You absolutely can freeze cooked lentils!
Cooking a huge batch and freezing unneeded ones is the most efficient way to meal prep. It’s also a good option if you’re worried about your dry beans going bad.
It saves you even more time if you like sprouting your lentils, which takes even longer before cooking.
They also last longer. Cooked lentils last around 5-7 days in the fridge before going bad, but can last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Here are some important things to keep in mind if freezing lentils:
- Your best container options are freezer-safe Ziploc bags or plastic containers. Make sure they are freezer-safe, you don’t want plastic leaching into your food.
- Consider dividing them in layers using parchment paper or some other separator. That will make it easier to remove just one portion.
- Don’t overcook your lentils. If you do, they will come apart (the skins separate) after thawing and reheating. Still edible, but ugly.
Finally, lentils take a long time to thaw if you use a big container. That’s why using small containers or freezing in layers that can be removed is a good idea (small batches thaw much faster).
Even leaving the container out at room temperature takes about 8 hours to fully thaw for me. If you need to take lentils out before they are fully thawed, the ones around the outside will be the first to thaw, while the center will be frozen.