Mason Jar Salads – 21 Day Fix Approved

For the first 3.5 months of this year, I ate a mason jar salad near every day of the week. I think I missed 1-2 work lunches because of conferences, and on weekends it was hit or miss depending upon commitments with friends, but I’d honestly estimate that I ate a mason jar salad for 68 of my 70 weekday lunches during that time frame, and after a short break where I only ate them 2-3x each week, I’m back at it full time!

Do you know what kept me coming back?

  • They’re delicious – and nutritious!
  • They’re easy to assemble.
  • They’re completely customizable.
  • They save time. I’d prep them on Sundays and eat them Monday-Friday every day for lunch.
  • They easily stay fresh for 5-7 days if you assemble them correctly.

When I started the 21 Day Fix program on April 12th, I was a little overwhelmed planning out my meals for the entire week, and I drifted away from my mason jar salads that first week. I quickly realized how much I’ve come to rely on having a quick & healthy meal to grab and eat over my lunch break either before or after I put the kids down for their naps (the nanny runs her errands while I’m home for lunch).

I was determined to get back at it – this time with 21 Day Fix approved recipes! The recipes below are assembled in the jar in the order in which I wrote the recipes. If you’re using a balsamic type dressing, put that layer in first and let your hardier ingredients sit in it. If you’re using a creamier dressing (I’ve been hooked on the avocado & herb dressing from the 21 day fix book lately), I’ve been putting that in the small orange container (2 Tbsp) and setting it on top of my greens before I screw the lid on to bring it to work. The creamy dressings are just harder to get out of the bottom of the mason jar! Some of these might be a little more than 1 green container, but I figure you can’t have too many veggies. 🙂

I found this website to be a super helpful overview of the program and food choices.

Container Size Cheat Sheet

  • Green Container (8 oz or 1 & 1/4 Cups): For Vegetables
  • Purple Container (8 oz or 1 &1/4 Cups ): For Fruits
  • Red Container (6 oz or 3/4 Cups): For Proteins
  • Yellow Container (5.3 oz or 1/2 cup): For Carbohydrates
  • Blue Container (2.7 ox or 1/4 Cup): For Healthy Fats and Cheeses
  • Orange Container (2 oz or 2 Tablespoons): Seeds and dressings

(*note, some people say the green & purple containers are 1 cup, some say 1 1/4 cup – I don’t stress about it because it’s fruits & veggies and I’m not worried about those exact calorie counts)

The book has different foods in different categories than you might think, so I really urge you to sign up for the program if you want to make sure where different foods fit into the categories. For example, tomato sauce can be a purple or a green depending on the ingredients & sugar content, and you’re supposed to be avoiding all added sugars whenever possible, so they have lists of “approved” foods that are better options than others. At any rate, below are a few of my go-to salads!

*****

Chicken & Pasta Salad – 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 orange

I usually make up this salad when I already have some pasta on hand that I’ve cooked up for the kids. I try to use whole wheat noodles if I have them on hand!

Chicken & Pasta Salad, Mason Jar Salad, 21 Day Fix Approved

  • 2 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (green)
  • 4 oz chicken, diced (red)
  • 1/2 cup garden, spinach, or whole wheat rotini (yellow) <– 1 oz dry pasta
  • Spring mix (green)
  • 2 Tbsp vinaigrette (orange)

*****

Chicken & Apple Salad – 1 red, 1 purple, 1 green, 1 orange

This is my go-to salad lately. SUPER easy to assemble, and always delicious. I’ll either use rotisserie chicken or have Charlie grill up some chicken breasts on Sunday for me to dice up and use.

Chicken & Apple Salad, Mason Jar Salad, 21 Day Fix Approved

  • 1 apple, diced – briefly soak in water with lemon to keep it fresh before layering (purple)
  • 4 oz chicken, diced (red)
  • 50/50 blend spring mix/spinach (green)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado/herb dressing (orange)

*Optional, add 12g walnuts OR 1/4 avocado OR a little cheese to this salad (1 blue container)

*****

Steak & Berry Salad – 1 red, 1 purple, 1 green, 1 orange

I actually like this salad best with steak (if we have steak for dinner there’s always leftover, so I’ll dice it up for my salad the next day). I ate it today with ground beef/turkey though, and it was definitely delicious!

Steak, Beef, & Berry Salad, Mason Jar Salads, 21 Day Fix Approved

  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Dressing (orange)
  • 4 oz lean steak or ground turkey, diced/crumbled (red)
  • 8 oz berries – strawberries & blueberries (purple)
  • Spinach (green)

*****

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad – 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green

I’ve eaten this one a few times, but somehow I always forget to take a picture of it. It doesn’t mean it’s not delicious though!

[i’ll upload a picture once I remember to take one!]

  • 2 Tbsp fresh salsa
  • 2 Tbsp greek yogurt (1/4 red)
  • 3 oz black beans (3/4 red)
  • 1/2 c. quinoa (yellow)
  • 2 slices (1/4) Avocado – drizzle with lemon juice to keep green (1/2 blue)
  • 1/2 ounce cheese, shredded (1/2 blue)
  • 50/50 blend spring mix/spinach (green)

*****

Do you guys have any favorite mason jar salads to recommend? Or do you have favorite ingredients you’d like me to try out in a mason jar configuration? I’m so in love with them!

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2 comments

  1. TheRedhead · · Reply

    Oooooh, thanks for posting this! I was just thinking about doing the 21-day Fix plan again in preparation for my upcoming (swimsuit) vacation, but like you said, fast/easy is crucial. My brain power has been kind of low lately so this is great that I can just “steal” all the work you did 🙂 Ha!

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  2. […] 2nd place was one of my mason jar posts with 21 Day Fix approved recipes. This post actually get a few hundred hits every month thanks to Pinterest hits, so it’s up […]

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