Mason Jar Salad(s)

I love a good salad with lots of “stuff,” but the last thing I feel like doing when I’m hungry is pulling out all the many ingredients and slicing and chopping to make one salad for me, myself, and I.  Making multiple single-serving salads at once and storing them in quart-size wide-mouth mason jars is a great solution here.  I bought my jars at Target, and chose the blue ones so they would be a bit distinctive — when I see them in the cabinet, I know it’s time to make more salads.

Here’s a before photo of all the ingredients I used this time:

The eggs are hard-cooked in the Instant Pot, then peeled and chopped.  The asparagus I roasted in the Breville mini-oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes with a little olive oil and salt.  I used the mandoline for the carrots, toasted the sliced almonds on the stove, chopped the (precooked) beets and the cucumbers, and broke up the chicken strips a bit.

Now, I know that a lot of people like to put their salad dressing right in the bottom of the mason jar.  I elected not to do that, because I like to choose the dressing I want at the time I’m eating the salad.  (Hmm . . . am I in a balsamic-ish or a honey-mustard-like kind of mood?)  But if you are prepping these to eat them in a location where you don’t have that kind of flexibility, go ahead and put a couple of tablespoons of dressing in the jar before you load up on salady goodness.

So, below is a gif of the salad assembly.  Having checked around a bit on other websites about the proper order of ingredients, I decided on this one, but without the dressing to consider, I don’t think it matters a whole lot.  Feel free to experiment.

  1. carrots
  2. cucumbers
  3. beets
  4. asparagus
  5. eggs
  6. almonds
  7. feta (not pictured below)
  8. chicken
  9. baby spinach

Note: Before adding the greens, I pressed down on the chicken layer a bit to pack everything down

via GIPHY

Next, I vacuum sealed the jars, using our new Food Saver and a wide-mouth jar sealing attachment.

This is the first time I’ve done the vacuum sealing step with these salads, but I am hopeful that vacuum sealing will help everything stay as fresh as possible.  Plus, it is hard to overstate the satisfaction I get when I remove the top of one of these jars and it pops.