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I love lentils mixed with onions, spinach and tuna in the morning, unfortunately I am having a really hard time finding cheap canned lentils in my area. So I wonder, if I cook a big batch of dried red or green lentils how long can I then store them?

Also any tips on how best to store cooked lentils will be much appreciated.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Depending on the temperature in your fridge, cooked lentils will be safe to eat for 2 to 5 days when using a sealed container, filled with the cooking water. By immersing them, your lentils won't dry out and they'll be ready to use whenever you need them - just drain the amount you need.

If you've got sufficient freezer space you could also freeze the cooked lentils. Just prepare a whole lot of lentils and divide them in individual portions to put in small freezer bags. Make sure you push out any air before sealing the bag. Freezed lentils will be fine anywhere from 4 up to 6 months.

However, I would strongly recommend using dried lentils, which I'm sure you'll be able to find in Copenhagen. Just make a habit of soaking the amount of lentils you need for your breakfast and you'll never have to worry about storing leftovers. It's a lot cheaper too! But above that, dried lentils tend to taste much better than canned lentils. :)

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Fantastic answer - quick question: I was under the impression that you must boil dried lentils for at least 20-30 minutes but you mention soaking them. Does this mean I can soak them night over, without boiling them so they are ready in the morning ?. Or even soak them when I get up for later use (if so for how long must they be soaked ?). – Lars Tackmann Feb 7 '11 at 12:45
Indeed, you'll have to cook your lentils after soaking them. Most types of lentils will be done in half an hour but it depends a bit, just check the packaging. If this is too much of a bother in the morning for you, I'd say you go with the freezer option! :) – ilonavg Feb 7 '11 at 13:03
I use my vast collection of ice cube trays to freeze things such as lentils or pesto into easily baggable, easily portionable cubes. Want a little? thaw one cube. Want a lot? Thaw twenty cubes. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 26 '15 at 18:27

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