Looking for a new lunch idea, or like to meal prep for easy weeknight meals? Look no further than this The Ultimate Layered Mason Jar Salad. It’s a complete, protein packed meal in a jar with layer after layer of perfectly paired flavor.
The hubs is like the pickest eater ever. He was 25 before he ever even touched a green salad. And now he craves them all the time. He touts them as ‘healthy’ eating and as meals that will help him manage his figure. Except he takes offense to any real healthy bits being thrown in there, ya know like vegetables— God forbid there’s some of those in there. He also won’t touch it unless every individual leaf is liberally smothered with ranch dressing. This can make packing him a balanced lunch a challenge, for both of us.
Fortunately, I was able to come up with a hearty compromise in the form of this totally loaded salad in a jar. Protein packed and filled to the brim with flavorful ingredients, it just needs a hint of balsamic vinaigrette. It’s perfectly portable, just pack a fork, and at lunch time give everything a good stir to mix and meld all the flavors together. The dressing is kept away from the lettuce by being spaced out and held between layers so every bite it crisp with no worries of anything getting soggy.
- 4 (25 0z)Mason jars, or 2-3 (32 oz) Mason Jars
- 2 cups crumbled corn bread
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 cups spring greens, or green leaf lettuce
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette (divided)
- 1-2 large chicken breasts, grilled and cut into chunks, about 1 and 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup yellow, orange or red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced or diced
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 8 slices salami or pepperoni, chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 6 pieces of bacon, fried, cooled and crumbled
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Divide the ingredients evenly between the canning jars. Begin with the corn bread and layer the ingredients in the order listed until they've reached the top. Only use half of the dressing in the first layer listed, use the remaining half when it's listed again. Occasionally give the jars a small shake, or gently press the salad down with a spatula to ensure adequate room for everything. Remember to leave at least an inch of space between the top of the layered salad and the top of the jar before sealing to allow room for stirring when ready to eat.
- When you've finished filling the jars, seal the lids tightly, and refrigerate them until you’re ready to pack and/or eat. If you're taking the salad in the morning to eat later for lunch, make sure to keep it cool in an insulated lunch bag or a small cooler. These are best eaten within 24 hours, but if kept in the fridge will last up to 48 hours.
- If you're trying to meal prep for the week ahead, prep all the ingredients at the same time-- and after the first few days, layer a fresh salad using said ingredients in the jar the night before needed.
Do you have a favorite salad? I’d love to hear about it. Got another idea for Mason Jar meals that you’d like to share?