Rainbow Salad in a Jar

by Lee

pinnable Rainbow Salad in a Jar 5 Minutes for Food

I love to cook, but when the summer heat rolls in (that means anything more than 90 degree for us Yankees), the oven becomes my enemy. We spend a lot of time outdoors, and it’s a shame to drag everyone inside for dinner, so we set up paper plates and fire up the grill several nights a week. But on those lazy summer evenings when the kids are busy playing tag with the neighbors (or sitting on the hammock texting their friends), these jarred salads are a great way to feed the masses without getting drenched in sweaty effort.

To keep this process easy, chop up a variety of veggies and fruit that you have on hand. Leftover corn is perfect in a salad, and carrots or orange peppers offer that bold orange. For protein, add boiled eggs, leftover chopped grilled chicken or burgers, or one of my favorite salad add-ons, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas).

If your kids are singing the summer song of “I’m bored,” then you can set up an assembly line earlier in the day or the night before, give each child a jar and let them customize their salads. Even my one child who doesn’t like lettuce (really? does it even have any flavor?) will eat most of the other veggies and adores fruit, so there’s bound to be something everyone likes.

When it’s time to eat, everyone grabs a jar of salad, drizzles on their favorite dressing (or make your own) and eats. The fruit is a fun way to have a healthy dessert, although I wouldn’t object to topping it with a little scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.


  • If making the night before, refrigerate and keep the lid loose so a bit of moisture can escape.
  • Use hearty lettuce, such as romaine or iceberg, or spinach so it doesn’t wilt, and make sure to put it on top so it doesn’t get crushed.
  • For the fruit, avoid fruits that brown, such as bananas and apples (unless you toss them with lemon juice).
  • Do not dress the salad before you’re ready to eat.
  • For an outdoor buffet with friends, fill a shallow platter with ice and nestle the jars (tightly sealed) in the ice so the fruit or salad doesn’t get warm and wilt.
  • Get creative! Add some cooked wheat berries, couscous, or brown rice on the bottom layer or try feta cheese sprinkled in with the fruit.

Email Author    |    Website About Lee

In addition to being a food blogger, freelance writer and copy editor, Lee is a wife, mother of four, sister to four brothers and friend to many. On any given day you will find her either at the grocery store, planning to go to the grocery store or wishing she had. By writing about her food adventures at Foodie Plus 4, Lee hopes to connect with others who are loving life with lots of flavor.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan July 26, 2012 at 12:58 am

Brilliant idea… and they look amazing! I love eating salads especially in the summer.


2 Desiree July 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

This is a great idea and I can use it for work or home!


3 Jen July 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

I love this idea! Such a pretty presentation. It would be great for taking along on a summer picnic.


4 Margaret July 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm

These are neat!


5 MommyPage July 31, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Yum!! The salads look delicious and ready to eat. This would be a great idea to take on-the-go for moms or kids.


6 Paula August 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I LOVE this idea! It is beautiful and looks so refreshing! I really love the idea of having the kids assemble their own – reduced whining I am sure! :)


7 Nicole August 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Picnic perfect! You could do the same with fruit – this is an awesome idea! This would be considered a ‘craft’ by my kids.


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