Salad in a Jar

Salad in a jar

Salad in a jar

Yes, I’m a little behind the eight ball on this trend but, hey, better late than never. Salad in a Jar. I figured if I didn’t know about it maybe some of you didn’t either.

I always figured you couldn’t really pre-make a salad well especially days in advance because it would just wilt and turn gross. Heaven forbid you could actually pre-make a salad AND include the dressing. Unheard of!

Well, that is when the “Salad in a Jar” came into my life and turned my salad ways upside down. I was over at my friend Cathy’s house a couple weeks ago and I tried to convince her to do the 3-Day Military Diet journey I was about to begin. Yes, I’m kind of a serial dieter. I’m always trying something new. Then I eat brownies. Then I try again. Okay, back to my story. She was totally in with the 3-day Diet until she remembered her salads. She opened up her fridge to reveal about 10 jars of ready-to-eat salads for her and her husband for the week.

What?!? Salads already made for 5 days from now? Was she mad??

Apparently not! She even topped her salad reveal with telling me that the dressing was already in the jar.

“What?!? I completely reject,” I said. No way. “Those salads are going to be mush by Friday! Good luck with that, my friend.”

This is where she had to sit me down and bring me up to 2013. Salads in a Jar are all the rage.

“All the rage where?!? California? You know, places that are cooler than Chicago,” I laughed.

Nope, apparently everywhere.

Who knew, right?!? Well, apparently Cathy did and a bazillion people online.

So, what is a “Salad in a Jar”? It’s when you stuff a glass mason jar (usually a pint or quart size jar) with lettuce and all the fixings, put a lid on it and store it in your fridge for up to 5 days to always have one on hand. And you know what, sealing the salad in the mason jar actually keeps it fresh for 3-5 days. I know, I know, I was shocked too! Yes, there are tricks and things you HAVE TO DO in order to be successful with a Salad in a Jar.


1.Use a glass mason jar.

2. You must layer your salad in a specific order – dressing at the bottom, followed by veggies and other heavy foods and finish with the lettuce.

3. It’s not recommended to add the croutons to the jar as they will get soggy.

4. Lettuce shouldn’t actually touch the dressing in the jar.

5. Heaviest foods at the bottom.

6. You want to pack the jar contents in tight so that there isn’t room for the salad to move around and potentially have the dressing get to the lettuce.

7. Be creative with your salads.

Here are a couple of my favorite Salads in a Jar that I have made recently. Remember you can make your salads anyway you want! There is no wrong way to do it!



Ingredients in order of layering them in the jar:

Lite Ranch Dressing (or Lite Honey Mustard) – I used 2 tbsp of dressing in a pint jar.





Hard Boiled Egg



Cheddar Cheese



Just layer as much or as little of each ingredient in the mason jar in the order above. It’s very important that you start with the dressing and end with the lettuce. When you  add the lettuce make sure you push the lettuce down into the jar as much as possible to fit as much lettuce as possible. You don’t want a lot of wiggle room in the jars so that the dressing doesn’t have the possibility of getting to the lettuce if jostled around. Pack it in there!!

Salad in a Jar


Salad in a Jar

Once you are finished preparing your jars, store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Salad in a Jar

Here is what it looks like tossed out onto a plate. Yum, right?!?

Salad in a Jar


Caesar Salad


 Ingredients in order of layering them in the jar:

Lite Caesar Dressing

Carrot Shreds



Parmesan Cheese

Romaine Lettuce

Caesar Salad in a Jar


Same process as above with the Chef Salad – layer the ingredients in the order as they are listed above. You need the carrots, cucumber and chicken with this option otherwise the lettuce will sit in the dressing which is a bad idea. I also do not recommend adding croutons in the jar because they will get soggy. Just bring them along on the side in a baggie.

Caesar Salad Jar

Caesar Jar

Jar Salads

 If you have a great idea for a salad in a jar, let us know in a comment. We are always looking for different salads to try!

Don’t forget to check out our new FOOD BLOG – SKINNY NOT SKINNY – dedicated 100% to food!


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35 Comments on "Salad in a Jar"

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Suzie Martin

They asked so many times, what size jar do you use? It looks like a pint size jar, unless you’re in to eating a lot at lunch.

Judi H

Why does it have to be glass? I’m afraid of the glass breaking in the break room refrigerator. (People just toss their lunches in without care.)


Wonder how good they would keep in a cooler?


When you say that the salad needs “sealed” into the jar does that mean that I need to purchase a canning sealer or are you just screwing the lid on tight?


How long do they last?


Dressing: 1 tblsp mayonaise, half tblsp mustard, 2 tblsp water.
Raisans handfull
Smoked chicken in cubes
White cabbage shredded
Romaine lettuce

Im from the Netherlands! !!


Does this only work with mason jars?


This sounds wonderful. I have seen these before but never really paid attention until I saw YOUR post.
I want to make them now but do not have any mason jars on hand at the moment. Can I just any clean glass jar, like an old salsa or pickle jar? Thank you!


I don’t see why you couldn’t. Good luck.


This is absolutely brilliant! I got excited when I saw this and had to show my husband! I love salad but could never take it to work, by the time I could eat it it just never taste right. I’m excited to try this!!


How is the salad tossed? Do you just shake the jar? I would love to send one of these salads to school with my guys but if they need another bowl or plate to haul in their already loaded backpack, I don’t think it will fly!


How would you put together a Greek salad?

Kath Rees

I’m definitely trying this out for work! Just have to find me some jars now! I’d quite like to put some pasta or rice in too, but not 100% certain where it should go in the layers, other than that it probably shouldn’t be near or in the dressing. Would it be best on top of the meaty layer do you think?


I was thinking of doing taco salad in a jar! Thanks for these other recipes, can’t wait to try it!


I had also never heard of this before- but I’m SO excited to try this. My daughter is in 8th grade and our school lunch programs are becoming pathetic (that’s being generous) due to new govt requirements, so we are on the search for healthy meals she can take to school! She loves Caesar salad and i know we will be trying this!!


Can we skip putting the salad dressing in at all?