Salad in a jar

Over the years we have experimented with countless ways to bring a salad to work without it getting soggy or tiny little containers of dressing popping open and destroying lunch bags — that’s the worst. My husband came across this idea over here and it actually works! Apparently, if stacked correctly, these little salads can last up to 4 days. So here’s the magical stacking order from bottom up:

  1. dressing
  2. hearty items: tomatoes, beans, onions, carrots
  3. then lighter bits: quinoa, sunflower seeds, mushrooms
  4. lettuce or spinach

Just don’t get crazy on the way into work and forget you have a GLASS jar in your bag – i.e. no breakdancing or skateboarding. When you’re ready to eat, just shake and enjoy! And here’s an easy dressing recipe to get you started.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is enough dressing for about 4 cups of greens. I often quadruple the recipe and keep the extra in a jar in the refrigerator.
From Cook’s Illustrated


  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine vinegar, shallot, mustard (if using), salt, and pepper in bowl with fork. Add oil, then whisk or mix with fork until smooth, about 30 seconds. The dressing will separate after 5 to 10 minutes, so use immediately or mix again before tossing with greens.
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  1. So basically it took you years to reinvent the McDonald’s salad shaker?

  2. Jean Neubeck

    Love this idea!!!!

  3. Jeanne

    Do the tomatoes last 4 days? Is there ever anything that won’t last that long in the fridge? We’ve just started doing this, but I’m worried that on the fourth day we’ll find something nasty in the jar.

    (But so far it’s the greatest idea in the history of the world!)

  4. Well Vegan

    So far we’ve had great results! My husband let one go 7 days and it was still good 🙂

  5. Jeanne

    Thanks! I’ll keep trying it then! This last week was amazing to have salad waiting for me.

  6. Vanessa

    Are you vacuum sealing it? Or just screwing on the lid and putting it in the fridge?

  7. Well Vegan

    Just screwing on the lid! But I have heard of people vacuum sealing and they last FOREVER.

  8. What size jar are you using?

  9. Well Vegan

    We use the 16 oz. size, but any size would work.

  10. Looks like a great idea, but I dont see much shaking going on in there with all that stuff in it…… I like my salads cut up nicely so maybe bringing a plate or big bowl along and dumping it out so it can be mixed better would work too.

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