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:
- 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.)
- Start with dressing or vinaigrette. Pour desired amount into the bottom of the jar based on personal preference and salad size.
- 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)
*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.
- Store and/or transport the jar upright. Be sure the lid is tightly secured to keep contents fresh and to avoid unexpected spills.
- Grab and take on-the-go or store in the fridge up to 5 days.
- 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.