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Mason jar salads are all the rage right now, and for good reason! They’re a great way to pack a healthy lunch that is convenient and easy to eat. Plus, they’re versatile and can be made with just about any ingredients you like. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make 4 delicious vegetarian mason jar salads. So get ready to enjoy a healthy, tasty lunch all week long!
What is the point of mason jar salads?
Mason jar salads are a type of salad that is prepared in a jar. The salad ingredients are placed in the jar in layers, with the dressing at the bottom. This allows the salad to be stored for up to a week without getting soggy.
Mason jar salads are a convenient option for busy people who want to eat healthy vegetarian meals on the go. They are also a great way to meal prep for the week ahead. When you’re ready to enjoy your salad, simply shake it up and enjoy!
How to make vegetarian mason jar salads: 5 basic steps
Vegetarian mason jar salads can be prepared with a wide variety of foods, from vegetables and fruits, to noodles and beans. The most important thing when you are preparing a salad in a jar is the order of the ingredients. Here are the steps for building easy, plant-based mason jar salads:
- Place the dressing at the bottom of the glass container. The glass helps preserve the flavor and freshness of the food. Around 2 tablespoons of dressing is enough. It’s not recommended to add it on top of the other ingredients because then their consistency will become too soggy. When the dressing is at the bottom, it’s just a matter of pouring the salad on a plate and that’s it! If you want to eat it straight from the container, you can gently shake it to mix the dressing with the other ingredients.
- Place the sturdiest ingredients on top of the dressing. These are foods that don’t have a lot of change in consistency when immersed in liquids. Firm vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, and celery are good candidates. In addition, they protect the rest of the ingredients from the above “levels” from being in contact with the dressing and losing their firmness.
- Add starchy ingredients next. Ingredients like pasta, noodles or rice go in the next layer. These starchy foods help increase the satiety factor of these salads.
- Incorporate protein sources. Tofu, legumes, eggs, or cheeses are great options. Like the carbs above, these foods also contribute to the satiety of the salad, making it a more complete meal.
- Place the most delicate foods go on top. Foods like leafy greens and fruits do best at the top of the mason jar. These are foods that can lose their consistency if they are in contact with the dressing for a long time. Some suggestions for this last layer are: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, strawberries, mandarin orange slices, watermelon, avocado, etc. Here you can also add dried fruits, nuts and seeds so that they do not lose their crunchiness.
What size mason jar for salad?
As we’ve just seen, vegetarian mason jar salads are a great way to enjoy a healthy, tasty and portable meal. But what size mason jar should you use for your salad? The short answer is that it depends on how much salad you want to make.
For a single serving, a 16-ounce jar is a good choice. If you’re making a larger salad to share, or if you want leftovers, a 32-ounce jar will work better.
Just remember to pack the ingredients in tightly so that they don’t shift around and get bruised.
How long do mason jar salads last?
Once prepared, mason jar salads last about 4-5 days in the fridge. After that time, the leaves and other ingredients begin to wilt.
Remember to always wash fresh fruits and vegetables well before using them in fresh salads. I really like using a veggie wash like the one below, which removes pesticides, dirt and other debris, and is made with non-toxic ingredients.
How do you eat salads made in mason jars?
Gently shake the jar so that the dressing mixes with the other ingredients. Then pour the salad onto a plate and that’s it! Ready to eat!
You can eat these healthy mason jar salads directly from the jar, but this works best when the mouth of the container is wide.
Examples of tasty vegetarian mason jar salads
To give you an idea of the different jar salads you can prepare, here are some examples of various combinations. You can play with the ingredients and customize them to your liking. Later, I include a more specific recipe, which you can also customize as well .
To make these salads, just have the ingredients already washed and chopped, and pack them in the jars in the order that the ingredients appear. Easy, right?
Apple and Celery Salad
- Raspberry vinaigrette
- Green apples and celery, chopped
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Walnuts, chopped
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Green leaves like kale, spinach or romaine lettuce
- Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Red onion, chopped
- Whole cherry tomatoes
- Black beans, rinsed and drained
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Leafy greens and chopped cilantro
Italian Pasta Salad
- Italian dressing
- Chopped tomatoes
- Black olives, whole or sliced
- Cooked bowtie pasta
- Cubed mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil, finely chopped
Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ½ tomato, chopped
- ½ medium cucumber, chopped leave the skin on for added fiber
- ¼ cup carrots, shredded
- ½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- ½ medium avocado, cubed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash all the vegetables well and chop them up
- For the vinaigrette: mix well the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper
- Add the vinaigrette to the bottom of the Mason jar
- Pack the other ingredients in the jar in this order: cucumber, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, avocado
- Cover tightly and store in the fridge
- When its time to eat, gently shake the jar to combine the vinaigrette with the rest of the ingredients, open, pour onto a plate and enjoy!
Mason jar salads are the perfect way to enjoy a healthy, satisfying meal on the go. With just a few simple steps, you can create a variety of delicious vegetarian mason jar salads that will keep you feeling energized and full all day long. Will you try these veggie mason jar salads? I promise they’re easy and delicious!
Hi! I’m Melissa, Registered Dietitian and mother of two dragons. When I’m not talking nutrition you can find me rolling around the floor with my kids, sewing, crafting, cooking or missing the 90s (seriously, music just isn’t the same). Read More…