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‘Tis the season for potlucks, picnics, and outdoor entertaining, and I have just the recipe for you! This Mason Jar Spinach Salad recipe is easy to assemble in advance, it’s portable, and it’s packed with a variety of flavors and textures. Perfect for meal prep, too!

Spinach Salad with bacon in a mason jar

I know that the idea of a “Salad in a Jar” has been a “thing” for quite a while now, but I’m a latecomer on the bandwagon. And let me tell you: I am SOLD! After experimenting with a few different recipes and a variety of ingredients, I’m happy to report that I’ve landed upon the perfect formula for a Mason Jar Salad, and there are SO MANY reasons to give this a try:

  1. They’re portable. That means that you can take them in a picnic basket to the pool, to your friend’s potluck cookout, to your office for lunch, or in the cooler of your car for your family’s next road trip. Practical, right?
  2. But it gets even better! By layering your salad with the dressing and heartier ingredients on the bottom, you have all of the components of your salad in one place but it never gets soggy. Because really…who wants a soggy, make-ahead salad? You can assemble all four mason jars at one time and keep them in the refrigerator for the week if you don’t need them all at once. Grab one and go as it suits your schedule!
  3. Once you arrive at your destination, you just dump the ingredients out of the jar and onto a plate or large bowl. Toss them together so that everything is coated in dressing, and you have yourself a delicious side dish or light main course. Perfect for the warm weather months ahead!
  4. Of course, if you prefer your salad in a big bowl (rather than pre-made in jars), you can use this recipe to make one giant salad as well!

I love a classic spinach and bacon salad, so that’s exactly what I’ve made here. Sometimes simple is BEST.

Hand holding a spinach salad in a jar

What dressing goes with a Spinach Salad recipe?

You can honestly use just about any dressing that you love for this salad. Poppy seed dressing works really well, and so does Ranch. Homemade or store-bought are both fine! Here, I’ve included a traditional slightly-sweet, creamy mayonnaise-based spinach salad dressing that is simple, easy and perfectly highlights the rest of the flavors in the dish.

How to make Spinach Salad:

First, prepare the dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt.

Dressing for spinach salad in a blue and white bowl

Place a couple of tablespoons of dressing in the bottom of each jar.

Salad dressing in bottom of a jar

Next, gather the rest of your salad ingredients:

  • baby spinach
  • sliced red onion
  • cooked, chopped bacon
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sliced mushrooms

Spinach and bacon salad ingredients on a cutting board

If you want your salad to stay fresh in the jar for a few days, it’s important to layer the ingredients in the order specified in the recipe. The heartiest ingredients go on the bottom (near the dressing), while the delicate spinach leaves are placed on top.

Spinach salad in a jar with a red and white towel in the background

How to eat a Mason Jar Spinach Salad:

This is the best part! Just dump the salad ingredients straight from the jar onto a plate or bowl. The lettuce will be on the bottom, while the toppings and dressing will come out on top. Toss everything together and you’re ready to serve!

Dumping spinach salad from a jar onto a serving bowl

What to serve with Spinach Salad:

With plenty of protein and healthy fat, this salad eats like a meal and needs little else on the side. That said, here are a few easy options that go well with spinach salad:

How long does a salad in a jar last?

Layered properly, these salads will last for at least 5 days in the refrigerator.

Be sure to pack the jars tightly, though! You want to squeeze as much spinach into the top of the jar as possible before sealing the lid, because you don’t want any air in there. Eliminating the vegetables’ exposure to air will help the salad stay fresh longer.

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations — Spinach Salad Recipe:

  • This is a flexible “method” for creating mason jar salads, so feel free to pick your favorite ingredients. For instance, try adding avocado or sliced pears to your spinach salads. Strawberries are always a nice addition, and so are mandarin oranges.
  • Make an autumnal spinach salad with dried cranberries, diced apples and toasted pecans!
  • For an extra boost of protein, try adding some sliced, grilled chicken to your spinach salads. It can be layered next to the bacon.
  • Add cheese! Crumbled blue cheese, feta cheese, or goat cheese would all work well.
  • For a shortcut, pick your favorite store-bought bottled salad dressing instead of making your own.

Spinach and Bacon and Egg salad in a jar

Other baby spinach recipes that you might enjoy:

Spinach Salad with bacon in a mason jar

Mason Jar Spinach Salad Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings 4 salads
Calories 304 kcal
This Mason Jar Spinach Salad recipe is easy to assemble in advance, it's portable, and it's packed with a variety of flavors and textures. Perfect for meal prep, too!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

FOR THE SALADS:

  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves (or more as needed)
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 8 slices cooked, chopped bacon
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs sliced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 quart-size mason jars

Instructions

  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup until completely combined.
  • Place a few tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of each jar.
  • Divide remaining ingredients among the jars, layering in the following order: red onion, egg, mushroom, bacon, spinach. Make sure to really add enough spinach to the jar to pack it tightly and eliminate as much air as possible (this will help to keep your salad fresh). Twist on the top to seal your salads and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • To serve, dump the salad into a bowl. The greens will be on the bottom, then the toppings, and finally the dressing!

Notes

How long does a salad in a jar last?
Layered properly, these salads will last for at least 5 days in the refrigerator.
Be sure to pack the jars tightly, though! You want to squeeze as much spinach into the top of the jar as possible before sealing the lid, because you don’t want any air in there. Eliminating the vegetables’ exposure to air will help the salad stay fresh longer.
Tips and Recipe Variations:
  • This is a flexible "method" for creating mason jar salads, so feel free to pick your favorite ingredients. For instance, try adding avocado or sliced pears to your spinach salads. Strawberries are always a nice addition, and so are mandarin oranges.
  • Make an autumnal spinach salad with dried cranberries, diced apples and toasted pecans!
  • For an extra boost of protein, try adding some sliced, grilled chicken to your spinach salads. It can be layered next to the bacon.
  • Add cheese! Crumbled blue cheese, feta cheese, or goat cheese would all work well.
  • For a shortcut, pick your favorite store-bought bottled salad dressing instead of making your own.

Nutrition

Serving: 1saladCalories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 17gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 1519mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 3095IUVitamin C: 11.5mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2.3mg
Keyword: Mason Jar Salad, Spinach Salad Recipe, Spinach Salad with Bacon
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2015. It was updated in April, 2019.

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. Yum! This salad looks great! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Merry Monday link party. Hope to see you again next week!

  2. This has four of my favorite foods in it. I should make these at the beginning of the week so I’ll have them for lunch throughout the week. I did that back when I was working, I’m not sure why I quit.
    Visiting from Create.Link.Inspire. Pinning so I won’t forget!

    1. Hi, Stephanie! It’s honestly one of my favorite salad flavor combinations yet. The ingredients just work so well together! Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Great concept and I love your pics. Are you using picmonkey to create your collages? I just started using picmonkey. I have a lot to learn.

  4. Looks so yummy! I’m definitely a latecomer to the salad jar party too which is silly since I use mason jars for everything. Is 4 days the maximum number of days you can store these for? Or do you think they can go longer?

    1. Hi, Kristina! If you’re sure to pack these really tightly, I bet you could get them to last a few more days. The less air that you have in the jar, the better. Enjoy, and let me know what you think! Ever since making these the first time I have been hooked! 🙂

  5. As I commute quite a ways to work, mason jars look like a wonderful way to carry a salad, as the dressing on the bottom wouldn’t touch the ingredients on the top. Also as the cherry tomatoes are currently quite sweet, I might add some halved ones down towards the bottom.

    1. Exactly, Allan! They’re so convenient and they last in the refrigerator for a few days, so you can prep a bunch at one time. Sweet cherry tomatoes are a must at this time of year! Enjoy!

    1. Hi! The oranges would be a great addition! Since they won’t get too “soggy” from the dressing, you can place them really low in the jar. I would include them in between the onions and the eggs. Enjoy!