Do you feel too busy to make time for healthy lunches? At noon, life can get a little chaotic. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you might be dealing with a big to-do list and hangry toddlers. Or if you’re working, it can be easy to grab something fast and convenient nearby. These quick fixes only lead to energy crashes mid-afternoon. Well, luckily there’s a great solution to this problem… mason jar salads!
Mason jar salads are great because they can be batch prepped in advance and then stored in the fridge. They last a long time if you assemble them properly (I go through that in detail below). Plus, they’re full of healthy nutritious ingredients you need at this time of day to increase your energy.
If you’ve ever seen mason jar salads at local markets or coffee shops, they usually sell for $10-$12. But if you make them at home, they will only cost you about $1-$2 to make! I don’t know about you, but I love a good budget friendly meal!
I started prepping my own mason jar salad lunches in advance to avoid my own bad habits of reaching for quick-fix snacks at this time of day. These mason jar salad recipes have quickly become a staple in my house. My husband loves them too! Keep reading to see how you can easily prep these for yourself.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN MASON JAR SALADS
TIPS AND TRICKS:
> Store your salads in a mason jar. If you’re new to mason jar salads recipes, you might be wondering, “why do I need to use a mason jar?” The reason these jars are so great is that they keep your ingredients fresh and crisp longer by separating your ingredients into layers. I’ll talk more about this below.
> Prep any ingredients in advance. Mason jar salads are really easy to assemble. But some ingredients require some prep time in advance. You want to make sure you plan ahead to allow yourself some time to do this. Advanced preparation will include cooking grains like quinoa or buckwheat groats, baking chicken, and boiling eggs. I like to do all of this stuff the night before I assemble my mason jar salad recipes.
> Layer your jars properly. This step is key to avoiding a mushy soggy salad! When you’re putting together your mason jar salad recipes, put your salad dressing on the bottom. Next, layer hard veggies (like broccoli, carrots, and radishes) or grains (like buckwheat). Then you can layer in softer veggies and fruit (like corn, blueberries, strawberries, and tomatoes). And after that add your proteins like chicken, hard-boiled eggs, fish, or quinoa (quinoa is a great source of protein). And lastly, top with mixed greens.
> Make your salads enjoyable for your own tastes. Once you try out a few recipes and learn what you like, start playing around with different combinations! These salads are easily adaptable – if you like a different flavor of the dressing, don’t be afraid to swap it out! Or if you want to add more greens and less soft veggies, go for it!
> When you’re ready to eat, shake it up. The first time I tried a mason jar salad recipe I was a little confused… I mean, how exactly do you eat it? Well, the trick is in the shake. Before you open the jar up to eat, you want to shake it upside down to help the salad dressing move around to all the ingredients. And after the first few bites, it’ll get easier to start mixing around the ingredients.
That’s it! When you know these simple tips and tricks, you can easily make your own creations! To get you started, below are six delicious mason jar salad recipes to try at home. In each recipe I reference one of the salad dressings I used in my blog post, 6 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes You Should Know How To Make. Feel free to swap them out for a different one if there’s something you like better. Like I said earlier, these salads are really forgiving – it doesn’t matter what you use, they’ll still taste great!
6 MASON JAR SALAD RECIPES YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR EASY HEALTHY LUNCHES:
1. BUDDHA BOWL SALAD
- This Buddha bowl has a wonderful wholesome flavor and texture to it. I used this seed butter dressing recipe and it tastes so good! To make your own buddha bowl, simply layer your mason jar with nut butter dressing, red onion, chopped carrots, beans, quinoa, and mixed greens.
2. COBB SALAD
- Nothing beats a classic cobb salad! I love the mix of sweet with the honey mustard dressing, and salty with the bacon! To make this mason jar salad, I started with the honey mustard dressing from my Six Dressings You Should Know blog post. Next, I added grape tomatoes, cucumber, canned corn, chopped carrots, egg, bacon, and greens.
3. RAINBOW SALAD
- I read once somewhere that Jane Fonda recommends you eat from the rainbow, especially dark greens, blues/purples, and yellow/oranges. This salad is a lovely rainbow that tastes oh so good! To start, I used a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and then added buckwheat groats. For veggies, I added chopped carrots, red onion, canned peas, red peppers, yellow peppers and mixed greens.
4. CHICKEN TACO SALAD
- When you’re craving a little bit of carb and crunch, this salad is the perfect option. I used creamy homemade avocado for the dressing. And for veggies, I added corn, grape tomatoes, and mixed greens. For protein, I added black beans and baked chicken. And for the crunch, I added my favorite brand of taco chips (these seriously are the best tasting chips ever! – you can also find them at Safeway and Blush Lane)
5. APPLE FETA SALAD
- This apple feta salad is loaded with flavors and is sweet and crunchy. To make, start with homemade apple cider vinegar dressing, then add chopped apples, feta cheese, mixed greens and top with sunflower seeds.
6. ANTIOXIDANT SALAD
- This antioxidant salad is the perfect summer salad! It’s light and full of sweet flavors. Start with homemade raspberry vinaigrette, then add blueberries, strawberries, carrots, buckwheat groats (or quinoa if you prefer) and mixed greens.
** If you want to save these recipes, you can use the image below to save on Pinterest.