I’m coming in HOT with not one but FOUR revamped, high protein salads in jars that are perfect for meal prep.
I originally posted these 4 mason jar salads: Southwest Chicken, Greek Chicken, Chicken Berry Quinoa, and Thai-Inspired Chicken, in 2017 (whoa) and almost forgot how deliciously simple they were. I gave them each little update with ingredients, marinades, dressing options, and more, and let me tell you — these are a MUST for your next weekday lunch.
Each salad jar is packed with fresh veggies, flavorful combinations, ample protein from chicken and extra ingredients like beans, nuts and quinoa so that you’re satisfied and energized after lunch. To me, there’s nothing worse than a super heavy lunch that makes you feel sluggish, or the opposite, hitting that 2:00PM hanger mark with no healthy snacks in sight. That’s the beauty of these jars!
I kept the ingredients simple and seasonal with things you can find at your local farmer’s market or neighborhood grocery store.
Why make a salad in a jar?
Not only are mason jar salads so fun and cute, but they’re also totally customizable! If you have a favorite salad recipe — chances are it will be perfect for layering up into a jar and storing in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. Here are the perfect jars to use!
The key to making a mason jar salad
The key to a perfect mason jar salad is to layer the ingredients in the jar in a way that they don’t get soggy. You’ll always want to put the dressing at the bottom, followed by crunchy veggies, protein, nuts, and greens at the top.
How to prep & cook chicken for these salad jars
Each of these mason jar salads is super unique in terms of their ingredients and flavors, but they all have one ingredient in common: chicken! It’s such a great, easy way to add protein to a meal. With a few of my quick tips, you’ll have perfect chicken for these salads in no time. Feel free to:
- Use leftover chicken or even rotisserie chicken for ease
- Marinate the chicken you plan to cook using the suggested marinades within each salad jar recipe (or mix it up with one of these delicious marinades!)
- Get my tips for grilling or baking your chicken so that it comes out perfectly every time
- Learn 4 ways to shred chicken for these salads, or you can dice it up!
Storing & serving tips
Store each of these salads in a 16 ounce mason jar or meal prep container for up to 2-3 days. I like to make a few of these on Sunday and have them ready to grab and go right out of the fridge. They’re perfect for carrying in a larger purse on your way to work, or even popping in your backpack for an afternoon bike ride.
If you opt for a meal prep container instead of a jar, I recommend storing the dressing separately and adding it right before serving. Simply pour the salad out from the jar into a bowl or onto a plate to enjoy it, or mix it right in your meal prep container.
Now, let’s get to the recipe! Each one is linked below.
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If you make any of these salad jars, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it, or post a photo to Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen!
Recipes by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats