Food

From fruit salad to layered pasta: the best meals to prepare in a Mason jar

Posted by
Victoria Gray
Published

The Mason jar is just the coolest bit of tupperware you can buy. Yes, that was the words 'cool', and 'tupperware' in the same sentence, but it's true - the photographic qualities of the Mason mean that it's all over Instagram and Pinterest as packed lunches become photo-fodder.

But bringing your lunch in a glass jar has culinary advantages too - the heavy duty seals of the jars mean that perishables will wilt less slowly, and rather than crushing a plastic tupperware among your fellow commuters, your food will stay in tact, and in the beautiful layers you built it in.

The layers have an advantage too - not just for getting you the most likes on social media, but keeping wet and dry ingredients separate and keeping everything as fresh as when you assembled it. 

(words: Victoria Gray)

  • Mast-o-Khiar

    This Persian delicacy lends itself ideally to a Mason jar, keeping the ingredients from mixing in with the yoghurt before you eat it.

    Assembly time: 10 minutes

    You will need:

    • walnuts
    • mint
    • yoghurt
    • raisins
    • cucumber
    • chickpeas

    Image via betacyanin.com, find a recipe here

  • Courgette pasta salad

    You'll need a spiralizer to make this amazing courgette substitue for pasta, but it will be worth it.

    Assembly time: 10 minutes

    You will need:

    • Courgettes
    • Celery
    • Peppers
    • Tomatoes
    • Avocado
    • Feta

    Image via sugarfreemom.com, find a recipe here

  • Breakfast oatmeal

    Mason jars are great for prepping food ahead of time - for instance, they will keep dairy and fruit products in these breakfast parfaits fresh so you can make a whole week's breakfast at once and stay in bed a little longer each morning!

    Assembly time: 10 minutes (for five)

    You will need:

    • Oats
    • Yoghurt
    • Chia seeds (optional)
    • Milk
    • Fruit of your choice

    Image via theyummylife.com, find a recipe here

  • Wrap free burrito bowl

    Who'd have thought something as indulgent as a burrito could become healthy? Only when you enlist the help of a Mason jar...

    Assembly time: 5 minutes (plus 30 minutes cooking ingredients)

    You will need:

    • Chicken
    • Quinoa
    • Bacon
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Yoghurt/sour cream

    Image via strictlydelicious.com, find a recipe here

  • Instant noodle soup

    Outshining the Pot Noodle by several degrees, this recipe involves assembling dry ingredients which you can just add boiling water to at work and have a delicious healthy noodle dish instantly.

    Assembly time: 15 minutes

    You will need: 

    • Rice noodles
    • Dried mushrooms
    • Spinach
    • Soy sauce
    • Lime juice
    • Stock cubes
    • Ginger 
    • Garlic
    • Shredded carrot/cabbage, or any other vegetables of your choice

    Image via veggiebelly.com, find a recipe here

  • Crustless quiches

    Because they are made of glass, you can also cook in Mason jars. These crustless quiches are a perfect recipe to cook a few at once then cool and eat cold for lunch.

    Assembly time: 50 minutes (including 35 minutes cooking time)

    You will need:

    • Eggs
    • Butter 
    • Filling of your choice - examples include tomatoes, cheese, broccoli, pea, leek

    Image via kristaandjess.wordpress.com, find a recipe here

  • Mud pie

    Mason jars are a fantastic way to present and preserve desserts, too. This mud pie, made with oreos, fudge and ice cream should convince you of that fact...

    Assembly time: 10 minutes (plus time to freeze)

    You will need:

    • Oreo cookies
    • Ice cream
    • Milk
    • Coffee
    • Sugar
    • Cream
    • Fudge

    Image via thelilypadcottage.com, find a recipe here

  • Skinny banana split

    Beautiful homemade breakfasts always look better in a Mason jar, and stay fresh too!

    Assembly time: 5 minutes

    You will need:

    • Honey
    • Oats
    • Banana
    • Mixed berries
    • Yoghurt

    Image via simplegreenmoms.com, find a recipe here

  • Pasta and tomato sauce

    Part of the appeal of Mason jars is being able to store all your ingredients together which you can then mix up so they haven't soaked together and become soggy. For instance, pre cooking pasta and a sauce, you can then shake them up and heat in your work microwave (make sure your jar doesn't have a rubber seal) for a hot homecooked meal instantly.

    Assembly time: 20 minutes

    You will need:

    • Pasta 
    • Tomato
    • Mozzarella
    • Pesto

    Image via Pinterest, find a tomato sauce recipe here

  • Vegan flower salad

    Keeping vegan food - which is full of perishables fresh, is a lot easier in a Mason jar. Bonus - this salad is full of edible flowers, a delicious, and beautiful treat.

    Assembly time: 10 minutes

    You will need:

    • Dressing
    • Cucumber
    • Tomato
    • Spinach
    • Pistachios
    • Edible flowers
    • Dried apricots

    Image via kblog.lunchbox.com, find a recipe here

  • Bacon and Eggs

    Cooking in a Mason jar isn't just restricted to the oven - this recipe shows you how to make delicious scrambled eggs in your microwave using just the jar, and finally top with bacon for a wonderful weekend breakfast.

    Assembly time: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes frying bacon)

    You will need:

    • Eggs
    • Spinach
    • Bacon
    • Cheese

    Image via masonjarbreakfast.com, find a recipe here

  • Antipasto salad

    This rich salad benefits from the layers a Mason jar provides, keeping all the ingredients separate.

    Assembly time:  5 minutes (plus 30 minutes to roast ingredients)

    You will need: 

    • Red peppers
    • Mozzarella
    • Spinach
    • Chicken marinated in pesto
    • Pepperoni
    • Red onion
    • Dressing

    Image via lexiscleankitchen.com, find a recipe here

  • Lasagne

    A simple way to prepare a meal for one - cut the pasta into circle shapes and save for when you fancy an easy homemade meal.

    Assembly time: 30 minutes (plus time preparing bolognase and cheese sauce)

    You will need:

    • Bolognase sauce
    • Cheese sauce
    • Pasta
    • Pesto

    Image via thefoodinmybeard.com, find a recipe here

  • BLT salad

    This is a delicious way to reinvent that boring sandwich you always buy from the local cafe - mix up bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and some bread croutons in a jar for an endlessly more satisfying lunch.

    Assembly time: 5 minutes (plus 10 minutes to fry bacon and roast croutons)

    You will need:

    • Bacon
    • Bread croutons
    • Tomatoes
    • Lettuce
    • Mayonnaise, sour cream (for optional dressing)

    Image via itallstartedwithpaint.com, find a recipe here

  • Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

    Another prepare early, cook later dish - shepherd's pie for one. If you're lucky enough to have an oven at work you could take it in for lunch, or just have it waiting for you when you get home.

    Assembly time: 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes in the oven)

    You will need:

    • Potatoes
    • Cheese
    • Leek
    • Kale
    • Onions, garlic, celary
    • Cabbage
    • Carrots 
    • Peas
    • Vegetable stock

    Image via kristandjess.wordpress.com, find a recipe here

Share this article

Author

Victoria Gray

Victoria is a contributor for Stylist.co.uk. She covers lifestyle and food pieces for the site. When on the internet she can be found tweeting feverishly about Great British Bake Off, and offline she is never happier than when in the company of some wine and cheese.

Related Posts