We love everything about salads in a jar. They’re pretty and practical and a great way to plan ahead for an easy, healthy side dish or hearty meal. Here are a few tips so you can make the most of these vessels of colorful goodness.

A pretty table setting for salads in a jar.


  • Use mason jars, wide-mouthed jars with metal hinges and rubber seals, or make use of the jars from your favorite repeat grocery items like spaghetti sauce. 
  • When prepping a big dinner salad, make a jar side salad for lunch the next day and save yourself the trouble of getting all the ingredients out again.
  • When serving a crowd at home or the campground, wrap each jar with a pretty cloth napkin and tie on a bamboo fork. The presentation will make your guests feel special. 
  • On your next camping trip, make a six pack of different salads ahead of time. You can enjoy a cobb salad one day and watermelon and feta the next. Variety is the spice of life. 
  • Pack the jars in the main part of your refrigerator and not on the door. Everything will stay crispy and cold that way. 
  • Personalize them – jar salads are a great way to accommodate individual preferences – no onions for me, but extra olives, please. 
  • Pour your dressing in the jar when you are ready to eat it and give it a good shake. Empty it on your plate if you’d like and top it with a freshly grilled protein. 
  • Don’t forget about pasta salad. Place the cooked pasta in first and then add your favorite toppings. Add dressing and let it marinate overnight for a great meal. 
  • Adding the dressing ahead of time is a matter of preference. If you’re going to eat it the next day, add the dressing. If it will be in the fridge for several days, hold the dressing until you are ready to eat it. 
  • Salads in a jar will last four to five days if the lid is tightly sealed and they are refrigerated. Don’t pack the jars too tightly, so there’s room to breathe.
Jar pasta salad is a great make-ahead meal.

This article first appeared in the summer 2023 issue of Girl Camper Magazine. For more great articles like this, subscribe here.

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