Salad in a Jar is just like what it sounds- it’s ready to serve, easy to eat method of enjoying salad anywhere, anytime. The layers of salad are packed in an airtight mason jar (or any glass jar) for freshness along with the dressing. We are sharing tips and techniques on prepping, layering, and storing salad in a jar – pretty much all you need to know about mason jar salads.
Salad in a jar works exceptionally well for those who work long hours at a desk, travel frequently, or anyone who doesn’t have much time on their hands and is looking to incorporate eating healthier.
A salad packed in a jar can be eaten straight out of the bottle using a fork, or one can empty it into a bowl to be devoured immediately.
The biggest challenge while carrying salads outdoor is – how to keep them fresh? The best way to keep the salad fresh and crunchy is to layer the ingredients in a mason jar (buy it here) with dressing at the bottom or packed separately.
What ingredients can one use to build the salad in a jar?
We want to make our salad nourishing so it can be filling enough to be a complete meal.
Let’s start with carbs – The variety of carbs you can add to a salad are millets or grains like quinoa, couscous, boiled chickpeas, pasta, barley, brown rice, or any other whole grain.
Protein – This is one of the most essential parts of your salad; this is what will keep you full and healthy. Choose from lean cuts of meat like chicken, lamb, eggs, tofu, peas, lentils, paneer, beans, etc.
Green Leafy Vegetables – Though these are also protein, add green leafy vegetables to your salad even if you’re adding a protein. These are great for detoxing your liver, for digestion and your skin. Try to include greens like spinach, collard greens, lettuce, broccoli, celery, kale, french beans, or any other local variety of green leafy vegetables.
Dressing – This component gives the salad flavor, fat, and keeps it from getting too dry. Choose from our six signature salad dressings (lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, mayonnaise, yogurt, honey) or a simple mix of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
How to layer the salad in a jar?
A salad in a jar involves layering – lots of it. Layering is the secret to getting a perfectly seasoned, ready to eat, fresh salad every single time. It is important to layer the salad correctly in the jar to ensure nothing is squished, lost its crunch, or gone mushy.
To layer salad in a jar correctly follow these steps:
- Start with the dressing at the bottom – So that the rest of your ingredients don’t get soggy.
- Next layer you can add ingredients like your protein – tofu, peas, cooked chicken cubes, boiled eggs, etc.
- The third layer should be of crunchy veggies like bell peppers, celery, tomato, cucumber, zucchini, carrots etc. DO NOT add greens in this layer (they will get soggy or go bad
- Top this off with cheese or beans if you are adding any
- The last and the topmost layer is of greens. And don’t forget to sprinkle few seeds like flax seeds, sesame seeds, chili flakes, pumpkin, etc on top.
When to prepare the salad in a jar?
Prep work for a salad includes cleaning washing and cutting the veggies/fruits, cooking the meat/eggs/rice/pasta (protein), and preparing the salad dressing.
Ideally, a salad in a jar is best prepared the night before and chilled in the fridge for freshness. The next morning you can just grab it and go while heading to work. (Also Read: Meal Prep Ideas For Indian Kitchen)
However, you can also make multiple salad jars over the weekend and store them in your refrigerator for the rest week.
All one needs to keep in mind is the kind of shelf life of salad ingredients and their respective expiration dates especially when it comes to cold cut meats or cooked protein.
Can You Eat Mason Jar Salads Out of the Jar?
Ideally, you are supposed to transfer the content of a jar in a bowl, toss and then eat it. Most of the time I end up eating salad straight from the mason jar (buy it here).
But don’t forget to give it a good shake before eating so that all the ingredients are nicely quoted with the dressing.