5 brilliant, easy, and healthy summer mason jar recipes

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MakeAheadFruitandYogurtBreakfastParfaits_03_miniIt’s picnic and don’t touch-your-oven-until-September season.

And since putting meals in mason jars is officially a thing—whether it’s a pretty layered parfait or a prepare-the-night-before salad—we've found five hot and healthy (but actually cold) summer recipes that you can throw in a jar...and then throw in your beach bag.

Plus, the containers are way cooler (and prettier) than paper plates or Tupperware. Here are five meals from brilliant bloggers and recipe writers that prove it. —Molly Gallagher

(Photo: Iowa Girl Eats)

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Mason Jar SaladStrawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Jules Mirabella, the blogger behind Food and Other Stuff, literally has a book about mason jar salads, so you're in good hands. This layered lunch or light dinner is packed with strawberries, spinach, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Worried about a soggy salad? “Layering the greens and strawberries helps keep them fresh, and using parchment paper to hold the dressing means that the salad won't get soggy,” says Mirabella.

Visit Food and Other Stuff for the recipe.

(Photo: Food and Other Stuff)

MakeAheadFruitandYogurtBreakfastParfaits_03_miniFruit and Yogurt Breakfast Parfait

This protein-packed jar is filled with frozen berries (there's a trick coming!), Greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, and a little milk. Iowa Girl Eats blogger Kristin Porter, prepares it the night before for an easy on-the-go breakfast (and more time to stare at the pretty container?)

“These parfaits are thick and hearty, so the layers stay well defined. As the frozen berries soften slightly in the fridge, it creates a yummy, naturally-sweet syrup that swirls through the parfait,” says Porter.

Visit Iowa Girl Eats for the recipe.

(Photo: Iowa Girl Eats)

Buddha's pasta salad_and dressingBuddha’s Pasta Salad

“Packing the works in a single-serving jar makes for a perfect picnic-friendly or take-to-work salad,” says Allison Day of the site Clean Wellness, a plant-based food blog.

This vegan version of a summer BBQ staple—pasta salad, usually loaded with mayo and cheese—is made with gluten-free brown rice fusilli pasta, asparagus, mung beans, cucumber, mint, chives, and topped with a tahini dressing (yum!).

Visit Clean Wellness for the recipe.

(Photo: Clean Wellness)

Rooibos infused bircher muesli w berry delightRooibos-Infused Bircher Muesli

Chia seeds, hemp hearts, quinoa flakes, oats, and cherries make this one a superfood breakfast of champions—and it's infused with tea. “Infusing your milk of choice with rooibos tea will add that extra juicy sweetness otherwise gained by using tons of sweetener,” says Elenore Bendel Zahn on her blog, Earth Sprout. Great tip, right? The red currants hanging over the side don’t hurt its swoon-worthy status, either.

Visit Earth Sprout for the recipe. 

(Photo: Earth Sprout)

Kitchn_salad_in_a_jarSalad in a Jar

We love how this salad mix starts with a grain on the bottom, so it’s a heartier take-to-work lunch—and it prevents the dressing from soaking through. Here's the 411 from Emma Christensen of The Kitchn, who suggests you start with the dressing on the bottom of the jar, then the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients, and work your way up the jar…until you end up with the salad greens on top.

Visit The Kitchn for the recipe. 

(Photo: Emma Christensen for The Kitchn)


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6 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. July 2nd, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Please make it an option to click on one link to see all items on the list. Having to click through one at a time is time-consuming.

  2. July 3rd, 2014 at 8:52 am

    What a great idea! Thank you!

  3. July 3rd, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Am I the only one who doesn’t get the Mason jar thing? Yes, it’s pretty/trendy/rustic, but it’s also heavy to carry and difficult to eat from (unless you’re bringing a plate to spill your salad onto.

  4. July 7th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Lu – you are funny! Pamb – a few things. One, it has to be a wide-mouthed mason jar. Two, yeah: unless it’s a soup, chia pudding or something along those liquid lines, you are right, you need to have a nice big bowl at work to dump the jar contents into, toss them, etc. I have a beautiful wooden bowl that is easy to wipe clean after lunch.

    And three…beyond being trendy, Mason jar plusses include food being contained in clean, non-toxic, plastic-free, recyclable, reusable glass, and looking super pretty inside! Pretty food makes healthy food that much nicer to eat. Peace, Diana ~ eat2evolve!

  5. July 7th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Yummy! I love this. Thanks Well and Good

  6. July 10th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    And cleaning/carrying those jars is a great workout! Love Mason Jars!

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