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I just love a good mason jar salad! With a hectic schedule like mine, they are a must-have part of my weekly menu. The beauty of mason jar salads is they offer the perfect solution for a satisfying, nutritious lunch on the go or as a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I make up a few at the beginning of the week and boom, I’ve got several lunches that are all ready for me. No more grabbing the not-so-healthy convenience foods instead!
Mason jar salads are incredibly easy to make but there is a knack to them. The key to success is the order in which you add your ingredients. Always add the dressing first, followed by harder vegetables that won’t break down from the dressing. Next, add softer, more tender vegetables and legumes. Last, but not least, add green leafy vegetables and fresh herbs on top so they don’t get all soggy from the dressing.
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You can experiment and use any combination of ingredients you prefer. In fact, I often start with a base salad and then add some variations to each jar. This way, it never feels like I’m just eating the same old, same old every day. This vegetarian version is filled with fresh garden goodies, but don’t hesitate to add your own touch in the form of cooked chicken or beef, deli ham or turkey, rice, quinoa, beans, and/or your favorite types of cheese.
Pro Tip: A mason jar salad is a great way to use up leftovers. Just be sure to add the softer ingredients toward the top to keep them nice and fresh!
Garden Veggie Mason Jar Salad with Homemade Dressing Recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: n/a
6 quart-sized mason jars
Basic Balsamic Dressing:
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. good balsamic vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. fresh oregano leaves
3 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. honey (Cyn recommends: For a deeper, more robust flavor, use buckwheat honey.)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 medium English cucumbers, chopped
2 large bell peppers, seeded, chopped
115-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
½ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
- To prepare the dressing, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lime juice, and honey together in a small glass or other non-reactive bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
- Wash and pat dry all vegetables before prepping. Toss Romaine lettuce, parsley, and basil in a medium bowl to combine. Divide all vegetables into 6 equal portions and set aside.
- Divide dressing among the 6 mason jars. Add a layer of chopped cucumbers to each jar, followed by a layer of bell peppers. Next, add chickpeas and then the grape tomatoes. Top each jar with the lettuce-herb mixture and seal with a lid.
- Store salads in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Each salad will last 4-5 days. To serve, remove from refrigerator and pour each jar into a salad bowl and enjoy! I have some extra-large mason jars that give me a bit of wiggle room with my salads. With them, I find I can just shake and eat. No bowl needed.
Find some more great salads here: