Photo courtesy of Fresh N’ Lean

Weekly meal prepping is more popular than ever these days, especially for those of us with busy work schedules. Who has the time to prepare a healthy lunch every single day? Luckily, there are a few simple tricks that can make meal prepping lunches a little easier. One of the best ideas is salad in a jar.

The idea behind salad in a jar is simple. Start with a layer of salad dressing on the bottom, then add all your ingredients, layering them one at a time. Finish up with your lettuce on top. The key is to never let your salad dressing and lettuce touch. This method helps the salad mix to stay fresh for up to four days in the refrigerator, which means healthy lunches for a week! When you’re ready to eat, just shake and enjoy.

If you don’t enjoy eating the same thing for lunch every day for a week, mix it up by adding different ingredient layers below your lettuce or different dressings in the bottom of each jar. The combination possibilities are limitless. Aside from fresh green salads, this method also works well with pasta, quinoa or couscous salads.

Even if you don’t want to assemble a full salad, you can actually use this trick just to make your lettuce last longer by storing it in a jar (sometimes up to 10 days).

Let’s try it out with one of our favorite salad recipes, Mixed Citrus and Avocado Salad. First, put the vinaigrette on the bottom. Then layer the grapefruit, oranges, avocado and Parmesan cheese (in that order). Top it off with the lettuce and chives. And since this recipe makes six servings, it’s a perfect choice for dinners or lunches for a week.

You could also try this with our Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad with Pesto-Ranch Dressing. First, add the Pesto-Ranch Dressing to the bottom. Then, build the salad in layers of black beans, tomatoes, corn, eggs, chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado (in that order). Top with the lettuce and store the jar in the fridge until you’re ready to shake and enjoy.

This approach would also work well with our Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and our Eclectic Salad with Maple Ginger Walnuts.

Have you tried Salad in a Jar? Let us know your favorite salad variations in the comments below.


  1. That seems so clever! Can never fix my salad the night before when i fix the kids lunches…. Will try it!

  2. I remember those McDonald’s salads! They were always too full for me to get my dressing distributed, so if I make salad in a jar, I’ll be sure not to pack it too tightly. The Mixed Citrus and Avocado Salad sounds so good! Will the citrus juices or vinaigrette keep the avocado from browning?

  3. I love the idea of Salad in a Jar…I think the Mixed Citrus & Avocado Salad would be scrumptious this way. I haven’t tried this, yet, but my daughter said she did and she loves it!

  4. When using avacado, try spraying the slices or chunks with PAM to keep it from turning black. It lasts longer, and doesn’t effect the taste.

  5. What a great tip – thanks! I’ve heard of using lime juice (especially when making guacamole) or leaving in the pit, but didn’t know that Pam works as well!

  6. Love this idea, especially since they store for so long. However, I don’t quite see how they would mix well enough by shaking, if not I will pour it on a plate.

    thanks for sharing!

  7. Sue, I agree – instead of shaking, I just dump the contents into a bowl. The salad in a jar works great, though! My favorite is using balsamic dressing with grilled chicken on the bottom… the dressing doubles as a marinade.


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