Charlotte Fisher

I'm always looking for healthy lunch ideas that I can make ahead and bring to work. I've gone through the sandwich phase, the soup phase and, of course, the not-so-healthy takeout phase. But lately, I've been on a new kick.

Related: 50 Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

Enter the Mason Jar Salad. Mason jars are a choice vessel for layering colorful, nutritious veggies. You probably already have some hanging around in your kitchen. They're the perfect size for a single portion (a pint-and-a-half canning jar or larger works best for fitting all the greens and toppings). And if you layer your ingredients right, you'll end up with a fresh and delicious, not to mention pretty darn good-looking, salad. But the best part is you can easily pack several salad jars at once and keep them in your fridge for lunch all week.

Related: Incredible Recipes You Can Make in a Mason Jar

Follow these tips to make the perfect Mason jar salad.

Layer 1: Salad Dressing

The dressing is the first ingredient you should add to your Mason jar. By placing it on the bottom and putting your vegetables on top, you'll avoid having a soggy salad by mealtime.

Related: 46 Homemade Vinaigrettes That Will Make You Love Salad

Layer 2: Vegetables

Layer hearty vegetables, such as cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, corn, broccoli and edamame-any sturdy ingredients that will hold up well even if they are touching the dressing.

Layer 3: Protein

Load up on your favorite protein, such as chicken, shrimp, cheese, nuts, chickpeas, hard-boiled egg or tofu. Whatever your choice, keep it fresh by layering it on top.

Related: Best High-Protein Salad Toppers

Layer 4: Greens

No salad is complete without some crisp salad greens. Try arugula, spinach, mixed greens, kale, romaine or a combination to top off the Mason jar.

Related: 9 Great Greens to Add to Your Salad

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you're ready to eat, give your Mason jar a shake and pour the ingredients into a bowl-or dig in straight from the jar.

Watch: How to Make a Mason Jar Salad

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