Summer vacation has come and gone, so whether you’re heading back to class or work, getting into the habit of packing your own lunch is a great way to save money. Cue the salad in a jar trend — a quick, budget-friendly, and healthy lunch option that’s easy to meal prep and take on the go. Keep reading to learn the best technique to create your own mason jar salads and discover four of our favorite variations.

Why Make Salads in a Jar?

Jar salads are extremely popular for those who like to prep meals in advance. You can chop and cook all your ingredients in bulk and portion them out into jars for quick grab-and-go meals. Refrigerating your salads in airtight jars will also help them remain fresh for 3–5 days, especially if you follow the correct layering technique.

How To Layer Your Jar Salads

For a meal-sized portion, we recommend building your salads in 32-oz jars. Then, layer your ingredients in terms of their moisture content and density — wet ingredients like salad dressing go first, then heavier ingredients like sturdy veggies, grains, and protein, and the lightest ingredients last. This will help your salad stay fresh and crisp until you’re ready to eat it.

Salad in a Jar Recipes

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up four of our favorite ingredient combinations and listed them out in the ideal layering order. Don’t forget to visit the Flipp app to save money on all your salad ingredients.

Greek Chicken Salad

Greek Chicken Salad

Dressing Ingredients (Makes enough for 4 jar salads):

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

To a small bowl, add all the dressing ingredients and mix to combine.

Salad Ingredients in Layering Order (bottom to top):

  1. 3 tablespoons Greek dressing
  2. Diced cucumber
  3. Sliced cherry tomato
  4. Diced yellow pepper
  5. Diced red onion
  6. Sliced kalamata olives
  7. Shredded rotisserie chicken breast 
  8. Chopped romaine lettuce
  9. Crumbled feta cheese

Chickpea and Quinoa Salad 

Chickpea and Quinoa Salad

Dressing Ingredients (Makes enough for 4 jar salads):

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

To a small bowl, add all the dressing ingredients and mix to combine.

Salad Ingredients in Layering Order (bottom to top):

  1. Dressing
  2. Canned chickpeas (drained)
  3. Diced cucumber
  4. Sliced cherry tomato
  5. Cooked quinoa
  6. Chopped parsley
  7. Arugula

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Taco Meat Ingredients (Makes enough for 4 jar salads):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup water

Preparation:

Over medium-high heat, in a large skillet add olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, ground meat, taco seasoning, and water, mixing and breaking up the meat until it’s fully cooked and the water is reduced, about 15 minutes.

Salad Ingredients in Layering Order (bottom to top):

Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad

Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad

Dressing Ingredients (Makes enough for 4 jar salads):

  • ⅔ cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove

Preparation:

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well blended.

Salad Ingredients in Layering Order (bottom to top):

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