These Fall Harvest Mason Jar Salads are a deliciously perfect make-ahead lunch to keep you full and on track all season long!
Confession #126 – I used to feel like there wasn’t enough time for everything I needed to do.
These days? There isn’t enough time for the things I want to do.
Most of those things revolve around this blog…there is just so much I want to share. So many meals I want to make. And eat. Do you know how wonderful it is to love your job so much, that you wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas and can’t wait until your next free minute to literally get cooking?
I hope so. Because it’s truly the best.
I started making these Fall Harvest Mason Jar Salads a year ago. Yup. One year almost exactly. And it took me that long to get them on the blog.
Most of you come to my blog for dinners…and that’s awesome because it’s my favorite, too. But I listen to you and lunch is an issue. And you are not alone – if I don’t have lunch prepped, I end up heading straight for my kids’ snacks (veggie straws, I’m looking at you).
So I am interrupting my dinner posts with a delicious and easy to prep lunch idea that’s perfect for this time of year with fresh Fall fruit and leafy greens…oh – and with a Maple Syrup and Apple Cider Vinegar dressing that is totally worth the wait.
I know Mason Jar salads were a big on Pinterest forever ago, but I kinda doubted them for awhile, honestly. I am not a picky eater at all, but I definitely can have texture issues, especially with leftover food. But, amazingly, these salads lasted perfectly in the fridge for days!
The trick is in the assembly – as long as you keep the dressing at the bottom and the leafy greens up top, you are good. Check out this handy graphic I made you all!
I make lots of different salads and portable meals in jars now, so I plan to share one a month with you guys…but this one is perfect for Fall. With crisp apples and fresh pears, and if you are brave enough, chopped kale, and pecans they taste like a restaurant worthy Harvest Salad. Now I tend to hoard my blues, so I didn’t put cheese in mine, even though for a while there I doubted whether I would ever like a salad without cheese. I have to say, these babies opened my mind. I didn’t even miss it!
Because I know myself and I get bored eating the same food all week long, I made two different salads with similar ingredients. One with apple and bacon, one with pear and chicken. If boredom isn’t a problem for you, you could even throw everything together and make an apple, pear, chicken and bacon salad. Holy yum!
And if you are wimpy about kale, you can totally use spinach. I get it. The key is to chop your kale really small. But if you aren’t there yet, it’s all good.
Oh – and I always prep 4 salads instead of 5, because I feel like 4 days is the perfect amount of time for freshness. Plus by Friday I might actually have some leftovers (if I manage to hide them from my hubby) that need eating.
If you give these a try, let me know! I love hearing from you guys! Happy lunching
Yields: 4 salads
Serving Size: 1 Mason Jar Salad
- 2 small chicken breasts, cooked through and diced
- 8 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 apples, chopped
- 2 pears, chopped
- large head or bag of kale or spinach (or a mix of both)
- matchstick carrots
- optional - goat cheese or blue cheese (be sure to count as a blue), c raisins (be sure to count as a yellow)
- 4 T of extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 T maple syrup
- 2.5 T apple cider vingear
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Mix together ingredients for the dressing. And divide equally into 4 large mason jars.
- If using kale, chop into tiny bite sized pieces.
- For the Apple Bacon Salad, layer the remaining ingredients in the following order after dressing: 1/3 cup matchstick carrots, 4 slices of turkey bacon, chopped, 1 cup of chopped apple, 1 2/3 cups of greens, 2 T pecans
- For the Chicken Pear Salad, layer the remaining ingredients in the following order: 1/3 cup matchstick carrots, 2/3 cup diced chicken, 1 pear, sliced or chopped, 1 2/3 cups of greens, 2 T pecans
- Store jars in the fridge for 4-5 days. Remove from fridge and keep out for a few minutes before eating, then shake up the jar to distribute the dressing! Enjoy!
21 Day Fix Container Count:
Each salad: 2 GREEN, 1 Orange, 1/2 Blue, 1 Purple, 1 Red