OK you guys… I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with you! And not just this recipe, but this CONCEPT. Mason Jar Salads. Yup, a salad in a mason jar. If you’re like me when I first heard about them, you’re like, “Mason Jar Salads? That sounds kinda dumb. Why would I take the time to do that, and what’s the big deal?” Then I tried making them and it rocked my world! Yes, this Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salad recipe I’m sharing with you is delicious, but c’mon… it’s a salad and anyone can make a salad that is pretty tasty. While recipes are important, it’s the CONCEPT of the salad in the mason jar that is the game-changer.
As you’ve probably realized if you are following our journey toward building a life we love on our urban homestead, you know that simplifying life, improving our health and fitness, and financial freedom are three key areas that we are focused on. And you guys, making mason jar salads helps us improve all of those areas! By taking the time to meal plan based on weekly sales at the grocery stores, and food we already have in our freezer, pantry and from our own garden, we are able to prepare yummy, healthy meals like this Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salad. I can’t tell you how much taking the time to meal prep IN ADVANCE helps us to simplify our lives during the week when things get hectic. Imagine getting ready for work, opening your fridge and pulling out a jar that is ready to go with a salad for lunch, dressing and all! You can make up enough to have one every day of the week, if you don’t need a little variety in your life. I usually do three for each of us and fill in with leftovers on the other days because I just can’t do the same thing every day.
But do they really last a week in the fridge, you might ask? Yes, my friend, they really do! The key is in the preparation: layering the ingredients in the jar in a specific way. Dressing goes in first, then your “hard” vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, peppers, etc, then your softer vegetables, then meat and cheese, then seeds or nuts on top. And YOU DON’T MIX THEM UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO EAT THEM! The most important thing to remember is the dressing needs to not mix with anything but the harder veggies until you are ready to eat it. Unless you like a soggy, droopy mess of a salad, which I for one just cannot do.
One other thing we have started implementing is making our own salad dressings. As we are learning more about nutrition and healthy living, we have realized we need to cut out some of the excess sugars and processed crap from our diet. Learning to read the labels on the back of the packages has been so eye-opening! It’s hard to believe how much junk goes into some of those store-bought foods. Try it guys… take a look at the ingredients list on your salad dressing.
If you want to give preparing your own salad dressing a try, here’s a good one we make that you could start with: Garlic Apple Cider Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. It really is super easy to prepare and so good.
I hope you find these Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salads as yummy and useful as we do. Enjoy, Lifers!
Chicken Cobb Mason Jar Salad
- 1 head Romaine Lettuce chopped
- 1 bunch Baby Spinach long stems removed
- 6 Hard Boiled Eggs diced
- 3 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts chopped
- 1/2 lb Ham diced
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 1 tsp Pepper or to taste
- 2 whole Carrots diced
- 2 stalks Celery diced
- 1/2 Red Onion diced
- 1 Bell Pepper diced
- 1 Cucumber diced
- 3 tbsp Sunflower Seeds shelled
- 6 tbsp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 12 tbsp Ranch Salad Dressing (or dressing of your choice)
- 6 Large mouth quart-size mason jars with lids
- Preheat your oven to 375. Line a cake pan, cookie sheet or baking dish with tinfoil, and lightly grease with olive oil, cooking spray, lard, etc – grease of your choice. (we typically use olive oil sprayed from our Misto). The key here is a pan with SIDES and some lubricant so you don’t mess up the inside of your oven with drippings and your chicken doesn’t stick.
- Place your whole chicken breasts on your prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for approx 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- While chicken is baking, wash and chop/dice all of your lettuce and veggies.
- If you are preparing your own salad dressing, now is the time to mix it up.
- Once chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool, then chop into bite-size pieces.
- Add 2 tbsp salad dressing to the bottom of each mason jar (or more, depending on your preference).
- Add remaining ingredients to the mason jars, dividing equally, in this order: Carrots, celery, onion, cucumber, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds, lettuce, spinach. Be sure to leave a bit of space at the top of the jar to allow for movement when you shake it to toss the salad with the dressing.
- Seal each mason jar with a lid and store in the fridge. These will last 5-7 days but the key is to add the ingredients in the order listed, seal tightly, and BE SURE NOT TO TIP OR MIX THEM UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO EAT!
- When you are ready to eat, shake the jar vigorously to toss the salad then pour it out on a plate or bowl and enjoy!
- We gave instructions to bake chicken breast in the oven for this recipe, but use any kind of chicken you’d like. In the past, we’ve used store-bought rotisserie chicken, grilled bone-in chicken thighs and legs, and chicken breasts slow-cooked all day in crock pot and shredded. You get the picture – use whatever chicken you have on hand or works in your life at that moment. You can also throw in some chopped bacon or bacon bits too!
- Use whatever salad dressing you prefer (or try making your own – see text above for recipe link).
- Throw in some avacado for a little added healthy fat. Yes, it may turn a little brownish toward the end of the week, but the sealed jar really helps keep it fresh!