Salad in a Jar: Ideas for a Healthy Lunch

When you’re looking for a quick and healthy lunch, one of the biggest roadblocks you might encounter is time — closely followed by freshness and nutrition. Whether you typically make lunch at home, grab it during your commute, or try to healthy takeout during your lunch hour, odds are you’ve encounter one of these three issues.

What can you do? We’ve got a simple hack that’ll have you you looking forward to lunch. Give it up for these salad in a jar ideas straight from the 8fit recipe book. They are healthy, versatile twists on beloved classics and the bonus is the jar means you can eat them anywhere, anytime. Served as an appetizer, main or side dish, it’s pretty much the epitome of summer

salads_breakfasts_JARS_tuna_quinoa

How to assemble a salad in a jar

After successfully jarring our four favorite 8fit breakfast recipes, we continue the trend by tackling the next meal of the day: lunch. Salads are usually a tricky dish to store, but using a jar allows you to stack ingredients in a way that helps retain their crispness and freshness. Plus, they look absolutely beautiful – you’ll see.

Here’s how to say goodbye to sad, soggy salads forever:

  1. Start with the most liquid elements on the bottom. This includes dressings, salsa, pickled veggies, etc.
  2. Next come the crunchy ingredients that can hold their own at the bottom. This includes carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped onions, etc.
  3. Add the remaining veggies and your protein. The veggies might include roasted red pepper, avocado, cooked onions, cooked potato, etc. Protein might be tuna, grilled chicken, ground beef, chickpeas, etc.
  4. Green and fresh herbs go on top so that they don’t get soggy and stay as crisp as possible.

Once you’re ready to eat, you’ll first crack a smile at the sight of your stunning lunch; then you can simply flip the jar open and tip into a bowl – the greens will be on the bottom and your dressing will pour over the top. No need to bring ingredients separately or to find the right container for your dressing, which minimizes your time in the kitchen and the number of utensils you need.

Now to the recipes!

Tip
We love using glass because it’s more reliable and environmentally friendly than plastic.

Salad in a jar recipes

Try one of these bright, refreshing 8fit salad recipes next time you’re looking for a quick, delicious meal plan solution. We suggest prepping these up to two to three days in advance to preserve freshness and nutrients. Each ingredient count is for two, 500-calorie servings.

Avocado, tuna and pepper salad

salads_breakfasts_JARS_002_tunaFirst in your jar, a high-protein salad with healthy fats from the avocado, vitamins from the bell peppers and lean protein from the tuna. Instead of a heavier mayo-based dressing, this salad recipe features a delicate, healthful lemon-basil dressing. It’s a quick and easy one to prep, plus it stays fresh until lunchtime.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz canned tuna
  • 1 1/2 avocados
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

For the full recipe, sign up or upgrade to the 8fit Pro app.

Thai peanut quinoa salad

salads_breakfasts_JARS_003_quinoaThis salad is a result of our collaboration with plant-based blogger, The Colorful Kitchen. The dish is full of crunchy vegetables like cabbage, carrot and bell peppers, with protein from the quinoa and peanuts. The salad is dressed with a classic Thai dressing that comes together in a symphony of sweet, sour and salty.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 ½ cups spinach
  • ½ cabbage, chopped
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 12 peanuts
  • 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Get the full recipe in the 8fit recipe book.

Chickpea, feta & kale salad

salads_breakfasts_chickpeaWhy head to the salad bar for lunch when you could make your own – probably tastier – salad in less than 10 minutes? This recipe contains only five main ingredients – chickpeas, kale, feta, honey and lemon – making grocery shopping easy. Keep this jar in your fridge for up to four days.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 1 ½ Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp pepper

Put this jar together with dressing – honey, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper – in the jar first, then pile on the chickpeas, feta and kale. For the full recipe instructions, download our app.

Chickpea harvest salad

salads_breakfasts_JARS_harvest_saladWe can’t lie, you’ll need more than just a jar for this chickpea harvest salad. Grab a big mixing bowl, then transfer it to jars after all of the ingredients have been combined. The main component, the chickpeas, help increase satiety, boost digestion and keep your blood sugar stable. We know they can get a bit boring but after you try this mason jar salad recipe with crunchy apples, sweet raisins and walnuts, you’ll see them in a whole new light.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 apples (choose a crispy one)
  • 6 Tbsp raisins
  • 8 walnuts
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Give this harvest chickpea salad and the other salad in a jar recipes a go next time you tackle lunch meal prep.