Ree Drummond’s Kale Pasta Mason Jar Salad is a perfect portable meal idea

Ree Drummond is a fan of mason jars, both for making salad dressings and for a unique mason jar recipe idea. The pioneer woman Star’s totally portable meal idea is a cinch to make and a great healthy on-the-go option.

Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond uses mason jars for a variety of things

Drummond wrote about his love of mason jars in a 2010 blog post on The pioneer woman website. She shared some of the many uses for multipurpose glass storage containers, some of which went beyond food-related applications.

“Last night as I was washing and putting away the dishes I started thinking about how much I love mason jars,” she wrote. “Honestly, next to good knives, my stainless steel cooking spoons, my food processor and my blender, I can’t think of an item in my kitchen (or around my house) that makes its way in my daily life as much as a mason jar does.

She continued, “Note that I use the term ‘Mason jar’ generically to describe all brands of mason jars. Common brands include Kerr and Ball, and jars are usually sold in packs of twelve. They come with lids, but spare lids can be replaced later because unless they fall off and break, the jars last forever.

Drummond noted, “In the kitchen they are indispensable. I toss my dressing or marinade ingredients straight into the jar…then screw on the lid…and shake it. Do!”

The Food Network host shared some of the other ways she uses the jars, including storing pasta, beans, coins, pencils/pens/markers, paper clips, buttons and hair accessories . Drummond also uses smaller mason jars for juice glasses and larger jars for coffee, water or lemonade. She also uses them as vases for fresh cut wildflowers.

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Ree Drummond makes an easy kale pasta salad

Drummond also uses mason jars as a container for a unique jar salad. All the ingredients for her kale salad are layers in the pot, starting with a dressing. The jar is ideal for taking the meal on the go, and when it’s ready to eat, just shake it to mix everything together.

“These days I’m still running around and portable food has become a way of life in our house,” she said on an episode of The pioneer woman.

She made the mason jar kale pasta salad for her daughter Paige, who was away for the day. “I am a big fan of salads in jars. They’re really popular right now, for good reason,” she said. “They’re portable, make ahead, fun to eat, and perfect for a lunch break.”

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How to Make Drummond’s Mason Jar Salad Recipe

Drummond sautéed the garlic, salt and pepper in olive oil in a skillet, then removed it from the pan. She added shredded kale to the pan and cooked it for 5 minutes.

The pioneer woman star added lemon juice, lemon zest, basil and parsley to the garlic and olive oil mixture and whisked it to make the dressing.

She added parmesan shavings to the kale and tossed the ingredients together. “Now the secret to these salads is layering,” Drummond said.

“There are some tips on ordering,” she continued. She added the dressing first, followed by halved cherry tomatoes, butterfly pasta, a layer of cooled sautéed kale and Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, mozzarella balls and a layer of shredded raw kale. Then she screwed the lid back on and refrigerated the salad.

Drummond shared that when you’re ready to eat the salad, shake the contents with the lid and eat it out of the jar. “And it’s really great because the kale stays fresh in the jar for up to two days, so you can make it a few days ahead,” she said.

The full recipe is available at Food Network website.

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