Bottle Up Spring: How to Make Mason Jar Salads

03/20/2014 at 05:05 PM ET

Mason Jar Salad
Courtesy Pinterest

After a long winter of too much grilled cheese, creamy soup and hot chocolate, we’re ready to go green — with vegetables, that is.

Our Pinspiration: the dozens of luscious mason jar salads taking over our social media feeds.

Remember the McSalad Shaker that flopped at McDonald’s in the early 2000s? Consider these layered lunches the modern-day version of that, except this top is way more secure than the lid of a plastic frappuccino cup, preventing pesky splatter incidents when you shake in the dressing.

And while colorful fruits and veggies layered in a glass container are obviously gorgeous (and a transparent reminder to eat our veggies!), the mason jar salad doesn’t rely only rely on its looks: Its portability is great for healthy eaters on the go. You can also throw in whatever ingredients you want, but there’s only one “rule” to follow: Add the heaviest ingredients first and the lightest last (so the delicate vegetables don’t get smashed).

Here are three of our favorite salads to use as a guide.We’ve also added matching dressings from, starting with a strawberry vinaigrette that pais perfectly with an citrus-studded salad like the colorful one above.

Make, take and shake — here’s to your healthiest spring yet!

Strawberry Vinaigrette

8 oz. frozen or fresh strawberries
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
¼ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ tsp. freshly cracked pepper

Layer all ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Puree for a minute or two, until dressing is smooth and thickened.


Mason Jar Salad
Courtesy Pinterest

Blue cheese dressing is bacon’s soulmate; try this recipe on a Cobb salad variation like this jar of iceberg lettuce, bacon bits, cheddar and peas. Sub in low-fat buttermilk, mayo and/or sour cream if you’re looking for a lighter bite.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar until well combined. Add cheese and stir, mashing with a spoon, until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Whisk just before using.

Mason Jar Salad
Courtesy Pinterest

This Southwestern salad layers lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, corn, black-eyes peas and a dollop of cumin sour cream, which we’d skip in favor of lime-cumin dressing.

Lime-Cumin Dressing

¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. honey
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
⅛ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

—Marissa Conrad

FILED UNDER: Food , Health , Lunch , Recipes , Vegetarian

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Showing 12 comments

Anonymous on

You said in your article to add the heaviest items first and the lightest last. The last two of these pictures show the lettuce in the jar first and the heavy stuff on top of the lettuce with the dressing last. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

Chweener on

@ Anon, you read the instructions right, but the writer has it backwards. The lettuce is on the bottom because these salads can be stored for a couple days with the dressing at the top, but if the lettuce is on the top, you will have a soggy gross mess if its on the lettuce. If you go on Pinterest, there are a lot more recipes like this.

Jan on

Yummy! Great ideas!

Anonymous on

The dressing is supposed to go on the bottom with the heavier items, and the lettuce at the top. That way, the lettuce is away from the dressing and it doesn’t get all soggy, then when you dump it out on to a bowl or plate the dressing is on the top of the salad.

Nicole on

The dressing should be at the bottom if you don’t plan to eat it right away. Here’s a link to the basics.

kim on

Dressing on the bottom. Ive been making these quite a bit. Salads can sit it the fridge for up to a week when layered correctly. Plus, I dump mine from jar to plate. The dressing comes out last, covering everything.

Anonymous on

This is probably the first really useful thing I’ve read at this site. Thank you People & commenters for the additional info.

Nic Jewels on

Its yummy salad, wish i could find time to make it myself. I’ve been purchasing salad from

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