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.
FREE Summer Salad E-book
Sign up below to get a FREE salad e-book with 5 of my very best summer salad recipes, plus amazing salad-making tips and hacks that you’ll come back to time and time again!
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.
Southwest Chicken Salad in a Jar
Balsamic Chicken Berry Salad in a Jar
Thai-Inspired Chicken Quinoa Salad in a Jar
Our favorite salad tools
- 16 ounce mason jar
- Meal prep container
- Salad chopper
- Salad spinner
- Salad dressing shaker
- Reusable storage bags
Get all of our fav kitchen tools here!
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
I actually want to try all of these! So convenient to bring for lunch!
YES perfect for grabbing and going!
How do you keep the avo from turning black?
It’s usually just fine for a couple of days, but you can squeeze some lemon onto it!
Hello my name is Paul this is a great idea and great recipe plans I’m actually doing my shopping today but for the southwest salad it calls for jalapeno slices I don’t do hot so what can I put in the replace of that
Hi Paul! You can just leave the jalapeño out 🙂
Stop being a vagina Paul.
These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them!
I hope you love them!
How many days do they stay fresh for?
Hi Jessica! They’re best prepped the night before, but if you’re not mixing it up they should be fresh for 2-3 days!
I love recipes like these because I’m always looking for something easy to take to work. Can’t wait to try the Thai one!
Yes they’re perfect for work! The Thai one might be my favorite…
What is the calorie count for each of these?
I made 5 Greek and 5 Thai peanut salads on Sunday for both of us to take for lunch. We ended up not eating two of them during the week but luckily they are still good 6 days later! I had so many compliments at work because my lunch looked so good! Not only were they delicious, but I was actually full before I was even done eating. We’re making the southwest and berry one this week. So excited for lunch now. Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes. Life saver!
Delicious! And yes – these salads are packed with protein + fiber that actually fill you up. So glad you’re enjoying!
Where did you get your mason jars?
Do you just shake these up and eat them out of the jar? I’ve never done this before but wanted to start meal prepping salads.
You can if you’d like!
Are each of these recipes for a single salad? I had never made a salad in a jar before and decided to prep your Greek one last night for lunch today. I followed your amounts exactly, but by the time I added the chicken I had no room left and had to put the olives, feta, and lettuce in another jar. I’m wondering what I did wrong. Still can’t wait to try it for lunch in a few hours!
Yes they are! Mason jars do come in a variety of sizes, so feel free to adjust any of the ingredient amounts to fit into the jar you have 🙂 Enjoy!
I can’t wao to try this
Typo I can’t wait to try this
Hope you love them!!
I made the peanut chicken jar minus the quinoa! I am wondering what the nutrition facts for this one is?
Perfect! I didn’t calculate for these ones, but will have some more salad jars coming out every Monday this month!
These were wonderful. I was looking for recipes to make with my new Pampered Chef plastic mason jar kits and these were perfect and so yummy. I tried both the berry salad and Thai salad so far. 🙂
So happy you’re loving them! Perfect for prepping in those mason jars 🙂
Such a simple and wonderful idea. Can’t wait to start prepping 😀👍
Absolutely! Perfect for lunch 🙂
made them all and loved them all. Please share id you create more.
So happy to hear that! I’ll definitely keep these in mind to make more 🙂
Are these too help lose weight? And also u only eat on of these a day ?
These salads are just a nourishing meal prep lunch – I don’t make recipes specific for weight loss or gain as everyone is different.
where are the recipes for the marinades and the homemade salad dressings?
Do you have the nutritional info for these salads?
Yes! Click for the Southwest Chicken, Chicken Berry Quinoa, Thai Chicken Quinoa, and Greek Chicken.
Can I substitute salmon for the recipes that use cheese?
I wouldn’t recommend combining chicken and salmon in one salad, but feel free to swap the cheese + chicken for salmon!
Hi How big are the jars you use?
Hi, I would like to know how much of each spice do you put on the chicken to marinate – there is no quantities on the recipe.
Hi! Check out these marinades: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/best-chicken-marinades/ enjoy!
Hi, your salads look delicious! I found them through Pinterest where you have a video showing how you put them together. BUT I am so confused because the link only leads to the salads and not the marinades or dressings that you used. I have tried searching your site to pair them together but the recipe names are different from the video and the ingredients don’t match the recipes…. Do you have a post that shows everything you used in the video to put the salads together?
Hi! The dressings are all in here and marinades are here 🙂
Love the variety of recipes! 😋
Thanks, Sharon! 🙂
I just discovered your site and I am in love – – what a great resource!!! will definitely be sharing this with many people!!! thanks
Aw thank you, Stacey!! I’m so happy you’re here. And really appreciate your sharing it, too 🥰
I love your récipes….so easy to make…..