Making lunch every day can feel repetitive and boring. If you’re stuck in a rut, mason jar salads are an easy way to add variety to your midday meal.
Mason jars make salad portable, and you can pack them ahead of time so your lunch is ready to grab and go in the morning. With endless combinations of greens, veggies, proteins and toppings, you’ll never get tired of salads again!
This beginner’s guide will teach you how to assemble salads in mason jars for quick, healthy and satisfying lunches. We’ll also share 10 fun mason jar salad ideas to inspire you. Let’s shake up your lunchtime routine!
What Are Mason Jar Salads?
A mason jar salad is a portable salad packed in a mason jar or other glass jar. The jar keeps the salad neatly contained, so you don’t need additional Tupperware.
To make a mason jar salad:
- Layer salad ingredients in a wide-mouth glass jar. Greens go on the bottom, then protein, veggies, toppings like nuts or seeds, and dressing.
- Pack dressing in a separate small container to keep greens crisp until lunchtime.
- When ready to eat, shake or dump the jar out into a bowl and add dressing. Enjoy!
Mason jar salads make lunch a breeze. Assemble them up to 5 days ahead, store in the fridge, then just grab one and go in the mornings. The glass jars also eliminate wasted plastic containers or disposable plastic bags.
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Benefits of Mason Jar Salads
Here are some of the top reasons to give mason jar salads a try:
Portable – No additional Tupperware needed! The jar contains the salad for easy transport.
Customizable – Create your own salad combo every day. Change up flavors and textures.
Prep ahead – Make multiple jars on Sunday to have grab-and-go lunches for the week.
No soggy greens – Greens stay crisp below the dressing until you’re ready to eat.
No waste – Reuse the same mason jars. Better for the environment than disposables.
Glass is BPA-free – No harmful chemicals leaching into your food.
Satisfying portions – It’s easy to make salads with healthy protein, veggies and smart carbs.
Fun presentation – Dress up basic salad greens with colorful add-ins in pretty layers.
Now that you know the benefits, let’s get into mason jar salad how-to’s and flavor ideas!
How to Make Mason Jar Salads
Assembling mason jar salads is simple. Follow these steps for building the perfect salad in a jar:
1. Pick Your Jar
Wide-mouth pint or quart sized mason jars work best. Make sure jars and lids are clean.
2. Add Greens
Start with hearty salad greens like spinach, kale, arugula or mixed greens. Tear greens into bite-sized pieces before adding them to the jar. Packing greens tightly helps keep them fresh.
3. Add Protein
Layer proteins like cooked quinoa, chickpeas, hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, shrimp or tuna. Beans and legumes add fiber, too.
4. Include Crunchy Veggies
Next, add any raw veggies you like – tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Slice thinly or chop small so they’re easy to eat.
5. Toss in Mix-ins
Now you can include fun add-ins like avocado, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cheese, olives or anything else you want.
6. Top with Dressing
Pack salad dressing in a separate container until you’re ready to eat. Then drizzle it on top and enjoy!
Use this basic formula to build your own creations. Experiment with flavors, colors and textures by mixing and matching ingredients.
10 Mason Jar Salad Recipes
To spark salad inspiration for your weekly lunch prep, here are 10 delicious mason jar salad combinations to try:
1. Greek Salad Mason Jar
This delightful Greek salad, in a jar is packed with a lemon vinaigrette, a medley of vegetables olives, chickpeas and feta cheese. It truly has something, for everyone.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, chickpeas, feta cheese
Dressing: Lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano, garlic, salt, pepper
2. Mexican Mason Jar Salad
Spice up lunch with this Southwestern salad recipe. Top greens and beans with fresh corn, avocado and crunchy tortilla strips.
Salad Ingredients: Romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, tortilla strips
Dressing: Lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt
3. Asian Chicken Mason Jar Salad
For a protein-packed salad, this Asian chicken version includes edamame, mandarin oranges and sliced almonds.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, grilled chicken, edamame, mandarin oranges, carrots, almonds
Dressing: Rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, garlic
4. Caprese Mason Jar Salad
Simple, fresh Caprese salad in a jar showcases juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, fresh basil
Dressing: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper
5. Cobb Salad Mason Jar
A nutrition-packed Cobb salad with turkey, avocado, eggs, tomato and blue cheese.
Salad Ingredients: Romaine lettuce, turkey, cherry tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled egg, blue cheese crumbles
Dressing: Red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper
6. Strawberry Spinach Salad Mason Jar
This delightful blend of spinach, strawberries, creamy feta cheese and crunchy candied nuts offers a perfect balance of sweetness and savory flavors.
Salad Ingredients: Spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, candied pecans
Dressing: Red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, poppy seeds
7. Southwest Mason Jar Salad
This salad, from the Southwest has a taste. Is satisfying with a crispy layer of tortilla chips on top along, with bell pepper, corn and black beans.
Salad Ingredients: Romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, red bell pepper, tortilla chips, avocado
Dressing: Lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt
8. Chef Salad Mason Jar
A classic chef salad with turkey, ham, cheese, eggs and veggies. Your choice of dressing on the side.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, turkey, ham, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg
Dressing: Ranch, blue cheese, Italian, etc.
9. Hawaiian Chicken Mason Jar Salad
Grilled chicken pairs perfectly with pineapple and mango in this tropical salad.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, grilled chicken, pineapple tidbits, mango chunks, green onion
Dressing: Rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, ginger
10. Italian Mason Jar Salad
An Italian-inspired mix of greens, salami, provolone, peppers and olives. Top with your favorite Italian dressing.
Salad Ingredients: Mixed greens, salami, provolone cheese, banana peppers, olives
Dressing: Italian, red wine vinegar, olive oil
With endless possible combinations, you could enjoy a different mason jar salad every day of the week! Try out a few of these recipes, then get creative making your own.
Tips for Mason Jar Salad Success
Here are some handy tips to help make your mason jar salad prep easy and fun:
- Use a wide-mouth quart jar for heartier salads with lots of ingredients. Pint jars work well for lighter salads.
- Wash and dry lettuce well to keep it fresh longer. Pat leaves dry with a paper towel before adding to the jar.
- Mason jar salads will stay crisp for up to 5 days stored in the fridge.
- Pour dressing into a separate small container until ready to eat to prevent soggy greens.
- When ready to eat, shake the jar vigorously with the lid on to mix up ingredients before pouring into a bowl.
- Customize each jar but keep ingredients consistent in size so they stack neatly.
- Slice and chop all veggies small enough to grab with a fork for easy eating.
- Play with color combinations and place ingredients in alternating layers for a pretty presentation.
- Label each jar with the salad recipe and date prepared using a piece of masking tape.
With a little practice, you’ll be a mason jar salad pro in no time! Follow these tips to make lunch prep efficient.
Enjoy the Benefits of Mason Jar Salad Lunches
Mason jar salads make lunch simple, healthy and full of variety. Follow this beginner’s guide to start shaking up your midday routine.
Experiment with endless combinations of greens, veggies, proteins and dressings. Prep a batch of salads on the weekend to have grab-and-go lunches ready anytime.
Discover just how convenient and fun salad in a jar can be! Ditch the lunchtime blues and enjoy salads you look forward to each day with these mason jar recipes and tips.