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Whether you’re looking for prep-ahead lunches to eat on the go or light dinners that are ready when you get home, these Mason Jar Salads are a perfect solution for busy schedules! Prepare a batch on Sunday and the fruits and veggies will stay fresh and crisp all week long!

Jars of mason jar salads lined up on a table

Hey, friends! Do you get a great sense of satisfaction when you know that you have a refrigerator (or freezer) stocked with meals? It’s the best way to start the week — without worrying about whether or not I will have something healthy to eat in the coming days (and without wondering when I’ll have time to make it)! In reality, when lunchtime rolls around, I’m usually rushed, starving, and just grabbing at the nearest leftovers I can get my hands on.

I know I’m not alone, because for years my mason jar salads have been some of the most popular recipes on my blog — especially at this time of year when so many of us are craving lighter, healthier meals. Plus, you can’t beat the efficiency! Layering ingredients in a jar is the most effective way to prepare a salad ahead of time and still keep everything fresh for days. This way you can spend just a few minutes on Sunday to make enough salads to get you through the entire week!

There are a few keys to enjoying a perfect mason jar salad, and once you get the hang of it the flavor options are endless! I’m sharing four new recipes with you today (one recipe for each week of the month), but you can also take the simple formula and create just about any concoction of your own! Here are my best tips:

  • In order to prevent the lettuce and more delicate ingredients from getting soggy, be sure to place the dressing at the bottom of the jar. Then layer the meat or sturdy ingredients on top of the dressing, ending with the lettuce on top.
  • Make sure that you pack the jar VERY tightly. Before closing the lid, you want to stuff it full of as much lettuce as you can possible squeeze into the top. And then…just when you think it can’t hold any more…squeeze in just a little bit MORE lettuce. Trust me — you will be surprised by how much you can fit in a jar, and the compact ingredients will prevent air from circulating (and will therefore keep your ingredients fresher for longer)!
  • When it’s time to eat the salad, grab a large plate or a giant bowl. You want to DUMP the ingredients out of the jar so that the lettuce comes out first and the dressing is on top. Then toss everything together and serve!

For this particular post, I created four different mason jar salads — one for each week in the month. The idea is that you will prep a week’s worth of salads on Sunday and then enjoy them for lunches (or easy dinners) throughout the rest of the week. Just when you’re tired of eating the same thing, you can move on to the next week and an entirely different recipe! 

Be sure to download the printable PDF recipe book for all 4 mason jar salads here:

Week 1: Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad

With a quick Salsa-Ranch dressing, this blend of corn, black beans, shredded cheddar cheese, sweet grape tomatoes, and crisp Romaine lettuce is a vegetarian entree that’s tastes like your favorite restaurant lunch. For a heartier dinner, pair it with a quesadilla or some chips and salsa!

A Month of Mason Jar Salads! Meal Prep | Salad Recipes | Meal Prep for the Week | Meal Prep Recipes | Healthy Lunch Recipes | Lunch Ideas | Healthy Recipes | Healthy Dinner Recipes | Mason Jar Meals

Week 2: Fruit and Nut Quinoa Salad

I love the combination of sweet and salty, and you just can’t beat the variety of tastes and textures that you get from the juicy berries and crunchy almonds in this mason jar salad. The quinoa adds filling vegetarian protein for a light yet satisfying dish.

A Month of Mason Jar Salads! Meal Prep | Salad Recipes | Meal Prep for the Week | Meal Prep Recipes | Healthy Lunch Recipes | Lunch Ideas | Healthy Recipes | Healthy Dinner Recipes | Mason Jar Meals

Remember! You can download your FREE recipe book with all 4 recipes here:

Week 3: Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Craving carbs? This flavor-packed pesto salad is a great way to enjoy pasta in a healthy and fresh way. You can use wholegrain pasta if you like, while the chicken offers even more protein for a satisfying mason jar salad!

A Month of Mason Jar Salads! Meal Prep | Salad Recipes | Meal Prep for the Week | Meal Prep Recipes | Healthy Lunch Recipes | Lunch Ideas | Healthy Recipes | Healthy Dinner Recipes | Mason Jar Meals

Week 4: Asian Chicken and Rice Salad

This salad truly eats like a MEAL! Full of hearty ingredients like brown rice, chicken, and protein-packed edamame, this asian-inspired dish is filling and delicious. I also love the contrast between the sweet, juicy oranges and the crunchy, salted almonds. Plus, anything that’s tossed in sesame ginger dressing is bound to be good!

A Month of Mason Jar Salads! Meal Prep | Salad Recipes | Meal Prep for the Week | Meal Prep Recipes | Healthy Lunch Recipes | Lunch Ideas | Healthy Recipes | Healthy Dinner Recipes | Mason Jar Meals

Are you ready to make your lunchtime routine healthier, easier, and more affordable?! Be sure to download my FREE printable ebook to get all of the recipes for an entire month’s worth of Mason Jar Salads!

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I can’t find free download book, instead, I’m taken to a link to purchase an e-book for $8.99?????

    1. Hi, D! I just sent the printable booklet to you in an email! 🙂 Once you sign up, you should receive the link in a separate email (which could have been stuck in your Junk Mail folder). Either way, you should have it now from me. Hope that helps, and let me know if you need anything else! Enjoy. 🙂

  2. This is such an amazing idea. How come I never thought about this. I will give this method a try, Blair!

  3. First, I want to say how much I LOVE your blog1 I enrolled for your emails about a year ago but I missed the Month of Mason Jar salads when it was originally posted and now I am having the same issue as some others. I go to the link and it brings me to the book. Is it possible for you to send me the download. I really like using mason jars and the salads are such a great idea.

    Thank you!

        1. Hi, Mya! I’ll send it to you directly by email, but definitely check your spam filter or junk email. It often ends up there! Have a happy New Year! 🙂

  4. Hi Blair! Excited about your recipes for mason jar salads, but I too am experiencing the same issues as others. I signed up and was directed to a place to purchase a book – no email in my inbox or my spam. Any chance you can forward that recipe booklet to me? Thanks!

      1. Hey, Lona! I’m glad that you got it! You shouldn’t have to comment or post anything in order to get the email — I just think that the email service has a little bit of a lag time in sending the email out after sign up. It’s scheduled to go out “immediately,” but sometimes there’s a slight delay. Hope you enjoy the recipes! 🙂

    1. Hey, Tatiane! It’s set up to automatically send through my mailing service, but sometimes those emails are slightly delayed or get caught in spam. I just re-sent it to you via email, so please let me know if you don’t receive it! 🙂

      Enjoy!

  5. Is salad dressing required or can I just put in all the ingredients and close the lid? Does the dressing play a part in the freshness or preservation of the salad?

    1. Hi, Dee! The dressing is included at the bottom of the jar merely for convenience (so that it doesn’t make the rest of the ingredients soggy and so that when you dump the jar out onto a plate, the dressing is on the top). You can definitely omit the dressing without worrying about the freshness of the salad. Enjoy!

  6. I did not get free book either after I signed up just directs me to info to purchase a book. Would love a copy of the free book before I decide about purchasing.

    1. Hey, Jenny! The printable salad recipes should be automatically sent to you in a separate email (it sometimes ends up in the junk email folder). Either way, I sent you an email with the attachment so you should be all set! 🙂 Enjoy!

  7. Hello! There was an issue with me being able to subscribe. I tried it a few times and this pops up ‘There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.’ Is it possible for you to email the pdf to my email? Thank you!

    1. Hey, Dawn! Those are the smaller 16-ounce wide-mouth mason jars, which work fine — but they don’t leave as much room at the top for the lettuce. If you like a bigger salad with a lot of lettuce, I suggest the 32-ounce wide mouth jars. Either will work, so just make sure that whichever size you choose, you pack the ingredients really tightly so that they stay fresh! 🙂

  8. Love your blog. Is it OK to make the salads with chicken and refrigerate for the week. I love chicken in my salad, but wasn’t sure about using in a jar to make ahead

  9. Hi!
    Could you kindly send me the recipe book? I also don’t seem to have received it after signing up.

    Thanks in advance!

    Nadia

    1. Hey, Melissa! You can really use any size that you want. I use both the 32 ounce and the 16 ounce jars. The 32 ounce jar is my preference because it leaves a lot of room for more lettuce on the top. If you use the smaller jars, you will just have less room for the greens. 🙂