Fresh & flavorful Italian Kale Salad Jar is the perfect make-ahead healthy lunch option. It’s packed with black beans, corn, red onion, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, hemp seeds, and kale. Then, it’s all stored in a jar with a homemade Italian vinaigrette. A nutritious, delicious grab-and-go vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meal!
Have you tried making a salad jar? This Italian Kale Salad Jar is our favorite way to meal prep salads. Storing all of the fresh ingredients layered in a glass jar will keep your salad fresher for longer! The jar filled with the salad components and the dressing is easy to grab as you head out the door and you can easily customize the ingredients with your favs.
Why you should make this recipe
- Healthy meal option: Having a salad ready to go that’s filled with nutrition is a better-for-you alternative to grabbing something from a fast food chain.
- Versatile: You can use the idea of a salad in a jar to come up with other salad combinations, so you never get bored. Change up the veggies, the lettuce, and even the dressing!
- Budget-friendly: Buying lunch out every day can really add up! Bringing your own lunch to work is not only healthier but can save you money.
- Great for meal prep: This salad jar recipe makes 4 salads, in only 20 minutes, to enjoy during the week. You could even make extra and enjoy them as sides for dinner.
This salad jar recipe is filled with crisp vegetables, plant-based protein from quinoa and black beans, and a simple, light Italian dressing. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- For the dressing: The homemade Italian vinaigrette is made with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice & zest, apple cider vinegar, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper.
- Black beans: One can of black beans adds plant-based protein and plenty of fiber.
- Veggies: A mix of corn, red onion, kale, tomatoes, and cucumber adds freshness, nutrients, and crunch!
- Quinoa: Two cups of cooked quinoa gives this salad a delicious, nutty flavor and is a good source of plant-based protein.
- Hemp seeds: Adds texture and healthy fats.
How to make this recipe
Making a salad jar is as easy as layering ingredients in a jar! It is important to layer them in a way that they don’t get soggy. The dressing goes in first, followed by the beans, and sturdy, crunchy veggies, then soft veggies and greens, and nuts or seeds at the top. Here’s the simple process:
- Make the dressing: In a small jug, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk to emulsify, then divide the dressing among 4 tall jars.
- Assemble jars: Add layers of ingredients into the salad jars as follows: beans, corn, onion, kale, cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, and hemp hearts.
- Enjoy! Refrigerate for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, transfer the salad from the jar to a bowl, toss, and serve!
- Size of the jar: You can use either weck jars or mason jars. We recommend using a wide-mouth, 29-ounce (or similar size) jar.
- Layering ingredients: To prevent your salad from becoming soggy, be sure to assemble the salad in a way that softer ingredients that are more likely to wilt or become mushy are not touching the dressing. For example, the tomatoes and greens should be closer to the top of the jar, while the beans and corn will hold up just fine in the dressing.
- Dressing: We like to make salad dressing from scratch because it is usually healthier and more flavorful, but feel free to use any store-bought dressing that you like.
Frequently asked questions
Salads stored in mason jars last for 4-5 days in the fridge. Make sure the lid is tightly sealed before placing them in the refrigerator.
Preparing salads in jars is great because they are a quick and easy way to prepare a healthy, portable meal ahead of time. They stay fresh for days and are customizable.
It’s a bit challenging to try to eat your salad out of the jar. We recommend transferring the salad from the jar to a bowl or plate, so you can mix everything up and then enjoy it easily.
Storing & serving recommendations
Store the Italian salad in four 29-ounce weck jars, 32-ounce mason jars, or meal prep containers for up to 4 days. If using a container other than a jar to store the salad, we recommend storing the dressing separately and adding it right before serving. To serve, pour the salad out from the jar into a bowl to enjoy, or stir it together in your meal prep container.
More salad recipes
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Easy Chickpea Feta Salad
- Green Bean and Tomato Salad
- Cucumber Onion Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Summer Corn Salad
- Asian Cucumber Salad
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Italian Kale Salad Jar
- 4 29oz weck jars
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon zest, and juice of
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can corn drained
- 1 red onion halved and sliced
- 2 cups packed shredded kale
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 4 medium Roma tomatoes diced
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds or hearts
- In a small jug, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk to emulsify, then divide the dressing among 4 tall jars.
- Add layers of ingredients into the salad jars as follows: beans, corn, onion, kale, cooked quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, and hemp hearts.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, transfer the salad from the jar to a bowl, toss and enjoy!