Mason jar salads are a practical — and adorable — way to prep your lunch for busy weeks. They're eco-friendly, reusable and can store your entire meal, dressing included, without worry. But don't try this at home without reading our how-to guide for packing the perfect mason jar salad.
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Start with a quart-sized wide-mouth canning jar to pack and pour your salad easily. This ensures that you'll be able to fit all your favorite veggies and fruits, grains and extra toppings in a single jar.
First, pour in about 4 tablespoons of your favorite dressing, depending on your preference.
Hate cutting up your veggies every single day? Prepare your week's worth of salad after one chopping session. Add hard chopped vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and peppers. These won't get soggy sitting atop the dressing and will protect your lighter ingredients from getting soaked.
As you layer, pack ingredients as tightly as you can, especially if you're preparing meals for the week, as less air means extended freshness. Continue to add softer vegetables like tomatoes, corn, peas or radishes. If you're feeling fruity, toss in some strawberries, blueberries, grapes or oranges. Add grains and pastas like cooked rice, quinoa chickpeas or pasta corkscrews for some crunch. For a well-proportioned salad, these ingredients should fill between one half and three-quarters of your jar.
Fill the remaining half of your jar with crisp salad greens. Top with lighter grains like sunflower seeds or almonds or with your favorite cheese. Unless your jar goes on a wild ride before lunchtime, the greens won't get soggy from the dressing. Just keep your jar upright and it'll be ready as a satisfying lunchtime creation.
If you want to include protein like chicken or egg, or quickly spoiled items like avocado, leave room for these items and pack them day-of to ensure they are fresh and safe to eat!
When your lunch break begins, just unscrew the lid and shake your salad into a bowl. Toss it lightly with your fork if needed and enjoy your simple, healthy lunch.