Are you tired of rushing to put together a healthy lunch every morning? Look no further! Make-ahead mason jar salads are the perfect solution for busy people who crave a nutritious and satisfying meal on the go. By preparing your salads in advance and storing them in portable mason jars, you can enjoy a delicious and fresh salad throughout the week without the hassle. Get some ideas on assembling your salad-in-a-jar here and try our Garden Veggie Mason Jar Salad with the homemade dressing recipe below.
The Benefits of Make Ahead Mason Jar Salads
Preparing your salads ahead of time brings numerous advantages. Not only does it save you precious minutes during busy mornings, but it also ensures you have a well-balanced meal ready to enjoy. With the layering technique used in mason jar salads, your ingredients stay crisp and fresh until you're ready to indulge. Plus, these jars are not only practical but also visually appealing, making your lunch a delight.
How to Make Ahead Mason Jar Salads
Gather your ingredients:
Start with a selection of fresh greens, such as spinach, romaine, or kale, Add a variety of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, and cherry tomatoes. Don't forget to include some protein, such as grilled chicken, chickpeas, or tofu. Additionally, add some texture and flavor with toppings like nuts, seeds, or crumbled cheese.
Layering is key:
The key to success with Mason jar salads is in the order you add your ingredients. Use wide-mouth 32 oz Mason Jars and always add the dressing first. Follow the dressing with harder vegetables that won't break down from the dressing. Next, add softer, more tender vegetables and legumes. Last, but not least, add green leafy vegetables and fresh herbs on top so they don't get all soggy from the dressing.
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You can experiment and use any combination of ingredients you prefer. This vegan version is filled with fresh garden goodies, but don't hesitate to add your own touch by including rice, quinoa, beans, and/or nuts. Just be sure to add the softer ingredients toward the top to keep them fresh.
Seal and Store
Secure the lid tightly to create an airtight seal. Store the jars in the refrigerator, and your salads will stay fresh for up to five days. When ready to eat, simply give the jars a good shake to mix the ingredients, and enjoy!
Make Ahead Garden Veggie Mason Jar Salad with Homemade Dressing
Garden Veggie Mason Jar Salad with Homemade Dressing
Basic Balsamic Dressing
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp fresh oregano leaves
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 med English cucumbers, chopped
- 2 lg bell peppers, seeded, chopped
- 115 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- To prepare the dressing, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lime juice, and maple syrup together in a small glass or other non-reactive bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
- Wash and pat dry all vegetables before prepping. Toss Romaine lettuce, parsley, and basil in a medium bowl to combine. Divide all vegetables into 6 equal portions and set aside.
- Divide dressing among the 6 mason jars. Add a layer of chopped cucumbers to each jar, followed by a layer of bell peppers. Next, add chickpeas and then the grape tomatoes. Top each jar with the lettuce-herb mixture and seal with a lid.
- Store salads in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Each salad will last 4-5 days. To serve, remove from refrigerator and pour each jar into a salad bowl and enjoy!
Before You Go
Make-ahead mason jar salads offer a convenient and healthy solution if you are busy, but still want to enjoy a delicious and nourishing meal on the go. By dedicating a small amount of time to meal prep, you can enjoy a variety of fresh salads throughout the week. So say goodbye to mundane lunches and eating restaurant food. Instead, enjoy the vibrant and hassle-free world of make-ahead mason jar salads!