When you want to have a stash of quick meals, your freezer can be a true lifesaver — but in order for soup to stay fresh and flavorful, it needs to be stored properly. Whether they’re made from glass, plastic, or silicone, the best containers for freezing soup should be durable and easy to fill while taking up minimal storage space. Here are a few things to know.
The style of container you choose will depend on how much space you have in your freezer and how much you plan to store. Standard glass or plastic containers with flat lids allow you to stack for efficient storage, but if you’re tight on space, you might want to consider flexible silicone pouches or plastic bags, as these can be frozen flat and squeezed in anywhere there’s extra room. And if you want to store individual portions, the best container for freezing food will be a tray with separate compartments that allow you to pop out one serving at a time.
As far as material goes, silicone is usually flexible for easy storage when not in use but has some potential to absorb stains. Meanwhile, glass tends to be bulkier and more expensive but will remain crystal clear. (For the most durability, opt for tempered glass, which has the added benefit of being oven- and microwave-safe.) Plastic is usually the cheapest option, but it’s also bulky and the most likely to stain, and budget options — like deli cups — may crack and splinter over time.
Remember, no matter what type of container you choose, soup expands when it freezes, so make sure to leave a little extra space to prevent bursting. This is especially true for glass containers, which can shatter if the contents don’t have room to expand. Also, for safety purposes when freezing food, always let your soup cool before storing it.
With that in mind, here are the best containers for freezing soup, and no matter which one you choose, your future self will thank you for thinking ahead.
1. A Set Of 3 Stackable Tempered Glass Containers
This set of freezer-safe glass containers from Pyrex includes three round containers in 2-, 4-, and 7-cup capacities for freezing different portions of soup. The sturdy, stackable containers are made of tempered, nonporous glass that won’t stain or absorb flavors. The tight-fitting, BPA-free lids are slightly flexible, so they won’t crack when frozen and are safe to use in the microwave for easy reheating (just make sure the lid is slightly ajar to allow steam to escape). With a 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon after 7,300 reviews, Pyrex’s durable freezer bowls and lids are also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup, and they can also be used in pre-heated ovens without the lids.
A reviewer wrote: “I switched to all glass for storing leftovers. I got tired of the plastic Ziploc and Rubbermaid discoloring and scratching and absorbing odors. With these I am comfortable re-heating in the microwave and eating right from the bowl. The lids fit tight and work well in the freezer.”
2. A 4-Cavity Silicone Tray For Single Servings
The best freezer container for individual servings, this four-cavity tray is designed so that you can pop out and thaw just 1 cup at a time — and it boasts a 4.8-star overall rating after 3,800 reviews. This BPA-free silicone tray is built with a steel frame that makes it easy to fill, while also giving it enough structure, so you can stack multiple trays for space-saving storage. Each of the tray’s four 1-cup sections are marked with volume lines, so you can measure out just how much you need, and a tight-fitting transparent lid keeps contents fresh without absorbing odors and flavors from other freezer contents. Although silicone might stain over time, the tray is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and has a versatile design that doubles as a baking pan for use in ovens.
A reviewer wrote: “I only know how to make soup for a small army and so I end up having a lot of leftovers because I'm just one person. After trying to freeze or store soup in every way imaginable, I decided to give this a shot. After letting the soup cool to room temperature, ladle in whatever you want to freeze, slap the lid on, and that's it. After 24 hrs, I remove the blocks and vacuum seal them into my normal portion size. Then label with what type of soup and the date it went in the freezer. Seriously perfect.”
3. A 44-Piece Value-Pack Of Plastic Freezer Containers
If you’re looking strictly at price per piece, you won’t find a more affordable storage container set than this 44-piece deli cup collection from DuraHome, which contains a selection of cup, pint, and quart containers for storing just about anything you can imagine. The included lids have a universal design, making it easy to always find one that fits when you need it. Since the containers are slightly tapered, they’re sturdy enough to be stacked on top of other containers when used in the fridge and freezer, or for dry storage. The containers are made of lightweight but sturdy BPA-free polypropylene, a type of plastic that is safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher — but not the oven. Keep in mind, however, that the less durable construction of these reusable freezer containers means they’re more likely to weaken and crack after multiple uses.
A reviewer wrote: “Love these containers! They work really well for organizing my homemade soups in the freezer, and they come in different sizes so I can freeze in the appropriate amounts for different size family meals!!”
4. A 2-Pack Of Classic Ball Jars
The best jars for freezing soup, this two-piece set has a sturdy, freezer-resistant design, and the nonporous material won’t absorb stains, even if you use highly pigmented ingredients such as tomatoes or turmeric. Each jar comes with a flat top and twist-on band for an airtight seal, but care should be taken when stacking more than one, as the lids aren’t totally flat, and the tall, narrow profile of the jars means they’re less stable. All of the pieces of the Ball freezer containers are dishwasher-safe, but since they’re not made of tempered glass, they’re not oven- or microwave-safe. Also, if you prefer a single twist-on lid as opposed to the two-piece design, these plastic lids can be purchased separately.
A reviewer wrote: “I bought these to use for freezing soup. They’ve worked out very nicely. Good quality, as you’d expect from Ball, nice shape to make cleaning easy.”
5. A 3-Piece Set Of Stand-Up Silicone Bags
Somewhat of a hybrid between a solid container and a bag, Zip Top’s flexible BPA-free silicone containers boast a standup design that makes them relatively easy to fill and stash in the freezer without worrying about them tipping over. This three-piece set comes with 8-, 16-, and 24-ounce containers, so you can freeze small or large portions of soup and, when not in use, they can be nested to take up minimal storage space in a cupboard. They have handy volume lines printed on the sides to keep you from over-filling them, but according to reviewers, they’re prone to staining. They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, but unlike the next silicone option, cannot be used in the oven or submerged in water for sous vide cooking.
A reviewer wrote: “Very nice silicon bag that we use for storing soups and other leftovers. Its lightweight and easy to clean. The seal is working well and we haven’t had any spills yet. Another nice part of this bag is that it’s able to stand on its own.”
6. A Premium Silicone Bag That’s Sous Vide- & Oven-Safe
Stasher’s heavyweight food storage bag is a premium option with a versatile design that’s not only freezer- and dishwasher-safe, but can be also used in the microwave, sous vide circulator, and oven. This large bag can hold up to 56 ounces of soup (or about 7 cups) and has a flat bottom that keeps it upright for easy filling and leakproof storage in your freezer. The bag pinches shut using Stasher’s Pinch-Loc closure, which creates an airtight seal to keep unwanted flavors out of your soup recipes, and prevents spilling if you want to transport or reposition the container when it's full, but it may be prone to staining. This freezer container bag comes in a variety of sizes to safely store a variety of food items.
A reviewer wrote: “These bags go from freezer to oven. Seal really well. We put a bag full of homemade chili in the freezer and [accidentally] smashed it. When we went back later to pull it out and thaw, it was frozen solid (as intended), but with a dent in the middle from being squished when still unfrozen. The seal never broke. Can't get a better recommendation than that!”
7. A 4-Pack Of Basic Reusable Plastic Bags
This set of four reusable storage bags are an upgrade from one-use freezer bags, and are made from sturdy food-grade polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA). Each of the gallon-size bags in this set has a leakproof, double-zipper design that seals in contents and prevents odors and flavors from being absorbed. The bags are durable and tear-resistant — but prone to staining — and can be filled with soups or other liquid contents and laid flat for space-efficient storage in the freezer. Although they’re suitable for sous vide use, they cannot be used in the oven or microwave. As far as cleanup, the bags are not dishwasher-safe, but they can be washed and rinsed by hand for repeat use, unlike single-use plastic bags.
A reviewer wrote: “These are excellent quality storage bags. They are the same size as regular disposable zipper plastic bags, but much thicker and the ‘zipper’ closure is much better quality to easily zip open and closed and last a long time. [...] They are heavy enough to even store and freeze home made soup. I also like them because you can fill them with any kind of liquid, freeze them flat, and then after they are frozen stand them up like books on a shelf. They don’t take up very much room that way.”
Also Great: Holders That Makes It Easy To Fill Bags
These bag holder racks keep food storage bags in a sturdy upright position, so you can use both hands to transfer soups and stews without making a mess. They accommodate a range of bag heights from 7.3 to 10.6 inches, and the design keeps the holders from sliding around under heavy loads. They fold flat for easy storage and, as a bonus, some reviewers have noted using the holders to air dry reusable bags by inverting them onto the arms after hand washing.
A reviewer wrote: “I love them!!! Total game changer for freezer meals like soup, stew, chicken, everything! I love not having to fight with a bag or spill hot soup all over myself.”