Salads in a jar are pretty to look at, but they’re a game changer for anyone who’s pressed for time but wants to eat well and feel good! I make a few in advance and store them in the fridge to eat throughout the week. It makes it so much easier when I’m home with the kids or when on-the-go, I simply toss a jar in my bag. No more missed lunches!
To get started, you’ll want to use clean glass wide-mouthed jars with tight fitting lids. Unfortunately, some lids contain BPA. The more commonly used Ball and Kerr lids are more recently being manufactured using a BPA-free coating and Tattler lids are made from a BPA-free plastic. It is my preference to avoid plastics and I really love using my Weck Tulip jars with glass lids.
The key to assembling these salads is layering the ingredients in such a way that keeps the dressing away from the leafy greens and more absorbent ingredients. This ensures your salad will stay crunchy and fresh.
- Salad dressing. Pour the desired amount of dressing in the bottom of the jar. The amount will depend on the size of your jar and salad as well as your personal preference.
- Crunchy veggies. Next, add any hard chopped veggies you’re including in your salad such as: carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, fennel, beets, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, radishes, asparagus, etc.
- Beans, grains, pasta. Next, add any beans (black, cannellini, navy, garbanzo, adzuki, kidney, etc), grains (rice, barley, orzo, farro, pasta, etc.
- Cheese & proteins. If you plan to eat the salad within a day, add a layer of diced or crumbled cheese (feta, mozzarella, goat, cheddar) and/or protein (cubed tempeh, hard-cooked egg, etc). If you’re making these salads in advance to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you’re planning to eat them, and add them to the top of the jar.
- Fruits & softer veggies. This is where your diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, sprouts, avocados (I sprinkle mine with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown), strawberries, apples, pears, citrus, dried fruits, etc will go.
- Nuts, seeds, legumes & lighter grains. Next up are nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), seeds (sunflower, hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin), legumes (peas, lentils), more absorbant grains (quinoa, couscous, millet), and fixins (pea crisps, croutons).
- Salad greens & herbs. Fill up the remainder of the jar with salad greens chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces. This is also where fresh herbs (basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, etc) and cabbage will go.
The salads can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply shake it all up and enjoy it right out of the jar or pour into another bowl.
There are many salad in a jar recipes out there, but I try to keep things simple using what I have on hand. This a vegetable garden salad with champagne vinaigrette, red bell peppers, carrots, onions, adzuki beans, olives, quinoa and spiralized zucchini. The possibilities are endless! Do you make salads in a jar? What are your favorite creations?