Most of us want to eat healthy, but sometimes it takes SO much work! Well, this mason jar salad recipe is the answer you've been looking for. It's so easy to make a big batch and voila—easy meals at your finger tips for the rest of the week!

mason jar salad on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

The struggle is so real. We buy the healthy ingredients with the best of intentions, right? Maybe we start out day one with a delicious homemade salad. Yummm. Day two, well… that salad was good… but it was so much work! Before we know it, our lettuce is wilting and our cucumbers are getting wrinkled because they've been stuck in the fridge untouched for so long. What a waste!

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Stop letting your good intentions go to waste along with your produce, and make healthy eating EASIER with these mason jar salad recipes. With a little prep time at the beginning of the week, you'll have a healthy and tasty meal waiting for you to just reach in and grab. Seriously, it's easy… we'll show you how!


When making a mason jar salad, you first need to find the right size jar! If you are wanting a small side salad to accompany a sandwich or cup of soup, choose a pint jar. If you want a salad for lunch with no accompaniment, a pint and a half jar is the perfect size!

Need a salad for two? Use a quart size jar and then split in two lunch-sized portions when you're ready to eat. Wide mouth jars are easier to pack, but any jar type will do as long as it's tall and slender. You may even want to invest in some reusable plastic mason jar lids so you don't have to worry about the metal ones that tend to rust!


adding beans to a mason jar, from Shelf Cooking

The key to a good mason jar salad is knowing how to keep your greens fresh and crisp. Nobody likes soggy, wilted lettuce in a salad. Yuck! Stacking your ingredients in the proper order is crucial for keeping your salads tasting like you just chopped them up… even five days later!

Start with the dressing, then add in any other juicy ingredients like tomatoes or strawberries. Next, add grains if you choose to. Grains like rice or quinoa are fine to be submerged in the dressing—in fact, this allows them to soak up all that yummy flavor! After the grains, add the firmer veggies like cucumber, onions, broccoli, etc. Anything you want to have a nice crunch will need to avoid getting wet in the dressing. Last, pack in your salad greens… we love lettuce, kale and spinach.

Pack your jars as tight as you can in order to keep all those ingredients in their proper place. It's super important to keep your jars upright and NOT let them tip over, causing the dressing to drench all of the ingredients. Remember, nobody likes a soggy salad!


There are SO MANY ways to make a mason jar salad. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to ingredients—add whatever you want! Here are some of our favorites!

  • Diced Purple Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Corn
  • Olives (Green and Black)
  • Radishes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Dried Fruit
  • Apple Slices
  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans (Or ANY beans!)
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Diced Chicken Breast
  • Ground Meat
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (Sunflower, Chia, Flax, etc.)
  • Rice
  • Quinoa

This list will give you a great place to start, but it's not exhaustive. Want to add something that isn't on the list? Go for it!


If you're not quite ready to wing it and create your own mason jar salad, try one of these delicious combinations instead!

  • Taco Salad in a Jar – Start with sour cream and salsa, then add diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, black olives, diced avocado and diced onion. Next, add in your meat of choice. Grilled chicken and taco-seasoned ground meat both work great here! Last, pack the rest of the jar full with romaine lettuce. Soooo good.
  • Italian Salad in a Jar – Begin with 3 tablespoons of Italian dressing. (Or try this delicious dressing!) Next, add Kalamata olives, green olives, halved cherry tomatoes and diced onion. Add in fresh mozzarella if you have it. If not, any mozzarella will work! Toss in a handful of pine nuts and finish the jar with romaine lettuce.

See, easy peasy. Feeling more confident now? Try converting this strawberry salad recipe into a mason jar salad with the guidelines above. You can do this!


woman eating a salad, from Shelf Cooking

You may be wondering how on earth you're going to eat this salad when it's packed sooo tight. You can try to mix your salad in the jar and eat it straight from there, but it probably won't be easy. Instead, have a bowl handy and simply dump and enjoy!


These mason jar salads are perfect for prepping ahead of time because they store so well in the fridge. As long as you stack and pack them the right way, they will stay fresh and crisp for about 5 days! (We suggest only adding berries to salads you will eat within 3 days since those tend to mold much quicker in moist conditions.)


Ready to see just how easy peasy lemon squeezy it is?! Here ya go!

mason jar salad on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

Basic Mason Jar Salad Recipe

You choose your ingredients!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 1 jar


  • 3 Tbsp dressing
  • ½ cup protein
  • ½ cup chopped veggies or fruit
  • ¼ cup nuts and seeds
  • 1-2 cups greens
  • ¼ cup grains, optional


  • Add dressing to the bottom of a clean pint and a half jar. (24 oz)
  • Next, add in any grains you have/ beans/soft chopped fruits and veggies.
  • Layer the firmer veggies like cucumber on top of those to keep them crisp.
  • Add meat, nuts, and seeds.
  • Top it off with your greens of choice. Pack it tight so things don't move around and get soggy!


Depending on how well you pack these, they can stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days!
Keyword dinner, lunch, make-ahead

These easy mason jar salads will make you meal times healthier and so much EASIER! Have you made a mason jar salad? What is your favorite combination? Tell us in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "healthy salad jar" from Shelf Cooking

Check out these other yummy recipes, too!

Enjoy those salads!