Packing a to-go salad in a mason jar seems like a great idea — it’s an easy way to transport a vibrant, veggie-heavy meal without worries of dressing leaking into your bag — but if improperly assembled, it may end up underdressed, soggy, or less than fresh. Don’t let that happen to you!
Add the Dressing
The secret to a mason jar salad is layering. Start with the dressing on the bottom. I use about 3 to 4 tablespoons of salad dressing per quart jar, or 2 tablespoons per pint jar. (I’ve also found it helpful to place onions at the bottom, if I’m using them, because soaking them in the dressing helps dilute the strong onion taste and prevents onion breath at work.)
Add Your Base Layer
Next add some salad ingredients that won’t soak up the dressing, such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, or chickpeas.
Top With Greens and Cheese
Finally, layer on your salad greens. By ending with the greens at the top, you’ll create a moisture barrier that prevents the entire salad from becoming soggy. If you are including cheese and/or nuts, add them last.
Twist on the tops to seal your salads, place the jars in your refrigerator, and you’re good to go! If you want to include a protein such as chicken, just place it on top of the salad greens in the morning on the day you’ll eat the salad. When you’re ready to eat the salad, just pour it into a bowl and toss to mix the dressing into the salad.