mason jar salads

We love the idea of a healthy meal and better yet, one that you can prepare ahead of time to take to work for lunch, or have ready for a last-minute dinner side dish. These prepare-ahead Mason jar salads keep in the fridge for two days, and are the perfect lunch or dinner “grab n’ go” option for those days or evenings when you just don’t have the time.

general salad

Feel free to use bottled dressing for all the salads, but we’ve included a couple with our own dressing recipes just in case you’re feeling industrious.

A few things to note for all the recipes:

  • We used the Ball Wide Mouth Quart Canning jars
  • When assembling your ingredients in the Mason jar: place your heartiest vegetables on the bottom (e.g. items that are less likely to get soggy when sitting in dressing: carrots, edamame, tomatoes, etc.) and your most fragile on the top (e.g. those that will get soggy when sitting in dressing: lettuce, cheese, herbs, nuts).
  • Be sure to leave ½” of room at the top of the jar so that the dressing can coat all the ingredients when you’re shaking the jar. When you’re ready to eat, simply turn the jar upside down to let the dressing drain through all the ingredients, then shake it up a bit and dump the contents in a bowl.

kale caesar salads

Kale Caesar Salad

  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Light Caesar dressing (we used Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing)
  • ½ Cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ Cup cooked chicken, chopped (we used rotisserie chicken from the market)
  • 1 ½ Cup kale that has been chopped and massaged (yes, get in there and massage that kale until it is a dark green)
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

Place the dressing in the Mason jar first, and then layer in your tomatoes, chicken, kale and Parmesan cheese. Place the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.

salad nicoise

Salad Niçoise

Niçoise Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp. Unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (1 heaping tsp.)
  • 5 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a small container with a lid and shake (or you can place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together). Note: we recommend using a good quality olive oil…it’s worth the extra money; you can really taste the difference. The dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Salad Niçoise

  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Nicoise salad dressing
  • ½ Cup uncooked green beans, chopped
  • ½ Cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 Tbsp. Red onion, chopped
  • ½ Can of tuna, drained and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 Cup hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped

Place the dressing in the Mason jar first, and then layer in the green beans, tomatoes, red onions, tuna, olives and lettuce. Place the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.

thai chicken salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Salad Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Grape seed oil or Canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh ginger, peeled and grated (hint: ginger root with the peel on can keep in the freezer in a Ziploc baggie for up to 3 months)
  • 1 tsp. Agave

Place ingredients in a small container with a lid and shake (or you can place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together). The dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Thai Chicken Salad

  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Thai salad dressing
  • ½ Cup shelled Edamame (found in the freezer or produce sections)
  • ½ Cup shredded carrots (we used the pre-shredded carrots)
  • ½ Cup shredded cabbage and/or broccoli slaw (we used pre-shredded cabbage and broccoli)
  • ½ Cup cucumber, chopped
  • ½ Cup cooked chicken, chopped (we used rotisserie chicken from the market)
  • ¼ Cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Green onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped

Place the dressing in the mason jar first, and then layer in the Edamame, carrots, cabbage/broccoli slaw, cucumber, chicken, cilantro, onions and peanuts. Place the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.

chopped salad

Chopped Salad

  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Light vinaigrette dressing (we used Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing)
  • ½ Cup orange bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ Cup cherry or Grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ Cup cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ Cup cooked chicken, chopped (we used rotisserie chicken from the market)
  • ¼ Cup dry Italian Salami, chopped
  • ¼ Cup garbanzo beans, from the can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped

Place the salad dressing in the Mason jar first, and then layer in the peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, chicken, salami, garbanzo beans and lettuce. Place the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.

Bon Appétit

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Ashley