Meals in a jar are the hot new trend! They’re fun, easy to make, and delicious. And they provide that “wow” factor your guests will love. Try these recipes:
Salad In A Jar
Mason glass jars just may give Tupperware a run for its money. A wide-mouth glass jar, with a lid, provides a safe, reusable, and healthy way to eat salads without a lot of preparation work. Make one at a time, or make several one afternoon or evening for the week ahead. If done right, salad in a jar will stay fresh and tasty for up to 4 days. You don’t need any special sealers, as long as the jar has a lid and you keep the greens away from the dressing. Add the dressing to the jar first and your salad will stay crisp and appetizing.
Here’s a simple recipe to follow, but you can alter it and use any type of ingredients you like, including pasta, quinoa, or whatever type of salad fixings you prefer.
Put the lid on the jar and then store until ready to use. Once ready, shake the jar with the lid on, and either eat out of the jar or pour it into a bowl or onto a plate.
If you remember, leave a little room on the top for shaking once ready to eat. If you fill it to the brim, just take a few bites then put the lid back on to shake.
Start by putting 2 tablespoons of salad dressing* of your choice in the bottom of the jar.
Add some or all of the following (these ingredients do well sitting in/on top of the dressing): Carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, mushrooms.
Top with tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, chick peas, meat, lettuce.
If you like, add croutons, cheese, dried cherries, cranberries, or nuts to the top.
Tasty Balsamic Dressing Recipe
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the oil, vinegar, mustard, then add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Apple Pie in a Jar
You can make them ahead and pop them right in the freezer until you’re ready to bake.
What you’ll need:
Half-pint oven-safe tempered glass jars.*
Pie dough–homemade or store bought
Apples, peeled and sliced.
Roll out a small handful of dough. This is just for the tops of your pies. Use the mouth of your jar as a cutter to cut the tops out of the dough and set aside.
Use the rest of the dough to line the jars. No need to grease them. Press the dough all the way up to the top of the jar on all sides.
About 1/2 cup of filling is needed for each jar.
Basic Apple Pie Filling–Enough for Four Pies:
2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tablespoons sugar–brown or white (more or less can be added depending on taste)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter (divided between the pies)
Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a mixing bowl. When your filling is all combined, divide it between the jars and add a pat of butter on top. Now add the pie toppers you cut out before, and add a few slits to allow steam to vent. (You could also top with a crumb mixture if you like apple crumb.) Keep the piecrust top inside the jar, but cover the entire filling. You can be as decorative or plain as you’d like. Optional: brush pie tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Get creative! Make pumpkin, apple crumb, even chicken pot pies!
Place metal lids on top of jars and seal them tight. Now you are ready to freeze them.
Some may be wary of cooking these pies once they are frozen, but remember canning jars are designed to be boiled or pressure-cooked. Do not cook the pies with lids on. You can let the frozen pies warm up at room temperature for a bit or you can place the frozen jar on a cold cookie sheet and place it in the oven while it’s preheating, so it can warm up slowly. Bake at 375° F for 50—60 minutes if frozen, or 45 minutes if fresh or thawed.
These also make great gifts. You can decorate them, attach directions to the jars, and they are ready for gift giving.
*According to the Ball Canning Company, Mason jars, of any size, are not recommended for oven use.