A layered Mason jar salad recipe with French lentils, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and a mustard vinaigrette makes a delicious and healthy meal prep lunch or dinner. One of my favorite cold French lentil salad recipes, meal prep style! 

A cold French lentil salad layered in a glass mason jar with mustard vinaigrette, lentils, tomatoes, red onion, and lettuce on top. This beautiful and healthy lentil salad is vegan and gluten free.

I’ve been making this cold French lentil salad recipe for years now. The inspiration came from the It’s All Good cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow. I often rotate between this one with a mustard vinaigrette and my other favorite, Mediterranean Lentil Salad. Now that the weather is heating up again, I’m swapping out our favorite Instant Pot Lentil Soup and Creamy Lentil Soups for salads. 

This easy layered lentil salad in a jar is filled with hearty lentils, sweet tomatoes, crunchy red onion, a zesty lemony mustard vinaigrette, and plenty of greens. This particular recipe makes three jars that are ideal for taking to work or the beach for lunch. 

Our lentil recipes have been some of the most popular on the site, so don’t miss our Lentil Meatlessloaf, Vegan Lentil Meatballs, Lentil Sloppy Joe’s, and Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Cold French lentil salad ingredients sit on a cutting board to assemble into mason jars. Ingredients shown include cooked French lentils, halved cherry tomatoes, arugula, diced red onion, and a prepared homemade mustard vinaigrette.

Cold French Lentil Salad Ingredients 

  • Lentils. Be sure to start with our Lentils 101 post to learn all about how to cook them. For this recipe you can cook the lentils yourself or use store-bought vacuum-packed steamed lentils. It’s important to use French, green, or brown lentils here (not red). 
  • Cherry tomatoes. I like to use red and yellow. 
  • Red onion. 
  • Greens. You can use your favorite greens here. My favorites are baby spinach, arugula, or a baby herb mix. 
A small jar filled with a homemade whole seed mustard vinaigrette sits on a wooden cutting board with a lemon in the background.

Mustard Vinaigrette 

If you are a fan of mustard, you’ll love this simple dressing recipe. If not, use the red wine vinaigrette from this lentil salad. For an oil-free balsamic dressing, try the dressing from this tomato salad

What Size Mason Jar is Best for Salad 

I like to use wide-mouth liter sized mason jars for make-ahead salads. That way there is plenty of room for lots of lettuce. If you don’t want any or much lettuce, you can use the smaller size. Shown in the images of this post are Weck 1/2 liter jars. In the video you’ll see the liter sized jar. 

This image shows how to make a layered mason jar salad with dressing on the bottom, then lentils, veggies, and lettuce on top.

How to Make Layered Mason Jar Salads

Making layered mason jar salads is easy. The trick is to start with the dressing on the bottom and layer the greens on top, away from moisture, so that they don’t wilt. 

Close-up photography of a cold French lentil salad mixed with arugula, tomatoes, red onion, and a mustard vinaigrette. The Mason jar salad is ready to eat and topped with avocado.

Store the layered salads in the refrigerator for up to a few days. When ready to eat, simply give a good shake and pour out onto a plate. I highly recommend topping this one with avocado. 

More Meal Prep Recipes

Yield: 3 jars

Lentil Mason Jar Salads

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

A cold French lentil salad to go! This beautiful layered mason jar salad recipe with lentils, tomatoes, onion, greens, and a mustard vinaigrette is easy to make, flavorful, healthy, and naturally vegan + gluten free.

A layered mason jar salad recipe with lentils, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coarse seeded mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (see note)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 5 oz. favorite lettuce (I like an herb mix or arugula)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, both mustards, salt, and pepper until emulsified.
  2. To assemble the mason jar salads, place 2 tablespoons of the dressing into the bottom of (3) quart-sized mason jars. Top each with 2/3 cup cooked lentils, 2/3 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup onions, and 2 handfuls of greens.
  3. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat, up to 2-3 days.
  4. When ready to eat your mason jar salad, simply give a good shake to distribute the dressing. Transfer to a large plate and enjoy. We love this salad topped with avocado.

Notes

This recipe has been tested with vacuum packed steamed lentils (Trader Joe's) and with freshly cooked lentils. If using vacuum packed, I recommend rinsing and draining with water to separate and refresh. Don't miss this Lentils 101 post to learn how to cook lentils.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 605mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 9gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.