Here are the step by step instructions:
1. If you don’t already have mason jars and lids, buy some.
They don’t all have to be the same size and shape (In fact, I like to do some in larger jars for dinner salads or to share on a picnic as a side dish), but they do need tight-fitting lids. Most salad recipes serve 4-5 people, so you’ll need about that many jars (maybe 1-2 extra, depending on the size you choose).
2. Choose a recipe
This is arguably the most important step. You’ll want to make a salad that include at least a couple ingredients that won’t get soggy when sitting in dressing, like cabbage, beans, bell peppers, or carrots. You’ll also want to avoid recipes that include meat, unless you plan to consume all of the salads within 1-2 days.
See our collection of recipes for Mason Jar Salads – these are all great choices!
3. Make the dressing & put it in the jars
Fill the bottom of each jar about 1/2-3/4 inches with dressing.
If your salad recipes don’t include homemade dressing, try one of our suggestions for homemade salad dressing.
4. Wash, dry and chop all of the ingredients
You’ll want set up an “assembly line” of all of your salad ingredients, starting from the most “robust” (cabbage, peppers, beans), to the most fragile (things you don’t want sitting in dressing, like romaine lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, or peanuts).
5. Assemble the salads
As you put each ingredient in the jar, press it down before adding the next ingredient. Fill the jars to the tippy-top, and twist the lid on tight. Store them upright in the refrigerator until you’re ready to consume.
Voila! Salads in a jar!
When you’re ready to eat the salad, dump the whole jar into a bowl, use a spoon to scoop out any remaining dressing, mix it all up, and enjoy.