Meet your new lunchtime lifesaver: the ultimate Mason Jar Salad! This meal prep marvel is packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor, making it perfect for a satisfying and delicious lunch. We’ll guide you through the art of layering your ingredients to keep your salad fresh and crisp all week long.

A mason jar salad with an olive oil dressing in the bottom, chickpeas, chopped veggies, spaghetti, and spinach.
Mason jar salads make for the best healthy meal prep!

With recipes like our Crispy Rice Bowl SweetGreen Copycat, Fall Harvest Salad, and Chipotle Chicken with Elote Corn Salad, we’ve been known to enjoy big bowls of salad throughout the year. However, as soon as the weather begins to warm, they become a staple for quick lunches and easy dinners! 

Unfortunately, between running the kids around, getting work done, and sneaking in the occasional pool day, it’s not always easy to prepare ingredients fresh. And we all know how making salads ahead of time goes. More often than not, the ingredients just turn soggy and wilted instead of staying crisp and fresh. 

Until now! When prepared correctly, this mason jar salad recipe keeps all your ingredients as good as new. Even better, they last throughout the week! That means you can whip everything up in minutes and feel good knowing you have scrumptious lunches to satisfy you on those hectic days. 

Three mason jar salads with the tops missing.
Divide your salad ingredients between three mason jars.

What Is a Mason Jar Salad?

Exactly what it sounds like! A mason jar salad is simply a single-serving salad that is prepared and stored in a mason jar instead of a bowl. The ingredients are layered in an order that preserves them, allowing them to stay fresh throughout the week. 

As a result, they’re super popular as a meal prep option for school and work lunches. All you have to do is combine the ingredients in a jar and store them in a fridge. Then, when you’re ready to eat, just give the jar a good shake, pour the contents into a bowl, and enjoy! 

Why You’ll Love Mason Jar Salads 

  • They’re easy to prepare and quick to clean up
  • Every salad is perfect for a single-serving meal you can take anywhere. 
  • They’re super versatile to fit your flavor preferences and dietary needs. 
  • Cheaper than a takeout salad, they’re budget-friendly and nutritious
A mason jar salad with olive oil dressing, chopped veggies, spaghetti, and spinach with the lid on top.
Store your mason jar salad in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This mason jar salad recipe is based on our Greek spaghetti salad with just a bit of a twist for extra nutrients and plant-based protein. Here’s what you need: 

For the Salad

  • Spaghetti – Feel free to use any pasta noodles you like best, and cook them according to the package instructions. 
  • Chickpeas – To keep things simple, we opt for canned chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, to add plant-based protein, fiber, and a pop of texture. 
  • Veggies – Tomatoes, yellow peppers, cucumbers, and spinach make this salad vibrant, refreshing, and full of nutrients.
  • Olives – We like Kalamata olives for a briny, salty taste, but any olives you have on hand will taste great! 
  • Cheese – Full-fat feta cheese adds a creamy, savory element that balances out the crispness of the veggies. 

For the Dressing

  • Olive Oil – Used to form the base of the dressing. For a strong, peppery kick opt for extra virgin olive oil. 
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves work best to add a punchy taste. 
  • Lemon Juice – The acidity balances out the heaviness of the fats for a refreshing flavor that lightens up the salad. 
  • Salt and Pepper – Use as little or as much as you’d like. 

How to Make an Easy Mason Jar Salad

Preparing salads in a jar is simple. However, the order of ingredients is crucial to prevent the items from becoming soggy! 

  1. Prepare the Dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all the salad ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Divide and Layer. Pour ⅓ of the dressing into 3 separate mason jars or containers. Then, divide the ingredients evenly amongst the jars, ending with the spinach. 
  3. Refrigerate. Cover the jars, and store your salads in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, invert them on a plate, and enjoy! 
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A bowl of spaghetti salad with a fork twirled around the noodles.
To eat, invert your salad onto a plate, and enjoy.

How to Layer

As mentioned, layering is the key to success when it comes to mason jar salads. Luckily, there’s a simple formula to follow! 

  1. Start with the Wet Ingredients. You want to add the dressing or any liquids first. This prevents them from soaking down throughout the jar, causing the veggies to become soggy. 
  2. Add the Heaviest Items. Next, layer the heaviest ingredients. This includes proteins (plant-based and animal-based), dense veggies, and pasta or extras. 
  3. Include the Delicate Ingredients. Finish your salads with delicate items like greens, fruit, and salad toppings.

How Long Do Mason Jar Salads Last? 

If layered properly, salads in a jar will stay fresh for up to 4-5 days. Just keep in mind that different ingredients will stay fresh for different periods of time. So, if you’re preparing for the week, plan on eating your salad jars before other items. 

Can I Freeze Salad Jars? 

You can freeze mason jars, but we don’t recommend freezing salad recipes of any kind. Unfortunately, they just don’t thaw very well. 

Common Questions

Can I use different ingredients? 

Absolutely! You can add pretty much anything to mason jar salad recipes as long as you follow the proper order for layering. 

What size mason jar salad is best?

You can find mason jars in a wide variety of sizes. However, for salads, we recommend opting for wide-mouth varieties that are either 16 ounces or 32 ounces in size. 

Are there any ingredients you shouldn’t include? 

If you’re planning on eating your salad jars right away, everything is fair game. However, if you’re planning on storing them in the fridge, we recommend avoiding ingredients that don’t hold up well. This includes items like bacon, avocado, tortillas strips, croutons, granola, nuts, and seeds. 

More Tasty Salad Recipes

Looking for more salads you can serve as complete meals? Try out some of our favorite fresh and hearty salads! 

Three mason jar salads with chickpeas, veggies, spaghetti, spinach, and an olive oil dressing.

Meal Prep Mason Jar Salad Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 3 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
This Mason Jar Salad is the best meal prep recipe for a filling lunch that is nutrient-dense and delicious!

Ingredients  

  • cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cucumbers diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup yellow peppers diced
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives diced
  • ¾ cup feta cheese
  • ½ pound spaghetti cooked
  • 3 cups fresh spinach

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Divide the dressing between 3 large mason jars.
  • Divide the chickpeas into each followed by the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and feta cheese.
  • Layer the spaghetti on top followed by the spinach.
  • Cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • To eat, invert a mason jar salad onto a plate, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 1163mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3693IU | Vitamin C: 108mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious – fresh filling with so much flavor from such simple ingredients. This will for sure be my new go-to lunch prep for work! Thank you for the great ideas.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is great I follow you both on FB, and couldn’t wait to try the mason jar salads. Thank you for putting good healthy food out there.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! First batch followed the exact recipe – yum oh yum. Second bath without the pasta – still yum oh yum. My teacher go to lunch (especially on days we eat with the students). So much flavor & fills me up! Even impressed my firsties with all my veggies!