When I worked outside of the home, I hated making lunches. I’m not sure why, exactly, but I hated it. To be honest, working from home hasn’t made it much better! When I’m really on a roll, I tend to forget about lunch. So I find the best way to ensure we are eating properly is to continue to prep lunch ahead of time. I decided to research easy, healthy lunch options. Enter – Mason Jar Salads. I’d seen these all over Pinterest for some time but never tried them out. What was I thinking?? These are AWESOME! So this week, I made quick and easy mason jar Greek salads.
What You’ll Need
So this is where you and I may differ. I like my Greek salads very, very simple. I don’t like olives, and I have really bad reactions to onions, so it’s basically cucumber, tomato and feta cheese. Sometimes, if I’m feeling a little wild, I’ll throw in some peppers – mainly yellow, because they’re a bit sweeter and they look pretty ?
Of course, this is a Mason Jar Greek Salad, so I needed to have a little more than that. Some sustenance and heartiness. I added diced chicken breast and some quinoa. I topped it off with spinach, and voila! But wait! I haven’t mentioned the most important part! The dressing. Greek salads typically have an oil-based dressing, which you can easily do in this recipe. I decided to go a different route and use my homemade Tzatziki Dressing. It is so easy to make, and I love it on just about everything.
You’ll also need some Wide Mouth Mason Jars, like these ones from Amazon. I like to use the 1L size, it gives me some room for shaking things up.
Putting It Together
The key to a good mason jar salad is the layering. I’ve read a number of posts and articles on the architecture of these meals. Although there are some variations, the rule is: Dressing on the bottom, Greens on the top.
After all, you’re making enough of these to last you up to five days – you don’t want your lettuce sitting in dressing for that long. I don’t like it sitting in dressing for more than about an hour, but that’s me. Or maybe it isn’t just me? Anyway, start with your dressing.
The second layer will be vegetables that can sit in dressing for that long. Think crunchy, hearty fare, like carrots, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and celery. These can handle a good marinating.
Your next level will be softer veggies, fruit or beans if your recipe calls for those.
Grains or pasta can sit on the next level, followed by your protein, quinoa or cheese.
Finally, add your greens and any garnish, like nuts, seeds or even tortilla chips for your taco salad. And there you have it – a gorgeous, healthy and very well-organized meal.
When lunchtime rolls around, just shake up your mason jar and enjoy. The really nice thing is that you can eat straight out of the jar! Be sure to leave some room at the top so you can shake it up and get dressing on every last bite!
You are going to love these salads and the simplicity of this system!
- 5 chicken breasts
- 5 cups fresh spinach
- 2.5 cups grape tomatoes
- 2 English cucumbers
- 2.5 cups cooked quinoa
- 5 tsp feta cheese
- 1.25 cups tzatziki dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 ℉.
- Season your chicken breast to taste. Be sure to grease your baking dish to prevent the chicken from sticking.
- Cook until internal temperature reaches 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). Remove from oven and let cool before dicing.
- While chicken is cooking, prepare the quinoa, using either the stovetop method or with a rice cooker.
- Slice tomatoes in half.
- Dice cucumber.
- Chop spinach leaves.
- Once all ingredients are fully cooled, prepare your jars.
How to Layer Ingredients in Jar:
- Tzatziki Dressing
- Feta Cheese
Seal and refrigerate your jars. They will keep up to 5 days.
Nutrition InformationYield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 430Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 111mgSodium 317mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 45g
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