Power Hour Meal Prep

The Best Containers for All Your Meal-Prepped Food, According to Our Readers

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

There are just a few things you need in order to meal prep: a plan, an hour of time (seriously, you can do it in an hour!), all your ingredients, and some containers. We’d actually argue that the containers are probably the most important part. Because what good is a sheet pan of roasted butternut squash if you have nowhere to put said squash?

While we have our own opinions on the best containers for meal prepping, our readers have some, too! We asked the devoted home cooks in our Meal Plan Club Facebook group (yes, meal planning and meal prepping are different, but the group talks about both!) to share their favorite containers for meal prepping. Here’s what they had to say.

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Many of you touted the virtues of Pyrex containers, saying that they stack well and that the lids fit on snuggly. Plus, replacement lids (should you need them) can be found on Amazon. It’s obviously a matter of personal preference, and things depend on the foods you’re storing, but the larger sizes seem to be more covetable than the smaller ones.

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Someone said they’ve been wanting to upgrade to the plastic and glass ones that America’s Test Kitchen recommends. Those recommendations? The Rubbermaid Brilliance containers and OXO’s Smart Seal Leakproof Glass Containers — both of which are two we also happen to highly recommend!

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3. Jarden Ball Mason Jars, $17 for 12

“I use Mason jars in half pint, pint, and quart size for soups, dressings, sauces, and liquid leftovers,” says one reader. “My favorite thing about glass is that it’s bottom-rack dishwasher safe and comes out of the dishwasher dry! And I can see the food in it easily.”

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We were surprised by how many of you named Ziploc freezer bags! “Basic and not sexy, but I love Ziploc freezer bags,” said one reader. “They are great for soups, chili, and broth, flash freezing and then storing muffins, pancakes, meatballs, etc.” We love a Ziploc bag in the freezer — just freeze your liquids so that they’re flat and easy to stack or file on the shelves.

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These are a go-to in restaurant kitchens — for good reason. They’re durable, dishwasher-safe, easy to stack (when empty AND full!), and come in all sorts of sizes. They’re seriously great for leftovers or pre-prepped ingredients.

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These containers look disposable, but they are totally reusable. (And dishwasher-safe to boot!) While there are many look-alikes that are much flimsier, Kitchn readers and Amazon reviewers say these are the ones to get. They’ll hold up over time, can go in the freezer and microwave, and the lids snap closed.

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Speaking of snapping, Snapware got quite a few nominations. (Nice segue, huh?) Get the glass containers (instead of plastic) and then you can also bake in them. One more tip: “Buy the square and rectangles, as they stack nicely in the fridge and I find round containers are a waste of space,” says a reader.

Do you have a strong opinion on containers? Share it in the comments below!