If you’re new to meal prep and looking to get started this weekend, you should order yourself some decent meal prep containers which can help divide your portions, keep your meals fresh, and you can easily take them to work.
The hard work has been done for you and I have listed the best meal prep containers which I have tried and tested multiple times. You can choose plastic or glass, or even both, but it really depends on how frequent you plan to prepare make-ahead meals.
Best Meal Prep Containers
Here is a selection of the best meal prep containers which you can buy in 2021 which I have used in the past and still use today to post meal prep recipes on this website.
If you’re totally new to meal prep, I recommend trying the plastic containers because they’re cheaper, sold in bulk and can be reused multiple times.
However, if you consider yourself a meal prep pro or someone who regularly batch cooks, then glass meal prep containers will be better for you in the long-term.
Best Plastic Meal Prep Containers
Here are the best plastic meal prep containers in 2021. Igluu Meal Prep are a fantastic brand and company which I trust and can safely recommend to you. They always deliver fast and have a fantastic customer service support team.
Igluu Meal Prep 1 Compartment Containers [10 pack + BPA + reusable]
These are perfect for many meal prep recipes. We love this version because it can be portion controlled for one serving.
Igluu Meal Prep 2 Compartment Containers [10 pack + BPA + reusable]
Ideal if you want to separate foods like nuts and fruits from your main meal. It’s the ideal lunchbox container which gives you options.
Igluu Meal Prep 3 Compartment Containers [10 pack + BPA + reusable]
Good for splitting up foods in three compartments which gives you a chance to include from fruits, veggies and nuts in your meal preps.
Igluu Meal Round Plastic Containers [10 pack + BPA + reusable]
Perfect if you love salads, curries and want to include plenty of food in your meal prep. Also, good for prepping pizza dough in the fridge!
Best Glass Meal Prep Containers
Here are the best glass meal prep containers in 2021. These are the exact containers which I have ordered in the past and are still with me today. They’ve been in top condition and it’s one of the best one-time purchases I’ve made for meal prep.
Glass Meal Prep 1 Compartment Containers [10 pack + BPA + reusable]
Popular choice for meal prep pros as these will last forever. You can store plenty of food in each container which is good for all types of meal prepping.
Glass Meal Prep 1 Compartment Containers [5 pack + BPA + reusable]
Smaller pack but enough for one person. You can store your meals in the fridge or freezer, and you can also reheat in the oven or microwave directly.
Glass Meal Prep 2 & 3 Compartment Containers [4 pack + BPA + reusable]
A mixture of compartments which is a great bundle here. Ideal for spilling up food and making the most out of the storage containers.
Glass Meal Prep Containers with Lids [13 pack + BPA + reusable]
Overall, a fantastic value pack and bundle for those who meal prep every week. You can store pretty much everything.
Plastic vs Glass
Should you choose plastic or glass meal prep containers? Which is better? These are questions I here all the time.
To answer it simply, glass meal prep containers is the best overall choice and is the better long-term investment simply because of the material and hard durability.
However, plastic meal prep containers does have its advantages and are better for meal prep beginners because they often come in bulk and can be easier to take to work or store in the fridge because they’re easier to portion control.
It all depends on what is best suited for you and how you plan to meal prep which is why we have listed the pros and cons of plastic and glass meal prep containers below.
Pros and cons of plastic meal prep containers
Plastic meal prep containers are a popular choice mostly out of convenience because they are cheaper, sold in bulk and easier to store in the fridge.
Why glass wins? Although reusable, eventually you’ll need to replace them, and they aren’t good for microwaving directly (transfer food to plate instead).
Pros and cons of glass meal prep containers
Glass has more pros and are better suited if you often meal prep for the week-ahead because it gives you plenty of options and will last forever (unless you break it of course).
They can be on the pricey side, but you will be making a one-off payment. They are larger than plastic containers which can take up slightly more room in the fridge.
Meal Prep Container Benefits
Master portion control
It is easy to overlook how we often overfill our plates and disregard portion control because as the old saying goes, our eyes are bigger than your belly, and when you are hungry it is likely you will fill up more than you need.
Meal prep containers will help control your portions which is easier to manage calories and build a balanced healthy meal.
It is also a money saving hack because you can evenly distribute a large cooked meal into several portions for the week which brings down your cost per meal extremely low.
For example, if you cook a large pot of spaghetti bolognese, these can be stored into multiple containers which gives you the flexibility to use for the following week or freeze for the month ahead.
It can be a key strategy for losing weight because meal planning can help you determine the number of calories you will be eating per week and this allows you to create macro-friendly meals.
Keeps meal prep recipes fresh
If you are going to prepare a weeks worth of food, chances are you will need storage space for your containers to fit inside your fridge or freezer.
These containers are made specifically to be leak-proof too which is great to store in your bag for work, gym or travel.
Always ensure you lookout for containers with airtight lids because that is what will keep your food staying super fresh.
This is why you can be comfortable to allow your meals to last up to 3 – 4 days.
The quality of seal is essential, and it is a huge factor into ensuring the container is durable and locks properly which is what you should always look out for.
One hack which we often encourage is to add a slice of lemon or lime to your container or individual compartment because not only does it prevent bad odors of certain foods, but it keeps it super fresh!
Are plastic meal prep containers safe?
The answer is yes and no. Yes – it’s safe in terms of storage. No – unsafe if you use directly in the microwave.
Here is why.
Most food storage containers you see sold online or in shops are made from plastic. It should be labelled BPA-free too.
But is it safe?
For dry storage, yes.
BPA-free sounds great at first and could help you make a decision to buy the product, but new research adds onto growing evidence that BPA-free alternatives may not be as safe as consumers think, and the chemical can get into the food with excessive microwaving.
In this instance, for storing dry food, you should be okay because these are dry ingredients which you will be using for cooking.
However, if you can, choose a glass food storage container which may seem expensive at first sight, but this is the ultimate long-term winner in terms of quality material that is free of odours and is more durable.
How many containers do you need for meal prep?
10 packs is more than enough for one person. Not everyone will meal prep for the entire-week because it’s all about flexibility and working around your schedule.
Here is a quick comparison between glass and plastic:
- 1 plastic meal prep container = 1 portion
- 1 glass meal prep container = 3 portions
As a result, you will only need to purchase one pack of glass meal prep containers for a lifetime.
Plastic, on the other hand, will need to be recycled after it exceeds 5+ uses.
Can you freeze meal prep containers?
Yes, both plastic and glass meal prep containers are freezer-friendly.
What makes meal prep containers freezer-friendly is their extremely air-tight strength.
Bacteria love oxygen, but these meal prep containers will not air in.
It also helps prevent freezer burn! If you have come across this before, you will know it’s a nightmare and ruins frozen food.
It will never happen with these containers!
Can you microwave meal prep containers?
It’s a yes and no answer. Yes – for glass meal prep containers. No – for plastic meal prep containers.
While glass is totally fine to reheat in the microwave, plastic containers are not.
Even if they’re labelled BPA-friendly?
Well, BPA-free sounds great at first and could help you make a decision to buy the product, but new research adds onto growing evidence that BPA-free alternatives may not be as safe as consumers think, and the chemical can get into the food with excessive microwaving.
But, how do you reheat using the plastic meal prep container?
Simply transfer the food to a microwavable plate and reheat. These containers are perfect for storage and portion control.
Popular Meal Prep Ideas
Spicy Meal Prep is a food blog and resource for busy people and home cooks around the world. What started as a solo blog has now turned into a website of healthy recipes and home cooking tips written by home cooks, chefs and nutritionists around the world. Our mission is to make healthy cooking easy, with realistic recipes that you will actually cook and balanced meals that you can fit into your meal plan.