Layered Jar Salads

For about a year now, Steve and my normal lunch is a huge salad that is to be the mainstay of our daily menu. Each salad is so large we eat it from a serving bowl.

When we prepared to travel last summer and needed to take salad with us, I discovered how to make salads that could go in a jar, which would fit and travel nicely in a cooler. I have also implemented that same technique to simplify time-intensive salad preparation for home now. With this method, I make salads twice a week, storing them in jars.

For each day, I use two jars—one for greens and one for other veggies. That means on the day I prep 4 days of salads, I need 16 jars unless I am doing it in the morning right before lunch and put that day’s salad right into the bowls we will eat from.

In one of the two daily jars, I put greens. Steve uses kale for his salad. I like a mixture of green or red-leaf lettuce with kale. Since Steve and my salads are different, I use wide-mouth jars for Steve’s and narrow-mouth ones for mine.

In the other daily jar, I layer the veggies that will go on top of the salad when I serve it.

I learned I start with the juiciest vegetable to go on the bottom and work up in dryness to the top. For our salads, tomatoes are on the bottom, then red pepper, onion, celery (for Steve since I don’t care for it), and finally carrots. Those are our top veggie picks, but almost any veggie you like could make a layer in the jar.

To serve, I first empty the greens into the bowl and then the veggies. We also add beans and nuts to top our salads. Lots of great nutrition in those lunches.

We like these salads so much that we are happy to eat them every day.

Trusting in Jesus,

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will
call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalm 116:17

30 thoughts on “Layered Jar Salads”

  1. This is exactly what my friend showed me a couple of years ago. She was very, very sick with Hashimoto’s and started doing salads like that and really had it down to a science. She had a tool called Trudeau kitchen shears/tongs that was really neat and tossed the salad while chopping it. I got a couple of them and really like them, but they might do better hand-washed over the long run. Do you add any type of sauce or condiments?

      1. What kind of salad dressing do you use? We make our own, but the vinegar is really starting to get to me because it’s too sour.

        1. Steve is using vinegars from an oil and vinegar store. He has found a couple of flavors he really likes. I am still using store-bought Italian. I like Olive Garden and get it from Costco since theirs doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup while Sams Club’s does.

        2. Good to know! The Olive Garden one is my favorite, too. When I was nauseated with one of my pregnancies I really wanted some but couldn’t get it here in France. I forgot that I actually have a recipe for it!

  2. What a great storage idea. I too eat salad everyday. I love the endless variety that comes with it.
    Whoever says salad is boring isn’t doing it right!

    1. Agreed – endless variety available for salads! But for Steve and me, we go for what many would probably call boring because we have our salad favorites and want that in our salads every day.

  3. Hi Teri,
    Thanks for commenting on your eating habits.
    Sure looks so tasty and healthy, you both look amazing.
    Gods foods are always the best!
    Do you use your Green Star Juicer much? I have been thinking of buying one.
    Sending our love to you all from the Uk.

      1. Hi Again,
        Do you do much juicing then?
        What do you like to drink?
        Do you still drink normal tea or coffee?
        Thanks again,
        Ps, Lovely to see you have been so busy with replying!

        1. No juicing right now. We are just eating our fruits and veggies. We mostly drink water. In the winter, I drink tea. No coffee, but then I never did like or drink coffee.

      1. 4 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, with 1 tsp poppyseed makes a GREAT dressing! 🙂

        1. Agreed. That does sound good, but Steve’s diet protocol from Dr. Fuhrman’s “End of Heart Disease” book doesn’t allow for any oil.

      2. I love your salad ideas. We are going to borrow them since our doctor had “the talk” with us that it’s time to start getting serious about diet and exercise. We both like salads so I think once we get it organized like you’ve done, lunch will be all set.

  4. Thank you for this great idea. I will try the jar method soon. I like big salads for supper.
    I also use serving bowls for salads. They’re a little pricey, but I bought one every couple of weeks until I had a good supply of them. I also use them as soup bowls for my mom. They’re easier for her to hold and move around without spilling (she’s 94).

  5. We do this in our neighborhoods. I gather anyone who wants to participate and each person brings something already chopped for the salad (enough for 20 or so). Then we take our jars and fill from what others brought as well. It’s interesting what folks bring- sometimes not just your tomato, carrot, or olives … but nuts or mushrooms or corn. I’ve had some interesting combos that are now a regular for us.

  6. Do the jars keep the lettuce from browning? I like to pre-wash lettuce but it gets brown so quick. Having it already washed and chopped makes it so much easier to eat healthy!! Preparing salads and all the toppings is time consuming. I like iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce the best. How do you wash and dry your lettuce? Do you wash before putting in the jars?

    1. For those three to four days, the lettuce doesn’t brown in the jars. That has surprised me. I wash the lettuce, spin it to get much of the water off, and if it is going in the jars, I pat it a bit drier too. We don’t use iceberg and seldom romaine. We use red and green leaf lettuce.

  7. I love big salads and can definitely see how the jars keep the ingredients fresh when prepping ahead! (Is that the purpose as I assume?) I’ve been meaning to purchase some mason jars to make overnight oats anyway, and this might just be the added motivation I need 🙂 Do you have a favorite dressing you’d recommend? I actually just really dislike oil-based dressings (I usually just use salsa or omit it altogether) and would loved some more ideas!

    1. Yes, that is the purpose of our jars. It allows me to prep all at once for several days, while the veggies remain fresh in the jars. My favorite dressing is Olive Garden from Costco. It doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it while the Olive Garden dressing from Sams does. Steve is using the vinegars from a vinegar and oil store.

  8. Hi Terri, can I ask – how many greens do you buy for the week for salads for the two of you? And the other chopped veggies – do you use a measured amount/serving for each salad? I’d love to do something like this, I have a hard time especially with greens, knowing how much to buy for a week, but I’d love to learn.

    1. We go through 2-3 bigger bunches of kale a week, but we also use it in veggie stir fries 2-3 times a week. For the lettuce and my salads, I estimate 2 heads a week. For other veggies, I measure by veggie portion or handful. For tomato, I put 1/2 of a big tomato in each of our salads. For chopped onion, a small handful and for the other veggies a big handful. I estimate 1/4 a red pepper per salad. We always have a good supply of carrots on hand for salads or carrot stick snacking so I just prep up what we need.

  9. Teri, thank you so much for taking the time to share this in this level of detail! I have wanted to make salad jars but never could quite figure out the practicalities. You’ve done so and shared with us. It’s a blessing!

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