The 11 Best Meal Prep Containers of 2021

Remove the stress from mealtime

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Our Top Picks
"A massive time saver, Pyrex's six-piece container set can be used for cooking, serving, and storage."
"This three-compartment bento box keeps food fresh and sealed and promises to be a leakproof travel companion."
"Great for organizing prepped veggies and fruits for easy salad assembly or keeping your grab and go snacks perfectly organized."
"Store sauces, soups, and dressings without any leaks using Rubbermaid’s airtight latch system for fuss-free meal prep."
"Dishwasher and microwave-safe, this reusable bag can be used in lieu of pots and cookware to cook, reheat, and store food."
"This glass container is a smart way to invest in your physical and financial health"
"The sleek, compact container fits seamlessly into lunch bags and backpacks and stack neatly for a clutter-free fridge."
"This compact, three-compartment meal prep container features three sections that allow for a well-balanced snack."
"Prep a week’s worth of meals with this 20-pack set of reusable bento boxes that are dishwasher and microwave-safe."
"Whether your kids eat lunch at home or on-the-go, this pick offers the unique ability to serve hot and cold food together."

Meal prepping is an effective strategy used to manage the volume and quality of food you consume while also saving time and money. Whether you’re working at the office or from home, preparing meals ahead of time can take the stress and guesswork out of meals and help you stay on track to reach your health and fitness goals. In fact, one study showed that individuals who planned their meals ahead of time had better overall diet quality and a lower incidence of obesity.

If spending your Sunday afternoon prepping a week's worth of meals feels like a daunting task, rest assured it's not as cumbersome as it may seem. In fact, with the help of a new set of meal prep containers, it can be just as easy as cooking your standard go-to meal, only at a higher volume and in a more organized fashion. Great meal prep containers can simplify your life and set you up for success on your meal prepping journey.

Here, the best meal prep containers.

Best Overall: Pyrex Glass Food Storage Containers

pyrex

One-pan dinner, anyone? Prep, bake, serve, store, freeze, and reheat meals all in the same container. Pyrex glass can adapt to and withstand extreme temperatures, from minus 40 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and is oven-, freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe.

This 6-piece set comes with three specially sized round containers with lids, including a 2-cup, 4-cup, and 7-cup container. Made from nonporous borosilicate glass, these containers won’t stain or absorb odors and flavors. The blue BPA-free lids deliver a leakproof fit and are also safe for use in the freezer, microwave, and top-rack of the dishwasher.

Best Budget: Simple Houseware Reusable Meal Prep Container Boxes

Simple Houseware's three-compartment meal prep containers are a budget-friendly pick made from food-grade BPA-free polypropylene. Complete with three spacious compartments, each bento box delivers enough room to pack a full sandwich with two sides. Great for kids and adults alike, these containers feature a leakproof, airtight lid that travels well and keeps food fresh in the fridge and freezer. 

The Simple Houseware meal prep containers are top-rack dishwasher safe and easily stackable. This set comes with six 36-ounce containers with a variety of colored lids. Each container measures 9.5 x 6.3 x 2 inches.

Best for Organization: iDesign + The Spruce 8.3-in x 6.3-in Plastic Multi-Use Insert Drawer Organizer

8.3-in x 6.3-in Plastic Multi-Use Insert Drawer Organizer

Organizing your fridge and pantry can make it easier to make healthy choices. It's also helpful to reduce food waste and save money, as you can quickly do an inventory of what you have on hand. These handy drawer organizers can be used in a variety of ways. For meal prep aficionados, they're great for organizing prepped veggies and fruits for easy salad assembly or keeping your grab and go snacks perfectly organized.

The compact, durable plastic container measures 8.37 inches by 6.37 inches by 3.88 inches and fits well on most refrigerator shelves. A built-in divider helps to keep items in line, but it can also be removed. The transparent plastic design allows contents to be visible at all times, and the removable lid allows for additional items to be stored on top of the bin.

Best Leakproof: Rubbermaid Leak-Proof Brilliance Food Storage Set

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers deliver an airtight seal with innovative latches that keep food from leaking. When released, the latches reveal built-in vents that eliminate microwave splatter. This set is conveniently safe for use in the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave. 

Rubbermaid's stackable containers are crystal clear, so you can easily keep track of your meal prep inventory. Made from BPA-free Tritan, Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers look like glass but are durable and much lighter. These containers are also stain and odor-resistant, keeping their pristine appearance through many meals and dishwasher cycles. 

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers are available in multiple sizes and quantities.

Best Multifunctional: Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag

The Stasher Bag is the unicorn of food storage containers because it’s not only reusable; it can also be used to cook. The silicone bag’s functions are limitless. It takes up less drawer space than a thin dishtowel and can replace bulky meal prep containers, as well as pots and pans. 

This magic little bag can be used for cooking in the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, on the stovetop for boiling and sous vide cooking, and in the microwave. It can also be stored in the freezer and cleaned in the dishwasher.

The eco-friendly Stasher Bag is made from platinum food-grade silicone, which keeps food fresher longer and seals in smells through its airtight Pinch-Loc™ seal. Simply fold the bag and squeeze to secure it. It’s also latex-free, BPA-free, and PVC-free.

The Stasher Bag comes in various sizes, including ½ gallon, pocket, sandwich, snack, and the stand-up bag. It’s offered in a range of transparent colors, including Aqua, Clear, Blueberry, Citrus, Gray, Lime, Milky Way, Mint, Moonstone, Obsidian, Raspberry, and Supernova.

Best Glass: Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers

Meal prepping is a smart way to invest in your physical and financial health. By preparing your own meals and skipping the lunchtime rush at your favorite restaurant, you could save hundreds of dollars a month. Choosing glass over plastic is also a healthy choice; glass withstands higher heat and usage, so you don't have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your food.

Prep Naturals' two-compartment meal prep container is made from high-quality borosilicate glass, which is safe to use in the microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher. The lid is not dishwasher or microwave-safe.

Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers are leak-proof and remain odorless, even if you cook with garlic on repeat. This set includes five 29-ounce containers that measure 7 x 5.1 x 2.6 inches and weigh 1.6 pounds. 

Best Stainless Steel: LunchBots Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container

If you're looking for a durable, chemical-free meal prep container that's an alternative to glass, consider a stainless steel option like this one from LunchBots. This reusable meal prep container features five separate compartments of varying sizes to fit a well-balanced meal, complete with protein, fat, carb, fruit, and vegetable. This meal prep container ensures that each food stays separate, so it's perfect for keeping courses separate or satisfying picky eaters.

The sleek, compact container fits seamlessly into lunch bags and backpacks and stack neatly for a clutter-free fridge. The LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container and lid are made from ultra-durable, BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel, which is lightweight, sturdy, and free of toxins and chemical linings. This container is best for cold meals, as stainless steel cannot be microwaved. LunchBots containers are dishwasher-safe, making for easy cleanup. When packing dips and sauces, LunchBots recommends using their Dips condiment containers to ensure the contents stay in their designated compartment.

In addition to the classic all-stainless steel container, this bento-style box is available with LunchBots’ additional snap-on colorful dot cover, which is offered in aqua, blue, green, and pink. The snap-on cover is also BPA-free. The LunchBots Large Cinco Stainless Steel Lunch Container measures 8 x 6 x 1.75 inches and features three individual 1/2-cup proportions and two 1 1/4-cup portions.

Best for Snacks: OTOR 25 Pack Stackable Bento Boxes

Planning ahead for snacks can empower you to make healthy decisions. Pack any trio—such as cut-up veggies, nuts, and hummus—in this compact, three-compartment meal prep container. The 16-ounce crack-resistant containers come with clear, airtight lids that prevent leakage and ward off steam to keep food fresh and prevent wilting.

OTOR's reusable, stackable containers are made from BPA-free polypropylene and are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer-safe. 

This set includes 25 three-compartment bento boxes with lids. The two outside containers measure 2.76 x 4.13 x 1.75 inches, and the center compartment measures 3.19 x 4.13 x 1.75 inches.

Best Bento: EZ Prepa Meal Prep Containers with Lids - Bento Box

Keep your portions in check with the reusable EZ Prepa Bento Box Set. These durable, BPA-free plastic containers feature three divided compartments that resemble a TV dinner tray. EZ Prepa's meal prep containers are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher-safe.  

Each container measures 9 x 7 x 6 inches and collectively holds up to 32 ounces of food. The lids and containers are stackable and take up very little shelf space, so your refrigerator will be perfectly organized. This set comes with 20 reusable, black meal prep containers with clear lids, so you can prepare meals for the whole week and easily manage inventory.

Best for Kids: Omie Insulated Bento Box for Kids

Whether your kids eat lunch at home or on the go, the OmieBox Bento Box offers the unique ability to serve hot and cold food together in one container. The main compartment includes a removable 1-cup vacuum insulated thermos, keeping the hot portion of the meal heated and separate from the chilled sides. Insulated side compartments keep fruit, yogurt, and other chilled treats nice and cold. 

This kid-friendly, insulated bento box offers endless mealtime flexibility. When serving chilled meals, simply remove the thermos insert to reveal the sandwich-sized main compartment. An additional divider lets you customize the size of the cold compartments, delivering full flexibility to create or combine sections and even fit a tall juice box or granola bar. The cold food compartments collectively hold a belly-filling 4.5 cups of food. 

The OmieBox Bento Box also features a handy built-in carrying handle. This bright blue bento box measures 7 x 7 x 3 inches and weighs 1.7 pounds. All parts are removable for easy cleanup. It's also top-rack dishwasher-safe but not microwave-safe. This durable, impact-resistant meal prep container is made from 18/8, 304-grade stainless steel, ABS, PP, and silicone. It's also BPA-free and phthalate-free.

Best for Salad: Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container

Prep a hearty, loaded salad in the Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container. The 54-ounce bowl fits four cups of lettuce or veggies, topped by the upper compartmentalized tray that keeps three separate toppings fresh and crisp until mealtime. The upper lidded tray features one 10-ounce compartment and two 5-ounce compartments, along with a 3-ounce dressing container.

The Bentgo lid features a rubberized sealing ring with locking clips for a fresh, leakproof, portable salad. The main bowl is microwave-safe, and all parts are dishwasher-safe.

The Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container is made from BPA- and PVC-free plastic with a Tritan cutlery cover. Never get stuck without utensils again, thanks to Bentgo’s built-in reusable fork. This portable salad container is offered in a variety of vibrant colors, including Blue, Blush Marble, Coastal Aqua, Gray, Green, Khaki Green, Purple, and Slate.

Final Verdict

For long-lasting, high-performing meal prep containers that can go straight from the oven to the table and to the freezer, we recommend Pyrex Glass Food Storage Containers (view at Amazon). For a container that goes beyond meal prep, we recommend the Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag (view at Amazon). These reusable silicone bags are an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic sandwich bags and can even be used for cooking in the oven, on the stove, and in the microwave.

What to Look for in a Meal Prep Container

Material:

The first step in choosing a meal prep container is deciding on your preferred material. The most popular materials used in food storage containers are glass, plastic, stainless steel, and silicone. Each material has its pros and cons; overall, it's a personal preference.

Glass containers are a sturdy, low maintenance option that are dishwasher and microwave-safe, and typically also freezer and oven-safe. Another major selling point is that glass is nonporous, meaning there’s no space to trap odor and bacteria. Glass is also free of potentially harmful chemicals. On the flip side, glass containers are much heavier, fragile, and can be more costly.

BPA-free plastic containers are another great option to consider. In addition to being mostly dishwasher and microwave-safe, plastic containers are lightweight and budget-friendly. High quality, sturdy plastics wear well and won’t warp or dent in the dishwasher. Plastic is not the most eco-friendly pick of the bunch, and it’s important to note that if your plastic containers crack, they are no longer safe to use and should be disposed of properly. Be sure to choose BPA-free plastic to avoid potentially harmful chemicals.

Stainless steel containers are a popular option for preparing cold meals. These eco-friendly metal containers are often offered in compact bento-style lunch boxes, packing seamlessly in a work or school bag. While stainless steel cannot be heated, it is generally dishwasher-safe.

Due to its malleable nature, silicone is a smart choice for anyone looking to save space, either in the kitchen or in a lunch bag. Silicone bags are designed to replace single-use plastic bags and can usually be used for a variety of cooking methods. 

Capabilities:

The idea behind meal prepping is to make life easier and spend less time cooking and cleaning. To get the most out of your efforts, look for meal prep containers that are safe to use in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven.

Compartments:

Compartmentalized meal prep containers are a popular choice, especially for kids or for preparing multi-course meals. Bento boxes are a great option for packing a variety of food in one compact container and keeping wet and dry foods separate.

Ease of Cleaning:

There's nothing worse than cracking open your lunch container after a long day and spending what seems to be endless amounts of time scrubbing. The beauty of a nonporous material like glass is that it doesn't absorb odor or bacteria, making cleaning much easier. Ideally, find a container that is dishwasher-safe to cut down on cleaning time.

Durability:

Invest in meal prep containers that will last for years and will stand up to a little roughhousing and the occasional tumble. Additionally, make sure the material is sturdy enough to handle the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

Lid Design:

Look for a lid that incorporates a seal, suction, or locking mechanism. This ensures a secure hold, keeping liquids from seeping in between the cracks and spilling.

Size:

Meal prep masters seek the ideal balance between storage space and food capacity. Since every meal and family member is different, we suggest investing in a variety of container sizes for different meals and portion sizes.

What Experts Say

"Investing in high-quality meal prep containers is a great way to set you up for success with your nutrition goals. Planning—and preparing—meals and snacks ahead of time makes sticking to your meal plan simple. If meal prep feels overwhelming, I suggest starting with one meal, such as breakfast. Mixing up a large batch of overnight oats and storing it in individual containers makes mornings easier."—Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Emily Stone researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit and Verywell Health. As a health and fitness writer, she knows how food plays an integral role in one's health, wellness, and fitness journey. Emily suggests Pyrex containers for weekly meal prep as they’re durable, oven and freezer-safe, and free of toxins and chemical linings.

 

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ducrot P, Méjean C, Aroumougame V, et al. Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adultsInt J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2017;14(1):12. doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0461-7