This black bean fiesta mason jar salad makes for a colorful, convenient on-the-go meal. The lime jalapeño dressing is zesty and really ties the whole salad together.
Until recently I kind of forgot about mason jar salads, which is hard to believe considering I eat at least one large salad almost every day. But I’m excited because mason jar salads are back. Over the past few months I started making them again using the black bean fiesta salad recipe from my Seven Slimming Salads ebook and I’m hooked once again.
It’s easy to get hooked because mason jar salads are a breeze to whip up and make for such a convenient, portable meal option. Even if you work from home like me having salads already prepped for lunch saves so much time. And the mason jar storage method works wonders for salad recipes that include veggies that marinate well. After sitting in the dressing for a bit they taste like they’ve been pickled. <– Yum!
I have a couple different jar salads on the blog already (like this strawberry spinach jar salad), but this particular mason jar salad is a favorite of mine because it’s so vibrant and has a southwestern, Mexican vibe going on with the black beans, corn, red onion, cilantro and lime jalapeño dressing. The flavors are robust, refreshing and perfect for summer.
If you’re new to making mason jar salads I have a few helpful tips to remember:
- Use wide-mouth jars. It’s much easier to get the ingredients in and out of the jars with a wide mouth. I like the wide-mouth quart Ball jars for meal-sized salads, but the wide-mouth pint Ball jars work for smaller side salads.
- Leave a little room at the top of the jar so that you can shake it up right before serving. It helps make sure all parts of the salad have some dressing.
- Pour the salad out onto to a bowl or a plate for serving. You can totally eat the salad out of the jar, but they are a little deep for forks so I find pouring the salad into a dish is much easier.
- Make sure you add your dressing to the bottom of the jar first. The ingredients you add next will be touching/soaking in the dressing so they should be hearty veggies that will do well marinating.
- Store your mason jar salads upright in the fridge. If they’re stored on their side or tipped over, the dressing will leak up to the top and may cause your lettuce to get soggy.
The rest is pretty easy, but here’s a quick breakdown of the steps:
- Start by pouring 2-4 Tablespoons of dressing into the bottom of the jar.
- Add items that will respond well to marinating in the dressing (cucumbers, onions, carrots, mushrooms, etc.)
- Add your remaining veggies, protein and then the greens. You can really pack the greens in there. I love doing this because it makes the salads huge!
- Typically if I’m planning to eat my salad within 1-2 days I’ll add the protein/cheese in the jar, but if I’m preparing salads for the week I’ll usually add my protein option to the top of the jar the day of. I treat avocados the same way. If I do add avocado slices to the jar I like sprinkling them with lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
Black Bean Fiesta Mason Jar Salad
- 1 5-ounce bag of baby spinach/mixed greens
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen that has been thawed)
- 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
Lime Jalapeño Dressing (Makes 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Make dressing by placing all dressing ingredients into your blender and blending until smooth.
- To build the mason jar salads: Grab two wide-mouth quart size mason jars and add 2-4 Tablespoons of dressing to the bottom of each. Add in onion, carrots and cabbage. Use a fork to toss these veggies in the dressing. Add remaining ingredients in layers in the following order: corn, tomatoes, black beans, quinoa. Fill the rest of the jar with mixed greens and top each with a few cilantro leaves. To serve, pour jar onto a large plate or bowl and top with sliced avocado.
by Brittany Mullins