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Since one of the focuses of this month is fruits and veggies (National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month), I thought this would be a good time to post about Mason jar salads. Even though we may not be working outside of the home as much right now, it would be great to have lunch lined up in the fridge — just grab and take your break!
The beauty of Mason jar salads is they offer the perfect solution for a satisfying, nutritious lunch on the go or as a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
The key to success with Mason jar salads is the order you add your ingredients. Always add the dressing first, followed by harder vegetables that won’t break down from the dressing. Next, add softer, more tender vegetables, and legumes. Last, but not least, add green leafy vegetables and fresh herbs on top so they don’t get all soggy from the dressing.
You can experiment and use any combination of ingredients you prefer. This vegetarian version is filled with fresh garden goodies, but don’t hesitate to add your own touch in the form of cooked chicken or beef, rice, quinoa, beans, and/or your favorite types of cheese. Just be sure to add the softer ingredients toward the top to keep them nice and fresh!
Garden Veggie Mason Jar Salad with Homemade Dressing
- 6 Quart-Size Mason Jars
Basic Balsamic Dressing:
- 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 c. good balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. Dijon mustard
- 2 t. fresh oregano leaves
- 3 T. fresh lime juice
- 1 T. honey
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 medium English cucumbers chopped
- 2 large bell peppers seeded, chopped 115-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- 1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ c. fresh parsley leaves chopped
- ½ c. fresh basil leaves chopped
- To prepare the dressing, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lime juice, and honey together in a small glass or another non-reactive bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Set aside.
- Wash and pat dry all vegetables before prepping. Toss Romaine lettuce, parsley, and basil in a medium bowl to combine. Divide all vegetables into 6 equal portions and set aside.
- Divide dressing among the 6 mason jars. Add a layer of chopped cucumbers to each jar, followed by a layer of bell peppers. Next, add chickpeas and then the grape tomatoes. Top each jar with the lettuce-herb mixture and seal with a lid.
- Store salads in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Each salad will last 4-5 days. To serve, remove from refrigerator and pour each jar into a salad bowl and enjoy!
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