Layered Lunches – the ultimate meal in a jar

Salad in a jar

Are you looking for a quick and easy meal idea for the summer months? Mason jar meals are perfect for a no-cook summer meal or grab n go lunch or picnic.

We’ve put together suggestions for how to layer up your jars with nutritious, delicious salads and dressings. And depending on your dietary choices and restrictions – we probably have something that’s perfect for you!

GF= Gluten Free, DF = Dairy Free, V = Vegan





(bottom) 1


(vinaigrettes – acid and oil = ratio of 1 part acid to 2-3 parts oil. + sweet and salt)

(creamy – cream and mayonnaise = equal parts cream and mayo, add milk to thin out)


Hearty vegetables

  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Whole cherry tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn

Softer vegetables, beans, pulses


Pasta, roots, grains



  • Hard boiled egg
  • Tofu
  • Cooked meats + V
  • Cheese: feta, mozzarella, cottage, hard + DF
  • Fish – tinned (salmon, tuna, sardines – sustainably-fished)

Leaves, delicate vegetables, fruits

 (top) 7

Nuts, seeds, sprinkles

Tips for the perfect ‘Meal in a Jar’

  • KEEP YOUR SALAD CRISP & FRESH – Layers 1 and 2 are critical to not ending up with a soggy salad! The trick is to keep the dressing away from the leaves, or anything that doesn’t fare too well in liquids for long periods. Using hearty vegetables like whole tomatoes and cucumber (see list above) creates a barrier against the dressing and any ‘wiltables’.
  • WHERE THE JARS ARE – You’ll find Mason Jars aka Glass Clip Lid Jars, in most leading supermarkets here in the UK, they run at about £2.00 on average and are great for storing all types of food. They show off your layers perfectly, they’re airtight and they don’t stain or harbour smells either. Choose from traditional clip lids, metal screw on lids, and with or without handles, and various sizes too.
  • SUNDAY PREP – These salads can be made in advance. Prepare on a Sunday and keep in the fridge for quick grab n go work lunches.

Have you got any great salad combos that you think would look great in these jars? We’d love to hear from you!










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  • Vicky says:

    Great advice, I love to make salads in a jar.

  • Tabitha says:

    Looks perfect for a summer weekday lunch that can stay light and keep you going throughout the day! The personalisation allows you to pack varied meals every day, and target the vitamins and nutrients you want specifically. A great idea, thanks for sharing!

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