How to Make Stunningly Delicious Mason Jar Salads

Mason jar taco salads

If you love colorful food and you want easy meal prep ideas to help you save time and money, mason jar salads are a must-try! Also known as “salad-in-a-jar,” mason jar salads are incredibly versatile and have a stunning visual appeal, which means you may be more tempted to grab it out of the fridge instead of ordering takeout.

This is a quick and easy meal idea that can yield a week’s worth of lunches with just 30 minutes of prep time. All you need are your favorite salad ingredients, a pack of mason jars and space in your refrigerator.

If you’ve never made mason jar salads before, the concept is simple. Follow the steps below to create a mason jar masterpiece you can’t wait to dive into!

The Anatomy of Mason Jar Salads

The big benefit to mason jar salads is that they allow you to build your salad ahead of time without having soggy ingredients at the time you go to eat. You can achieve this feat simply by layering all your salad ingredients according to a strategic plan.

  • Layer 1: Add your dressing into the jar. Either make your own or use store-bought if that is preferred. Some ideas include balsamic vinaigrette, white wine vinegar, garlic and herb vinaigrette, honey mustard, Italian and strawberry poppy seed.
  • Layer 2: Add your crisper ingredients that you don’t mind getting wet, as they will be on top of the dressing. These include tomatoes, carrots, red onion, asparagus, celery, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
  • Layer 3: Add your  ingredients that don’t necessarily need to swim in dressing, but are fine if they get a little wet. Popular ingredients include mushrooms, beans, lentils, peas, corns, chickpeas, broccoli, etc.
  • Layer 4: Add your more delicate ingredients such as hard-boiled eggs and cheese (feta, goat, cheddar, Monterrey jack, mozzarella, etc.
  • Layer 5: Add your more substantial and filling ingredients such as grilled chicken, quinoa, couscous, pasta and whole grain brown rice.
  • Layer 6: Finally, add any nuts for extra crunch and the greens you want for your salad: spinach, aragula, spring mix, cabbage, etc.

How to Prepare and Eat Your Salads

(1) Get all your ingredients ready. Wash your fruit/veggies, then peel/cut/dice. Boil the pasta, quinoa, rice, etc. and cook your meats.

(2) Prepare the dressing if making homemade.

(3) Once everything is laid out, throw your ingredients into your jars according to their layers. Seal with a lid, then place in your refrigerator.

(4) When you are ready to eat, shake your jar so all the ingredients mix together. Open jar and dump contents into a large bowl.

(5) Stir once more and enjoy!

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