Quick and Easy Lunch Idea: Mason Jar Salads

Mason jars are the best way to pack a salad for lunch! Not only are they super quick and easy but you don’t have to worry about your lettuce getting soggy or bringing a separate container for dressing! Check out this post for all my mason jar salad tips.

Ever since Mason Jar Salad Week, I wanted to share an actual ‘how to’ resource for building salads in a jar! They’re so fun to make and a great for taking on-the-go. Any salad can be prepped in a mason jar – have fun with creating your own but use this guide to make sure you keep your salad nice and fresh!

The one thing to remember about salad in a jar is that your dressing goes on the bottom and you should only use things that do well “marinating” in dressing (like hearty veggies, tofu, beans, etc.) for the next layer as it’s going to be touching the dressing. The rest is pretty easy, but here’s a quick guide on how I made my salads in a jar. The most important thing to remember = put your dressing at the bottom! This prevents #soggysalad because nobody likes that…

  1. Start by putting 2 Tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar.
  2. Add items that will respond well to marinating in the dressing:
    • cucumbers
    • squash
    • mushrooms
    • carrots
    • beets
  3. Add your remaining veggies, legumes, and greens.
    • tomatoes
    • red bell pepper
    • broccoli
    • broccoli slaw
    • avocado sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
    • chickpeas
    • spring mix (lots of this – you can really pack it in)
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
    • grains
    • protein
    • nuts
    • fruit

A few bonus tips:

  • The quart sized mason jars make one big, meal sized salad. You could probably split it between two people if it were being served as a side salad.
  • I recommend using wide-mouth Ball jars instead of ones with the regular size mouth. It’s just easier to get the ingredients in and out of the jars when using the wide-mouth.
  • Have fun experimenting with different dressings, veggies, protein, and toppings!
  • Leave a little room at the top of the jar so that you can shake it up right before serving. It helps make sure all parts of the salad have some dressing.
  • You can totally eat the salad out of the jar, but they are a little deep for forks so I like pouring the salad into a dish.

Want some mason jar salad inspiration? Check out these recipes!

Here are a few Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings you can try.

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  1. You don’t need to use a glass canning jar. I have done this many times using the Ziploc or rubbermaid containers. The dressing spreads on the bottom and the other vegetables keep the lettuce from touching the dressing. Easy to toss all ingredients and can eat from the same container.

    • Hey Matthew. It might work, but not as well because if you added the dressing to the bottom of a tupperware bowl, most of the lettuce would touch it and wilt. The reason mason jars work so well is they give the height to keep the dressing separate. Also, salad ingredients stay fresher in glass jars.

  2. We have tried this using all the same ingredients, putting the tom, cukes, etc on the bottom, then the lettuce but we don’t add any dressing. We did this for a sewing group and just brought different dressings for the people to add their favorite and then top with croutons. A great idea serve with a fresh roll, garlic bread, etc.
    We did not use vacuum jars, saved large jars that we had it and worked fine.

  3. There’s no way to transport these without the dressing sogging up the salad. Instead, carry TWO jars, one with the salad, and a smaller one with the dressing!

  4. Thank you so much for the inspiration! The middle shelf of our fridge now has salad in a jar at all times. So quick and easy and prepared a week in advance.

  5. […] Quick and Easy Lunch Idea: Salad in a Jar This almost makes me wish I didn’t work from home so I could try this cute idea without dirtying a glass jar for absolutely no reason. […]

  6. I really like your idea that you put the salad onto jar . I am always looking for a different idea since I love eating salad but more on from the restaurant. I wanted to try salad on my own and when I saw your article, I was impressed and probably tomorrow, I will do this for my lunch and dinner.

    Cooking Recipes for One

  7. I am officially in love with your blog! This is such a great idea. I am always trying to find ways to jazz up my salads. Not only does this give me options, but it is also a great way to transport my lunch! Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to check out the rest of your blog now!

  8. Thanks for sharing a great idea! I can’t wait to try this when I start school this fall!

    By the way I made your overnight oats recipe (oats and almond milk) and I LOVED it! I prefer this one over the one with yogurt and chia. I also made your Berry Hot flax cereal yesterday morning…it was delicious!

    Hope you have a great day 🙂

  9. A great idea, my husband and I have a salad with lunch and a salad with supper and occassionally as supper. I will be making these tonight! Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is the first time I have seen this, but you should have seen my facial expression when I first started reading! What a great idea, I can’t wait to try it…my tupperware salad containers are such a drag

  11. I have been seeing these lately and wondering exactly how to do it. I hate when the lettuce is wilted. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. I really love this idea. I struggle with what to pack for a day at the office. I often end up eating a bunch of snacks instead of full meals when I’m working all day. I am going to look into making something like this in the future. By the way, your pictures look great!

  13. This is a great idea! I’ve seen this in magazines before but you make it sound so easy and it would be perfect for work! I’m sick of carrying around these huge containers around. I’ll have to try this method out. And I kind of like the idea of the vegetables “marinating” in the dressing! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great day!!

    (i just thought of how tasty a strawberry & spinach salad would be- perfect for the jar!)

      • I made the following salad from Allrecipes.com. It was delicious.
        Strawberry Feta Salad

        1/2 cup slivered almonds
        1 clove garlic, minced
        1/2 teaspoon honey
        1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
        2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
        1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
        1 tablespoon brown sugar
        1/2 cup vegetable oil
        1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn
        1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
        1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
        You have scaled this recipe’s ingredients to yield a new amount (5). The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield (10).
        1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
        2. In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.
        3. In a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese. Cover with the dressing mixture, and toss to serve.

  14. Love this idea! I need to buy some jars to I can do this to take my lunches when the school year starts up again!

  15. What a great idea! I love prepping my salads ahead of time but never added the dressing to avoid soggy greens…putting the dressing at the bottom is such a totally obvious solution but somehow it never occured to me?

  16. I’ve seen something like this on pinterest but I’ve never tried it!! I’m using some Ball jars to take soup leftovers to work, haha. The salad idea is genius though! I can’t believe the lettuce doesn’t get soggy!

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