You’re welcome to get as creative with your own mason jar salads as you like, but follow these guidelines on how to layer your ingredients. Not feeling so creative? Check out: 5 Simple Mason Jar Salads Any Guy Can Make.

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Layer 1

Salad dressing and fresh fruit, watery vegetables
This first step is key in keeping the greens fresh and crispy. By adding the dressing to the bottom of the jar, along with any other “wet” ingredients, like strawberries or chopped cucumber, you can prevent everything else from getting soggy.

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Layer 2

Hearty, dry vegetables
Think of this layer as a bridge over water. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and beans act as a sturdy buffer between the rest of the salad and the dressing.

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Layer 3

Grains and more porous vegetables
Quinoa, pasta, and veggies like mushrooms and eggplant that can absorb moisture go here, as they’re protected by the dryer ingredients that preceded them.

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Layer 4

Proteins and cheese
Meats and fish.

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Layer 5

Lettuce, nuts, seeds, herbs, and dried fruit

These ingredients must be on top in order to stay the most dry and fresh of all the ingredients. The goal is crispy and crunchy, not slimy, soggy, and wilted.

Note: As long as you keep the mason jars upright, your salad will stay preserved for days. When you’re ready to eat, shake the jar over a plate or bowl. The dressing will begin to coat the ingredients as the salad empties out of the jar, but give it a final toss with your fork to ensure an even mix before eating.

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