As the leaves turn colors and the weather starts to cool down, I can’t help but bring a little autumn goodness into our meals as well. End-of-season ingredients like squash and pears give these salads a fall-inspired taste, and packing them up in mason jars allows the salads to be made ahead by about a week. Gather all the ingredients for chopping and layering at once, then pull out a finished jar whenever you’re ready, shake out into a bowl for serving, and enjoy a delicious, simple meal.
For each of the three salad recipes I’m sharing today, I’ll give you a rough estimate of ingredient portions, but feel free to add or omit as you see fit. These serve as a recipe outline for inspiring some new flavors for this new season. Also, if you or your family don’t enjoy a particular ingredient, or have allergies, feel free to substitute and create your own delicious salads, too!
When making a mason jar salad, the trick is to layer the ingredients from bottom to top with the wettest, most dense ingredients at the bottom, and the most absorbent or wilting at the top. For each salad shared today, I’ll list the ingredients in the order they should be layered in the jar in order to keep well for up to a week in the fridge. Omit the dressing ingredients if you’d like to add your own on top later.
Butternut Squash & Bacon Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 cup cubed, steamed butternut squash
- 1/2 tbs fresh minced sage
- 1/2 cup cubed purple plum
- 1/2 cup cubed avocado
- 1/2 cup crumbled, cooked bacon
- 1/4 cup crumbled goats cheese
- 1 cup maple pecan mix (cinnamon maple glazed pecans, walnuts, dried cherries, and dried apples)
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
Layer each ingredient into a quart or liter-sized mason jar in the order listed, then screw on the cap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Chicken & Parmesan Harvest Salad with Dijon Drizzle
Whisk in the bottom of the jar then layer the salad on top.
- 1 cup chopped sweet peppers
- 1 cup grilled chicken, cubed
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup sourdough cheese crisps (be careful, these are addictive!)
- 2 cups baby arugula
When you’re ready to eat, simply shake the jar out into a bowl. The dressing ends up on top, coating the salad ingredients well. Toss a couple times with tongs and enjoy!
Pear & Salami Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1/2 cup fresh blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
- 1 ripe pear, cubed
- 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
- 1/2 cup or about 15 slices of dry salami, sliced again into quarters
- 1/2 cup mixed fruit and nuts (almonds, walnuts, dried apricots, dried cranberry, pumpkin seeds)
- 3 cups green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
The tangy sweet of the blue cheese and salami meeting the fruit in this salad is so delicious. It feels hearty for fall, yet light enough to enjoy without needing a nap.
I hope you’ve got some new ideas for simple ways to bring some fall goodness into your meals with these delicious and simple mason jar salads. Pack some up to save for quick meals and sides later this week. They’re also perfect to pack along on a picnic or to a pot luck. Now I’m hungry and need to make some more for my own fridge!