Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar {+a Giveaway} – Closed

Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar

The Hungryman and I take our lunches to school/work everyday. Me – 100% by choice. The H-man…who knows. But being the thoughtful and conflict-avoiding husband that he is, his lunchbox goes with him exactly as I pack it. The man certainly knows how to make me happy ;).

My lunch usually equates to a salad made from whatever ingredients I’ve prepped over the weekend (here’s a glimpse of my usual routine), and no, I never get tired of it. However, I try to keep the Hungryman’s lunches a bit more “exciting” so that he looks forward to his lunch rather than thinking of ways to secretly toss it {gasp!}. And if he’s ever done so, I’d take that lil’ secret to the grave if I were him.

Mason Jar Salads and More

Regardless of what it is that I pack, one thing is for certain – it must include fresh produce and take no more than 5 minutes of my precious time in the morning to assemble (okay..that was two things, but you get the picture). Sure, I have my usual tried-and-true routine, but I’m always open to shake things up a bit. Therefore, when I was asked if I’d be interested in receiving a copy of the “Mason Jar Salads and More” cookbook by Julia Mirabella, I happily accepted.

The cookbook starts out by showing you how to assemble the jar salads in a way that you can make them ahead of time (up to 4-5 days prior!) without them becoming a soggy mess. Imagine being able to prepare Mason jars for the whole week with fresh and flavorful ingredients and doing it all on one day. Make it and forget it. Brilliant!

Mason Jar Salads and More

The key to assembling, so that all the ingredients will retain their firmness and freshness, is layering, and the cookbook walks you through each step from bottom to top.

Mason Jar Salads and More

The cookbook includes 50 recipes for breakfast, non-salad lunches (e.g. pastas, soups), smoothies, snacks and dips, and dressings. However, what it offers is so much more! As you get the hang of assembling, you’ll begin to conjure up all kinds of combinations. The possibilities are endless.

The first Mason jar salad I made was this Southwestern Salad. I made slight adjustments to the recipe – added deli turkey for extra protein and placed the greens at the very top instead of the cheese.

Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar

Southwestern Salad in Mason Jar
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red vine-ripened tomato, diced
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup diced avocado (optional)
  • ½ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 ounce Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar
Lime Vinaigrette
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Slowly add the olive oil, whisking, until the dressing thickens.
  2. Start by pouring the vinaigrette dressing into the Mason jar. Then layer in the black beans, tomato, bell peppers, avocado, and corn. Finish with the salad greens and, finally, the Cheddar cheese. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1

And if you’re still not convinced that mason jars are a must-have, check out this post by Lindsay – “Ways to Use Mason Jars in the Kitchen.”

Now for the giveaway:

The Ulysses Press has agreed to send a copy of “Mason Jar Salads and More” to one lucky winner. Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite packed lunch is. For additional entries, follow me on any social media platform and tell me you did so.

The giveaway ends September 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be notified via email. Good luck! 😉

***** Congratulations, Alli! You’re the winner!

Lovely comments

  1. says

    My go to pack lunch is Snap Kitchen. Your post on Mason Jar Salads is inspiring me to try a few recipes as they seem super easy, healthy and convenient to take to work!

  2. Anne says

    This is so cool! I want that book, and you know what my favorite lunch is already – fast and healthy, just like you. Wow, I miss talking with you, but I don’t miss the stress of taking classes! Hope you’re having a great time!

  3. says

    My husband and I are the opposite! He happily takes the exact. same. lunch. EVERYDAY! Bless him for doing so, because it makes my life a lot easier. His usual is a pb&j or pb & honey sandwich on wheat, greek yogurt with granola, a protein bar, and a veggie (carrots, sweet peppers, or cucumbers usually).

    I like variety and a lot of it. I’m a big fan of seasonal salads, almond butter and honey sandwiches (but not too often), or leftovers :) I’ll have to give this Southwestern salad a try! Bravo for another great recipe, friend!

  4. Roma says

    My go to lunch is salads. I have never made a mason jar salad. I love the idea of being able to prepare the salad days ahead so I can grab & go as I am heading out the door in the morning. Planning on making your salad this week.

  5. Briana says

    That salad looks delicious, Avocado happens to be an obsession of mine! My lunch normally consists of a frozen Amy’s bowl. I’m trying to eat healthy and her bowls are scrumptious and pretty healthy for a frozen meal. I would LOVE to win this book as have a fridge full of Mason jars :) I’ll be following you on Facebook!

  6. Torrey I says

    I’ve been packing mason jar salads for work, using homemade dressings. They make wonderful lunch carriers and it’s cheaper than buying salads at the store.

  7. Alli says

    I was never a big fan of salads for lunch but I just started making mason jar salads on Sunday nights so they’re ready to go for the week and it’s so easy!! One of my favorite salads right now has blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Yum! I’m excited to try this one and so many more!!

    • says

      Ooh that salad sounds incredible! Honey balsamic vinaigrette is hands down one of my fav. Sounds like you and mason jars have already become well-acquainted ;).

  8. Michael Henry says

    My favorite packed lunch is a turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread. Yum! Though mason jar salads are always fun.

  9. LoriAnne in Oregon says

    My go-to packed lunch is almost always a peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich on whole wheat. Lots of protein, no need to refrigerate, and it usually packs well.

  10. says

    Leftover but if I don’t have any then almond butter and Tayb erry jamsandwich, carrot stick, jicama, pretzels and a fruit leather or dried fruit

  11. says

    I love cold pasta salads, or beautiful salads. Yum.

    I am also curious about these mason jar salads… How do you eat it? Once it’s lunch time, do you shake the jar up? Or do you pour it out into a different container?

    Love how convenient these look and 4-5 days ahead of time??? Nice…

    • says

      You would simply pour it into a bowl and toss so the dressing that’s at the bottom can get all mixed in. I know right? You can prep everything on Sunday and just grab and go come mornings 😉

  12. says

    I love mason jars. They are so handy for many things including storing items in a see-through jar. I sometimes enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on good bread for lunch.

  13. says

    Today is the first day I have had the pleasure of experiencing your blog, and I am so happy ! My husband would also eat the exact same thing every day, but I just can’t do that. Thank you for these wonderfully varied recipes!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Karen, for your kind words! It’s comments like these that really encourages and inspires me to share more healthy and delicious recipes ;). Hope you have a lovely day!

  14. says

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can’t wait to see what you share this week! Its LIVE!

    Cindy from


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