Mason jars have many uses, such as canning, storing grains, shaking cocktails, and more, but one of the best ways to use them, and something very popular right now, is making layered mason jar salad recipes.
There are plenty of layered mason jar salad ideas to consider. You have the dressing at the bottom and then vegetables, then other ingredients and finally your lettuce or salad greens. Keep the jar upright and you will keep the greens away from the dressing until you tip the whole delicious lot on to a plate at lunchtime.
This type of salad lasts for days in the refrigerator (depending on what you put in there) so you can make all your weekday lunches on Sunday night! If you are using perishable proteins like chicken, eggs or avocado, you can add the final ingredient the evening before taking the salad with you instead of adding it days ahead. Choose from a wide variety of layered mason jar salad ideas to get the taste and texture you crave.
Layered Mason Jar Salad Recipes – What to Put in There
Greens, cucumber, many dressings and so on are fine to be used a few days ahead and the salad will still taste great. Knowing how to prepare mason jar salads for the week will save you lots of time and ensure you always have a healthy lunch to enjoy.
As for the mason jar salad order, you should pack the heaviest, nonabsorbent items first, and end up with the lightest ones. As long as you don’t tip the jar over, the delicate salad greens will be protected from the dressing and heavier ingredients until you are ready to eat the salad. And consider different layered mason jar salad ideas for every day of the week to keep things fresh,.
Use any kind of canning jar, but choose the wide mouth kind if possible since they’re easier to pack and to empty out (and to wash out!) I use a pint-sized jar for mine and that is perfect, but use a bigger one if there are two of you or if you want a salad which is mainly greens and salad vegetables because they take up more room and are less filling.
If you are taking the salad to a potluck meal or cookout, use a couple of quart-sized jars and those will hold plenty.
Serving Up Mason Jar Salad Recipes
When you are ready to enjoy layered mason jar salad ideas, you can unscrew the cap and shake it into a bowl, then you can toss it with your fork to ensure the dressing is coating everything. If you don’t have a bowl or plate, you can eat it in the jar but dig deep else you will have several mouthfuls of dry lettuce before you get to the good stuff!
Mason Jar Salad Quick Step by Step
- First, pour a couple of tablespoons of your preferred dressing into the bottom of the jar.
- After that, you can add hard chopped vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, carrot, or cooked beets.
- After that, add cooked grains such as rice, farro, couscous or pasta, or some beans.
- Next you can add soft fruits or veggies like tomatoes, strawberries, dried apricots or avocado.
- If you are going to be eating the salad the same day you can add some tuna, chicken, egg, tofu or crumbled cheese here.
- Then nuts or seeds can go in. Walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are some examples.
- After that, fill up the jar with your chosen salad greens, tearing them into bite-size pieces first.
- Screw on the cap and refrigerate.
Why Use a Glass Jar?
I find glass keeps the salad fresher than plastic does, and I’ve used both to take salads to work. My layered mason jar salad ideas started off great but the plastic taste didn’t suit the salads!
Mason jars seal better than plastic containers and they also allow you to keep the dressing at the bottom. You don’t need to vacuum-seal the mason jars (the vacuum-seal ones are for canning) so just twist the cap closed.
Glass is heavier than plastic and might shatter if you drop it on a hard surface but you can keep it in a canvas bag or similar. This small inconvenience is a small price to pay for getting to enjoy a wonderfully fresh lunch on a daily basis and you will fall in love with Mason jar meals very soon if you didn’t already.
Wide Mouth 16 oz Mason Jars, on Amazon
Mason Jar Meal Prep: Tips and Tricks
If you’re going to use apple, pear or avocado, or anything else which turns brown, rub some lemon or lime juice over it first before adding it, and it won’t turn brown.
It tastes the same brown but obviously doesn’t look as pretty. If you can’t find a mason jar, you can use a similar kind of jar.
Ensure the lid screws on quite tight and make sure it’s a one-piece lid, not the vacuum-sealing type. I recommend a wide mouth jar if you can get one because it’s easier to load and unload.
You can get reusable plastic Mason Jar lids here to use with any size of wide mouth Mason or Ball jar. Once you know some layered mason jar salad ideas all you need are the jars and lids.Print
Mason Jar Salad Recipe
This is the perfect way to prepare a make-ahead salad. You start off with the dressing then add chunky veggies, nuts, seeds, cheese, protein and grains, and finish off with salad leaves, for a perfect result.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: Salad
- 1 to 3 tablespoons salad dressing
- Hearty vegetables like cucumber, broccoli, onion, asparagus, carrots, bell peppers, beets or celery (anything which is OK if it touches or sits in the dressing)
- Pasta or cooked grain such as farro, rice, macaroni, couscous, bulgur wheat, or quinoa
- Beans and more delicate fruit and vegetables, like peach, apple, pear, pineapple, mandarin, zucchini (courgette), mushrooms, green beans, corn, beansprouts or tomatoes
- Cooked protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, shrimp, salmon, tuna, tofu or eggs
Optional Sixth Layer
- This is where you can add diced, shredded or crumbled cheese, along with any nuts or seeds
- Finally add your salad greens, choosing from spinach, arugula, baby mixed leaves, icerberg, or romaine.
You Will Also Need
- 16 oz (473ml) widemouth Mason Jar
- Bowl to tip it into (optional)
- Fork to eat it with
- Assemble the salad in the correct order (beginning with the dressing and finishing with the leaves).
- It is up to you how much of each layer to use, since there is no rule apart from dressing first and leaves last.
- Screw the lid on tightly and keep it upright.
- When you’re ready to eat the salad, either eat it out of the jar or tip it out into a bowl.