Do Lentils Go Bad?

Do Lentils Go Bad

There are a lot of things that people have questions about when it comes to lentils. Lentils are found in many different dishes, from soups and salads to stews and even burgers. They’re an incredibly versatile ingredient but can also be quite expensive, so knowing how long they last are important if you want to save money on food costs.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how long lentils last and what kind of storage methods will help keep them fresh longer!

Do Lentils Go Bad?

Yes, lentils do go bad. They aren’t like other dried foods that can last forever (like rice or beans). The best way to store lentils so they don’t spoil is to keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have any leftovers from cooking your lentils make sure to refrigerate them immediately after use so they don’t spoil before you get a chance to eat them all up.

How Long Do Lentils Last?

The shelf life of lentils depends on a variety of factors, including the best-by date, the preparation method, and how you store them.

Lentils canned with oil have a shelf life of up to 5 years when stored at room temperature.

Lentils dried and packaged in bags have a shelf life of up to 7 years when stored at room temperature.

How to Store Lentils

You can store lentils in the pantry or freezer if you plan on using them within a few months, but if you want to keep lentils for longer than that, you’ll need to store them properly.

The best way to store lentils is in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If your lentils are going into the freezer, make sure they’re cooked first and then freeze them immediately after cooling down.

If they have been cooked and stored at room temperature for more than two hours, they will go bad quickly.

How to Tell If Lentils Are Bad

If stored properly, lentils last for a long time, but how do you know if lentils have gone bad? Here’s how to tell if your lentils have expired or gone bad, so you can avoid illness and save money.

Discolored Lentils

The first sign that your lentils might be past their prime is discoloration. Lentils are naturally brownish-yellow, but when they become stale they may develop a gray or greenish tint.

You may also notice that the color of your lentils has faded after you’ve cooked them in a recipe. This is another sign that your lentils are no longer good to eat — whether you’ve cooked them or not.


Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if something has gone bad just by looking at it because there’s no obvious change in color or texture, but there are other ways you can tell if lentils are bad without taking a bite!

For example, if the smell of your lentils has changed from earthy and nutty to foul or pungent then they’re probably not safe to eat anymore (or perhaps never were). If this is the case, discard the entire content of the lentils.

2 Tips To Keep Lentils Fresh Longer

There are a couple of different ways to keep your lentils fresh longer:

Tip 1: Store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Lentils can be stored at room temperature for up to one year if they are stored in an airtight container. If you don’t have an airtight container handy, don’t worry—the lentils will still last for a long time even without it. They can also be stored in the fridge or freezer for up to six months.

Tip 2: Keep them in their original packaging as much as possible! Even after opening the package of lentils, try to reseal it tightly and store it with your other lentil products so that they all get along well together (and keep each other fresh). This should help keep things nice and fresh for longer than normal!


Lentils are a staple in many diets around the world. Whether you’re vegetarian or just looking for some extra fiber and protein in your meals, you can use lentils as part of your weekly diet. The best way to keep your lentils fresh is by storing them properly so they don’t go bad before you get a chance to eat them.