door remains unopened!
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This post was all about How Long Vegan Meal Prep Lasts!