These Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads are an easy and delicious make-ahead meal. I love how you can make 4 jars (or more!) all at once, then grab one straight from the fridge for a fast meal at home, or an easy packed lunch for school or work.
Adding chickpeas to this salad adds a great source of plant-based protein to help make this a complete meal, but you can add any other protein you like. Tangy feta crumbles add an additional source of protein and a little extra flavor, but you can easily leave it out to make this a vegan and dairy-free recipe.
What is a Mason Jar Salad?
I mason jar salad is simply a way of packing a salad for easy travel, or for convenient make-ahead meals. When making a mason jar salad, there is a strategy involved with the layering of the ingredients.
You always put the salad dressing on the bottom, then you layer the sturdier ingredients (that won’t get soggy) on top of the dressing, like chopped cucumbers, onions, or cooked beans. Lighter, leafier ingredients, like romaine or spinach, should be added at the top of the jar, to keep it totally separate from the dressing.
How Long Will Mason Jar Salads Last?
I typically make no more than 4 days of salads at a time, so that the ingredients stay as fresh as possible. After 4 days, a prepared salad seems less appealing, and chopped lettuces will start to wilt. In the case of this recipe, the salad makes 4 servings, but I typically eat one serving right away on the day I make it, and then I’ll eat it for 3 more days after that.
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What’s the Best Mason Jar For Salad?
How to Eat a Mason Jar Salad
When I first heard of mason jar salads, I thought people were attempting to eat them directly out of the jar. Don’t do that!
Instead, pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl. Because the dressing is on the bottom of the jar, it pours out over all of the vegetables for a ready-to-eat, flavorful meal. (And you won’t have to try to awkwardly stick your fork in a narrow mason jar.)
In the case of these Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads, I layered the raw onions in the dressing, so that their pungent flavor would mellow in the fridge. I love the marinated onion flavor, almost like a pickled onion!
As always, the toppings I added to this salad are just a suggestion. If you want to swap the romaine for another type of lettuce, or the tomatoes for bell pepper, go for it! I’d also suggest adding some sliced olives, or even capers, if you like. (I’m not an olive fan, so I always skip them!)
These Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads are an easy make-ahead meal. Great for a vegetarian packed lunch or fast dinner, they are loaded with plant-based protein and feature a flavorful red wine vinaigrette.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small red onion , diced
- 1 English cucumber , chopped
- 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans (1 15-oz. can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes , chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)
- 1 large head of romaine , chopped
Prepare the red wine vinaigrette by adding the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, maple syrup, water, oregano, salt, and several grinds of black pepper to a small jar with a lid. (I use a small mason jar.) Shake it vigorously to combine.
Arrange 4 wide-mouth quart-sized mason jars on your counter for easy salad assembly. Pour 3 tablespoons of the dressing into the bottom of each one. On top of the dressing, add the diced onion, cucumber, beans, cherry tomatoes, feta, and then the lettuce, in that order to avoid soggy vegetables.
Secure the lid to make the jars airtight, then store in the fridge until ready to serve for up to 4 days.
To serve the mason jar salad, unscrew the lid and pour the contents into a large bowl. Since the dressing is on the bottom, it will pour over the salad last, dressing all of the vegetables. Stir well to coat, then enjoy right away.
Per serving (with feta): Calories: 324, Fat: 19g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 10g
- For a creamy vegan option, try adding a spoonful of tahini to the red wine vinaigrette. You won’t miss the cheese!
- You can use any other vinegar you like, if you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand.
- The tiny addition of maple syrup helps to balance the acidity of the vinegar, but feel free to leave it out if needed.
- If you don’t eat beans, feel free to swap the protein for cooked chicken if you eat meat, or try some cooked quinoa for a complete source of plant-based protein.
Reader Feedback: Have you ever made a mason jar salad before? These Fall Mason Jar Salads are a big hit when you want a hearty, comforting option!