How to Make Mason Jar Salads that Stay Fresh

My mother was an amazing cook. She learned most of what she knew from her mother in law, an Italian immigrant with a lot of mouths to feed and a love for celebrations with food.

Mom often batch-cooked but she would not have called it that. The family favorite was her lasagna recipe. She always made several trays and froze some for later.

Her motto was “make several meals with one mess in the kitchen”.

Now, mason jar salads are nothing new, yet many people have cast them aside because they don’t seem to hold up well. But I keep thinking of Mom’s motto and thought, there has to be a way to make these taste fresh and delicious!

After a few tries and a few inquiries with other mason jar aficionados, I came up with the”keep fresh” method. Using this method, these salads will keep for 5 days guaranteed, and maybe even 6.

Making only one mess in the kitchen for five or six delicious mason jar salads is my idea of food prep.

Mom would be proud.

Here is my “keep fresh” method and a sample ingredient list for creating Mason Jar Salads that stay fresh!

Mason Jar Salad Sample Ingredients:

  • 5 one quart mason jars with lids
  • Best quality olive oil* 1 tbsp.
  • Best quality vinegar 2 Tbsp
  • Hearty low moisture veggies: any combo, choose 1-3 of these cut in ¾ inch pieces or smaller:
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Thin Carrot coins
  • Celery
  • Hearty non-leafy veggies: Choose 1-3 of these, also cut in ¾ pieces or smaller:
  • Fresh Peppers sweet, hot, bell, Italian
  • Pickled peppers like banana or Jalapeno
  • Cabbages shredded ( Napa, red, savoy etc)
  • Asparagus
  • Scallions
  • Asian slaw mix undressed
  • Sprouts ( broccoli, alfalfa bean etc)
  • Olives
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes uncut
  • Baby or regular bok choy
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans cooked lentils ¼-⅓ cup.
  • Leafy greens: Choose any combo to fill up the jar with leave as little air as possible.
  • Microgreens
  • Any lettuces chopped slightly larger pieces
  • Baby Lettuces
  • Arugula
  • Fresh herbs like parsley cilantro or mint etc.

Related: Constantly wondering what foods “fit into your diet”? Read Intuitive Eating: 4 Reasons Why it Works Better than Dieting

How to Make Mason Jar Salads that Stay Fresh:

  1. Add 1 Tbsp oil to each jar, then add 1-2 Tbsp. vinegar.
  2. If desired, at this point add salt and pepper or any dry herbs.
  3. Next, add the low moisture veggies, then the non-leafy veggies, and finally lettuces. Pack the jars tightly.
  4. In a separate container, measure out the cheese if desired. 2 Tbsp is adequate.
  5. Transport your protein in a separate container as well. Hint: make extra for your evening meal or to have for tomorrow’s salad.
  6. (Optional) Have your favorite bowl reserved for tossing your salad at work or at home. Toss well with the cheese and protein and an extra splash of vinegar just before eating

Follow these instructions and you will make mason jar salads that taste just as fresh on day five as they do on day one. The combinations are endless!

What kinds of ingredients do you like to add to your own salads? Comment below!

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