There is something simple and nostalgic about Mason jars. I love their simple, shiny clean look, and how they hold the promise of something delicious held over from the garden’s harvest.
John Mason invented and patented the first glass jar with a screw-on cap in 1858, and though he didn’t make much money from his invention, as his patent expired and lots of rivals came along, his name is still the one we use to refer to the jars with threaded two-piece lids: Mason jars.
I love to see pictures of people using Mason jars as storage, like this blogger does so well; check out her details at The Happy Raw Kitchen.
See how cute her pantry is? Mason jars plus jars of all sizes are so pretty, but they’re also practical. They keep moths out of your food when adequately screwed down, they add no funky chemicals to your food like some cheap plastic storage might, and they’re inexpensive.
I also love this cute candle idea from TheFrugalGirls.com; what do you think?
Well, I have another favorite use for Mason jars to share with you. It’s becoming a pretty popular idea on sites around the web, including, of course, Pinterest, and with good reason! You simply layer ingredients for your salad and store in the fridge, tightly closed, for up to ten days.
Salad dressing goes in the jar first, and your salad greens last, so they don’t contact each other until you’re ready to eat, thus saving your salad from becoming limp.
The rest of the ingredients are up to you: pasta shells, beans, tomatoes, olives, chunks of chicken or tuna, cheese, etc. Here is one idea that I made on KLTV-7 in my cooking segment recently (you can watch it by clicking here)
Mason Jar Caprese Salad
Layer in this order:
2 to 3 TBS Pesto dressing or Italian dressing on bottom
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh mozzarella cubes
1/2 cup cooked pasta
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
Leave a little open space at the top to shake up jar when ready to eat. If packed too tightly, it’s harder to distribute dressing.
Here’s another variation I totally loved; hope you do, too.
Mason jar strawberry-spinach salad
Layer in this order:
2-3 TBS of your favorite dressing, such as strawberry or raspberry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, etc.
1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1/2 to 1 cup grilled or roasted chicken pieces
1/2 cup cubed fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup glazed pecans or other nuts, as you like
1 cup or more fresh baby spinach leaves
Shake when ready to eat to distribute dressing.
A layer of pasta would work in this salad, too, if you have some left over from the Caprese salad! I never say no to pasta.
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I hope you enjoy trying these easy recipes; what is your favorite way to use Mason jars in your home?
(this photo from Pinterest, but couldn’t find original pin for attribution; let me know if you know! Love it!)
You might also like: Quick skillet dinner: grilled chicken with tomatoes, mushrooms and garlicky spinach
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “Mason Jar love: Simple layered salads & other fun ideas”
I love your site! I’ve also been making Martha Stewart’s banana bread for years, but my kids love it with mini chocolate chips stirred in!
Thanks, Heidi! It really IS great with added chocolate chips! I love that combo. 🙂