Simple, healthy and on-the-go goodness
The reasons we love to meal prep salads in a jar are endless, but ultimately we love that they provide an easy, convenient and healthy way to save time and stress without sacrificing nutrition. Not only are canning/mason jars inexpensive, they can be washed and reused over and over which make them cost-effective and eco-friendly. Plus, they are the perfect airtight containers for creating on-the-go salads, keeping contents fresh, separated and non-soggy until you’re ready to shake them up and serve.
Here’s our 6 steps to a successful salad in a jar:
1) Select a wide-mouthed canning or mason jar with a tight fitting lid, as these are easiest to pack, pour out and clean. (Hint: A pint-sized jar works well for a side salad, while a quart-sized jar makes for an individual meal.)
2) Start with dressing or vinaigrette. Pour desired amount into the bottom of the jar based on personal preference and salad size.
3) Next, layer your favorite greens and veggies, starting with the heaviest and least absorbent items on the bottom and leaving the lightest and most perishable for last as suggested below:
Listed from bottom to top of jar:
- Hard, chopped veggies (such as cucumbers, peppers, carrots and cooked beets)
- Legumes, grains and pasta
- *Cheeses and proteins
- *Softer veggies and fruits (such as sliced tomatoes, avocados, strawberries, apples)
- *Nuts, seeds and lighter grains (such as quinoa)
- Salad greens
*If you’re making your salads ahead of time to eat at a later date, soft and perishable ingredients like these should be saved until last and added to the top of the jar on the day the salad will be eaten.
4) Store and/or transport the jar upright. Be sure the lid is tightly secured to keep contents fresh and to avoid unexpected spills.
5) Grab and take on-the-go or store in the fridge up to 5 days.
6) When you’re ready to eat, simply pour the contents onto a plate or into a bowl. The dressing or vinaigrette will naturally coat the ingredients in this process, or you can give it a gentle shake before pouring. Toss if preferred and enjoy!
Whether you’re just throwing together today’s lunch or prepping a week’s worth for the whole family, the salad in a jar is a quick, simple and wholesome solution!
Bonus: Here are a few of our favorite homemade vinaigrette recipes.