You wouldn’t eat hot dogs, doughnuts or a pizza every time a craving kicks in, if you can have fresh, nutritious salads ready to add to your energy levels. There are too many different salad recipes, and the good news is: you can make every known type in a Mason jar. We will only list the best combination of ingredients, so you can have creative freedom and make it your own. Some mason jar salad recipe ideas can be prepared days in advance, or at least the ingredients needed for their tasty assembly. You can assign one day in the week for boiling beans and lentils, and have them waiting ready in the freezer for your next mason jar salad recipe experiment.
Mason Jar Salad Recipe Ideas
1 cup sprouts: alfalfa, beans, grains, lentils
1 cup green leafy vegetables: kale, collard greens, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens and etc.
Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, sesame and etc.
Caprese Salad in a Jar
1 cup short cut pasta
1 cup spinach
1 large tomato
Black beans salad
1 cup black beans
1 large red onion
2/3 cup corn
Lettuce, or collard greens, kale, swiss chard, turnip greens, mustard greens and etc.
Small chunks of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Dandelion leaves (or lettuce, spinach, kale, and etc.)
Pistachios, or any other nuts
Fresh herbs to taste
Mexican Taco salad
Full fat cottage cheese
The trick to an awesome mason jar salad is the order in which you put the ingredients. At the very bottom goes the dressing. You can put the dressing last, but that way, all ingredients will get moist. Which is a great idea, if you eat the salad in the next couple of hours. If you keep it for your lunch hours or for dinner, they might become soggy and lose their fresh appeal.
After the dressing, the next ingredient that goes in the jar should be the most chunky, bulky pieces. Reserve the second layer for already wet veggies, like tomatoes and carrots, and produce that won’t soak too much dressing like, cooked lentils and beans. The second layer should contain large and bulky pieces, because they’re the ones that will really mix the rest of the ingredients inside the jar.
Next, add the sticky and drippy ingredients, like cheeses, tomatoes, avocados. They should make a nice dense layer, that won’t let the other layers mix and ruin your mason jar salad before you actually shake it yourself.
The secret to a good salad is the chopping. Leafy greens for example, can be shredded or chopped. For a god mason jar salad, fold all leafs into one big bunch and cut them into finger size circles. Then, you can easily grab each circle and lock it tight inside the mason jar to make a solid leafy layer.
Take into account the size of each ingredient you put in. There should be ingredients of the same size, not just for a visual effect, but also to make sure they’ll mix well in the jar. Carrots and beans, for instance, shouldn’t be excessively boiled. That way, they will keep a solid body, and preserve their rich nutritional value.
Add leafy greens somewhere in the middle and meat last. Put the heavier ingredients on top, so that they weight over the other pieces inside the jar. If you make a Mexican taco mason jar salad, add whole chips instead of crushed pieces. They will serve as a protective layer between the dressing and the rest of the elements in the salad. You can crush them later with a fork.
For dressing, you can use soya sauce, apple cider vinegar or some popular salad dressing from a bottle. Minced fresh herbs like coriander, chives, oregano and basil will add more taste to your salad, so use a food processor to mix them with your favorite oils, red wine vinegar, salt and a dash of black pepper. Honey is another item you can add to your dressing. If you choose neutral or sweet ingredients, like nuts or corn. Avoid adding honey when your salad recipe has cheese. Most people won’t like the taste when these two mix.
After all, it’s always pointless to talk about tastes. We all like different flavors and flavor mixes, so follow your gut and experiment. You may like the salad drenching in dressing, so these little preparation tips may be of very little value. You can never go wrong with a salad, even if you’re new in the kitchen. Still, if you do go wrong, just add a few matching ingredients and you’ve made up your own little mason jar salad recipe.