Meal prepped salads that need to keep fresh for a week

How to Keep Salad Fresh for a Week So You Can Stop Throwing Them Out

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We all know we’re supposed to be eating more plants. And you can’t go on Instagram without someone telling you that meal prepping is the key to good food choices. But how are you supposed to keep salad fresh for a week?

Well, thanks to my doctor’s nagging and my busy schedule, I’ve cracked the code. And it turns out, maybe those Instagrammars are right about this at least: making a salad that lasts all week has led me to make better food choices. Like having only one scoop of ice cream when I’m hungry later that night instead of two.

Step 1: Get Your Greens Squeaky Clean.

Even if you don’t see them, lettuce and other vegetables often harbor mold spores and small insects that plain water alone won’t remove. If you want to keep salad fresh, keep your ingredients in the crisper drawer of your fridge until you’re ready to prepare it.

Then soak your greens for 5 minutes in a homemade fruit and vegetable wash using 2 quarts of cold water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of table salt. Drain and rinse them well. Use this on any type of lettuce (heads of romaine, endive, arugula, radicchio, or iceberg) and other greens like spinach, kale, or cabbage.

Step 2: Spin or Pat Dry Completely.

Here’s where most of us go wrong and cause our salads to get soggy. We want the water in the lettuce, not on it. Excess moisture makes a salad rot quickly. So once they’re clean, dry everything with. quality salad spinner or pat them dry.

Pro Tip

If you have a kitchen ceiling fan, put a towel on your counter and spread out the lettuce then let your fan do the work drying it for 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Discard All Seeds and Pulp.

Some ingredients like carrots, onions, and radishes are naturally on the crisp and dry side. But others, like tomatoes and cucumbers, have seeds in a gel or pulp that—you guessed it—adds moisture to your salad.

So, slice tomatoes in half or quarters and use your fingers to scoop out the seeds and gel. Slice cucumbers lengthwise and run a spoon down the center to scoop out the seeds and surrounding flesh. Then pat them dry, too.

Step 4: Delay Dressing.

Many meal-prepped salad recipes recommend adding dressing to the bottom of a mason jar and then adding your ingredients. That’s never kept salads fresh longer than a day or two for me. But when I wait to put on dressing until right before eating, I don’t have that problem. So I use the mason jars for my dressing instead. (Like this Homemade Ranch. Yum.)

Step 5: Combat Condensation.

No matter what container you put them in, vegetables “exhale” moisture as time passes. That moisture collects as condensation.

So, if you want to keep your salad fresh in a bowl all week, use one with a lid and wipe that lid daily. Or, if you prefer making salads in meal prep containers, add a paper towel to each before you put on the lid. Replace the towel every day or two so it can continue keeping your salad fresh.

Now, if only there was a way I could make ice cream last as long as my salad does.

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4 Comments

  1. thats brilliant. Thats gonna save hours in trying to whip out a salad everyday. thanks

  2. Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} says:

    Genius!!

  3. Raquel@2dayswoman says:

    I love love love salads! Thankfully my children enjoy eating salad too (with dressing and grated cheese 🙂 )
    Thanks for the tips, have a wonderful week!

  4. amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    awesome tips! I’m a huge veggie + salad lover, too – much more than my husband – so i frequently have leftovers. now i know how to make it last – thanks!

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