July 24, 2024

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How to Make Salad In a Jar + the ULTIMATE Salad in A Jar Recipe — YES! Nutrition, LLC

How to Make Salad In a Jar + the ULTIMATE Salad in A Jar Recipe — YES! Nutrition, LLC

How to Make Salad In a Jar

First, grab your clean, glass jar. Quart-sized glass jars* work well for making entree salads and pint-sized jars* work well for side salads, fruit salads, or any smaller combination of a mason jar meal. I like using wide mouth jars since they are easier to stuff and easier to pour! 

Start with your wet ingredients on the bottom, like dressing. Then, layer in your heaviest and non-absorbent ingredients first, like firm vegetables (raw cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas). Then, continue to layer with more least-absorbent ingredients (like berries and tomatoes) all the way to the softer ingredients at the top (or just those ones that are more prone to get soggy, like cheese).  Special note: if you’re planning on storing your salads for more than one day and wanting to use softer proteins on your salad (like hardboiled eggs, tuna, chicken, or fruits subject to browning like avocados) I’d suggest waiting to add these until you’re ready to eat the salad. Finally, finish layering by adding your favorite leafy green vegetable and screw on your jar’s lid.

Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat, making sure to keep the jar upright! Simply unscrew the lid when ready to eat and shake into a bowl. You may need to use a fork to help you get out all the delicious goodness! Then, eat! 

The Benefits of Homemade Salad In A Jar

Is salad in a jar good for you? You bet! Here’s why I think it’s a good idea to make salad in a jar:

  1. EASY: They’re easy to make! Once you have all the ingredients washed, chopped and ready-to-go, layering your salads into the jars can happen in a snap! In fact, it’s SO easy even your children can help! 
  2. READY WHEN YOU ARE: You can store mason jar salads in your fridge until you’re ready to eat them. That means that if you’d like to prep a batch of 4 or 5 salads on Sunday night to grab throughout the whole week for lunch at work, you can!
  3. PACKED WITH NUTRITION: You can combine your favorite ingredients together. I happen to love the combo of beans, berries and greens, which is why my classic YES! Nutrition salad (featured below) offers all three!  You can also strategically think about which nutrients you want to maximize in your salad and add them in accordingly. For example, for healthy carbohydrates in your salad in a jar, add in fruit, whole grains (like quinoa or wheat berries), beans, or corn. For protein in your salad, consider adding beans (yep, these feature both fiber-rich carbs AND plant-based proteins), nuts, seeds, hardboiled eggs, and/or cheeses. And, for healthy fats, consider adding in an olive oil/vinegar dressing, olives, nuts/seeds, or pair your salad with guacamole or avocado on the side. Of course, you can add in all of the vegetables you can fit into your jar, too! Your options are SO limitless!
  4. GRAB-AND-GO: Heading out to work?  Simply grab a bowl, a fork, and your prepped salad in a jar from the fridge and out the door you go! Or, for the true salad-in-a-jar pros: keep your bowl and fork at work, so you only have to take your jar with you as you leave. 

Creative Ideas For Making Salad In A Jar

Want to make preparing salads in a jar even easier? Here are some fun ideas for you to enjoy making salad in a jar with your friends or family:

  1. HOST A SALAD IN A JAR PARTY: Ask your friends to bring ONE ingredient (one person brings the beans, one person brings the greens, one person brings the dressing, etc.) and ask everyone to bring their own jars. When together, simply set out all of the ingredients on the table and go around the table filling your jars. 
  2. SWAP WITH A FRIEND: Find a friend who also wants to prepare salad in a jar for busy weeks. Then, separately, each prepare 4 salads. Meet up and swap two of the jars with each other. You’ll only prep one version, but you’ll get another unique salad combo in return! Yay for variety! 
  3. COWORKER SALAD SHARE: With a group of co-workers, assign each person to prepare salads for the whole group for a certain day of the week. In other words, you may prepare a salad for each member of group on Monday, but your other coworkers cover the other days. You make lunch once a week (for everyone), then they pay back the favor! Simple!

Salad In A Jar Recipe Combinations

So many delicious combinations can be made with your favorite produce items to create a healthy and totally delicious salad in a jar. Here are some of my favorite salad in a jar recipes. Just remember, layer these ingredients from the bottom of your jar to the top of your jar to keep all your ingredients as firm as you can until you’re ready to eat and enjoy!