Mediterranean Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
Looking to eat healthier, save money, and get organized with meal prep? We have the answer – Mason Jar Salads.
Maybe you think these salads are just another way of making Mason jars trendy but there are lots of advantages to spending a little time on a Sunday afternoon prepping your lunch for the week.
In these days of rising food costs, it makes much more sense to prepare food at home rather than eat out. And of course, wasting food is never a good idea. By following few guidelines, your salads can last five days and be just as fresh as the day you made them. The secret is in the layering.
The basic rule of thumb is to start with your wettest ingredients first (i.e., the salad dressing) then in ascending order layer in your heaviest ingredients and ingredients that won’t absorb moisture or that would benefit from a little absorption, such as marinated artichoke hearts, peppers, or chickpeas. From there you want to add your softer ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives, then your proteins or grains, then any cheese, nuts, or seeds, and finally end off with your greens such as lettuce.
But first – what jar to use? Wide mouth 24 ounce are the easiest to get ingredients in and out. And they are the perfect size for lunch. Quart-sized jars are good for those with a heartier appetite and the half pint jars are perfect for a side salad.
If you layer properly and tighten the lid of the jar, these salads stay fresh for five days! And the possibilities are endless! When you are ready to eat just unscrew the lid and pour into a bowl or just shake well and eat right out of the jar.
- Layer One – The salad dressing
- Layer Two – Hardy veggies or beans and veggies that could benefit from being in contact with the dressing
- Layer Three – Softer veggies, olives
- Layer Four – Grains and/or proteins
- Layer Five – Cheese, nuts, seeds
- Layer Six – Greens
To get you started, here is one of our favorites, Mediterranean Quinoa Mason Jar Salads. The dressing is simple; olive oil, Marukan Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar, salt, and pepper. I love to use the seasoned rice vinegar in this recipe as the mellow slight sweetness offsets the salty, pungent ingredients such as the feta cheese and olives.
Gluten-Free Mediterranean Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Marukan Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- Pinch kosher or fine sea salt and pepper
- 1 cup chickpeas , rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper , seeded, deveined, and chopped
- ½ English cucumber , chopped
- ½ cup kalamata olives , drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled
- 2 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and whisk well. Divide between 2 wide mouth 24 ounce or quart-sized Mason jars.
- Layer the salad ingredients into the jar in the order given. Tighten the lid and refrigerate for up to five days.
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