Mason Jar Salads

Mason Jar Salads

27 comments

The easiest way for me to make sure I get a healthy, complete meal quickly is to make mason jar salads on Sunday night.  Talk about a lifesaver when I come in from toting my little one’s around all morning and need food fast…but not fast food.  :)  I spend about 30 minutes Sunday night making six salads and I’m set for the week for all those last minute meals.  I have them for lunch, dinner, or a snack to hold me over until dinner.

All you need to do is get large, wide mouth mason jars, start by adding the the salad toppings to the bottoms of the jar.  Then I usually add a thin layer of broccoli sprouts for added nutrition and to separate the lettuce from any wet ingredients, and then stuff in as much lettuce as I can.  Storing the lettuce in a mason jar will keep it super fresh!  You could add the salad dressing at the bottom of the jar but I leave it separate until I’m ready to eat.  I find my salads will stay good for up to five days!

You can alter any of these to match your needs, I just wanted to list some ideas.  Make sure you squeeze lemon juice on apples and pears to keep them from browning, and lemon or lime juice on avocados.

Here are some great combinations:

  • Mango, Avocado, Black Bean Salad
  • Quinoa Greek Salad
  • strawberry, feta or goat cheese, and pecans with spinach and Chef Amy’s Blackberry Dressing
  • Cobb – egg, cherry tomato, onion, avocado, cheese with romaine
  • green peas, corn, black beans, onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and fresh lime juice with romaine
  • diced apple, cranberries, almonds, with spinach and a vinaigrette
  • broccoli, onion, sunflower seeds, and raisins with mixed greens and creamy dressing
  • garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, feta with mixed greens and a vinaigrette
  • quinoa, onion, pepperoncini, olives, tomato, and feta with spinach and a greek dressing
  • BLT – bacon, lettuce, tomato…or in my case bean, lettuce, tomato.
  • beet, goat cheese, pecans with spinach and balsamic vinaigrette
  • walnut, diced apple, grapes and chicken with spinach

You can use mason jars for many other things like storing leftovers, canning, candle holder with sand under the candle, to hold plasticware for a party, to store and drink smoothies and juices, or as a vase!  You’ll find infinite ways to use mason jars of every size!

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27 comments… read them below or add one

Sharon H May 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Great idea! Thanks for sharing all those yummy combinations!

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Dena Maddie April 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm

i LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing I’ll have to try it.

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Dena Maddie May 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

Update: tried it, love it! I added hummus, quinoa, and beans on Sunday, then when I took the salads out that morning added fresh lime juice, basalmic, and olive oil. Fresh cilantro sealed the deal! Thanks for the suggestions :)

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BusyWorkingMama May 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

OK, I have to try this! I save mason jars for storing pasta and beans. I’ll have to make a salad!

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Jola July 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

I’m always wondering how you eat them. Right out of the mason jars?

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greenplaterule July 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

It depends — if I’m eating on the go I’ll eat right out of the jar, and if I’m at home I will dump it all out into a bowl. Either way it works great! Have a great day!

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Cindy July 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I’m very interested in learning about this.

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Chrissy August 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

What size mason jars do you use? Does it keep things crisp? Thanks :)

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greenplaterule August 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I have an assortment of mason jars, but most of the time I use the 16 oz wide mouth jars for the salads. If for some reason it doesn’t fit, I’ll keep the salad toppings in the jar and put the greens in a separate bag. It will keep everything crisp, even the greens! I’ll store mine for up to five days, but I think they are best up to four days.

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Lauryn August 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I have tried to make mason jar salads in the past but the odor was just too strong!! It tasted fine but smelled horrid. The site I followed had me vacuum seal the jars to remove the air to keep the lettuce fresher longer. Do you think this may have been the reason?

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greenplaterule August 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I have not noticed anything. Do you think it was something you were adding causing the odor, like onions, or was it just when the lettuce wasn’t its freshest? I keep my salad dressing separate, and do not vacuum seal. Hope this helps out!

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Lauryn August 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Im not sure what it was. I was packing kale and spinach in the jar and everything else separate.The only thing I can think of was that the vacuum seal caused the lettuce to produce gas (sorta like broccoli if it’s sealed too tight). I will give it another go round and see what happens. Thanks for your response.

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greenplaterule August 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I hope it turns out for you this time! Keep me posted.

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dee November 21, 2012 at 2:44 am

Hi Lauryn,
I haven’t tried the mason jars yet, but I am planning on starting. I think the odor was caused by the kale not the lettuce. I made kale chips a few weeks ago, I couldn’t believe the odor coming from the oven. I checked it out kale is a cruciferous vegetable that causes gas for alot of people.

nice blog & post

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Christine Yodsukar April 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm

My kale smells too! I washed, dryed, and de-stemed my kale and stored it in the fridge in a Kerr jar. It REAKS. I can’t seem to find out why OR how best to store my kale for up to a week in the fridge.

If anyone has any tips, I would be so grateful to hear them! Thanks friends!

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Marette November 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thank you so much for an inspiring blog. I am trying to eat more whole food plant based meals and this little trick will help make me more successful! Do you leave the celery and other things unlidded in the fridge? Thanks for taking the time share with others.

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greenplaterule November 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Once I make the salads, I put the lids on them. I do leave some celery sticks in water to snack on throughout the week — that I leave open so it’s easy to grab! Glad this helped you, Marette! Have a great day!

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KristelSmith January 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Great post! Any tips on different types of clean salad dressings? Have a great day!

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greenplaterule January 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I do not by any store bought dressings, because they are full of artificial ingredients — high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, food dyes, MSG, and more. Homemade dressing are simple and will last up to two weeks stored in the refrigerator.
A basic balsamic vinaigrette —
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil
Mix together all ingredients with whisk or in food processor, then slowly pour in oil while mixing. So tasty! :)
There are some other simple dressings on the site, too!
Hope that helps!

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Darla January 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

What kind of peas are those? Frozen or canned? If frozen, how are they prepared?

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greenplaterule January 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I defrost some frozen peas. Peas are really high in protein and fiber so I like to add them to my salads.

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Sue January 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Just made my salads for the week. In each jar: 2 Tbs. Lighthouse Pear Gorgonzola dressing, chopped pear, a little diced green pepper, candied pecans (fry 1 tbs. butter, 1 tbs. br. sugar, 1/4 c. pecans for 1 min.), fill the rest of the way with romaine lettuce. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!

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greenplaterule January 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

That’s fantastic, Sue! Enjoy your lunch — it sounds yummy! :)

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Sue March 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

My other favorite Mason jar salad is a taco salad and has 2 Tbs. salsa, 1/4 cup rinsed kidney beans (right out of the can), diced red pepper, and fill with romaine lettuce. I pack a lunch baggie filled with corn chips to crush and sprinkle over my salad. Yum!

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jane January 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

These are fantastic! I made them last Monday following your Sunday Night Prep post [http://www.greenplaterule.com/health-nutrition/sunday-night-prep-to-eat-clean-all-week/] … it is day three and I’m actually enjoying a mason jar salad at work right now. I was worried about the moisture in the jars causing wilting so instead of using the mason jar lids I fastened doubled napkins and laid them napkin-lid down in the fridge on a napkin liner. They seem to be doing VERY well. I do have one question, I did the boiled eggs thing for the Sunday Night Prep and I made a few salads with the whole egg in them, some salads with the boiled egg AND mushrooms…. on two of the salads the Egg seemed to have a grey type color where it was pressed against the jar…. I threw them out but couldn’t find any information on the wonderful world of interwebs to help me identify if it was a health threat or what I did wrong… the Other salads are all fine! Have you any suggestions? BTW I LOVE your site!

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Laura March 17, 2013 at 2:49 am

Jane eggs will turn grayish after being boiled due to the air inside the egg. It is perfectly normal, still fresh and can be eaten so don’t throw away they are fine

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Violetta February 24, 2013 at 5:01 am

I LOVE THIS IDEA. My husband and I just finished doing “Eat Your Heart Out” diet together and since we lost the pounds, we are motivated to keep eating healthy and keeping our calorie count in check. I am SO doing this on Sunday night for us. My husband is a salad guy so this will be great! THANKS. I found you via Pinterest.

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