With a surplus of Mason jars in our home that we use for everything from serving drinks, storing spices and dry pantry ingredients, and as flower vases, I’m always looking for new creative uses. And for salads and on-the-go meals, it’s a no-brainer—freshness, convenience, portion control and an absolutely delish looking meal!
Check out these recipes from Mason Jar Salads And More! by Julia Mirabella—packed with recipes and bright, stunning photos for inspiration. In the book she shares step-by-step layering and assembling tips, along with salad recipes and lots of delish dressings.
Spinach, Radish, and Quinoa Salad
While it may seem like a grain, quinoa is actually a seed—an awesome, nutrition-packed
seed. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, and its fluffy texture makes it
a perfect addition to salads. Here I’ve included it in a spring salad along with spinach,
radishes, and peas.
Makes 1 serving
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Blueberry Vinaigrette (recipe in the book!)
- ⅓ cup cucumber chunks
- ⅓ cup diced vine-ripened tomatoes
- ⅓ cup fresh peas (or substitute sugar snap peas)
- ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1 quart-size Mason jar
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under running water. Place in a small saucepan with the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Let the quinoa cool before adding it to the salad.
- Layer the ingredients in the Mason jar, starting with the vinaigrette dressing and continuing with the cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, and radishes. Add the cooled quinoa and finish with the spinach greens. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
Curried Butternut Squash
Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a cold salad but want a warm vegetable dish instead.
Here’s the perfect solution—a hot dish with vegetables, legumes, and a little spice to
make it special. Lime juice should be squeezed over the dish before you eat it, so be sure
to tuck in a lime wedge at the top of the jar.
Makes 3 servings
- 1 (20-ounce) package fresh butternut squash
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1½ teaspoons curry powder
- salt and black pepper
- ½ cup uncooked lentils
- 1 cup water, or more as needed
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, quartered
- 3 pint-size Mason jars
Amount per jar:
- 1 cup curried butternut squash
- ½ cup cooked lentils
- 1½ tablespoons cilantro
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 lime quarter
- Preheat your oven to 420°F. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and place in a baking dish with the shallot, 2 tablespoons olive oil, curry powder, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Stir to combine. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced. Toss occasionally to make sure the squash cooks evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the squash is cooking, put the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium to high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the lentils for 20 minutes, or until tender. If needed, add a little more water while they cook. Once the lentils are tender, drain them, salt lightly, and set aside to cool.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and lightly toast them in the pan, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes.
Pomegranate and Pear Salad
This salad never fails to put me in the fall spirit. Pears and blue cheese pair beautifully,
but it’s the tart pomegranate seeds that really make this salad special. You can buy
pomegranates whole and break them down yourself or purchase just the seeds at most
Makes 1 serving
- 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 cups spinach leaves, divided
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup roughly chopped pecans
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 3 tablespoons Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe in the book!)
- 1 quart-size Mason jar
- Place the pear slices in the bottom of the Mason jar. Layer 2 cups of the spinach on top of the pear, then add the pomegranate seeds, another ½ cup spinach, and the chopped pecans.
- Finish with the remaining ½ cup spinach and the blue cheese.
- Make a small cup out of parchment paper at the top of the jar and pour in the vinaigrette dressing. Seal the jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
Make sure to check out Mason Jar Salads and More: 50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go by Julia Mirabella.
Thanks to the glorious Mason jar and smart layering techniques (dressing on the bottom!), you can make delicious dishes ahead of time and spend no more than 30 seconds grabbing them from the fridge on your way out the door.
Want more from the author? Check out her blog MyFoodAndOtherStuff.
Photo Credit: Mason Jar Salads and More, Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Julia Mirabella