Love Salads in a Jar, But Think They’re Impractical? Try This!
Layered jar salads have become all the rage, and for good reason! The strategic packing shows off all the veggie beauty and they make for a healthy, portable meal. But when lunchtime rolls around, the mason jar’s narrow opening can leave you fishing for the perfect bite.
Instead of mashing mix-ins into a mason jar, turn your salad-in-a-jar concept into a “skinny salad shaker” by packing in a Pyrex® round container. Same basic idea, same basic ingredients, but so much easier to eat and enjoy!
Here’s how to make layered lunches that stay fresh until you’re ready to enjoy:
1. PACK IT PROPER
The key to the perfect layered salad is the order in which the ingredients go into the container. Start with your favorite Pyrex round container. For perfect-sized servings, try the PYREX® PREMIUM™ 4 CUP ROUND STORAGE DISH. With a wide rim and tight-fitting red or white lid, you’ll never have dripping dressing or hard-to-reach eats.
2. START WITH THE DRESSING
Start your salad prep by adding the dressing to the bottom of the container. This will keep your greens extra crisp, because they aren’t soaking in dressing all day long! Depending on the size of your salad, you’ll typically need 1 to 4 tablespoons of dressing. When selecting flavors, homemade is best. Try one of the favorites featured in Best Dressed: The Secret to Better Salads. Quality store-bought dressings can also do in a pinch.
3. FIRM FOUNDATION
Add hard veggies (such as carrots, celery or bell peppers) next. The idea here is to create a layer of veggies sturdy enough to stand a good soaking, staying crisp even after they’ve marinated in dressing for several hours. Next, add dense beans, grains or pasta. Black beans, chickpeas or farro are a great way to add protein and fiber, which will keep you feeling full for hours.
4. TIME TO GET CREATIVE
Now that you’ve covered the dressing with a few ingredients, there’s a lot of flexibility with these next layers! Diced meat and crumbled or shredded cheese can add extra protein and lots of flavor. Boost the healthy fats by adding nuts or seeds. The top of the container is also great for layering softer fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, strawberries or avocado. Be bold and let your creativity fly! You really can’t go wrong here, blending complementary flavors and textures for deliciously satisfying salads.
5. LAYER THE LETTUCE
Now that you’ve added all of your ingredients, it’s time to finish with lettuce. Fill your container with a handful of vibrant salad greens. It’s okay to pack the lovely leaves in fairly tight, as the salad will settle a bit. Snap your Pyrex containers shut with the accompanying airtight lids and store in the fridge until lunchtime. When ready to eat, simply shake to combine and grab a fork. You’ll have a healthy, filling and unapologetically delicious lunch all in one super-cute, versatile container.
6. REV UP YOUR RECIPES
Though there are hundreds of combinations that make for scrumptious salad shakers, finding a few tried-and-true ideas is a great way to ensure you’ll love your lunch. Here are three of our must-try favorites—perfect for taking along with you (and pretty enough to serve at parties, too).
APPLES AND GREENS SALADThis salad is wonderfully refreshing any time of year! The apples add a tart crispness that pairs perfectly with the nutty dressing. Placing the apples on the dressing will help prevent them from browning when making this ahead. GET THE RECIPE
MEXICAN BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALADThis salad combines classic Mexican flavors with burrito bowl convenience. The simple dressing is creamy with a kiss of spicy goodness—not too hot for tender palates. For extra protein, diced chicken or steak makes a delish addition.GET THE RECIPE
ALMOND-BERRY SALADPacked with antioxidant-rich berries and topped with almonds for protein, this salad is a healthy choice. Add a scoop of yogurt before serving to complement the flavors and make this snack taste like dessert! GET THE RECIPE
WHAT WILL YOU SHAKE UP?
With so many great ideas for skinny salad shakers, all you need is a 4-cup Pyrex container and a fork. Grab one of these recipes or create one of your own…easy to make and ready to go!
Here are a few convenient ways to cut down on prep time and make sure your salad stays fresh:
- PREP IN A SNAP. Firmer veggies (carrots, cucumbers, etc.) can be diced in advance and stored in PYREX® PREMIUM™ 6-PC VALUE PACK for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- TRY SOMETHING NEW. Munching on the same old salad might keep your shopping list simple, but it can get boring fast and can even kick off afternoon cravings. Try mixing things up with a new dressing, veggie, grain or protein combo. Nuts and seeds make a great stand-in for meat. Or try adding berries or chopped fruit. Your taste buds will thank you!
- TOP QUALITY. The dressing and the hearty base of vegetables and beans can be prepped days in advance. To ensure quality of the softer fruits and vegetables, try adding the evening before or morning of. The less time from packed to the fork the better.