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How to Make a Perfect Mason Jar Salad

One of my favorite things about mason jar salads is how easy and convenient they are, but that means I need salad prep to be easy and convenient too!

After trying a few different approaches to mason jar salad assembly, the game plan that’s proved to be the easiest to follow is a simple adaptation of Chris Downing‘s lunch menu from the Shift Shop. Specifically, I based this off of Plan B (with a caloric target of 1,500 – 1,799 calories/day)

This is easy to follow, keeps my proportions in check, and has yielded a delicious lunch every time. Winning!!

As you’ll see below, I rely heavily on my color-coded Portion Fix containers, but have provided equivalents in standard measuring cups below so anyone can follow along 😉

If you aren’t yet using the containers from Portion Fix, I HIGHLY recommend them. Not only are they inexpensive and make mason jar salads super easy, but they’re also a great tool to re-learning portion size to get your nutrition back in-check. You can pick up a set here for less than $10. 

My Perfect Jar (fill the mason jar in this order!)

TIP: I use these quart-sized (32-oz) wide-mouthed mason jars. Wide-mouthed jars makes dumping (and filling) easier, as does a wide-mouthed canning funning like this one

Orange (2 Tbsp): Salad Dressing

Opt for low-fat vingarette, or better yet, make your own!

1 Green (1 cup): Hard Veggies.

Add veggies that won’t get soggy in your dressing…my favs are carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes.

2 Yellow (1 cup total): Carbs.

I usually opt for beans (black beans or garbanzo beans) here. Other great options are edamame, peas, lentils, quinoa, or brown rice.

1 Red (3/4 cup): Protein.

Try grilled chicken, 2 hard boiled eggs, grilled steak, or minimally processed turkey or ham slices.

1/2 Blue (1/6 cup): Fats.

Toss in some nuts (e.g. walnuts, sliced almonds) or cheeses (e.g. feta, goat cheese, cheddar).

1 Green (1 cup): Here’s your greens.

I love mixes that include spinach, but any leafy green you like will do!

And that’s it! With this easy outline the possibilities are almost endless. Have fun trying new combos, and if you ever get stuck, Pinterest will never disappoint (just be wary of their portions…some are a little crazy!).

Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to check out my related post, “5 Reasons Why I Love Mason Jar Salads, And Why You Should Too.” Mason jar bottoms-up!