How to Pack a Salad in a Jar + 21 Amazing Recipes

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How to Pack Salad in a Jar - The Right Guide and 21 Stunning Recipes to Get You Started on the Right Foot |

Lunch time at work can be boring at times. Some colleagues want to go back to Italian restaurants with unfriendly staff and their super heavy pasta dishes.

Others want to grab something from the supermarket. But it is a bit expensive and not exactly satisfactory.

Yes, we are in serious trouble. And that’s why I want to show you how to make salad in a jar (also known as mason jar salad)!

Of course, bringing your own lunch to work isn’t a new idea in the world, but this way of doing it is healthy, time-saving, money-saving, and really tasty.

In theory you could prepare lunches for the entire work week in about 45 minutes on a Sunday. All you need are 5 mason jars (or lunchboxes) and enough space in the refrigerator.

The idea is pretty simple: start by filling a jar with a dressing and then top it with different ingredients like greens, vegetables, rice and cheese.

Refrigerate these jars until you need them. Take a bowl and empty the jar. The dressing will then cover the entire salad. Done.

Sounds easy? Well, it is! To give you a little inspiration I’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial and 21 great recipes to try! Okay, so let’s get started!

What is a mason jar?

A mason jar is a glass jar with a screw-on metal lid. They were historically used for canning/preserving foods such as jams and pickled vegetables.

However, recently they have been given a new lease of life as a lunch box/drink container.

They are often suggested as an environmentally friendly alternative to tupperware. Another, even more affordable and eco-friendly option is to reuse old jam jars!

How to Make a Salad in a Jar: The Ultimate Guide!

Time required: 30 minutes.

  1. Level 1:

    Important! First add the dressing to the jar. You can take any kind of dressing. If you add the dressing later, the ingredients you want to stay dry can become soggy.

    We don’t want that. This is especially important when you prepare glasses for several days.
    Alternatively you can keep the ingredients for a quick dressing at work and prepare just before eating.

    Here are three of my favorite dressings to get you started:

    Refreshing Sweet and Sour Dressing (enough for 2 jars):

    ½ lemon
    1 teaspoon of honey
    5 tablespoons olive oil
    Pinch of cumin
    Pinch of salt
    crushed red pepper flakes (or dried red pepper will do the trick nicely)

    Honey Mustard Dressing (enough for 2 jars):

    4 tablespoons olive oil
    3 tablespoons of vinegar
    2 tablespoons mustard
    2 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey for non-vegans)
    Test for salt and pepper

    Asian Style Peanut Butter Dressing (enough for 2 jars):

    1 tablespoon peanut butter
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup to make it vegan
    1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon
    2-3 spoons of water
    A pinch or two of chopped or grated ginger (dried is best)
    Two jars with salad dressing  Fast food up

  2. Level 2:

    Now enter the crisp ingredients Tomato, cucumber, red onion, asparagus, celery, pepper, carrot in the jar

    This layer is important to “protect” other components from getting wet. The best vegetables you can imagine pickled in vinegar.Two jars of crisp ingredients, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, asparagus, celery, peppers, carrots.  Fast food up

  3. Level 3:

    This layer is for ingredients that shouldn’t necessarily be swimming in dressing, but it’s not a drama if they get wet.

    Will have some ideas Mushrooms, Zucchini, Beans, Lentils, Peas, Corn, Broccoli and so onTwo jars with ingredients for salad between them  Fast food up

  4. Level 4:

    More delicate material such as hard Boiled eggs and cheese (feta, gourd, cheddar, etc.) can now be added.Two jars with ingredients for salad between them  Fast food up

  5. Level 5:

    Now it’s time to add something more substantial! from Rice over pasta in more exotic ingredients like quinoa or couscousUse anything you like to “seal” the jar.Two jars with ingredients for salad between them  Fast food up

  6. Level 6:

    Finally we reach the last level with ingredients that are less tasty when wet (sounds cool, huh?). This includes Nuts and green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach or arugula.Two jars with ingredients for salad between them  Fast food up

  7. shop:

    Now just close the jar or lunch box and keep it in the refrigerator. Every morning, pick one and you go to work.Two jars with salad between them  Fast food up

The variety for salad in a jar is endless like the universe. Also, heathens are welcome: no need to religiously follow these 6 levels! Think of it as an entry-level guide.

How to pack a salad in a jar

This is the definitive guide to salad in a jar! Great dressings, product shelf life information and everything you need to know to get it right.

  • Clean the jar with the lid (approx 24oz/ 700ml)
  • Step 1: Your favorite dressing
  • Layer 2: Tomato, cucumber, red onion, asparagus, celery, pepper, carrot
  • Level 3: Mushrooms, Zucchini, Beans, Lentils, Peas, Corn, Broccoli
  • Layer 4: Boiled eggs and cheese (feta, gourd, cheddar etc.)
  • Layer 5: Rice, pasta, quinoa or couscous
  • Layer 6: Nuts and leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach or arugula.
  • Prepare all the ingredients, means cut, peel, wash Vegetables/Fruits. boil Pasta, quinoa or rice.

  • Prepare the dressing(s).

  • Once everything is packed, chuck all the ingredients in layers into the jar. Then the lid is up and off they go in the fridge. Simple as that.

  • You’ll be a meal prep master in no time! 🙂


How to pack a salad in a jar

No. per job

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Salad in a Jar FAQs

How do you keep a salad fresh in a jar?

Make sure the jar is completely sealed, store it in the fridge and eat it within 4-5 days! Layer your ingredients wisely: anything that doesn’t do well when wet (eg veggies, nuts) should go at the very top of the jar, far away from the dressing.

How long does salad stay fresh in a mason jar?

4-5 days. of course, It depends on the ingredients you use – some last longer than others.
Personally, I prepare three jars for myself until Wednesday and then I make two more for Thursday and Friday or switch to a completely different lunch.

Why do people keep salads in mason jars?

Easily store and transport their lunch! You can store a salad in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, so, with a little meal prep, you can have lunch ready in no time.

There’s also an environmental reason behind mason jars: if you have them at home, they’re a more durable food container than a new plastic Tupperware!

How do you pack a salad?

First, mix the dressing in the bottom of the jar. The rest of the layers must handle getting wet and should be organized according to what will get wet. So start with crisply chopped vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers.

Then add any cooked vegetables or lemons you want to use. After that add cheese or egg if using layer. Then cook any grain you like, like rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat.

Finally, pack in some leafy greens and/or a sprinkle of nuts and seeds (these are the ingredients that don’t really get soggy!).

How long do some ingredients stay fresh in the fridge?

Here is a list of the most common ingredients for a salad in a jar. If you have more ingredients you’re not sure about, I recommend Eat By Date, a very helpful website on shelf life.

Asparagus (fresh or cooked) – Lasts 5 days
Avocado – It is a hard fruit. An alternative is to not add it to the salad when serving. If you add avocado to the jar, be sure to coat it with lime beforehand. Then it lasts for 2 days.
Beans (cooked) – Lasts 5 days
Bean Sprouts – lasts 3 days
Feta cheese – Lasts 7 days
Hard Boiled Egg – You can add it to the salad right away. Peeled hard boiled eggs last 2 days. A good idea is to add one to the salad just before serving. Hard-boiled eggs with shells last up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Lettuce (chopped) – Lasts 4 days
Mozzarella cheese – Lasts 7 days
Mushrooms (fresh, chopped) – Lasts 5 days
Pasta (cooked) – Lasts 7 days
Peas (cooked) – Lasts 5 days
Rice (cooked) – Lasts 4 days
Onion (chopped) – Lasts 7 days
Scallion (chopped) – Lasts 7 days
Spinach (fresh) – Lasts 5 days

Note: Of course always check for yourself if the foods are still good. Sniff test and all that. These are just ballpark numbers. Cherio!

How long does certain dressing stay fresh in the fridge?

Curd dressing lasts for 7 days. Vinegar and oil based dressing lasts for 5 days. Hummus lasts 7 days.

What are the best jar sizes and where can I buy them?

I recommend getting the 700ml jar (ca. 24oz/1.5 pint) to ensure you have a satisfying lunch. The most popular and certainly perfect for salads in a jar is the classic “Mason Jar”. You can buy them here on Amazon and at well-stocked home improvement stores

Personally I use empty pickle jars. Those are a big and “free”. This meant that I had to eat a lot of pickles, haha. And of course I get minus points in the “style” department.

There are no questions What about salad in a jar that I haven’t covered yet? Just let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.

Well, now you know almost everything about salad in a jar. It’s time for some recipe inspiration, right? Here are 21 great salads in a jar for you to try!

  1. Vegetarian Ramen Noodle Salad (Healthy, High Protein, Delicious!).
  2. Rainbow Mason Jar Salad (with chickpeas, feta and quinoa)
  3. Cruciferous Salad with Asian Sesame Dressing (simple ingredients, different flavors!).
  4. Mexican salad in a jar (includes tacos for extra crunch!).
  5. Peach Tomato Basil Salad (Light and Refreshing)
  6. Deconstruct Sushi Jars (Quick, Easy, Delicious!)
  7. Layered 7-bean salad in a jar (for those who need extra protein)
  8. Rainbow salad in a jar with hummus (the dressing is a nice avocado hummus mix!).
  9. Italian Orzo Salad (This recipe doesn’t follow the “classic” instructions, but we’re not just set one way, right?)
  10. Rainbow Fruit Salad in a Jar (lots of fruit and a cool yogurt dressing!).
  11. Paradise in a Jar Salad (another one with fruit, nuts and lemon curd dressing)
  12. Mason Jar Zucchini Pasta Salad (if you’re into zoodles!).
  13. Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salad (defo a fancy pant version)
  14. Pesto Pasta Salad (A Classic)
  15. Chopped Black Bean and Corn Salad (Ingredients fill exactly 5 jars)
  16. Jar of Asian Noodle Salad (the dressing looks great!).
  17. Guacamole Mason Jar Recipe (very light. I think you need some bread with this)
  18. Quinoa Pear Spinach Salad in a Jar (definitely a refreshing combo of ingredients!).
  19. High protein salad in a jar (lentils do the trick here)
  20. Sprouted Spring Salad in a Jar (easy, filling, and quick to assemble)
  21. Wheat Berry Apple Salad in a Jar (with body, sweet, sour and sour. Cool combo!).

Enjoy! 🙂

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