Looking for a quick, easy & healthy lunch that you can make in advance for a busy week? Mason jar salads offer all the convenience of a microwave dinner plus the taste, flavor and nutrition of a big beautiful entrée salad.
My family loves Asian flavors, so this Asian Chicken Salad in a Jar is a favorite in our lunch rotation. We assemble our mason jar salads on Sunday and they’re good in the fridge for about three days. (Athough, I confess I *may* have taken a gamble and eaten one after five days with no adverse effects. But…safety guidelines say THREE DAYS, so yeah, go with that.)
This salad is a protein powerhouse with both chicken and steamed edamame piled onto a crunchy bed of shredded carrots and cabbage, topped with roasted red peppers, mandarin oranges, slivered almonds, scallions, crispy chow mein noodles and light sesame ginger vinaigrette.
To assemble the salad, you’ll just layer the ingredients in a mason jar (I recommend wide-mouth jars because it’s so much easier to fill than the standard jars.) When you’re ready to eat the salad, give it a gentle shake and then dump the contents onto a big plate or into a bowl.
TIME SAVING TIPS: I use a store-bought salad dressing (Newman’s Own is my favorite), although you can definitely make your own if you prefer. I also like to cook a bunch of chopped chicken at one time, then divide it up for quick meals throughout the week. (I saute the chicken in a skillet with a little cooking spray, salt, pepper and garlic, then toss it in salads, buffalo chicken wraps, BBQ, etc.) If you’re really pressed for time? Grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and use the breast meat in your salad.
$ Saving Strategy: When you buy a special ingredient like roasted red peppers, look for ways to use that ingredient in other recipes instead of letting it sit in the fridge and go to waste. Roasted red peppers add tons of flavor for ZERO SmartPoints. Try adding them to salads, sandwiches and even a grilled cheese! (I love them paired with Greek flavors.)
Have you ever tried mason jar salad, and if so, what’s your favorite? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
- 2 Tbsp. Light Sesame Ginger dressing (I like Newman's Own brand)
- 2 oz. steamed edamame (shelled)
- ¼ cup mandarin orange segments (fresh or no-suger-added)
- 2 Tbsp. roasted red peppers (in water, not oil), chopped
- 3 oz cubed chicken
- 1 Tbsp. Slivered almonds
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped scallions
- 1½ cups Tri-color Slaw or Shredded Cabbage
- ⅛ cup of Chow Mein Noodles (optional)
- Pour dressing in the bottom of the jar, and layer the remaining ingredients: edamame, mandarin oranges, red peppers, chicken, almonds, carrots, scallions, cabbage/slaw and chow mein noodles. Seal the jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.