How to make a salad in a jar

As part of our Money Week event (10 – 14 February 2020), we’re giving away 12oz (340g) glass jars for our competition to win a fitness tracker – simply create a ‘Meal in a Jar’, send us a photo with your recipe through either Facebook or Instagram (further Terms and Conditions apply).

If you’d like some inspiration, you’ve come to the right place – here is our guide to making a simple, quick and easy ‘salad in a jar’, packed with layers of colour and flavour.

First, collect your free jar from our Money Week desk in the Learning Hub.

Add dressing/ vinaigrette (as you can tell from the photo, I like a lot of dressing!) – there are plenty of quick dressing recipes online; however, if you don’t know your oil from your vinegar, you may find it easier to just pick up a bottle of ready-made.

Next, add crunchy veg – I opted for chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, and red onion, however you can use anything that won’t get too soggy if coated in dressing.

Then beans and pulses or softer vegetables – I went for sweetcorn and some tinned mixed beans.

Next a layer of cheese or other protein – I decided on feta cheese cubes as I liked the contrast in texture and flavour, although grated cheddar or pieces of grilled (cold) halloumi, ham, or even houmous would also work well here.

Then add pasta, couscous or rice; this layer is perfect for using up any leftover amounts (just cook slightly more than you need, and then leave to cool before adding to the jar) – I used pasta for one jar, and couscous in the other.

Finally add some salad leaves.

It’s now ready to eat, so slap on the lid and put into the fridge for later.

Perfect for a packed lunch (don’t forget your fork!), or a pre-prepared fridge go-to if you’re on placement or halfway through a long study session – when you pour out the jar, it will coat the salad in the dressing. Before eating my salad in a jar, I added a handful of extra leaves to the plate, but otherwise, it makes a filling meal on its own.

A salad like this will keep for approx. 2 – 5 days, depending on the type and freshness of ingredients used. Using layers will ensure that lighter elements like the salad leaves don’t get mushy so your meal stays edible for longer, and packing food inside the jar can help with portion control.

All it takes is a bit of preparation – you might already have some of these ingredients, if not, make a list for your next supermarket trip.

If you’re not that keen on salad, you could also use the jar for breakfast (try oats, yoghurt and fruit, or possibly a cold omelette), a noodle dish (better than a Pot Noodle!), even a pudding.

Think you can do better? I’m sure you can. Our competition to win a fitness tracker runs until 28 February – see our link for T&Cs and further info on Money Week.