Salad In A Jar Food-Prep With DIY Vinaigrette Dressing

  • Yield:3 servings
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Time:30 minutes

A salad in a mason jar? Seems kinda Pinterest-y right? Well, there’s actually great reasons to put a salad in a jar…

First of all, since the jar is vertical, any dressing you pour into it will run down to the rest of the salad, so you will get dressing on every bite. You also can use less dressing, meaning you will consume fewer calories without sacrificing taste. Since the jar has a cap, you can shake it after you put the dressing on to make sure the dressing disperses evenly. If you can only find a mason jar with a straw hole in the top, just be sure to cover it with your finger as you shake it, because wearing it isn’t as much fun as eating it. (By the way, don’t worry about the glass either; they sell mason jars in BPA-free plastic as well.)

This is a fantastic lunchtime food-prep where you can make 3 or so at a time if you plan to eat these on consecutive days. The salads will last up to four days in the fridge, but you’ll want to make the dressing fresh. Don’t worry, it’s very easy!

With this salad, we will cover all 3 macros evenly so you will get a complete meal out of it. I used grilled chicken as the protein, but you can also use pre-cooked salad shrimp to mix things up. I also used pre-cooked Polenta for my carbs. All I had to do was slice it for the amount of calories I wanted. Finally, my fats come from the olive oil in the dressing.

Even though I used lettuce for the photo, we’ll use baby spinach because it will last longer as it will not need to be cut. I use mostly fresh herbs for the dressing since it makes a world of difference in flavor. However, if you are making this in the winter, these may not be so readily available. In that case, they sell herb pastes in the veggie section of most supermarkets. If worse comes to worse, use the dehydrated basil and chives you can get from the spice section of the supermarket. One trick I read about (but have yet to try) is to preserve fresh herbs and freeze them in ice cubes or ice cubes of olive oil.


Salad for 3 days:

  • 6 slices from a Polenta roll (1/2 cup per serving)
  • 12 oz. Grilled chicken breast
  • 18 Baby carrots or 3 regular carrots, peeled
  • 1 head of Broccoli Baby spinach, probably around ¾ cup

Dressing for 1 day:

  • ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar (to taste, use as much or as little as you want)
  • 1 tbsp. water ¼ tsp. Minced garlic (I use the stuff in the jar)
  • 6 fresh chives
  • A few leaves/flowers of fresh dill
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dry oregano


Chop up everything small like you see in the picture and divide it into 3. Chop the broccoli into individual florets, or if the florets are too big then chop them in half. Add the heaviest vegetables first so they sit on the bottom, such as carrots, broccoli, and chicken. I bought a roll of pre-cooked polenta and it said one slice has 70 calories. To figure out what size to slice it, look at the amount of servings, grab a sharpie marker, and make that many dots so you can see how much to slice off. I personally need two slices. Slice, then break it up and toss it in. To fill up the top of the jar, you would add the fragile stuff such as the baby spinach so it doesn’t get all crushed.

For the dressing, get a small container and pour the liquids in, cut the herbs up tiny with scissors and put them in, add the minced garlic, the powdered stuff such as oregano and salt, and shake it up! Leave this unrefrigerated, it will last overnight.


Calories: 328.5
Protein: 31 g
Fat: 9 g
Carbs: 31 g
Fiber: 5 g