6 Recipes for Salad in a Jar from Our Staff

Salad in a Jar

Why is it so hard to eat healthy sometimes? The vegetables are in your refrigerator, your favorite ‘guilty pleasure’ lunch spot is closed for renovations… You’re even craving lettuce.

But alas, your healthy lunch plans keep getting foiled.

Today we’re here to solve one problem you might be having with your on-the-go salads: convenience. If you’ve ever experienced an explosion of balsamic at the bottom of your bag, you know what I mean. If you’ve ever toted 5 extra containers with youbecause heaven forbid the ingredients mingle prematurelyyou know what I mean.

If mason jars haven’t already permeated your life, they’re about to. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you salad in a jar.

Why Salad in a Jar

Let’s not sensationalize here: it’s just a convenient way to pack and store salads. Refrigerated, your salad in a jar lasts up to five days. So you can make several on Sunday and enjoy them throughout the week. They store easily and stay fresh, turning your fridge into the ‘grab and go’ section of your favorite fast-casual restaurant.

What makes salad in a jar different from just any old to-go salad situation is the layering, which allows you to put your greens and dressing in the same container without getting everything soggy. Pretty revolutionary.

Wide-mouthed jars work the best, and quart-sized is good for a generous lunch or dinner portion. Pint-sized jars are good for smaller side salads.

How to Layer Your Salad in a Jar

1. Dressing first. Dressing goes on the bottom. As long as you don’t tip the jar over throughout the day, it’ll stay there! Use 1 – 4 tablespoons of your favorite dressing.

2. Add hard vegetables and fruits. These are ingredients that aren’t as absorbent or susceptible to sogginess: apples, carrots, roasted beets, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.

3. Beans and grains. Your next layer could be chickpeas, black beans, edamame, corn… You get the idea. Adding beans and grains to your salad helps you stay full longer and (depending on what you put in there) can add a good dose of fiber.

4. Protein layer (optional)If you’re eating your salad the same day you’re making it, you can add tofu, cheese, meat, or fish.

5. Soft fruits and veggies. Now you add the delicate, absorbent ones: tomatoes, avocado, strawberries, etc.

6. Nuts and seeds. Add almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or any of your favorite nuts or seeds. Healthy fats are great for the skin!

7. The greens. It’s what we’re here for, folks. Add your greens last, safe and sound at the top of your jar where no dressing will find them until you say so. Kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula… You know what you like.

Our Recipes for Salad in a Jar

We challenged our team to see what they could come up with. Each of us took home a jar and brought it back bursting with salad. Then we took photos of ourselves with them, because what's more photogenic than people eating salad?

Here’s what we came up with:

*Note: we thought you were supposed to eat the salad straight out of the jar, but it actually works a lot better if you pour it into a bowl, toss, and then eat. 🙂

Courtney's Everyday Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar - Courtney

Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ cup organic shredded carrots
  • ⅓ can of organic garbanzo beans
  • 6-8 snow peas, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 handfuls spring salad mix

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of Aztec Sea Salt

Hope's Basil-Dressed Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar - Hope

(Named for the dressing; it's really the best part about this salad.)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons basil vinaigrette
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • ½ large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ cups baby spinach

Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ½ cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Try substituting cilantro for basil!

Note: This recipe makes enough dressing for several salads.

Natalie's FODMAP-Free Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar - Natalie

You might have read our article about FODMAPs—they might be the reason you think you're gluten intolerant. Natalie realized that when she eliminated bread and other gluten products that she felt a lot better. But not completely better.

What she and many others have discovered is that her issues were stemming from a wider food group: foods that contain FODMAPs. You can read more about FODMAPs here, or read on for Natalie's FODMAP-free salad recipe.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped green beans, blanched
  • ⅓ cup shredded carrots, blanched
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup smoked wild-caught Alaskan Salmon, diced
  • ½ small dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 handfuls baby kale

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Aubrey's Herbacious Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar - Aubrey

Aubrey's salad came out to just $2.50 per serving. How does she do it? She shops at farmers markets right before they close up for the day. That way, she gets lower prices on great organic produce! Here's her recipe:

Salad Ingredients:

  • 3 radishes, sliced
  • ⅓ yellow squash, chopped
  • ½ head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 4 spring green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful of spring greens

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp beet-infused apple cider vinegar (she added the ends and stems of the beets to 2 cups apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 3 weeks)
  • 4 corns of crushed pink peppercorn (Aubrey wild-crafted hers)
  • Pinch of dried nettle
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 slices ginger, minced

Niquita's Slightly Sweet Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar

Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ apple, cut into 8ths
  • ½ large jicama, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ounce of almonds, sliced
  • 1 handful spring salad mix

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Chandra's Fruit Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar

Chandra thought outside the greens with this one, packing a light and refreshing fruit salad into her jar. (She had actually just moved to Berkeley when we did this experiment, so her fridge was understandably unstocked.) Either way, it's still a salad in a jar!

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 orange, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ mango, cut into bite-sized pieces

Have you tried salad in a jar? Comment with your thoughts or recipes below!

P.S. We've moved offices since these photos were taken! Once we finish decorating, we're going to post photos!

comments (16 and counting)


Reader Interactions


  1. Jan says

    Great idea! I have been hauling my salad and dressing in two different containers for months now. My dressing would invariably tip over in my lunchbox at least once a week, and coat my fork with olive oil. I haven’t been able to find a container small enough that wouldn’t leak. Now I don’t have to worry about that! I’m bringing up mason jars from the basement today!

  2. Brenda hill says

    So happy to discover this fascinating website and your innovative ideas.
    Salad in a jar, coconut oil uses, -all terrific for a food writer. Brenda

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