8 food storage containers on a designed background

The Best Meal-Prep Containers, According to Our Editors

With these handy containers, meal prep is easy and achievable.
Alex Loh
September 05, 2021
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Between work, social lives, kids and more, cooking every day just isn't an option (or a desire) for most people, which is where meal prepping comes in handy. Meal prep helps you save time, money and the stress of answering, "What should I eat?" But before you can become a whiz at meal prep, you'll need the right containers to support all of your make-ahead cooking. That's why our editors have put together this list of the best meal-prep containers (and if you're looking for meal-prep ideas, check out ThePrep, a weekly meal plan to help you shop and cook with ease).

Things to Consider When Buying a Meal-Prep Container

Material

When it comes to meal-prep containers, there is a wide range of materials to choose from, including glass, plastic and more. It's important to consider the material of the container and, more importantly, its various capabilities. For example, if you're planning on preparing lunches for work and you bring in Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls, you'll want to make sure your container is microwave-safe so you can easily reheat your lunch. Or, if you're looking to freeze a big batch of Easy Loaded Baked Omelet Muffins for breakfast, you'll want a container that's freezer-friendly. Another capability to consider is if a container's material is dishwasher-safe. Keep these things in mind when selecting a container because it'll make cooking, eating and cleaning easier.

Shape

From round containers to rectangular containers, shape is an important thing to keep in mind, especially if you plan on packing these containers in a lunchbox or bag (check out the best food-storage containers for packing kids' lunchboxes). Some meal-prep containers may also be designed with multiple compartments or sections. Compartments are a great way to keep foods separate or from getting soggy.

Size

The best size for meal-prep containers depends entirely on what you plan to make. For example, if you're looking to meal-prep a recipe like Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas, you'll want to pack it in a few different-sized containers to keep the greens and dressing separate so nothing gets soggy. From a pint to a gallon and everything in between, we recommend having a variety of sizes so you always have the appropriate option on hand when meal prepping.

Best Meal-Prep Containers

This is our list of the best meal-prep containers, which are all tried-and-true favorites of our editors.

Read on for what makes these containers the best for prepping breakfast, lunch, snacks and more.

Best Glass Meal-Prep Containers (Tie)

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Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers
Credit: Amazon

Prep Naturals Glass Meal-Prep Containers

If you're looking for the best glass meal-prep containers, look no further than Prep Naturals. Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD, EatingWell's senior digital meal plan editor, says, "I love these containers. They have a really tight seal so nothing leaks." In addition to being leakproof, these glass containers are oven-, microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe, so you can store, reheat and clean with ease. These containers can hold up to 30 ounces of food, or opt for their two-compartment-style containers, which hold up to 24 ounces of food and are a favorite of Jaime Milan, EatingWell's digital news and lifestyle editor. Either size you choose, you'll have the best glass meal-prep containers on Amazon that will make meal prep a breeze.

Buy them: Amazon, $26 for a 5-pack of 30-ounce containers; $44 for a 10-pack of 24-ounce containers

OXO Good Grips 12 Piece Smart Seal Glass Container Set
Credit: OXO

OXO Good Grips 12-Piece Smart Seal Glass Container Set

Another great choice for the best glass meal-prep containers is this 12-piece set from OXO, which comes recommended by Breana Killeen, EatingWell's test kitchen & editorial operations manager. This variety set features round and rectangular containers in various sizes, which will make it easy to store every bit of your make-ahead meal, from salad dressings to pasta salads and more. The BPA-free lids have some great features, including a leakproof seal and four tabs to lock onto the containers, so you won't have to worry about messes. But the best part of these microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe containers is their design, which allows you to stack the containers easily in your fridge or cabinet.

Buy it: OXO, $31

Best Plastic Meal-Prep Containers

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OXO Steel 12-Piece POP Container Set
Credit: OXO

OXO Steel 12-Piece POP Container Set

If you're looking for plastic containers that can function for both pantry storage and meal prep, OXO's 12-piece set is the perfect crossover. This multi-piece set includes 10 containers with accompanying stainless-steel lids, a scoop and labels to help you stay organized. With an airtight seal, these containers are perfect for storing dry goods like oats, flour, coffee and more. Plus, they're designed to stack together, so you can maximize precious pantry space. Beyond the pantry, Killeen uses these containers for meal-prepping vegetables. For example, Killeen uses the small containers to keep chopped onions on hand in the fridge. We love this prep idea because it helps save time when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. With this versatile set, prepping and storing foods will be easy and quick.

Buy it: OXO, $157

Best Meal-Prep Container for Snacks

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Anchor Hocking Glass TrueSeal Rectangle Food Storage Containers with Blue Lids
Credit: The Container Store

Anchor Hocking Glass TrueSeal Rectangle Food Storage Containers with Blue Lids

Whether you're prepping energy balls, crispy roasted chickpeas or another healthy snack, you'll need a container to store the delicious goods. And when Penelope Wall, EatingWell's digital content director, makes a batch of granola bars, she uses these Anchor Hocking containers, which she says are "great for storage" (check out other make-ahead, big-batch snacks Wall makes for her kids). These rectangular glass containers are microwave-, oven-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe. But the best feature of these containers is the compression lid, which expels the air so you don't have to worry about spoilage or spillage (if you're looking for other vacuum-tight seals, check out our guide for the best food vacuum sealers). Available in three different sizes, these containers will keep any premade snacks fresh whether you're munching on them tonight, tomorrow or next week. 

Buy it: The Container Store, $9-17 depending on size

Best Microwave-Safe Meal-Prep Containers

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Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, Set of 8 (16 Pieces Total), 5.2-Cup Square, Pink
Credit: Walmart

Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Containers, 5.2-Cup Square, 8-Pack

These Rubbermaid containers are my go-to pick for the best microwave-safe meal-prep containers for a few reasons. First, as someone who cooks one dinner and then eats it for multiple nights, I like having meal-prep containers that are all the same size. Having same-sized containers makes it easy to judge which container needs more (or less) food when I'm portioning out my meals ahead of time. Although the lids aren't microwave-safe, the container is easy to pop into the microwave when I'm ready to eat (Pro tip: To avoid messes, use a microwave cover; buy it: Target, $2). In addition to being microwave-friendly, these containers are also suitable for the freezer and can be cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher. If that wasn't enough, these containers are also the best cheap meal-prep containers as a pack of eight is just $6, or about 75 cents per container. With the Rubbermaid containers, weekly meal prep is an inevitable success in my kitchen. 

Buy it: Target, $6

Best Freezable Meal-Prep Containers

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Souper Cubes Freezer Tray with Lid
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Souper Cubes Freezer Tray with Lid

A favorite of multiple editors, including Wall and Killeen, Souper Cubes are our go-to pick for the best freezable meal-prep containers. Available in a wide range of sizes, including 2 tablespoons, ½ cup, 1 cup and 2 cups, Souper Cubes are perfect for prepping sauces, soups, stock and more. This tray helps you save time as you can make one big batch of Homemade Tomato Sauce and then portion it out for use with multiple meals. It also means you'll only defrost what you need at the moment, so nothing goes to waste. Meanwhile, the lid of the tray keeps unwanted odors or freezer burn from ruining your food. With these silicone containers, you'll be able to prep and freeze with ease. (Bonus: The tray is also oven-safe up to 400℉, so you could meal-prep a batch of mini loaves of Lemon Zucchini Bread and freeze them to enjoy when you want a sweet treat.)

Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $20-$70 depending on size

Best 2-Compartment Meal-Prep Container

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OXO Prep & Go 2-Cup Divided Container
Credit: OXO

OXO Prep & Go 2-Cup Divided Container

For the best two-compartment meal-prep container, turn to this BPA-free plastic container from OXO, which is another tried-and-true favorite of Killeen's. This two-in-one container can hold up to 1 cup of food in each compartment and is perfect for meal prepping any meal. Add Greek yogurt in one compartment and fresh berries in the other for an easy breakfast. Or, add Classic Hummus and pair it with veggies for an afternoon snack. The container features a silicone leakproof lid and handles, which are designed to stay cool when you microwave the container. Plus, the two-compartment container is also dishwasher-safe for a hassle-free cleanup.

Buy it: OXO, $10

Best Meal-Prep Containers on Amazon

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Joseph Joseph Nest Plastic Food Storage Containers Set with Lids Airtight Microwave Safe, 12-Piece, Multi-color
Credit: Amazon

Joseph Joseph Nest Plastic Food Storage Containers Set with Lids

If you're looking for the best plastic meal-prep containers on Amazon, Seaver is a huge fan of this variety set from Joseph Joseph. It features six rectangular containers in various sizes, and Seaver says she loves "how you can easily keep them organized" as the containers can be nested inside each other for storage. You can also stack the containers to maximize the space in your fridge or freezer. Add in the colorful lids and you have a fun and functional set of BPA-free plastic containers that can be used for prepping any ingredient. Plus, the containers are microwave- and freezer-safe and can be cleaned in the top rack of the dishwasher. 

Buy it: Amazon, $28