It’s no secret that if you have prepped, healthy options in your refrigerator, you’re more likely to eat healthier. Mason jar salads are the perfect grab-and-go lunchtime answer to boost your nutrition. Because the greens can stay crisp and crunchy for up to several days, try creating a few jarred salads ahead of time on a Sunday evening.
The bright, layered ingredients look gorgeous through a glass jar. But did you know: those pretty layers can actually help your salad stay crisp and tasty even after it’s been dressed?
How to Pack Your Mason Jar Salad
Start with a clean, mason jar and get layering! When you pack your Mason jar salad, put the dressing in first, so it stays at the bottom and won’t leave your ingredients limp and soggy. After that, pack the heaviest, least-porous ingredients (like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or proteins). Smaller items, like diced non-starchy vegetables, can go on top of these and should be packed close together if possible. Make your greens the top veggie—and put any dry ingredients, like seeds (1 Tbsp = 1 healthy fat) or raisins (2 Tbsp = 1 fruit), on the very top. Packed as described, your salads can stay fresh for nearly a week in the fridge.
Delicious Mason Jar Salad Ideas
Here are some of our favorite transportable and crave-worthy mason jar salad ideas you’ll love.
Spring Fling - If you have spring fever, create a salad loaded with seasonal ingredients: Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, sliced strawberries, asparagus, snap peas, spinach and kale.
Go Greek - For a salad bursting with flavor, toss together Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and artichokes, sliced carrots, 1 tablespoon low-fat feta cheese (counts as 1 Limited food; Classic Menu only), a pinch of fresh or dried oregano, and finally a combination of spinach and romaine lettuce.
Harvest Salad - Put your spiralizer to good use for this salad-in-a-jar. Layer Jenny Craig’s Creamy Herb Dressing, garden-fresh tomatoes, spiralized zucchini and yellow squash. Top with just a pinch of Parmesan cheese.
South-of-the-Border Salad - Shake up a fiesta in a jar! Pico de gallo salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapenos are a delicious and spicy addition to a salad filled with diced bell pepper, shaved radishes and romaine.
A Taste of Asia - Craving your favorite takeout? Make an Asian-inspired salad with 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, diced jicama, carrots, celery and red bell peppers. Pack the top of the jar with cilantro and shredded cabbage.
Salad Bar - Keep it simple and classic by including Jenny Craig’s Creamy Herb Dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and your favorite green in a jar.
Mama Mia - Combine Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, tomatoes, mushrooms, chopped onions to taste, one finely diced spicy pepperoncini, 1 tablespoon parmesan, julienned basil, and romaine lettuce for a salad approved by mama herself.
Apple-Endive Chopped Salad - Starting with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, layer your favorite diced veggies—we like cucumber and tomato best here—with a quarter of a diced Granny Smith apple to add some tart sweetness. Next, layer a handful of chopped spinach and a head of chopped endive. This one’s great with a tablespoon of Parmesan (counts as 1 Limited food; Classic Menu only) or walnuts, too (four walnut halves count as one healthy fat).
Grilled Asparagus and Grape Salad - For this wonderful make-ahead salad, start by grilling a half-bunch of asparagus until tender; add a squeeze of lemon juice, and allow to cool before chopping into one-inch segments. Dress the bottom of your jar with Jenny Craig’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Butter lettuce works very well with this recipe; add a quarter cup each of diced celery, seedless black grapes and cherry tomatoes before layering your asparagus and greens.