How to Pack a Salad in a Jar

Packing a salad in a canning jar is an easy way to plan lunches for the week without a lot of work, or worrying about soggy salad and drippy dressing.  Wide mouthed pint and quart sized canning jars work best.

How to Salad Jar

Here’s how to layer your salad:

Step 1:

Add 1-4 tablespoons of dressing to the bottom of your jar (depending on jar size and personal preference).  Creamy dressings like Ranch and Blue Cheese work best.

Step 2:

Add your hard vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, carrots, cooked beets, etc.

Step 3:

Add any pastas, beans or grains such as chickpeas.

Step 4:

Cheese and proteins come next, but this is best only if you plan to consume the salad within 24 hours. Chicken, hardboiled eggs, tunafish, and tofu all work well.

Step 5:

Softer fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes or strawberries come next, though you’ll want to skip these if you’re packing ahead of a whole week, and just add them the day you plan to eat.

Step 6:

Add any nuts or seeds next.  Pecans, almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds all work great.

Step 7:

Finally, fill the rest of the jar with chopped greens and screw the lid on.

How to Salad Jar1

If you follow these steps, your salads will stay fresh and crisp for 5 days!  To eat, just shake the salad into a bowl and toss with a fork if needed to dress the rest of the greens.
About Teri

Teri Hardy is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined as well as the founder of Mom Powered Media. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She loves to write, doodle & go, go, go. Control freak, master multi-tasker and shopaholic. Ms. Hardy has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.


  1. christina p says:

    What a cool idea. I will have to get these jars. This also helps in portion control because I always make too big of a salad to eat!

  2. Dawn Rader says:

    I love this!!! I have often wondered how to do this properly to keep everything fresh! thanks!!!

  3. I’m going to give this a try. I love salads but it is much easier to stay on track if they are already made up. Thank you for passing along this great idea!

  4. Wanda Bergman says:

    Wow! What a great idea! I MUST try this!!! Such a delicious, healthy way to eat a salad!!!!

  5. This is such a great idea for easy, quick lunches!

  6. rebeka deleon says:

    i think this is a great idea especially for someone on the go like my husband. it reminds me of those salads you can shake to mix it all together. It also takes less room than tupperware does.

  7. Billie Wilson says:

    What a great post. I’ve been looking for ideas for lunch on the go. This is perfect. Thanks.

  8. This is such a great idea!! I never would have thought of this and want to say thanks for sharing your great idea!!!

  9. That’s a great way to do salads ahead of time. Thanks for the lesson.

  10. Georgia Beckman says:

    I LOVE this idea! Would be great for making ahead a few days at a time.

  11. md Kennedy says:

    What a great idea! I a so grateful for any ideas for getting rid of plastic in my life.

  12. this is great info! and good timing as I start a weight loss challenge. thanks!

  13. I always kind of wonder though, does the lettuce stay crunchy?

  14. I love this idea! I have a bunch of mason jars that I use for freezing homemade chicken broth so I will have to try this for my husband’s lunches.

  15. Tanya Holland says:

    This is such a great idea. I think I’m going to do this in the summer for our picnics and our beach days.

  16. This is a great idea for a lunch!

  17. I must say I’ve never thought of packing salad in a jar The directions make total sense and that salad looks outstanding.

  18. Thanks so much for the instructions! I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of putting a salad in a jar with all its ingredients, without it becoming soggy! I really want to start eating healthier, and sometimes meals happen on the go. It’s nice to know the proper way to execute this! Thanks again!

  19. What an ingenious idea. I’ve never thought of it and I have a ton of ball jars. This would also be a great way to bring a salad to a party and serve in individual jars, no need to worry about packing bowls. Thanks for the idea!

  20. Eileen Richter says:

    What a great idea! I was thinking mostly about the container being glass and not leaching chemicals, but then when I saw the stacking technique and it stays fresh for 5 days…that is pretty great! I also was thinking how so many containers dont have a good lid fit…and this should be easy to shake or roll gently to get the dressing to coat all the ingredients. Only thing is the glass breakage, but a soft packed cool lunch “box” would be just the thing for that! Thanks!

  21. ken smith says:


  22. What a good idea. When I have salad I can never finish it. By the next day it’s too soggy to eat. I need to try this.

  23. Great pictures. Great idea too. I actually want a salad right now.

  24. To last for five days is great and well worth packing your own salad in a jar

  25. Cheryl S. says:

    That’s a great way to put it! Thank you for sharing! :)

  26. I never thought of this before. I want to do this!

  27. Great idea, I love salads and this would be really good to try.

  28. Your comment totally had me rolling in laughter! No worries, I am sure someone had a few jars left over from canning season or even a few used ones after the yummies have disappeared. I like to save my homemade spaghetti sauce and salsa jars for things like this.

  29. I love this. I am trying to eat better, and i really want to incorporate salads into my lunches. I never seem to get to enjoy them without them being soggy unless I bring the salad dressing along. This sounds like THE perfect answer. Thanks!

  30. I love this idea! so convenient.

  31. Gloria Walshver says:

    Great idea where can i get the jars?

  32. LDC (@elle_dee_see) says:

    can’t wait to try this with hubby’s lunch for work. he’s always complaining about soggy salad.

  33. cheridene boucher says:

    I love this idea and I am going to use it tomorrow for work lunch.

  34. I have done this before for my husband and you are right, thicker dressings work better. Plus they look more inviting than just thrown into a bowl. Thanks for sharing this. I don’t get the mason jar haters, I love mason jar anything!

  35. What a neat idea! I will have to try that for lunch someday.

  36. Amazing that the lettuce does not wilt or start to brown?? Awesome idea! Thank you for the giveaway!!

  37. Gale McCarron says:

    I love this idea, and it’ll be very convenient for my new diet. Thanks so much for the idea!

  38. teresa koedyker says:

    What a awesome idea! I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for the great tip!!

  39. Valerie W says:

    I pack a salad almost everyday for lunch, with 4 or 5 different containers for ingredients. This looks so much easier, I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for the idea.

  40. Dorothy Teel says:

    This is such a great idea, I throw more lettuce and salad fixing away then what we eat and this would at least extend the salad for a few better days, I need to check into getting some of these mason jars, thank you for sharing such a great idea, you have been pinned.

  41. leslie Ross says:

    I have been doing this for over 20 years now and still find it fun

  42. Jessica Houston says:

    This is so awesome. I love the the look of this idea and it looks so appetizing. Will try asap!

  43. sherry butcher says:

    What a way to take lunch! Thanks for sharing the steps needed I would have done it wrong and something would not come out right. Never throught that the heavy vegs needed to go in before the rest. TFS.

  44. Evelyn Chuter says:

    What a great idea. I didn’t think there was a way to pack a salad where it would stay fresh for so long. So happy I read this post. Thanks!

  45. terrijean jacobo says:

    thanks this is wonderful! now i just need to start up a jar collection!

  46. What a great idea! I have almost everything already, including the jars, gonna try this.

  47. Shelly Johnson says:

    YUMMY!!! I like the idea of putting the dressing at the bottom. Never thought of that! And these are probably the PEFECT portion size. I like that I can just put the lid back on, throw it in my purse and take it home to wash and reuse!! And this would even fit in my daughters lunch box (she’s a salad nut!)

  48. Jessica Cocker says:

    My mom has been doing this! Super easy.

  49. Carissa Joslyn says:

    This is a really good idea! I think I’ll be doing this from now on that way ill be more opt to eat healthier is it’s pre made!

  50. It really does keep the salad fresh longer. I was skeptical at first.

  51. Karen Glatt says:

    This is such an awesome idea. Pack a salad in a jar. It looks so delicious and an easy way for me to get my salad!

  52. Renee Patterson Travis says:

    I actually saw this on a cooking show on TV and thought what a cool idea it was! Thanks for the better tips.

  53. Joy Person says:

    love this idea!!! I’m about to start a diet and this would make lunches and dinners easier for me!

  54. melissa cushing says:

    This is such a cool idea for sure! Thanks for sharing and I will have to give this a try for sure!

  55. What a great idea. I love salad, absolutely love it but unless my hubby wants one rarely will make it just for myself. But if I did this and made a bunch of them, I’d eat salads a whole lot more. This is a cool idea and I love the ide of having salad all made and waiting for me anytime I want it. Thank you, definitely going to make these. Hubby will love them for their easy convenience and him being able to grab a jar out of the fridge and have a salad ready made just add croutons for him!

  56. linda tamayo says:

    What a cool idea!! Thanks for the better tips .

  57. Wow, this is very interesting, I have never heard of this technique for keeping salads fresh. Thank you for this post, this is definitely something I’ll be able to use in the future.

  58. This is a brilliant idea. Thank you! :)

  59. Mary Withrow says:

    My salad never stays fresh for long, I will try this. I was thinking maybe it is because I buy most of my veggies and fruit at walmart? I have been trying to stop by another store for a better fruit and veggie selection

  60. This is a fantastic idea! Every time I go grocery shopping, I pick up half a dozen salad fixings, but don’t have time every morning to assemble one. And then my pricey leafy greens go waste. And salads look so appealing in a glass mason jar.

  61. amy lovell says:

    this looks really god. very easy.

  62. I have to remember to do this. I hate packing salads because they always get wilty. Thanks for the tip!

  63. Dorothy Boucher says:

    this looks yummy, i would of added some avacado’s yum 😉 thanks for share @tisonlyme143

  64. Barbara Mc/Whenihave Time says:

    This is so neat, I am going to have to try this!

  65. This is perfect and it fits in my purse :-). Will definitely be putting this to the test once farmers market season starts!

  66. Stephanie H says:

    Thank you for the creative new way of eating salads. I really like this idea for helping not only myself, but my daughter as well. I’m always looking for interesting ways of making our eating habits healthier!

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