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Mason Jar Magic

Everyone loves mason jars: they’re versatile, reusable, and the ultimate material for DIY projects. What’s great about them in the kitchen, though, is that they also save time and money.

You can order your mason jars online or buy them at Tags Hardware in Porter Square next to Shaw’s. Mason jars are pretty cheap and last a long time, so the investment will pay off!

See below for a few recipes ideas – keep in mind that you can make big batches of foods and store them in mason jars for a few days or weeks, depending on the recipe. Let us know what you use your mason jars for in the comments!

DSC01202-2Image via Big Red Kitchen


Refrigerator Oatmeal: Add oats, milk, yogurt, and chia seeds to jar, along with desired sweeteners or flavors (maple syrup, cinnamon, agave nectar, peanut butter). Put a lid on the jar and shake to combine. Add fruit (blueberries, apple slices, banana, raspberries) and stir gently to combine. Place in fridge overnight and up to 2 days; maybe longer depending on the type and ripeness of the fruit. Eat chilled.

DSC_0150Image via Caits Plait

Yogurt Parfait: Combine chia seeds and yogurt and layer on the bottom of the jar. Pour granola, then peach dices, and alternate layers 2-4 times more. Top with favorite sweetener.


Chickpea Veggie Salad:

  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup cooked, cold quinoa
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 persian cucumber, chopped
  • 4 oz grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 5 oz chickpeas, rinsed & dried
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • splash of lemon juice
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  1. Whisk dressing in a small bowl, then transfer to the bottom of the jar
  2. Layer chickpeas on dressing, then add tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, quinoa, and goat cheese.
  3. Secure lid on tightly until ready to eat
  4. Shake the salad just before eating

Chickpea-Veggie-Salad-in-a-Jar-1-_-The-Blonde-BuckeyeImage via The Blonde Buckeye

Caprese Salad (yields 4 servings):

  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 1/2 cup green basil (leaves only)
  • 1/2 cup purple basil (leaves only)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • mini bocconcini
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • a drop of honey
  • Maldon salt
  • cracked black pepper
  1. One ingredient at a time, layer first the arugula then the 2 basils, tomatoes, and bocconcini in 4 jars.
  2. Set open jars in the fridge to chill.
  3. Whisk all ingredients of the dressing together (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper). When you’re ready to serve the salads, take the jars out of the fridge, drizzle the dressing on top of the salads, close the lids, and tell whoever’s eating with you to shake it up to mix everything together and then enjoy it straight from the jar immediately!

Orzo Pasta Salad (yields 1 serving):

  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 cups diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallots, minced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
  • 5-ounce can artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
  • 1/3 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon + 2-1/3 teaspoons cup olive oil
  1. Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, add in asparagus pieces and blanch for 2-3 minutes. While the asparagus is in the water, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add in shallots and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, just until tender. Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water.
  2. In a large bowl add cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces and sautéed shallots and garlic. Drain artichoke hearts and quarter them, adding them to the bowl. Add in sun-dried tomatoes with oil and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl or container, whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. While continuously whisking, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar. Once emulsified, stir the dressing into the salad. Move to the refrigerator for at least 5 hours for flavors to combine. Serve cold.


*Baking tip specifically for jars: Add 1/2 cup cake batter to well greased jar and bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes.  The goal is to make sure the center is not raw, hence the longer cooking time.  Start watching your jar at 30 minutes to make sure you don’t over-bake.


Brownies (yields 6 servings; image from Just a Taste):

  • 1/2 Cup Butter- Sliced
  • 2 1oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 Eggs-Beaten
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 6 Half Pint Jars- Sprayed with Cooking Spray
  • Garnish- Fresh Raspberries and Whipped Cream
  1. Melt butter and chocolate together in a saucepan on low.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in sugar,  vanilla and eggs.
  3. Add flour and baking powder and combine well.
  4. Divide among sprayed jars and add 1 tsp jam to the top of each jar.
  5. Cover each jar with aluminum foil and place in a slow cooker.
  6. Pour enough water in the slow cooker that it hits about half way up the jars (Do not overfill or water will boil over into your brownies).
  7. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm in jars with fresh raspberries and whipped cream or cool for 10 minutes and then carefully remove from jars and cool completely before slicing.

Cherry Crisp (yields 4 Servings):

  • 3 cups canned or fresh cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Evenly divide cherry pie filling between 4 individual oven-safe ramekins or jars.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine, flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Evenly distribute the crumble topping on top of each individual servings.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. Make these cherry crisps extra special by topping each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


White Cake (that you can customize – see above from In Between Laundry!):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine sugar and shortening until well blended.
  2. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until light and frothy. (about 3 minutes)
  3. Sift baking powder into flour.  Add flour to sugar mixture alternating with the milk.  Add extract.  Gently add egg whites and fold in until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending on your stove.
  5. Icing: Combine powder sugar, shortening, milk, and vanilla in mixer on lowest setting for 30 seconds.  Switch to medium highand mix for 2-5 minutes.

*Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Whipped Topping: Add 1/4 cup of blueberries to cake mix. Add 1/8 cup crushed blueberries to 1/2 cup whipped topping.

*Chocolate Cake with Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Buttercream: Add 2 tsp. cocoa and 1/8 cup chocolate chips to cake mix. Add 1/8 tsp cocoa (or more to taste) to frosting.

Enjoy your mason jars to the fullest! Use them for juices, to hold sauces, and prepared baking ingredients.

-Sarah Tralins

Cover image source.

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