It’s no secret I’m a huge meal prep fan. It saves a ton of time during the week, makes lunch a breeze and helps save money. I used to just double dinner recipes and take the leftovers for lunch but I genuinely crave big giant salads so I try to make a few salads for easy grab and go lunches. Prepping a few lunches at a time saves so much time because you wash, chop and assemble the salads all at once.
There are a lot of different ways to make salads-in-a-jar and this is definitely a very basic recipe but I promise if you layer the salad right, it will stay fresh and crispy straight through Friday.
The biggest PRO tip I can give is to pack your dressing, meat, nuts and beans separately. You also want to make sure your veggies are completely dry because any moisture in the jar will cause your veggies to spoil with a quickness. The greens are usually the culprit so make sure everything is completely dry assembling your salad.
I use 36oz mason jars that can be found at most grocery stores. I also buy plastic ball lids for them because I find the two piece metal lids that come with the jars annoying.
So how to keep your salad fresh for 5 days?
It’s all about the layers. I usually start with my hardest veggie (think carrots, peppers or celery).
Next add your softer veggies (think tomatoes, cucumber, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus).
Next add your grains, if any (think quinoa, rice, pasta).
Next add your cheese, if any.
Next add your dried fruit, if any.
Last, add your greens (think, lettuce, kale, spinach, arugula or mixed greens).
Before putting on the lid, I add a small paper towel square to help absorb any moisture.
Once you have your salads, you can use left over protein or cook protein separately and just have them in separate containers to eat during the week. I’m also obsessed with these cute twist cap containers for my dressing that are completely leak proof.
If you are wild and want to take a chance packing the dressing in the jar, it would be your very first layer all the way at the bottom of the jar. I’ve done it before and for me, unless I am making my salad for the very next day, it’s not worth the risk of the jar tipping and dressing spoiling my salad.
When it’s time to eat, pour in your dressing, place the lid back on the jar and shake to mix everything in. Then dump in a plate or bowl and eat 🙂
You can tell from all my pictures, that I keep it pretty simple but it’s easy to switch it up with different dressings, proteins and nuts that you can pack up throughout the week. It takes no time at all to prep a few of these jars to help get tons of vegetables in all week.
If you’re trying to get into meal prep or looking for ways to switch it up, give this a try. You will LOVE it.