Hi, I'm new here. Have question about lent... - Healthy Eating

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Hi, I'm new here. Have question about lentil reheating...is it safe?

Rockapple profile image

Hi :)

I just found this place as I am trying to get an answer to a question re reheating food.

Recently I bought a packet of dried lentils. I'd intended to use them in a stew or perhaps soup and thought if I make a big pot or if there are any left-overs I can either use the remainder the next day, reheated, or else freeze it and reheat another time.

This is what I have always done with stews and so forth.

Anyhow, I'd always assumed lentils could be reheated (at least if they'd only been cooked once) - but on the packet it says 'Do not reheat'...so now I am worried about doing so. I'm sure my elderly friend reheats stews containing lentils and he is 84 and so far as I know never been ill from doing so. Same goes for my Mum (lived till she was 85) and my Dad who is nearly 91. In fact I'm sure that I've done it before.

I know that food has to be cooled as fast as possible and not left lying around etc and those kind of general food safety rules...but I cannot see any reason why one cannot reheat cooked lentils (provided it's only done once).

So my question is, is it safe to do so and if not, why not?

16 Replies

Hi Rockapple ,

This article by Micheal Mosely may be helpful:


The food standards agency do appear to have stated that people should exercise caution with regard to re-heating some things - and they are listed in the article, and I noticed they mentioned 'lentil burgers' - rather than 'lentils' per se - but basically they were mentioning high protein foods as the factor - but it does suggest you can re-heat them providing you do so thoroughly - maybe contact the manufacturer of your lentils and double check with them as to why they have stated that you shouldn't re-heat their product?

Zest :-)

Rockapple profile image
Rockapple in reply to Zest

Thanks for your reply :). Well I always do try to take all due precautions when preparing, storing, cooking things. Making sure everything is properly cooked through and 'piping hot' as they say. I will check out that link.

But yes, I did think of contacting the manufacturers and checking with them if I couldn't get answers elsewhere. I do wonder sometimes though with some of the food advice given, if they are being over, over cautious. I have to say that in my parent's day, they did all sorts of things that one is supposedly not supposed to do and I don't remember anyone getting ill.

Having been brought up in a family of six children my mother couldn't afford waste, and I myself hate throwing anything out unnecessarily. Don't get me wrong...I do not want to get food poisoning myself, nor give it to anyone else. I have had food poisoning a couple of times in my life and it was absolutely awful. But this was not due to my own preparation and cooking, but rather something bought from a shop.

Zest profile image
Zest in reply to Rockapple

I agree, I hate waste as well - and personally I tend to re-heat stews and casseroles - ensuring that they are heated thoroughly, and I've never had any problems.

Welcome to the Healthy eating forum :-)

Zest :-)

p.s. I appreciate you mentioning lentils - I was using them previously in some soups and casseroles, but haven't bought any for a while, but I'll get some more now - they are delicious and filling. :-)

Rockapple profile image
Rockapple in reply to Zest

Yes, apparently they have a lot of really good nutrients in them too :)

Zest profile image
Zest in reply to Rockapple

Absolutely - very nutritious. :-)

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to Rockapple

Rockapple ,

Please see the reply on the poll for my suggestion!😀

There is also an article in NHS Choices about the storing and cooking and re-using of pulses, which you might find helpful:


Zest :-)

I've been reheating lentils for over 30 years with no issues. Just assume basic hygeine principles & make sure food to be stored is cooled as quickly as possible, chilled properly, & reheated at an adequate temperature. Lentils & beans don't have the same amount or type of bacteria as meat, etc, so I've found it safe if stored correctly, to reheat up to 4 days after cooking. Any thing containing rice needs to be treated with more caution.

Rockapple profile image
Rockapple in reply to BadHare

Thank you. This is what I've always thought. I have to admit I hadn't known rice could be so dodgy until I went on a Food Hygeine course. One had always thought rice was quite benign!

Perhaps I shall carry on with lentils like I always have done.

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to Rockapple

Sounds good, Rockapple !

BadHare profile image
BadHare in reply to Rockapple

You're welcome!

I've recently started using lentils in my slow cooker, but haven't had any problems with reheating, as yet. I find I only have issues with food when I'm out, if I eat anywhere there may be cross contamination.

I read many years ago that rice is the 5th biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, the other causes being animal products that I don't eat. If I cook a large batch, I tend to stir fry it for subsequent use, so it's heated well.

So if I wanted to add some to stew, it would be better to add the freshly cooked lentils to the food once it's dished out then? I had thought of doing that

Ive been reheating lentil dishes for years. I don't intend to stop. I've often cooked extra quantities for using in a different dish another day.

Hi there Rockapple, I use lentils in my stews all the time and recently added them to a curry. I ate a portion of my curry this week and have frozen the rest in batches and will re-heat and eat again. I have been reheating stews with lentils for years but always heat until the food is piping hot, as far as I'm concerned that is the key, heat until piping hot.


I love lentils, and often re-heat them (I make lentil soups and freeze and re-heat, and a lovely lentil shepherds pie from the BBC Good Food Website - I've re-heated this before, too with no ill-effects). I have never suffered any ill-effects.

Lentils are LOVELY!

Rockapple profile image
Rockapple in reply to LostBear

Thanks for your reply:) Everyone I know, including myself has reheated lentils and not got ill...so I think I will carry on. As crazyfitness above said, the key is properly reheating them. I shall search for that lentil shepherds pie that you mention now...it sounds lovely :)

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