Who ever said healthy food couldn’t also be convenient?

Mason jar salads are a fun new trend, and they are exactly what you imagine they are: pre-prepared salads in jars. The idea behind them is that you prepare a couple jars worth at the beginning of the week so that you have easy, grab-and-go lunches ready throughout the week. Pretty genius, we think.

We aren’t just talking about your basic bare-bones salads here either. Some recipe makers have gotten quite inventive with the concept with some interesting and tasty results.

Best of all, you don’t absolutely need a mason jar to make these salads! All you really need is a jar with a wide lid. In fact, Randall Beans’ 14 or 24-oz jars are perfect for it. Just one more creative use for your leftover Randall Beans jars.

If you are thinking about trying this at home, here are a pointer for you: always make sure your dressing is your first layer, then add other “wetter” items and proteins and finish with your greens to make sure they don’t get soggy. Why not use our jars and our beans to try these fun salad in a jar recipes?

Mango Black Bean Mason Jar Salad with Quinoa and Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This zesty salad from Ya Gotta Have a Hobby is a magnificent recipe. It uses black beans and avocado to create a nice smooth texture that is then complimented by a to-die-for zesty and sweet vinaigrette. The dressing is as delicious as it is simple and can be easily prepared with items you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator. The salad itself features a unique combination of ingredients and flavors that all come together and thrive. Quinoa (one of our healthy favorites) is a big player in this recipe and gives it great flavor and texture. Don’t forget to add some jalapenos for a little heat that makes this salad a triple-threat: creamy, sweet and spicy.

Mexican Vegan Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad

Burrito bowls are a fun deconstruction of burritos (yum… burritos). What’s one step further? Burritos jar salads, of course. This recipe by Melanie Cooks is not a “salad” in the traditional sense, but it is so good we had to share it. Modeled at Chipotle’s vegetarian burrito, this recipe is packed with delicious sauteed veggies, creamy avocado, crunchy corn, plump black beans all served over brown rice. That’s right, no meat! You won’t miss it for a minute with how everything else works together. Heck, why not have a little fun and add some of your own burrito favorites and make something unique?

Southwest Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Salad with Avocado Dressing

We love trying unique things in our food, but even we were impressed by Yummy Healthy Easy’s idea for a zucchini noodle salad recipe. This is the only one of these three recipes that isn’t vegetarian, but it is oh-so-good. The dressing is what really puts this salad over the edge. Yogurt and avocado make up the creamy base while fresh veggies and herbs like onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and lemon help bring it some life. The result is a dressing you’ll want to put on everything, Preparing the zucchini noodles may take some time, so if you are in a time crunch or don’t need any frills in your salad you can get by with just chopping up some zucchini instead without sacrificing any of the deliciousness.