10 Ways to Make Mason Jar Salads

Dust off your mason jar and liven up any salad with these mason jar salad recipes!

10 Ways to Make Mason Jar Salads

Mason jar salads may seem like a simple solution for mealtime. However, you have lots of logistical questions, like how to layer mason jar salads or “how long do mason jar salads last?” With a few quick tips, you’ll be making easy meal prep salads in mason jars in no time at all. 

Keep reading to learn how to make mason jar salads, including the top 10 mason jar salads recipes. 

How To Make Mason Jar Salads 

When it comes to mason jar salad ingredients, layering is key to keeping everything nice and crisp for consumption. 

While the first step may go without saying, it is important that you have a clean mason jar with a lid that can be sealed tightly. The most commonly used jars for mason jar salads are the pint or quart sized jars. Wide mouthed jars can be helpful if you’re looking for easy access to the ingredients inside. 

Start With Wet Ingredients

It may seem counterintuitive, but dressing goes at the bottom of the jar. This means when you are layering your salad, you start with dressing first! 

Some popular picks for salad dressing include: 

• Balsamic vinaigrette 
• Cilantro lime vinaigrette 
• Creamy avocado dressing 
• Olive oil and herbs 

On top of your dressing, you’ll want to layer juicier fruits and veggies like:

• Berries 
• Cucumber 
• Mandarin oranges
• Peaches
• Tomatoes 

Add Moisture-Resistant Veggies & Firm Fruits 

Next, more firm fruits and vegetables can be added. These items help add a bit of a barrier between wet and dry ingredients. Try choosing from the following: 

• Apples or pears 
• Beets 
• Bell Peppers
• Carrots 
• Cauliflower 
• Olives
• Red onion 
• Snow peas 
• Sun-dried tomatoes 

Provide Protein 

Lean protein, like chicken or turkey, can help beef up a salad (pun intended). Some options for adding a bit of protein to your salad include: 

• Fish or seafood (i.e. crab meat, shrimp, tuna)
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Poultry (i.e. chicken, turkey) 
• Tofu 

Keep in mind that while cheese does provide protein, it can also be higher in fat. If you’re keeping an eye on calories and fat, select low-fat varieties when adding something cheesy to your salad. Also, shredded cheese is technically considered a topping, so it will go in your jar during the last step (later on). 

Select Salad Greens or Grains 

In lieu of greens, some recipes call for grains, beans, or an extra helping of legumes. You may want to add these ingredients before adding salad greens for a boost of fiber or protein. Experiment with layering the following ingredients: 

• Black beans 
• Brown rice 
• Chickpeas 
• Lentils 
• Quinoa 

Salad greens add vital nutrients to your mason jar meal. Commonly selected salad greens include: 

• Baby spinach 
• Butter lettuce 
• Kale 
• Romaine lettuce 
• Spring mix 

Remember, greens can be compressed and squeezed into a small space. You may be able to add 1 cup or more! 

End With Dry Ingredients 

Now, on to the top of the jar! This is where you can experiment with tasty toppings. According to your preferences, you can add the following: 

• Dried fruit (i.e. dried cranberries, raisins)
• Nuts (i.e. almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts) 
• Seeds (i.e. sunflower seeds)

For a crunch, you can also layer on homemade croutons, tortilla chips, or wonton strips. 

Tips for Easy Meal Prep 

Mason jar salads can be made even easier when you prepare ingredients ahead of time. In a pinch, pre-packaged or pre-cut components can also speed up the process. 

Prepare Ingredients Ahead Of Time 

Some fruits and veggies you can buy to hasten the process include: 

• Canned fruit (i.e. mandarin oranges) 
• Packaged coleslaw 
• Slivered or crinkle cut carrots 
• Veggie tray 

Buy Sliced, Diced, Or Shredded Meat 

Cooking the protein portion of your mason jar meal can take a bit of time. Instead, purchase ready-to-use protein sources, such as: 

• Canned tuna 
• Cubed, grilled, or shredded chicken breast 
• Diced ham 

Eat Before Expiration

Most salads stay fresh for about 3-5 days. Keep this in mind when you meal prep so that you have an easy option to eat on-the-go. 

10 Mason Jar Salads Recipes 

Looking for ready-to-eat mason jar recipes for a healthy lunch or simple meal? Each of these easy recipes is listed in the order that they should be layered. 

1. Mediterranean Salad 

• Extra virgin olive oil, plus a pinch of Italian herb blend 
• Kalamata olives
• Sun-dried tomatoes 
• Chickpeas 
• Spinach 
• Shredded mozzarella 

2. Classic Cobb Salad 

• Blue cheese dressing 
• Cucumber
• Tomato 
• Red onion
• Diced ham 
• Diced hard-boiled egg
• Bacon crumbles 
• Romaine lettuce
• Sliced or cubed avocado 

3. Southwestern Taco Salad 

• Ranch dressing
• Chipotle lime crema 
• Corn 
• Shredded rotisserie chicken 
• Romaine lettuce 
• Crushed tortilla chips

4. Superfood Salad 

• Lemon vinaigrette 
• Sliced peaches 
• Fresh blueberries
• Diced apple
• Thin-sliced cucumber and carrots 
• Grilled chicken breast 
• Quinoa 
• Kale 
• Sliced almonds
• Sliced or cubed avocado 

5. Loaded Tuna Salad 

• Mustard 
• Salt and pepper 
• Pickled beets
• Chopped onions 
• Chopped celery 
• Chopped apples
• Canned tuna (drained) 
• Baby spinach or spring mix with kale 

6. Deconstructed Pizza Salad

• Italian dressing 
• Italian spices (i.e. dried parsley, oregano, basil) 
• Fresh oregano 
• Diced tomatoes 
• Chopped green peppers or banana peppers
• Sliced mushrooms
• Baby spinach 
• Shredded mozzarella 

7. Rainbow Quinoa Salad 

• Honey mustard dressing
• Halved cherry tomatoes
• Corn 
• Sliced red cabbage 
• Sliced carrots
• Quinoa 
• Romaine lettuce 

8. Thai Crunch Chicken Salad 

• Thai peanut dressing 
• Cooked zucchini noodles 
• Chopped cucumber 
• Diced green onions 
• Slivered carrots 
• Chopped bell pepper
• Shredded cabbage 
• Cubed chicken breast
• Fresh cilantro
• Chopped peanuts 
• Black and white sesame seeds

9. Seasonal Squash Salad 

• Apple cider vinaigrette 
• Maple syrup
• Salt and pepper
• Peeled, cooked, and cubed winter squash (i.e. acorn, butternut, or delicata)
• Chopped apple 
• Cooked quinoa or farro
• Baby spinach and kale 
• Dried cranberries 
• Pecan halves

10. Sushi Salad 

• Rice wine vinegar
• Toasted sesame oil 
• Soy sauce (or coconut aminos if gluten free) 
• Chopped cucumbers 
• Slivered carrots
• Crab meat or tofu 
• Baby spinach 
• Chopped peanuts 

In Summary On Healthy Mason Jar Salads 

When it comes to mason jar salads, you can’t really go wrong! Once you learn how to layer ingredients to keep everything crisp, mix and match to your heart’s desire. Not only do they look pretty on the jar, they’ll look great on the plate. 

References:

Christian E. How to Make an Easy Loaded Tuna Mason Jar Salad. Cofessionsofanover-workedmom.com. Published November 2020.

Grainger H. Classic Cobb Mason Jar Salad. Eatingwell.com. Published July 2017. 

Kay S. Rainbow Quinoa Mason Jar Salad. Kaynutrition.com. Published January 2018. 

Palmer S. How to Make a Mason Jar Salad. Foodandnutrition.org. Published June 2014. 

Moore M. Fall Harvest Mason Jar Salad. Marisamoore.com. Published September 2021. 

The Nutrition Twins. Superfood Mason Jar Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. Nutritiontwins.com. Published February 2015. 

Younger K. Thai Crunch Mason Jar Salad. Katheats.com. Published November 2019. 

Wilkins S. Mason Jar Salads 3 Ways. Nutritionistmom.com. Published June 2019.

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