Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto

Disclosure: This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I’ve been fairly determined the past couple of weekends to squeeze in as much summer-awesomeness as possible. I’m already noticing back to school advertisements and even Holiday decorations (yes, really) in the stores, which is making me anxious that summer is on its way out the door. And I don’t even want to think about that right now. It gives me the stresses.

Luckily for me, living on an island means there is always an outdoor summer adventure to be had. Kayaking, biking, swimming and fishing opportunities are all within easy reach. There are plenty of ways to “cease the day” and soak up what remains of these long, hot summer days.

But all this activity requires food. Both for energy and for my overall mental stability. Because I really don’t like to be hungry. I turn into the Hulk when I’m hungry. And it’s not pretty.

So to keep myself in check, I always carry around something to eat. Blue Diamond Almonds are one of my favorite grab-and-go snacks for short jaunts. Their containers are the perfect size for stashing in your bag (not too bulky!) and they have a tight fitting lid to avoid spillage. And not to mention they have a ton of amazing flavors to choose from. But for longer adventures, I like to go the extra mile and bring something along with me that’s a bit more substantial. Like these Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto.


To make a good Mason jar salad, there are just a few little tricks to remember. Like always put your dressing and sturdier ingredients (grains and beans) at the bottom. Keep lighter, more fragile items (salad greens) near the top. And try to avoid ingredients that will spoil quickly. Also, don’t over pack the jars, because a little wiggle room is necessary to help distribute the ingredients once you’re ready to eat.

I chose wheat berries as my base for this salad, because they have a great chewy texture that I find super satisfying when I’m absolutely starving. But you could certainly use farro or quinoa, if you prefer. I topped the wheat berries with some summertime favorites: cherry tomatoes, eggplant and arugula. And I made up a dairy free basil pesto with Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds. Big flavor, small container. That’s how you get things done when you’re on the go!

While I certainly recommend storing all perishable food items at the proper temperature, I did enjoy my salad after it had been kicking around in my backpack for about 3 to 4 hours. And I lived to tell about it. Just putting that out there.



Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto

Serves 4

Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto


  • For the Salad
  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups cubed eggplant
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds
  • 2 cups arugula

  • For the Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Cook the wheat berries. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the wheat berries, water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about 50-60 minutes. The wheat berries are done when they have plumped slightly and some have started to split open. They should be chewy and al-dente. Drain the wheat berries and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, add the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle the tops of the tomatoes with the thyme leaves and 1/2 tsp. salt. Let the tomatoes cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. You will hear them starting to pop. Give the tomatoes a stir and cook for 1 minute more. Then remove and transfer the tomatoes to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in your cast iron skillet. Add the cubed eggplant and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the eggplant, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes. If the skillet starts to get dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for about 1 minute more. Remove the eggplant to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Make the pesto. In the bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the almonds and garlic until the almonds are partially broken down. Add the basil leaves and lemon juice and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the basil is finely chopped. With the food processor running, gradually stream in the olive oil, blending until well combined. Taste and add a pinch of salt if necessary. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
  5. Assemble the salads by layering the ingredients into mason jars. You’ll need jars that are at least 16-ounces in size. Start by adding about 2 tablespoons of pesto to the bottom of each jar. Then divide the wheat berries, sautéed eggplant, blistered tomatoes (spooning any released juices from the tomatoes into the jars), almonds and arugula evenly between the jars. Seal and refrigerate the jars until you’re ready for your adventure!
  6. To serve, shake or stir to mix the ingredients together and distribute the pesto. Enjoy!

69 comments on “Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto”

  1. Mason jar salads are the best! I love how portable they are! This salad looks fantastic, Liz! I love the basil almond pesto!

  2. I absolutely love mason jar salads and love that you packed these with all of the good stuff! I wish I was by the coast today to enjoy one for lunch. Love your pictures!

  3. I can’t get enough of eating my salad out of jars and this beauty is nothing short of GORGEOUS!! Loooove all that blistered tomato goodness and obviously that beautiful almond pesto!!

  4. Love this hearty and healthy salad! So many yummy ingredients in there and I bet the almonds and wheat berries make it super satisfying. Awesome!

  5. I Love anything in a mason jar- tres chic! Especially a salad with Blue Diamond Almonds 😉 I totally want this for lunch today… lucky for me this is easy enough that I don’t need to finish unpacking my kitchen to enjoy this deliciousness! Yay to that! Pinned! <3 Cheers!
    P.S. You live on an ISLAND????? whaaaa?? I'm SUPER jelly!!!!

    • Glad you love it! Definitely pack up a mason jar salad while you’re unpacking up your house! You need lots of energy for moving! 🙂

  6. YUM! Mason jar salads are perfect for on the go or to bring them to work – which I’m all about! Now that you mentioned it, I’m curious to know… what island do you live on?! SO FUN!

    • Definitely great for an adventure or for going to work too! And if you want to know, check the coordinates in the header. 🙂

  7. Liz!!!! I LOVE these mason jar salads!!!! beautiful and love the wheat berry and almonds!!! love!!! and don’t even get me started on back to school advertisements and holiday decorations?!!! WHAT?! I’ve had so many emails in the past few weeks from brands already thinking about back to school and wanting posts and stuff. . I guess now is the time. . but give me at least 6 more weeks of summer. . pleaseeeeee. . and this salad!! Making that pesto, girl!!! delicious!

  8. These are SERIOUSLY gorg! I am loving mason jar salads lately, and that pesto is calling my name! I’ve yet to try wheat berries, and this just might get me to do so! Pinned!

  9. These are adorable, and I love nut pestos, I use them a lot on pasta, but never thought to add them to salad — pinning!

  10. Gorgeous mason jar salads Liz! Perfect for all those summer picnics. One fabulous and pretty salad!!!!

  11. It’s so sad that back to school and fall stuff is everywhere, and I’m even seeing Halloween stuff breaking out. Ugh! I love your photos right out there on the water, and these salads look amazing, Liz. I’m not very nice when I’m hungry either (which is every few hours), and almonds are a go-to snack for me! 🙂

  12. I want to come visit your island and eat salads with you (followed by cupcakes, obvi), it looks so pretty! Things in jars > things not in jars. xoxo

  13. Ha! I’m the same when hungry – it’s not pretty! This salad-in a jar- yess!

  14. Indeed, living on an island has it’s advantaged – I can attest!! Hehe… oh yes, I know! I’m no fun to be around when I’m hangry! So a quick snack, like almonds, is something I always have on hand. It’s like my lip balm.. it’s always in my bag! This recipe, Liz!! I admit, i’ve not done a salad in a jar yet, but I keep hearing this is the way to pack a salad. So I need to give it a go! Love the wheat berries and blistered tomatoes in your delectable salad recipe!

  15. I am drooling over this salad! I love blue diamond almonds for snacks as well. Ps: the photos in this post are beyond gorgeous!! Love the outdoor setting!

  16. This has a totally delicious caprese vibe going with the tomato/basil! I love wheat berries 🙂

    • It does, just without the cheese. Which is definitely my favorite part of a caprese salad, but it’s worth leaving it out here so that you don’t have to worry about food spoilage.

  17. It’s the shoot! Ha! I’ve been waiting for this. The salads look perfect. Let’s pack these for our upcoming adventure 🙂

  18. Thank you for such an easy but delicious vegetarian option! I might be the only one in my household to eat it but I’m sure it will catch on. Can you believe holiday advertisements are already here??? Thanks again!

    • Glad you love it, Amy! And no, I can’t believe about the Holiday ads and decorations. UGH! I’m definitely not ready for that.

  19. Girl, these photos are so cool and totally gorgeous! I love salads in a jar and I’m digging your flavor combos in here!

  20. Gorgeous! I love that promisingly thick layer of pesto at the bottom 🙂 What a great way to prep delicious lunches ahead of time!

  21. These mason jar salads are gorgeous! These are great for all of your summer adventures!

  22. Such a fun mason jar salad! I’m going to have to try wheat berries…I’m intrigued! Looks delicious, Liz!

  23. Given how much salad I eat, I’m amazed I still haven’t whipped up a mason jar salad! They look perfect for any on-the-go activity, picnics, or work lunches. I love the wheat berries and blistered tomatoes…and the pesto sauce? Gah my mouth is watering!

    • Yeah you could definitely take these for work lunches. But I’d rather we go kayaking? Can we plan that date? PLEASE!

  24. Such perfect use of these delicious almonds, the mason jar idea never gets old, I love stuffing them with different goods for a killer salad.

    • Oh yeah, I’m still going to be crushing on Mason jar salads 30 years from now when they probably aren’t even cool anymore. 🙂

  25. These look fantastic. I mean super ultra fantastic!! I have not jumped on the mason jar salad bandwagon as is it never really appealed to me. They were just typical salads on the go. But ohhhh baby, not yours. I want to devour yours with vigor that I scare friends away with. So thanks for that… making me a crazy mason jar salad eater and all. 😉

  26. This sounds so great for a day outdoors. I am so jealous of your summer adventures! And mason jar salads seem so easy but satisfying.

  27. Yeah, I go from okay to hANGRY in seconds flat. Not a pretty thing. These salad is perfect though. I love the contrast of the wheat berries and almonds… Plus salads in mason jars are just the best.

  28. I love how you made these in a jar – so cute!

  29. Sexiest mason jar salads I’ve seen in a while!! Well done Liz 🙂

  30. Pingback: Mason Jar Almond Salad and Pesto | Do It Daily

  31. This is such a great idea! They’re perfect and easy to take on the go and curb that hunger. Summer is definitely a time when this is needed and a light salad on the go is perfect to make you feel light but energized. Thanks for the idea!

  32. Pingback: 15 Amazing Mason Jar Salads | Sweet Peas and Saffron

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  34. All in one Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto in a jar , seems quite healthy as well decorating stuff. Thanks for sharing this one.

  35. This Wheat Berry and Blistered Tomato Mason Jar Salads with Basil-Almond Pesto seems kind healthy one , thanks for sharing recipe and instructions, will love to try this one.

  36. Love this “WHEAT BERRY AND BLISTERED TOMATO MASON JAR SALADS WITH BASIL-ALMOND PESTO”, this one seems super delicious and amazing.

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