17 Mason-Jar Salads That Will Transform Your Lunchtime
Lunches are supposed to be a little respite from your day — but too often, they feel like a burden. You're in the middle of a busy day, and too often your options feel like ordering takeover, scrounging together some sad leftovers, or putting off eating until you're full-on hangry. Meal-prepping is a great option, but coming up with lunches that will stand up all morning (or, if you like to batch cook, all week) without getting soggy, slimy, or dry, that will taste good and fill you up, and that you'll want to eat week after week is a tall order. But can we remind you about mason-jar salads? That's right — many people have forgotten about the lunchtime trend, but salad mason-jar recipes aren't something to sleep on.
The idea behind salad jar recipes is simple: rather than stuffing your salad mix-ins into a plastic container, you layer them into a mason jar, with the dressing and heartiest, liquid-proof ingredients at the bottom (think: beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots) and the more sliminess-prone ingredients toward the top (your lettuces and croutons). Not only does layering your favorite mix-ins and dressings keep your meal from getting soggy and save you from having to clean several different containers after you eat, there are also dozens and dozens of variations you can make, keeping lunchtime exciting (and beautiful to boot).
You can make almost every salad you already love into a mason-jar salad recipe — but we've got some ideas to start you off. Whether you prefer a hearty and sweet salad with grains or a refreshing mix that features the flavors of zesty guacamole, these 16 mason-jar salad recipes will help you step up your lunches good.
— Additional reporting by Nicole Perry and Mirel Zaman
Guacamole Mason-Jar Salad
Calling all chips-and-dip lovers. This faux "guacamole" mason-jar salad gives you the avocado-y, zesty flavor and a solid crunch from the lettuce. You'll want to make it every week.
Kale Caesar Salad With Chicken
This chicken-and-kale Caesar has more fiber and healthy fats than a typical Caesar salad — and the croutons stay crunchy, we promise.
Spicy Peanut-and-Soba-Noodle Salad
This edamame- and carrot-packed spicy peanut-and-soba-noodle salad will keep you full all afternoon long.
The Ultimate Fall Mason-Jar Salad
We call it a fall mason-jar salad, but you'll want this in the winter, spring, and summer too, thanks to the innovative combo of pumpkin seeds and pomegranate.
Chopped Salad With Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette
This option is amazing for people who are fans of store-bought chopped salads. It's made with chickpeas, turkey, mozzarella, bulgur, and cucumbers, for the perfect mix of flavors in each bite.
Tex Mex Quinoa Mason Jar Salad
We consider this Tex-Mex salad a perfect lunch, whether it's inside or outside a jar. With avocado, corn, black beans, and quinoa, it will keep you full for hours — and we could drink the creamy dressing straight!
Rainbow Mixed Mason Jar
Pack a week's worth of salad in one sitting by stocking up on your go-to ingredients like chickpeas, grapes, and tomatoes. Then assemble your lunches all at once so you can be stress-free the rest of the week.
Zucchini-Noodle, Quinoa, and Pea Salad
We love a monochromatic moment, and this noodle, quinoa, pea, and feta salad certainly delivers.
Grilled Chicken, Beet, Apple, and Spinach Salad With Strawberry Vinaigrette
This grilled-beet-and-chicken salad contains 34 grams of protein and almost nine grams of fiber, making it filling enough to keep you satisfied for hours. All it takes is a little prep on the grill, and consider tomorrow's lunch made.
Chickpea, Farro, and Greens Salad
If you've ever found that a mason-jar salad doesn't quite fill you up, this Greek-inspired salad is a great one to try out. The chickpeas, farro, greens, olives, and feta are sure to keep you energized and full through the afternoon.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad With Mango Balsamic Vinaigrette
Don't limit salad to just greens! This salad includes roasted sweet potatoes and cooked quinoa to make your meal extra fiberlicious and filling. You'll stay satisfied longer, which means no need to reach for more calories later in the day. The homemade mango vinaigrette is so sweet, you won't even need dessert afterward.
Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad
Picture this beautiful summery watermelon salad in a picnic basket — talk about an Instagrammable moment.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
The layers of corn, tomatoes, black beans, and greens in this vegetarian taco salad are amazing, but the real star of the show is the homemade cilantro–lime dressing — yum!
Let us rave about this marinated-white-bean salad for a minute. The magic is in the beans. Not only are they packed with the satiating combo of fiber and protein, they also hold up all day without getting soggy or slimy, even when they're sitting in dressing — perfect for a salad in a jar.
Crunchy Asian Slaw With Peanut Dressing
This beautiful Asian-inspired salad has a tasty, peanut-y dressing and delivers a satisfying crunch in every bite.
Sonoma Chicken Salad With Pasta
We love a pasta salad, and this nutritious option also sneaks in chicken, dried cranberries, blue cheese, pecans, celery, and a raspberry vinaigrette, in addition to rotini.
Zucchini "Pasta" Salad
Get your hands on a spiralizer and make noodles out of raw zucchini for this salad. The dressing is made with avocado and spinach, which tastes so fresh with yellow peppers, peas, tomatoes, black olives, and feta.