This layered southwestern mason jar salad with chicken, fresh veggies and Ranch dressing is a delicious and easy make-ahead lunch! Perfect for meal prep and healthy eating!
This post originally appeared on Real Housemoms, where I am a contributor.
I love that it's already Tuesday!
I'm happy for a short work week after such a fun Labor Day weekend.
We were at the beach and had tons of fun with the kiddos in the sand, "surfing" the waves with their boogie boards and searching for beach treasures.
We also played at the pool a lot - J is finally getting the hang of swimming and we're trying to encourage it - and even went to the Charleston Children's Museum, which has tons of different themed rooms and so many fun activities and imagination-fueled play areas.
But after eating ALL the foods and fun drinks that went along with the holiday weekend, I’m ready to get back on track with some light and easy eats. And having a plan (like my monthly meal planning) always helps, I find.
You can definitely set yourself up for success with this make-ahead southwestern mason jar salad.
Have you done the mason jar salad thing yet?
If yes, you know the glory in it. You know the delight in opening the fridge and seeing those beauties staring back at you.
And if not, well, now is the time!
These take just minutes to prep, keep for days in the fridge and are loaded with yummy southwestern flavor!
(They’ll make you the envy of the office for sure!)
Some other lunches I want to try: healthy layered tuna salad jars, Mexican chicken salad sandwiches and mini Ranch chicken salad rolls.
Notes on southwestern mason jar salad:
- I find it difficult to get enough lettuce in a standard 16 oz. Bell jar like I have on hand. (I should probably buy the big 32 oz. jars.) I like mine with plenty of lettuce so I’ll pack up a baggie or container of extra lettuce to go with my jar. 👍
- You can use homemade Ranch or your favorite bottled Ranch. And if you want it extra creamy, add an extra tablespoon or two to your jar.
- You could also substitute my creamy cilantro lime dressing cause that would be fantastic here as well.
- Fresh corn is great in these salad jars for the summer, but you could substitute frozen corn (make sure to thaw it) or canned corn (make sure to drain it well).
- I always have cherry tomatoes on hand, but you could use Roma tomatoes or try this with some fresh, summer heirloom tomatoes.
The recipe below is what you see here, but if you know me, you know I love adding extra toppings!
Toppings ideas for southwestern mason jar salads:
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Sliced or pickled jalapeños
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped red onion or pickled red onion
- A few dollops of salsa (or salsa mixed with Ranch dressing)
- Tortilla chips - on top or alongside (That's what my husband does - bulks it up a little!)
I hope you give this southwestern mason jar salad a try and find the fun in jazzing up your lunch a bit!
P.S. I’ve also got an easy, super flavorful Asian chicken mason jar salad that you should check out! Or browse all of my healthy lunch recipes with chicken for more inspiration.
Southwestern mason jar salad
This layered southwestern mason jar salad is a delicious make-ahead lunch!
- ⅓ cup prepared Ranch dressing
- 1 cup chopped, cooked rotisserie chicken
- ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup bell pepper strips (any color), cut in thin strips or chopped
- ½ cup corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Romaine lettuce (see notes)
Additional toppings (optional):
- Shredded cheese, sliced avocado, pickled jalapeños, cilantro, red onion, tortilla chips
- Divide ingredients, in the order listed, between the two mason jars. Add in as much romaine lettuce as you can to the top of the jar. (See notes below.)
- Cover and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.
- When ready to eat, empty the salad out of the mason jar onto your plate or bowl, add any extra desired toppings and enjoy!
It may be difficult to get enough lettuce in your jar. I like mine with plenty of lettuce so I’ll pack up a baggie or container of extra lettuce to go with my jar. 👍
You can use homemade Ranch or your favorite bottled Ranch. And if you want it extra creamy, add an extra tablespoon or two of dressing to your jar.
Fresh corn is great in these salad jars for the summer, but you could substitute frozen corn (make sure to thaw it) or canned corn (make sure to drain it well).
I use cherry tomatoes, but you could substitute chopped Roma or fresh, summer heirloom tomatoes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 528mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 20g
sue | theviewfromgreatisland
I just love a great grab-and-go lunch, and your layers are so pretty! I want to stock my fridge with these.
Thanks so much Sue! These definitely look so pretty and inviting all lined up in the fridge!
Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian
I haven't tried the mason jar salad trend yet but I can't wait! I think anything served in a cute and clever way makes it that much more fun to eat. Great recipe!
Thanks so much Brynn! I think you will love doing a mason jar salad!
Love the vibrant colors of this meal! Mason jar salads are the perfect grab and go food, these look delicious!
Thanks Luci! They are great for grabbing on busy days!
Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen
Such a great lunch to go!
Yes! Thanks Lauren! 😊