If any of these sounds familiar to you, or if you have questions about working with lentils (whether dried or cooked) or making lentil soup, this post is for you. In this article, I am going to talk about how to store lentils, the differences in shelf-life of dried, canned, and cooked lentils, whether or not you can freeze them, and how to tell if they are not safe to eat anymore. You cannot eat lentils if they are not cooked, and after cooking, the fridge is the only place you should keep them. As best as I can tell, different types affect only the way they are cooked and stored, not the shelf life.
The issue with dried lentils is that the lentils are typically stored in plastic packaging, making them much more prone to acquiring pests such as insects. Once you have opened a bag of dried lentils, keeping it sealed container or in a plastic bag will optimize its storage. If you have not opened the dried lentils yet, keeping them in the kitchen cupboard until needed is best.
|Cooked||4-5 days||3 months|
|Soaked||3 days||6 months|
You can also store the remaining lentils in the cooker in which you cooked them, seal the lid, and store the entire cooker in the fridge. Once you have opened your canned or cooked homemade lentil soup, use leftovers in 4-5 days, at best, and store refrigerated and covered. If you opened the lentils in a can, and know that you likely will not be eating them again for several days, be sure to first thoroughly wash them in cold water, strain them, then place them into a tight-sealed container. If you keep raw lentils in a cool, dry place, like your pantry, they will last up to one year.
A bag of dried lentils lasts about one year after itsbest-by date, and a jar of lentils lasts about one to two years past this date. Dried lentils, the type you find in plastic bags, will still be fine about one year after the best by date. Properly stored, dried lentils generally will stay good at a normal room temperature for around 2 or 3 years, though will usually still be safe for use beyond this time. If you keep dried lentils covered and protected from humidity and the sun, they will last for a minimum of 2 to 3 years.
If you store them correctly, they last years, with the only drawback to prolonged storage that you may encounter being slight changes in quality and vitamin losses. Dried lentils can last up to two or three years when stored correctly in a cool, dark, and dry place in your kitchen or pantry. Lentils that are already cooked, either canned or dried, will last for approximately three to five days in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can freeze lentils, but there is little reason to freeze the dried varieties, as they will last years in a sealed, airtight bag in the pantry. You can avoid that issue by placing your lentils in a sealed plastic container or in an airtight canner. Since the plastic bags that hold lentils can be more prone to damage from insects, you might be better off keeping them in glass containers.
If you’re interested in Can You Freeze Baked Beans, take a look at my other article
One advantage to using lentils is that their dry nature allows them to resist bacteria growth quite well. Like most dried foods, keeping lentils in a cool area (think pantry, not refrigerator) increases the shelf-life ([USU]). One benefit of dried legumes, including beans, split peas, and lentils, is that dried legumes have longer shelf lives. In fact, they can last on the shelf in your pantry for an unlimited amount of time as long as they are stored correctly, either in sealed packages or airtight containers. Cooked lentils can be refrigerated in sealed containers for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.
In theory, all of your cooked lentils could also last even longer, but each time you open your freezer door, you risk causing your lentils to go rancid or experience freezer burn. Again, this probably will not impact you too much once your expired lentils are only months or so after their expiration date, but they will get worse over time. If the lentils are a year or two past the expiration date, take a close look at their condition and you can decide whether or not they are worth using. Check your expiration dates before storing, but you can expect that your lentils should last for 1 -2 years at their peak.
Some people using expired lentils notice the beans are harder to bake, or can develop a tough texture as they age. The thing is, while lentils are generally safe for dogs to eat, there are certain aspects about this legume you need to be aware of and cautious of. Yes, you can feed lentils to dogs, and it is possible there are some benefits that dogs would get out of it, though we have not seen these proven.
Yes, dogs can have a safe lentil soup, provided that there is no added salt, garlic, or onions. If you were wondering, Can I feed my dogs lentils?, the answer is a definitive “yes”: Dogs can eat lentils relatively safely, and they will get some benefits.
Yes, lentils are relatively safe for dogs to eat, and lentils really provide an added nutritional value to dogs diets. Technically, no — Lentils are not harmful for dogs, provided that they are offered plain, cooked. The bottom line is, if you offer lentils moderately, and cook them safely for dogs, they are a healthy food choice to share with your pets. Keep reading, and I will cover all of the details of lentils for dogs — how they are healthy, how to keep your pet safe, potential side effects, and the best ways to prepare them.
If you’re interested in What Happens When Adding An Egg To The Soup, take a look at my other article
Soaked lentils will keep about three days in the refrigerator, however freezing is not a great idea as it is already filled with water, which can cause lentils to break down upon thawing.
Do uncooked lentils expire?
If you keep dried lentils airtight and away from moisture and heat, their quality should last at least two to three years. Even though they remain secure for longer—months or even years—their nutritional value gradually degrades. The majority of the vitamin content is essentially gone after around five years.
How to tell if dried lentils are bad?
Dried lentils are a healthy and affordable option for many people, but they can go bad if they are not stored properly. There are a few things you can look for to tell if your dried lentils are bad if the lentils are discolored, or look mushy. Secondly, there’s mold growing on the lentils and the lentils have a strange smell.
Do cooked lentils go bad if not refrigerated?
If you’re not refrigerating your cooked lentils, they will technically go bad. However, if you’re planning on eating them within a few days and they’re stored in a cool, dry place, they should be fine. Just be sure to give them a smell test before you eat them to make sure they’re still good.