Jar salad

Easy to make-ahead and portable, a jar salad is sure to become your summer working-lunch staple. Simple to make and versatile, literally anything goes!

Jar salad is travel-friendly way to pack your salad for lunch at your desk. Simply layer up your salad in a jar, then either eat it directly from the jar, or decant it onto a plate. An easy, portable workday lunch solution that helps you to eat the rainbow.

This jar salad is one of the easiest and most versatile salads you can make. Literally anything goes! Make this when you have a selection of salad veggies that need to be used up. Make sure you include a source of protein (meat, chicken, fish eggs, legumes). Then simply layer up your ingredients in a jar, make a dressing and you’re done! The only ingredient I’d probably leave out is avocado as this goes brown quickly and probably won’t look that nice by lunchtime.

The perfect jar for jar salad

Before you get started, you need a jar. I recommend a screw top or clip top jar. Kilner jars work well, but you can also re-use a large jar. Anything from 500ml-1 litre is a good size for a decent salad (I personally think the bigger the better!). I recently came across this Kilner on-the-go jar complete with salad dressing pot, perfect for transporting your salad and dressing together.

Jar salad ingredients

Like I said before, anything goes! Here are some ideas:

  • Nuts, seeds or olives: Almonds, walnuts, cashews or Brazil nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or olives of your choice.
  • Beetroot: Peel and grate this, or buy ready-cooked and peeled and just grate it. I wear rubber gloves for this task, otherwise you’ll end up with stained hands!
  • Courgette (zuchinni): You can make courgette noodles to add interest to your salad, just remember to snip the longer strands with kitchen scissors! Otherwise, just grate the courgette.
  • Salad leaves: Rocket (arugula), watercress, mixed salad leaves, baby leaf spinach, cos, romaine or iceberg.
  • Protein of your choice: Pulled pork, tikka salmon, hot smoked salmon, roasted shredded chicken, soft- or hard-boiled eggs, sardines, falafel, chickpeas, butter beans, the choices are endless!).
  • Cherry tomatoes: Vine-ripened, mixed cherry tomatoes, or baby plum.
  • Cabbage: Red or white, grated or shredded.
  • Carrot: Grated or sliced thinly.
  • Fruit: Berries work well in a salad for a pop of sweetness, especially blueberries and strawberries.
  • Sauerkraut: Good for your gut and packed with flavour, dill pickle sauerkraut is a winning addition to jar salad!
  • Pickled red onions: For a punch of tangy, slightly sweet flavour, quick pickled red onions will add interest to your salad.

These are just a few ideas, so pick and choose what appeals to you, slice, dice and get layering!

Salad dressing

A salad dressing helps to bring a salad together, boosts flavour and provides healthy fats. This is important because many nutrients in salad are fat-soluble, this means they need a source of fat for us to be able to absorb them. A simple vinaigrette goes well with jar salad, but you can also use something thicker like a hummus if you want to ‘dip’ your salad rather than dress it. Here are some ideas:

Other salads to try

I hope you enjoy this jar recipe. If you make it, let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, or post in The Fertility Kitchen Community.

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Jar salad

Easy to make-ahead and portable, a jar salad is sure to become your summer working-lunch staple. Simple to make and versatile, literally anything goes!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jar salad, rainbow salad
Servings: 1 serving
Author: The Fertility Kitchen


  • 1 tbsp nuts or seeds of your choice
  • ½ beetroot or candied beetroot peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ small courgette spiralised or julienned (cut into matchsticks)
  • 1 large handful salad leaves of your choice
  • 1 portion of protein of your choice
  • 7 cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ small red or white cabbage shredded
  • 1 small carrot grated or julienned
  • 2 tbsp poppy seed vinaigrette (or salad dressing of your choice)


  • Layer all the salad ingredients in a large glass jar.
  • Make the poppy seed vinaigrette. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.
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