Lunch Meal Prep Tips: Fresh Salads All Week Long

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It’s officially Lunch Meal Prep Week here on Maria Makes! All week on Instagram, I’ll be sharing lunch meal prep tips to help you do all of the leg work on Sunday (or one day a week) so the rest of your lunches are super easy, grab-and-go, no thinking required!

Today is all about SALADS! Keep reading for tons of salad inspiration and tips.


TIPS FOR KEEPING SALADS FRESH

  1. Make sure you’re starting with DRY greens! Either buy pre-washed (which is always my method of choice), OR if you buy lettuce that you need to wash, give it a good spin in a salad spinner to make it as dry as possible before storing! Moisture is the enemy of a fresh salad and the longer moisture sits on your greens, the soggier your salads will get!

  2. Let your toppings COOL! If you’re adding protein or roasted veggies to your salads, give them a chance to cool down before adding to your bowls! If you throw topping in hot then seal up your containers, you’re sure to get condensation, and you know what that means? SOGGY GREENS.

  3. Store your dressing separately! I have a few salad recipes with heartier greens (like shredded brussels and kale) that hold up for a few days even with the dressing. But for the most part, you want to dress your salads when you’re ready to eat them. I love these containers from Glad because they have a little dressing cup that snaps into the lid!

  4. Know that some toppings don’t hold up well! Like cucumbers and strawberries. They’ll be fine for a couple of days, but by the time you hit Friday, they’re likely to be a bit slimy. For “wetter” fruits/veggies like these, add them to 1-2 salads when you make them all, but then top them the morning of or the night before for anything longer than that. For avocado or apples, cut and add right before serving.


#MARIAMAKESABIGASSSALAD

I started using that hashtag a while back since I eat a ton of salads for lunch! Here are links to some of the salad goodness you’ll find in the Maria Makes archive!

Grilled Broccolini Salad

This one gets a little stinky if it’s packaged up all week (hello cruciferous greens!), so I recommend storing the ingredients separately and then building the salad that morning or right before you plan to eat it!


  Chopped Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad   Reader fave right here… here’s another one you can dress ahead of time! The brussels sprouts are hearty enough to stand up to the dressing (think of it like a slaw). The vinegar in the dressing also keeps the apples from turning brown, so feel free to prep this one up to 3 days in advance!

Chopped Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad

Reader fave right here… here’s another one you can dress ahead of time! The brussels sprouts are hearty enough to stand up to the dressing (think of it like a slaw). The vinegar in the dressing also keeps the apples from turning brown, so feel free to prep this one up to 3 days in advance!


Summer Berry Salad

Remember to let your chicken cool and add berries before serving for maximum freshness. The berries and cukes will keep for a couple of days though if you want to prep in advance.


  Crunchy Vegetable Salad   This one is a grocery store deli counter knock off that is Whole30 and SO addictive. It’s another one that you can dress a couple of days in advance!

Crunchy Vegetable Salad

This one is a grocery store deli counter knock off that is Whole30 and SO addictive. It’s another one that you can dress a couple of days in advance!

Kale & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

This is one that will hold up for a couple of days even after it’s dressed! God bless hearty kale.


  Strawberry, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese Salad   Make sure the quinoa has cooled before you add it to the bowls, add the goat cheese THEN chickpeas and pepitas so it doesn’t stick to your lid, and you might consider adding the strawberries right before eating!

Strawberry, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese Salad

Make sure the quinoa has cooled before you add it to the bowls, add the goat cheese THEN chickpeas and pepitas so it doesn’t stick to your lid, and you might consider adding the strawberries right before eating!


Buffalo Chicken Salad with Roasted Potatoes

Store the chicken and potatoes in a little separate container or ziplock bag! That way the saucy chicken won’t F up your greens and you can reheat it and the potatoes for maximum deliciousness.


  Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad   An oldie but a goodie! Put the sweet potato salad on the bottom so the dressing doesn’t make the greens soggy!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad

An oldie but a goodie! Put the sweet potato salad on the bottom so the dressing doesn’t make the greens soggy!


Salad Inspo from the Whole30 Blog

I have done some fun series in partnership with the Whole30 Blog and there are lots of fantastic salad and dressing combinations! Even if Whole30 isn’t your thing, you’ll definitely find some bomb flavor combos here that will take your salad game to the next level. Click any image below to be redirected to the recipe on the Whole30 Blog.


That’s it for today! Feel free to comment with your favorite salad combinations and if you have any questions at all, just let me know!


PIN IT FOR LATER!

 Maria Makes — Looking for lunch meal prep ideas? I’ve compiled my best salad recipes and tips for keeping them fresh all week! Prep lunch once, enjoy grab-and-go lunches for days.

Maria Makes — Looking for lunch meal prep ideas? I’ve compiled my best salad recipes and tips for keeping them fresh all week! Prep lunch once, enjoy grab-and-go lunches for days.

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