Have you heard of the new trend of layering a salad in a Mason Jar? The claim is that it’s an easy way to pack a salad that won’t get soggy. I bring my lunch to work most days in an attempt to save money, control my portions, and eat healthy. The only issue with bringing my lunch is packing something that will taste good at lunchtime even though it’s made the night before. Salads usually don’t fit that criteria. Dressing the salad ahead of time leads to soggy ingredients. Dressing it at work means carrying the dressing in an extra container that often leaks. I had pretty much ruled out bringing salads for lunch until I read about Mason Jar Salads. I decided to give this technique a try.
I made salads for dinner last night, so I had extra chopped ingredients in anticipation for this week’s lunches. Because all the ingredients were already washed and chopped, throwing this salad together took less than 5 minutes. Below are my detailed instructions on how to construct a Mason Jar salad. And make sure to read below the directions to read my verdict on this lunch: was it a miracle or mistake?
My salad ingredients:
Balsamic vinaigrette (I made my own—recipe featured in my Fiery Farro Salad)
Chopped red cabbage
Red leaf lettuce, washed
1) Start by coating the bottom of the Mason Jar with dressing.
2) Next, layer the ingredients from hardest (usually beans) at the bottom to least hard (lettuce) at the top. The order I put the ingredients into the jar was: dressing, chickpeas, chopped carrots, chopped apples, feta cheese, red cabbage, lettuce, walnuts.
*I didn’t want to put the cheese next to the lettuce because I thought the moisture of the cheese would make the lettuce soggy.
*I also didn’t put the nuts on the bottom because I didn’t want them to get soft from the dressing.
3) Store the jar in the fridge until ready to eat.
4) When ready for lunch, shake up the Mason Jar until the ingredients are mixed and coated with dressing.
My verdict: This was one of the BEST packed lunches I’ve ever brought to work. The salad tasted like it was made ten minutes prior to eating. I was able to add a variety of ingredients and nothing got soggy. I thought the chickpeas may get mushy because they were sitting in dressing, but they tasted perfect. I also thought that only the ingredients at the bottom of the jar would be dressed, but everything was coated evenly with dressing after shaking up the jar. I tried to eat the salad directly out of the Mason Jar only to find it was impossible to get a mixture of ingredients in one forkful. Instead, I poured the salad on a plate, mixed up the ingredients, and enjoyed my lunch thoroughly. I will definitely be making this again and varying up the ingredients. Try it next time you are packing a lunch, and I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed! Just remember to put the hardest ingredients on the bottom of the jar near the dressing and the lettuce on top.
Have you ever made a Mason Jar salad? What ingredients did you use?