Mason jar salads are great on-the-go meals

Mason Jar Salads: 7 Healthy Recipes

By: Mia Syn, MS, RD

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

In today's fast-paced world, finding a nutritious and satisfying lunch option that doesn't sacrifice flavor or convenience can sometimes feel like an impossible task. But fear not, because we have a solution that not only checks all the boxes but does so with style! Say hello to the world of Mason jar salads—a trend that's taken the culinary scene by storm, and for all the right reasons.

Gone are the days of soggy salads and uninspiring lunches. Mason jar salads offer a creative and visually appealing way to elevate your lunch game while ensuring you're getting a dose of immune-supporting vitamins and nutrients in every delicious bite. These portable salads are more than just a culinary trend; they're a practical, customizable and nutritious approach to eating well, even on the busiest of days.

And we've got seven salad recipes to help you get started…enjoy a whole week's worth of tasty, healthy midday meals!

What is Mason jar salad?

A Mason jar salad is a make-ahead type of layered salad that is assembled and stored in a Mason jar, a glass container with a screw-on lid. It's a great veggie-packed meal prep option for busy weeks. The salad ingredients are carefully layered in the jar in a specific order (usually with the lettuce at the top) to maintain their freshness and prevent them from becoming mushy or soggy.

Mason jar salads are a great grab-and-go, healthy lunch option that you can prep ahead of time. They can be customized to meet your dietary needs and preferences, including gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, plant-based and high-protein.

Once you've mastered the Mason jar salad, it will quickly become your go-to healthy lunch option!

Why put salad in a Mason jar?

There are many benefits to putting salad in a Mason jar. For one, preparing Mason jar salads at home is a money-saving meal prep hack. Compared to store-bought pre-made salads, making your own in jars can be more cost effective. It's also likely a healthier lunch option since you have control over the ingredients you use in your jar, making it possible to choose nutritious ingredients, such as lots of veggies, and budget-friendly options.

Salad jars are also eco-friendly. Using reusable Mason jars instead of disposable containers helps to reduce single-use plastic waste. Jars are a sustainable choice that help decrease your environmental footprint.

Finally, salad jars are designed for convenience. Their portable nature and secure lid make jars perfect for lunches on-the-go. You can grab your pre-made salad and head out the door without worrying about leaks or spills.

Healthy Mason jar salad recipes

The best thing about using jars to pack your salad recipes during meal prep is that you can make the perfect meal for you. We've got some great salad recipes in a jar to help you get started.

Mason Jar Salads – 3 ways

Yield: 1 serving
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes


Thai Peanut Salad Jar

2 tablespoons peanut dressing
3 ounces firm tofu, cubed
½ cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup mandarin orange segments
½ cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
1 handful chopped green leaf lettuce

Taco Salad Jar

2 tablespoons ranch dressing
4 ounces cooked ground beef
½ cup cooked black beans
½ cup cooked corn
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1 handful chopped romaine lettuce

Greek Salad Jar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
3 ounces cooked and chopped chicken breast
½ cup cooked chickpeas
⅓ cup chopped cucumbers
⅓ cup diced red onions
⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup quinoa
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 handful chopped green leaf lettuce


  1. Start with three wide-mouth quart-size Mason jars.
  2. Layer the salad ingredients in your jar in the order listed, starting with dressing at the bottom of the jar.
  3. Pour the salad from your jar onto a plate when ready to eat.

4 more salad jar recipes to try

Still looking for the ideal jar recipe? Fill your Mason jar with these tasty layers:

  1. Steakhouse Salad Jar:

    Fill your jar with balsamic vinaigrette, steak, black beans, red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, quinoa, blue cheese crumbles and mixed greens.
  2. California Cobb Salad Jar:

    Green goddess Greek yogurt dressing goes first into this jar, followed by hard-boiled egg, turkey bacon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, brown rice pasta salad, avocado, crumbled blue cheese and romaine lettuce.
  3. Antioxidant Berry Salad Jar:

    This jar starts with balsamic vinaigrette, then chicken breast, chickpeas, red onion, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, quinoa, walnuts and spinach.
  4. Fall Fresh Salad Jar:

    Perfect for any season, this jar has red wine vinaigrette, chickpeas, sweet potato or butternut squash, brussels sprouts, quinoa, crumbled goat cheese and arugula.

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How long do Mason jar salads last?

The shelf life of Mason jar salad recipes can vary depending on the freshness of the lettuce and other ingredients used and how your jar is stored. Generally, when prepared properly and stored in the refrigerator, Mason jar salads can last for about 3 to 5 days.

The specific layering order in a Mason jar salad is designed to prevent ingredients from becoming soggy. By placing the dressing at the jar's bottom and separating wet ingredients from dry ones, you can help maintain the salad's texture and freshness.

Do you get enough vitamins and nutrients from Mason jar salads?

Whether you're getting enough nutrition from your Mason jar salad recipes depends on how you construct them and the variety of ingredients you include in your meal prep.

To help ensure you are getting a balanced and nutritious meal, it's important to include a range of ingredients in your Mason jar recipes. You'll want to include:

  • Lean proteins such as grilled chicken, tofu, or beans
  • Healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado
  • Whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice pasta salad
  • A variety of colorful fruits and veggies

You can add nutritious elements and tastes with dressings made with a base of lemon juice, vinegars like red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, plant-based oils like olive oil, and spices and herbs like black pepper, thyme, turmeric, oregano and garlic.

Following this salad jar formula will help provide a range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support immune system response and whole-body health.

How else can I support my immune system health?

There are certain ingredients and supplements that can give you a leg up when it comes to promoting a healthy immune system and filling in nutrient gaps.

Some of those nutrients work better together for immune health. The vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and probiotics in Life Extension's Immune Packs fall into this category. Vitamin D, vitamin C, quercetin, zinc and probiotics all play important roles in encouraging a healthy immune system.

How Does Vitamin C Affect Your Health?

While vitamin C is best known as an immune health hack, it delivers a variety of benefits for whole-body wellness.

  • As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help neutralize free radicals in your body and defend against oxidative stress.
  • It may play a role in memory and learning.
  • It promotes heart health and may help maintain already-healthy blood pressure levels.
  • It encourages healthy iron levels by helping your body absorb the iron in foods.

While a number of foods deliver vitamin C—think kale, mushrooms and brightly colored fruits like oranges, lemons and guava—supplements deliver a standardized dose to help ensure you're getting optimal amounts of vitamin C every day.

If you are not sure what nutrients might work best for your immune health, take Life Extension’s health needs quiz to determine what supplements may be right for you.

About the Author: Mia Syn, MS, RD is a national on-air nutrition expert, host of Good Food Friday on ABC Charleston and one of the most recognized and trusted young dietitians in the media. With a master's degree in human nutrition from Columbia University and over 500 TV appearances, she has helped millions of viewers, readers and clients learn and implement healthier, sustainable eating habits.



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