Looking for the best meal prep containers? We've got a list of the top 5 meal prep containers for food prep that aren't plastic, and are safe and non-toxic!
Are you a fan of meal prep? Maybe you're just getting into it. I'm someone who kind of dabbles in the meal prep world personally, but I also know how incredibly valuable and helpful it can be for people who don't work at home (or cook for a living).
I've shared lots of meal prep recipes and content here on SQ before, but one thing that I haven't talked about is the containers I like. I think there are a few key things to think about when you're looking for a meal prep container and after years of testing, I've come up with my favorites.
So today we're going to talk about the best meal prep containers that are not only great for food prep but also non-toxic and safe for you to use longterm.
Meal Prep Containers FAQ
Before we dive into the actual containers themselves, let's touch on a few of the common questions that are asked around picking a meal prep container.
What Are The Best Meal Prep Containers?
I'll share my full list shortly, but as I mentioned earlier, there are a few things that I look for in a container. Here's what I keep in mind for my containers:
- made to be glass
- microwave (and sometimes oven-safe)
- use secure lids
- easy to store in my cupboards
- easy to pack in a bag
How Long to Meal Prep Containers Last?
If you're ticking all the boxes above, your meal prep containers should last for years! I've had some for 10+ years and they're still as good as new.
Are Meal Prep Containers Safe?
They can be. In order to make sure that your meal prep containers are 100% safe, choose glass. Unlike plastic, glass won't release harmful chemicals into your food when it's heated. Whenever possible, skip the plastic. Glass is also more durable and will last you longer!
The 5 Best Meal Prep Containers
Since I know this is going to be a long post, I also created a video that talks you through the whole meal prep container selection process and recaps what I think are the best meal prep containers.
That being said, I've also detailed it all here. So here are my – in my opinion – the 5 best meal prep containers:
- Glass Lock Storage Containers
- Pyrex Rectangular Stackable Containers
- Glass Divider Food Prep Containers
- Mason Jars
- Stasher Bags
And now, let's dive into each of those individually!
1. Glass Lock Storage Containers
My #1 pick is a set of glass lock containers. They're by far my favorite meal prep container and the ones that I reach for most frequently. I love that they come in multiple sizes, I love the lids and I think they're overall just a really great buy.
- Material: glass
- Microwave safe: sure are!
- Lids: they lock into place and are super secure (no leaking!)
- Storage: they range in size so they nest really well, making them great for storage
- Packable: totally! Since they have a locking lid, you don't have to worry about tossing them in a bag and having leaking problems!
Glass lock containers are great for all types of meal prep too! Because they come in multiple sizes, you can bring one thing of salad and keep your dressing separate. Or maybe you have an apple and a little peanut butter.
>> Click here to shop Glass Lock Container Set
2. Pyrex Stackable Containers
Next on my list is from Pyrex and it's their 3-cup rectangular containers. I call them stackable containers because that's exactly what they are! They have a thin profile, so they stack really well in the fridge and don't take up much room. And because they're shallow, they're also really easy to eat out of too!
- Material: glass
- Microwave safe: yep!
- Lids: less secure than the glass lock ones, so I'd be a little careful just tossing them in a bag – I think they'll be more likely to leak that way
- Storage: they're low profile, so they store well in the fridge as well as the pantry. They also nest well, which again, saves on space!
- Packable: they're definitely packable, but be mindful of the lids. I haven't personally had a lid fall off, they're just not locked into place like other containers, so you just gotta be careful.
I think these containers are great for things like salads, quinoa bowls, stirfry, etc.!
>> Click here to shop Pyrex Stackable Containers
3. Glass Divider Containers
Next on our list of best meal prep containers are glass divider containers. These are similar to the two above except this time they have two (and sometimes three) separate sections within the container itself. These are awesome for the times when you don't want to a) bring a bunch of different containers and b) don't want your food mixed together. I love these times when I want to have a small salad along with my main meal. They just make it so easy!
- Material: glass
- Microwave safe: totally!
- Lids: there are a few types out there, but lots of them have locking lids, so just make sure to get some that have the locking aspect on them
- Storage: they're not as great for storage. They don't next very well, so they take up a fair amount of room in the cabinet. I don't have more than two in our house currently because of that.
- Packable: absolutely – especially with the locking lid!
>> Click here to shop Glass Divider Containers
4. Mason Jars
Oh mason jars! I seriously love them so much. Not only are mason jars great for meal prep, they're also great for food storage. They're what I use in my pantry to store my nuts, seeds, grains, beans and more. I just adore them! I've got a lot to tell you about mason jars, so let's first start by reviewing my criteria:
- Material: glass
- Microwave safe: yep (but maybe not oven safe)
- Lids: totally secure because they screw on – I would recommend replacing your metal lids with plastic lids though because the metal lids rust over time
- Storage: they definitely take up space and aren't really stackable/nestable, but unlike the other items on this list they're multipurpose. They work well for all sorts of things (including food storage, flower vases, gifts and more).
- Packable: absolutely! I find the lids to be super secure, so I think you can totally just throw them into your bag.
What I love about mason jars is that they come in so many different sizes. I feel like I could have a whole post about why mason jars are so awesome, but for today's blog post, I'll recommend four different sizes to buy:
- Large Mason Jars: These are great for larger items like mason jar salads, soups, big smoothies, etc.
- Medium Mason Jars: I use these a lot for smaller items like if I was taking a soup and salad, or I just want a small smoothie. I also use these a lot for storing nuts, homemade nut butter, and sauces.
- Small Mason Jars: I use these mostly for chia pudding, overnight oats, and dressings./li>
Overall, I just think mason jars are an incredibly useful container to have in your kitchen. If you want me to write a whole post about them, let me know!
5. Stasher Bags
Last on my list of the best meal prep containers are Stasher bags. I think these fall in a slightly different category as I don't really use them for meals per se, but they're a constant in my house and I love them!
I use Stasher bags mostly for snacks. Things like cut up veggies, cookies, homemade bars, pancakes, sandwiches, energy balls. Smaller things that I can just toss in my bag and have as a side to my main meal. They have lots of different sizes which is great, they're really sturdy and have lasted a really long time!
- Material: silicone, but they're still safe!
- Microwave safe: I wouldn't use them in the microwave personally (even if the brand says you can)
- Lids: no lids, but they are essentially like a ziplock bag, so they're definitely sealed.
- Storage: they're great for storing. I have a little container in my kitchen that I use for them!
- Packable: oh heck yea! I travel with these all the time and absolutely love them. I think Stasher bags are great for so many things, but especially for packing things on the go!
>> Click here to buy Stasher Bags
Super Easy Meal Prep Recipes
Now that you've learned all about our favorite meal prep containers, let's talk about recipes! As I said at the start of this post, we've shared a TON of meal prep-friendly recipes on the site before. I'm not going to link them all here – you can search “meal prep” in the search bar above – but here are some of my personal favorites:
- Quinoa Bowls with Spring Vegetables
- Chipotle Tofu Quinoa Bowls
- Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowls
- Meal Prep Smoothie Recipes
- Buffalo Tofu Mason Jar Salad
- Rainbow Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry
- Blueberry Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal
Happy meal prepping!