Simple Mason Jar Salad Recipes
The secret to a perfect and tasty Mason jar salad is all in the order.
- Salad dressing: Pour 1 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing in the bottom of the jar. Adjust the amount of dressing depending on the size of the salad you are making and your personal preference.
- Hard vegetables: Next, add any hard chopped vegetables you’re including in your salad, like carrots, cucumbers, red and green peppers, cooked beets, and fennel.
- Beans, grains, and pasta: Next, add any beans, grains, and/or pasta, like chickpeas, black beans, cooked barley, cooked rice, and pasta corkscrews.
- Cheese and proteins (optional): If you’ll be eating the salad within the day, add a layer of diced or crumbled cheese and proteins like tuna fish, diced (cooked) chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or cubed tofu.
- Softer vegetables and fruits (optional): Next, add any soft vegetables or fruits, like avocados, tomatoes, diced strawberries, or dried apricots. If you’re making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add soft ingredients ingredients until the day you’re planning to eat the salad and add them to the top of the jar.
- Nuts, seeds, and lighter grains: Next, add any nuts or seeds, like almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. If you’re making a salad with lighter, more absorbent grains like quinoa or millet, add them in this layer instead of with the beans.
- Salad greens: Last but not least, fill the rest of the jar with salad greens. Use your hands to tear them into bite-sized pieces. It’s fine to pack them into the jar fairly compactly.
- Storing the salad: Screw the lid on the jar and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you’re including any cheese, proteins, or soft fruits and vegetables, add these to the top of the jar the morning you plan to eat your salad.
- Tossing and eating the salad: When ready to eat, unscrew the lid and shake the salad into the bowl. The action of shaking the salad into the bowl is usually enough to mix the salad with the dressing. If not, toss gently with a fork until coated.
Choosing a smart combo of ingredients is also key.
You want to mix textures and flavors. And ideally, you’ll have a filling protein, something salty and crunchy, and something sweet and tangy. Here are some ideas from Earthbound Farm:
1.Guacamole Mason Jar Salad
You will have some extra salad dressing left over: drizzle it over a simple green salad or roasted vegetables, or save it for your next guacamole salad. This makes enough salad to fill a quart-size mason jar.
For the lime vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro A dash of hot sauce, optional Salt and pepper, to taste 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad: 3 tablespoons chopped red onion or shallot 1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño 1 tomato, diced 3 cups mixed salad greens 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 1 avocado Juice from half a lime
- Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the lime juice; cilantro; hot sauce, if desired; and a generous pinch of salt in a small mixing bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to combine into an emulsion.
- Make the salad: Pour the vinaigrette into the mason jar. Add the onion, followed by the jalapeño and diced tomato. Layer on the mixed greens and then the cilantro.
- Cut the avocado in half and discard the pit. Use a spoon to separate the flesh from the peel. Cube the avocado, and layer it on top of the salad greens. Sprinkle with the lime juice. Seal the jar, and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Chopped Salad Jars with White Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 jars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
- 1/3 cup bulgur wheat (Could use Quinoa or any green lettuce)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces cooked turkey breast, cubed
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 6 tablespoons Naturebox Tuscan Summer Mix or chopped mixed nuts
- In medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in bulgur wheat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until bulgur is tender, or about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain off any remaining liquid. Spread bulgur in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan; transfer to freezer to chill for 10 minutes or until cool.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.
- Divide vinaigrette between 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide cooled bulgur wheat over vinaigrette. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with Tuscan Summer Mix.Top with lids and refrigerate up to 5 days.
3. Mason Jar Chickpea, Farro and Greens Salad (plus lunch packing tips!)
A mason jar salad made with components that you can mix and match! Amounts listed below should yield plenty for five mason jar salads.
Farro (feel free to substitute another grain and/or cook extra for later) Can us quinoa
- 1¼ cup farro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Greek dressing (this recipe is easily halved)
- 1 cup quality extra-virgin olive oil, such as California Olive Ranch brand
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar, honey or sugar
Chickpea and celery salad ( I will substitute with Cucumber…hate celery)
- 2 cans chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced crosswise and roughly chopped
- ⅔ cup chopped red onion (about one small red onion, chopped)
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ⅓ cup Greek dressing or olive oil and lemon juice, to taste
Greens and garnishes
- Mixed greens, roughly chopped if you have time (a couple handfuls per salad)
- ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
- Handful dried cherries or cranberries, roughly chopped
- Kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced (optional)
- Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro with at least three cups water (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook until the farro is tender to the bite but still pleasantly chewy. (Pearled farro will take around 15 minutes, unprocessed farro will take 25 to 40 minutes.) Drain off the excess water and mix in the olive oil, garlic and salt. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until emulsified.
- Make the chickpea and celery salad: In a serving bowl, toss together the chickpeas, prepared celery, red onion and parsley. Stir in enough dressing (or olive oil and lemon juice) to lightly coat the salad. Toss and set aside.
- Toast the pepitas: In a skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until they smell fragrant and toasty. Transfer the pepitas to a bowl to cool.
- To assemble your mason jar salads: In a quart-sized mason jar (32 ounce capacity), layer the chickpea salad at the bottom along with an additional tablespoon or two of dressing (enough to lightly coat the salad when you turn the jar upside down). Top with cooled farro, then greens (leave about an inch of room at the top). Finish with a sprinkle of
4. Grilled Chicken, Beet, Apple, and Spinach Salad With Strawberry Vinaigrette
Feel free to double or triple the recipe to make a few lunches at a time.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh strawberries 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Pinch of salt Pinch of ground black pepper Pinch of dried tarragon 1/4 teaspoon honey
For the salad:
2 beets, scrubbed 1 teaspoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 3 ounces raw chicken breast 1/2 apple, washed and diced 2 cups raw spinach (or arugula) 1 ounce goat cheese 5 pecans, chopped
- Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a blender. Pour dressing into the bottom of a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar.
- Turn on the grill to medium-hot. Wash, peel, and slice the beets. Place in a bowl, drizzle with half a teaspoon of olive oil, and stir until evenly coated. Place the slices on the grill, and cook on each side for about eight to 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the grill and allow to cool. Cut slices in half.
- Pound your chicken breast if you need to in order for it to be the same thickness. Rub it with the rest of the olive oil (half a teaspoon), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place it on the grill. Cook for four or five minutes on each side. Allow to cool before dicing.
- Start layering the salad in the jar beginning with the beets, the spinach, then the apples, the chicken, and the goat cheese, then sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
- Screw the top on the jar securely, and store it in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to eat, give the jar a good shake to mix everything up and enjoy right out of the jar!
5 Layered Quinoa Salad with Beet Vinaigrette
Yield: about 4 servings (4 ounces of dressing)
- 1 Citrus Coconut Roasted Beet
- 1 1/2 ounces Orange Juice, about 1 large orange
- a few squeezes Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 1/4 cup Avocado Oil, Grapeseed or a nutty oil would taste great too
- 2 cups cooked Quinoa
- a few Citrus Coconut Roasted Beets, cut into bite sized pieces
- a few handfuls Baby Spinach leaves
- a few ounces of your favorite toasted Nuts, we love Pecans and Walnuts
- zest from one Orange
- a little bit of cheese, Feta, Blue Cheese crumbles or small slices of Brie are tasty
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until you have a dressing. You can make it smooth or leave a little chunky.
- Mix some of the cooked quinoa with the beet vinaigrette. Layer salad in jars with quinoa, beets, spinach, nuts and some cheese if desired. Top salad with some more dressing and orange zest.
- Adjust the ingredients in the vinaigrette to suit your taste. For more tang, add more lemon juice. Want it sweeter? Add some stevia or honey.
- Nut free? Not a problem, use sunflower seeds instead.
- Vegan? This is the perfect salad for you! Just skip the optional cheese.
6. Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars
Yield: 4 jars
For the Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette:
- 5 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 5 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad Jars:
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 2 cups red grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup shaved Asiago cheese
- 4 cups baby spinach, roughly torn
- Make Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.
- Divide Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide chicken over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spinach (you may have to tightly pack spinach into jars). Top with lids and refrigerate up to 4 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.
Happy healthy eating!
Love you babes,