5 Easy Jarred Salads to Make Meal Prep a Breeze

Salad in a Jar Lead
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Salads stand as a lunchtime staple in most offices. They're healthy and convenient to boot, but anyone who's enjoyed a few salad al deskos in a row knows it's all too easy to fall into the dreaded lunchtime #saddesksalad rut. All it takes to get back in the successful salad game is a bit of imagination and some inspiration, though, so when Anna Helm Baker's Salad in a Jar ($10; amazon.com) hit our desks, we were elated.

The little book features 68 recipes for gourmet salads and dressings to keep your lunches (or dinners, snacks, and even some breakfasts) healthy but interesting, and definitely not boring.

Consider this your bible for making the best salads in your office and beyond. Keep scrolling for five our of favorite recipes from the book to make your next Sunday meal prep session a breeze.

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Greek Salad

Greek Salad
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For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Makes: 1 cup – Time: 5 minutes

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar

2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Place the mustard, vinegar, and olive oil in a small jar and season with salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake vigorously.

For the salad:

Makes: 1 quart – Time: 10 minutes

2 to 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinaigrette with 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano added

1⁄2 small red onion, very finely sliced

1⁄2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas

3 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

3 ounces Persian cucumber, chopped

1 3⁄4 ounces pitted Kalamata olives

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled

2 3⁄4 ounces Little Gem lettuce, chopped

Place the vinaigrette in the bottom of a quart jar. Add the red onion, followed by the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta, and, finally, the lettuce. Seal the jar tightly.

02 of 05

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad                                                                     
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For the salad:

Makes: 1 quart – Time: 15 minutes

2 to 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinaigrette (see Greek salad recipe)

2 1⁄2 ounces tomato, chopped

2 1⁄2 ounces Persian cucumber, chopped

2 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 large hard-boiled egg, chopped

1⁄2 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1 ounce crumbled blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola)

1 3⁄4 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped

Place the vinaigrette in the bottom of a quart jar. Add the tomato, followed by the cucumber, then the chicken, egg, avocado, blue cheese, and, finally, the romaine lettuce. Seal the jar tightly.

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Sweet and Creamy Quinoa

Sweet and Creamy Quinoa
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For the salad:

Makes: 1 quart – Time: 15 minutes

1⁄4 cup hummus

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 cup cooked or canned black beans

1⁄2 cup cooked and seasoned red and white quinoa

1⁄2 small orange, segmented

1⁄2 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 ounce lacinato kale, chopped

A handful of sprouts (such as lentil, chickpea, alfalfa, broccoli)

Place the hummus in the bottom of a quart jar. Drizzle over the oil. Add the black beans, followed by the quinoa, orange segments, avocado, kale, and, finally, the sprouts. Seal the jar tightly.

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Chicken and Kale Caesar

Chicken and Kale Caesar
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For the Caesar dressing:

Makes: 1/2 cup – Time: 10 minutes

2 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 ounce finely grated Parmesan

1 anchovy, minced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce

Zest and juice of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

For the salad:

Makes: 1 quart – Time: 10 minutes

2 to 3 tablespoons Caesar Dressing

4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

2 1⁄4 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped

1 3⁄4 ounces chopped curly kale

1⁄2 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese

A small handful of croutons

Place the dressing in the bottom of a quart jar. Add the cherry tomatoes, followed by the chicken, kale, and Parmesan. Cut a small square of parchment paper, place directly on top of the Parmesan, and add the croutons. Seal the jar tightly.

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Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad
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For the Thai Pick-Me-Up dressing:

Makes: About 6 tablespoons – Time: 10 minutes

1-ounce piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 large clove garlic, finely grated

1/4 small red chile, finely grated

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon fish sauce

Place the ginger, garlic, chile, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, vegetable oil, and fish sauce in a small jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously.

For the salad:

Makes: 1 quart – Time: 15 minutes

2 to 3 tablespoons of Thai Pick-Me-Up

2 green onions, finely sliced

2 1/2 ounces mixed shredded carrot and celery

1 ounce soba noodles, cooked and cooled

1/2 red chile (such as red jalepeno), very thinly sliced

1 3/4 ounces cooked, skinless chicken breast, shredded

3 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

1/4 ounce cilantro leaves

Place the dressing in the bottom of the quart jar. Add the green onions, followed by the shredded carrot and celery, cooked soba noodles, red chile, chicken, peanuts, and, finally, the cilantro leaves. Seal the jar tightly.

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