The 17 Best Storage Containers for Every Kind of Food (& Leaky Sauce)

For mess-free fridges, pantries and office bags.

September 18, 2019
Photo by Bobbi Lin

I feel hungry roughly every fifteen minutes two hours, which means that I invariably have a small meal or a variety of snacks stashed on my person at all times. So it’s not surprising that I’ve tried out every kind of reusable container and food storage option known to man, both for loading my meal prep into the fridge and for throwing lunches into my work bag.

After much trial and error (and ruined bags and snacks alike), I’ve figured out the best ways to keep my fridge and pantry organized, and to my keep precious snacks intact in a backpack or purse—no crushed pita chips or leaky salad dressing in sight.

Here are my 17 favorite food storage containers, for, well, every kind of food.

For snacks

1. Stasher Bags, from $7.99 (Stasher)

I used to carry all my snacks around in Ziploc bags, until I discovered these. The reusable silicone pouches are perfect for everything from crackers to cut-up fruit—and they are plastic-free, BPA-free, and hypoallergenic.

Photo by Stasher

2. LunchBots Small Protein Packer, $19.99 (Amazon)

If you are an aficionado of crunchy snacks like pretzels, popcorn, or potato chips, look for a solid container in which they can’t get decimated. This container is technically for toddlers, but it’s the perfect size for adults who snack, too.

For a big salad

3. GladWare Soup & Salad containers, $6.93 for 5 (Amazon)

The cardinal rule of packing a salad is to separate wet ingredients from dry ones so that your greens don’t become really sad versions of themselves. Combine these with the Glad Home Collection Mini Round Food Storage Containers ($2.99 for 8)—the little containers snap into the lids of the big ones to keep dressing and sauces separate.

4. Divider Cup for Wide Mouth Mason Jars, from $9.99 (Amazon)

You can also buy an additional cup that works with wide-mouth mason jars, like these bright-colored silicone dividers. The cups separate your mason jar into two compartments, preventing any leakage.

Photo by Amazon

For foods that leak

5. 32-oz. Wide-Mouth Mason Jars, $13.34 for 4 (Amazon)

There are few nastier feelings than discovering that cold soup has leaked all over the bottom of your laptop bag. For anything sloppy, you can’t go wrong with a classic mason jar. They are truly marvels.

Photo by Amazon

6. Rubbermaid Flex & Seal, $19.99 for a 26-piece set (Bed, Bath & Beyond)

This plastic option is much more lightweight than a glass mason jar—and better if you’re nervous about dropping your lunch.

For organizing your fridge

7. Food52 x Rosti Mepal Melamine Nested Storage Bowls, $48 (Food 52)

If you love a pop of color, these are a chic storage option. They can also be used for serving, making them the kind of double-duty item perfect for small apartments.

Photo by Rocky Luten

8. Pyrex glass container, from $5 (Pyrex).

You can’t go wrong with a classic Pyrex. I particularly love their oven-safe options like the 3-quart Glass Baking Dish with White Lid ($16), which make reheating leftovers a breeze and minimize the number of dishes that need washing.

9. Clear deli containers with lids, from $15.95 for 40 (Amazon).

There’s a reason why chefs and other restaurant workers swear by these basics. They’re easy to stack, label, reuse, microwave, freeze—the list goes on. Plus, you won’t feel guilty if you accidentally throw them away.

For countertop and pantry storage

10. OXO Good Grips POP Rectangle Canisters, from $5.99 (Container Store)

My kitchen is stocked with these guys because I typically like to see how much of any given ingredient I have without needing to open the container. They come in a variety of sizes fitting everything from spaghetti to cereal and nuts.

11. West Elm Textured Kitchen Canisters, from $24 (West Elm)

If you prefer opaque containers, these are both beautiful to look at and easy to open and close—perfect for almond butter cups or other shelf-stable treats. Who says food storage can’t spark joy?

Photo by West Elm

For a full meal on the go

13. Rosti Mepal Modern Large Bento Box, from $35 (Food52)

Bento boxes are also great for packing snacks and meals when you don’t want your food getting all mixed up. This bento box contains various microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe compartments, so you can stack and reheat all your treats.

Photo by James Ransom

13. To-Go Ware 3-Tier Stainless Lunch Box, $24.99 (Amazon)

Multi-tiered tiffin containers, a staple in South Asia, are perfect for meals with a bunch of moving parts. Plus, the stainless steel is a breeze to clean.

14. Prepd Pack, $69 (Prepd)

This all-in-one option includes a magnetic cutlery set and stylish bamboo detailing. The modular containers and pretty design make it a joy to eat from—and the free recipe app doesn’t hurt, either.

Photo by Amazon

15. Alessi Food A Porter Lunch Kit, $78 (Amazon)

For the particularly stylish, this is both totally functional and a conversation starter. It even has a handle so you can carry it around rather than tossing it in a bag—all the better to show it off.

Specialty containers

16. Burger Maker & Storage Container, $25 (Food 52)

This allows you to shape a bunch of burger patties at once, then store them all together once they are cooked. This dishwasher-safe, freezer safe item is a great option for party prep way ahead of time.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

17. To-Go Casserole Carrier, $40 for a set of two (Food 52)

If you’re a casserole fan, this is ideal for your storage and toting needs. The clear lid allows you to see how much is left without prying open the container, too.

Photo by Ty Mecham

What food storage containers do you swear by? And what do you use them for? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products that are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.

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Nina is a writer, editor, and enthusiastic home cook in New York City.