Salad in A Jar – Start to Finish

There have been several posts about the salad in a jar and each time there are questions that were actually answered in previous posts so I’m going to label this post as a “Tutorial” so it will be easy to find and I’m going to go into great detail .. though this is a very, very simple process.  Edited to Add:  This is my take on the idea I originally saw on the Salad in a Jar site.  From what I saw on her site, she uses lettuce only and uses the full size Food Saver.  Below is how I add additional salad ingredients and use the jar adapter, along with the hand held FoodSaver.  For the original post regarding putting salad in a jar, please visit the Salad in a Jar site.

The 5 quarts and two pints were made using 2 heads of leaf lettuce, one can of black olives, one container of grape tomatoes and a few carrots.  From past experience using storebought lettuce, I know these jars of salad will be fresh for at least 10 days though they all be gone within 7 days.

You will need:

  • A full size FoodSaver or a hand held Food Saver
  • A jar sealer (these come in different sizes – get either the wide mouth or regular mouth – depending on the jars you’re planning to use)
  • Clean jars
  • Unused or clean jar lids (I do re-use the lids for salads that have previously been used with the vacuum sealer.  I do not re-use lids that have been used in traditional canning.)
  • Salad ingredients

All you need to do is:

  1. Wash your salad greens and spin dry or dry in whatever manner works for you.
  2. Pack them into the jars leaving enough space for any additional ingredients you want to add.  I pack my lettuce pretty tight without crushing it.
  3. Add washed cherry or grape tomatoes that have been wiped dry.  I do not recommend adding sliced tomatoes.
  4. Add other ingredients – sliced carrots, black olives – whatever you think might work.  I’ve had good luck adding sliced radishes and mushrooms.

Once your salads are packed into the jars, begin the sealing process.

Place the lid onto the top of the jar after wiping the top of the jar clean and dry to help get a better seal.

(Sorry my picture is so dark and the jar is actually empty because I forgot to take pictures before the sealing all my jars)

Place the jar sealer over the lid.

Sometimes you have to give it a good mashing to make sure it’s on there snug.

If using the hand sealer, just hold it over the hole in the jar sealer and vacuum for 10  or so seconds.  If using the full size sealer, connect the hose to the jar sealer and then into the port of the FoodSaver and seal.

If you haven’t tried this and think it might work, you won’t believe how convenient it is.  We eat a lot more salads and we never have to throw away lettuce.


  1. 1

    Barbara says

    Thank you for taking the time to explain this again.

    I don’t know why it didn’t register the first time that it could be done with the hand held FoodSaver–duh!

  2. 2

    Cindy in NC says

    I started making salad in a jar about three weeks ago and love it. The quart jar is enough for two side salads or one meal-size salad. I use a bag (22 or 24 ounces) of mixed salad, one bag of romaine (three heads, from which I strip the thick stem), cherry tomatoes, and some onion. This makes eight quarts. I used to HATE making salad, but having to do it only every 10 days or so is great. My husband will actually now eat salad. I have one jar in my fridge now that was made more than a week ago. It looks fine, and I know it will be fresh and delicious when I open it. I already owned a Food Sealer, but had used it only for sealing meat. When I ordered the jar sealer I also got the canister set. I use these to seal bread products and am wasting a lot less bread. I really appreciate you passing this idea onto us, Judy.

  3. 3


    I LOVE doing this…thank you Judy..once again..! I have had my food saver for a couple years and love it..just started using the vacuum sealer (which has been sitting there) for jars thanks to you!

  4. 4

    Barbara says

    I’m going to have to see if I can find the jar sealer that came with my Food Saver and give this a try. I’ll have to buy some canning jars and lids but if they’re reusable, that will be a big help. I just hate tossing out veggies because we didn’t use them up quickly enough.

    One question — do you need to refrigerate the salads once they’re sealed?

  5. 5

    Diana in TX says

    Think I told you I made some for Dad when he returned to TX the other week. He has been enjoying more salads and thinks it’s a great idea. I add banana peppers to his as well. Haven’t made it for us yet, always end up adding different things to each salad. Could do the basics tho and probably will do that.

  6. 6

    barbara says

    i haven’t been able to use the hand-held directly on the lid, but i’m o.k. with that. i use the hose. i was able to get a very good price for a combo package which included the hose and the two size caps on amazon. i got the hand-held at walmart.

    i was surprised and happy to find that once i opened a jar and didn’t use all that salad. i could re-use the lid and re-vacuum the jar. i’ve been careful about what i put in. i don’t put in anything watery, like cucumber. i did put in radish and scallion and grape tomatoes, the smaller, the better. in all, i got about two weeks out of each jar.

  7. 7

    Darlene S says

    Judy, I finally got my jar sealer at a local store and am about to try the salad in a jar. I think this is a smashing idea and I know I will love it. Thank you for introducing us to it. BTW, I love your new sewing room.! Dar

  8. 8

    barbara says

    me, again ……
    unless someone told them, foodsaver must be scratching their heads wondering why their stock suddenly went up. 😉

    • 8.1

      Melody R. says

      Funny you should mention that. My girlfriend went to buy canning jars and had a hard time finding them a week before Christmas. Now that I’ve seen all this about a salad in a jar…lol, I’m thinking you all bought up all the canning jars, too funny.

  9. 9

    Laceflower says

    Thanks for that, I was confused with the information coming out in bits and pieces; now I see the apparatus needed to make this happen. Just need to find it locally now.

  10. 10

    patti says

    my salads were made with romaine lettuce and included. green onion, carrots, cherry tomatoes and radish. one jar got moved to the back and lost — it is over 2 weeks old and looks just fine! i’ll use it tonite for dinner.

  11. 12

    Barbara says

    Should the salads be refrigerated after they are sealed or can they be stored in the pantry? Thanks!

  12. 13

    April says

    Thanks for the tutorial as it just saved me from returning what I just bought and giving up on this idea. I bought the handheld and jar sealer today specifically to make the salads in a jar. I got the salads together and open the packages and realized I was missing some hose attachment according to the pictures. So I called the hotline to ask and they basically said there is no jar sealer that works with the handheld. I needed to buy the more expensive food saver or meal saver and as a stay at home mom right now that is just not happening. So I checked here again and see you have exactly what I have and it works fine without the hose. Thanks again.

  13. 14

    Ronnie says

    A quick FYI for those who are asking: Yes, you must keep your jars of salad in your refrigerator. To bring them with you for lunch, put a chill pack in your lunch sack, or put your salad in the fridge at work if you have access to one.