These salad in a jar recipe ideas are the perfect way to eat healthy when you are busy. Delicious, easy and great for warm weather!
This post was originally published on April 18, 2020.
I love getting in veggies throughout the day but it can be hard with work, kids, and all the things happening in life especially during the summer. This is the perfect solution!
It's no secret that I am a jar addict. I love them! And really use them for just about anything. Apparently even salads! They not only make eating a salad fun, but they also make creating them fun!
The ingredients for this salad in a jar are literally endless. You can make just about anything work! Any veggie, grain, protein with any sauce. You can even do sweet versions with fruit. Here are some of my favorites within each category:
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
- Vegan Buffalo Sauce mixed with a creamy base, vegan sour cream or mayo
- Vegan Spicy Cilantro Cream Sauce
- Fresh Mexican Salsa mixed with a creamy base, vegan sour cream or mayo
- Lemon Herb Sauce
- Tangy Vegan Creamy Dill Sauce
- Citrus Salsa mixed with citrus cream sauce
- Olive oil and vinegar
- Chickpeas (learn how to cook dried chickpeas here)
- Lentils (learn how to cook dried lentils here)
- Black beans (learn how to cook dried black beans here)
- Pinto beans
- White beans
- Tofu (this crispy tofu recipe is amazing)
- Vegan sausage
- Dairy free cheeses
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Quinoa (a great protein too)
- Crushed chips
How to Make Salad in a Jar
These mason jar salads are really easy to make. Most of the work comes in the prep! But as I said above, the ingredients can be used for loads of other recipes so my advice would be to base your salad creation on what other meals you want to make that week.
- Prep ingredients.
- Start by adding the dressing at the bottom of the jar.
- Next add the beans, grains, and veggies.
- Last add the greens on top.
- Store in the fridge until you're ready to eat.
- Shake it up and dig in!
While you can combine all of those ingredients in infinite ways, here are some of our favorite combinations that we came up with:
- Greek style: Olive oil/vinegar/basil/salt dressing, chickpeas, pasta, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, vegan feta and spinach
- BBQ Ranch: Ranch dressing with BBQ sauce, black beans, corn, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, crushed tortilla chips and lettuce
- Asian: Teriyaki sauce, tofu, edamame, carrots, quinoa and cabbage
- Taco style: Salsa mixed with creamy dressing, black beans, pinto beans, peppers, avocado, rice, lettuce and cabbage
See the recipe card below for more details on these options!
The best thing about making salad in a jar is that you can prep everything at once. The ingredients can be used in so many other recipes too so it's a win win. Here are the ways I prep it to make it super easy:
- Chop and wash the and veggies.
- Pre-cook any grains and proteins.
- Make the dressings.
Then work on assembling the salads. Set up all the ingredients in a line, then build the salads going down the counter top salad bar style. Store the leftover ingredients in containers so you can use them for another meal.
The prepared salads will be best within 2-3 days, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
While it seems like it would be challenging to eat from a jar, it's actually quite easy. Jars are portable, easier to eat at your desk, and I love that they are a grab and go option...as in grab it from my fridge and go to my table, lol. Other than that, you just eat it with a fork!
If you follow the tips and put the dressing at the bottom and the greens at the top, these mason jar salads should still taste great after 2-3 days and can still be decent up to 5 days. After that, the ingredients start to wilt and loose texture and flavor.
If made the night before, these are perfect as a vegan picnic food! They travel well and are easy to eat!
Mason jars are great because they seal well and are a good size for holding a salad. The height and shape of them allows for the ingredients to be properly stacked so they don't get soggy.
My biggest gaggy (is that a word?) thing ever is mushy stuff and limp greens. I cannot stomach it. So when creating these salads in a jar, the first thing I did was test ways to keep them from getting soggy.
Because I wanted this a full grab and go option, I had to find a way to include the dressing in the jar and keep the soggy factor low. And here is what every trial told me: put the dressing at the bottom and the greens at the top.
It's really that simple. Things like beans and veggies won't absorb the dressing like greens will. Surprisingly, the cooked rice and pasta did well towards the bottom as well.
You can! Make these salads in a jar, or prep all of the ingredients for the week and build your salad the night before.
More Vegan Meal Prep Guides
Preparing your meals in advance saves time, sanity, and reduces waste! Here are some more guides to have you covered for weeks:
- How to Meal Prep Vegetables
- Easy 7 Day Vegan Meal Plan
- Vegan Meal Plan for Beginners
- One Week of Vegan Dinners
Mix and Match Mason Jar Salad
- mason jars
- 2 teaspoons olive oil , or broth if oil free
- 1 teaspoon vinegar , balsamic or red wine
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- pinch sea salt
- ¼ cup cooked chickpeas
- ¼ cup pasta
- 2 tablespoons red onion
- 2 tablespoons cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegan feta
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 tablespoons vegan ranch dressing
- 2 teaspoons BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup black beans
- ¼ cup corn
- 2 tablespoons cucumber
- 2 tablespoons tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons avocado
- 2 tablespoons crushed tortilla chips
- 1 cup lettuce
- 2 tablespoons vegan Teriyaki sauce
- ¼ cup tofu
- ¼ cup edamame
- ¼ cup carrots
- ¼ cup quinoa
- 1 cup cabbage
- 2 tablespoons Fresh salsa
- 2 teaspoons creamy dressing , I use the base of this one
- 2 tablespoons black beans
- 2 tablespoons pinto beans
- 2 tablespoons peppers , I like hot peppers for spice
- 2 tablespoons avocado
- ¼ cup rice
- ½ cup lettuce
- ½ cup cabbage
- Build the salads in 4 different jars, one flavor in each, by putting the dressing/sauce at the bottom of each jar, then the beans/tofu, then the veggies and grains and finally the greens.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- When ready, shake the jar with the lid closed until the dressing is covering the contents.
- Open the lid and eat!
- This recipe makes 4 jars, 1 jar per serving.
- The nutrition facts are all of the ingredients for all flavors added together and divided by 4 to average out for total info.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
What size mason jar do you use?
Hi Patty! I use a 16 ounce mason jar. But you can adjust to whatever works best for you!
I love that these can be made up in advance and the lettuce doesn't get all soggy! I did the assembly line for lunch meal prep and it was too easy. Thank you!
Luis E Rodriguez
Hi Luis! If you would like to subscribe to my email list, you can do so at this link: https://veggiesdontbite.lpages.co/reading-food-labels
These look incredible, made the Greek salad for my family who are continually eating! I love that they are so healthy and hope you share many more easy to make COVID family lunches - you rock! Love your recipes.
I am so happy you liked them!! It makes it so much easier when there are grab and go items!
Love this idea! Will be trying these out asap!
Yay Kelly! Thank you!
Love jar salads.