Properly stored, dried lentils will generally stay at best quality for about 2 to 3 years at normal room temperature, although they will usually remain safe to use after that. To maximize the shelf life of dried lentils, keep the package tightly closed at all times.
This begs the question “Do lentils go bad after the date?”
Of course, lentils won’t instantly go bad after the date. As long as the products are stored in ideal conditions and the packaging is still perfect, you can expect that they last for a few more months to a year after the date. Once opened, dry lentils are best to use within a year.
The next thing we wondered was; how long do dried lentils last?
Dried lentils can last for as long as two to three years if stored properly in a cool, dark and dry location in your kitchen or pantry. Even after three years, you can safely eat them.
This begs the query “How long do canned lentils last?”
Canned lentils generally last for months (if not years) past the date on the label. As long as the can looks perfectly intact, the contents of the can should be okay as well. That’s true even if the product is a couple of years past the best-by date on the label.
Are dry lentils safe to eat?
Dry lentils are a durable food item and have a long shelf life. But, if the seeds start to smell off, are discolored, grow molds, or infested with insects, these are alarming signs that lentils are no longer safe for consumption. If you think the lentils look okay, but not quite sure yet, try cooking a small amount.
Yes, if you prepare much more than you eat for a week, freezing cooked lentils can prolong the shelf life up to 3 to 6 months. However, the flavor and texture may degrade over time.
How do you store lentils after opening?
Simply keep them in a cool, dry area like the kitchen pantry or a cupboard. Once you open them, place them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Stored in this way, canned lentils can remain edible for up to 2 months. When unopened, canned lentils can last for up to 2 years.