This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.
This Mason Jar Salad is loaded with Fall flavors to help you eat more veggies, even when the weather cools down. It features comforting, roasted butternut squash, protein-rich white beans, and a delicious Maple Cider Vinaigrette that will leave you loving every bite!
Mason Jar Salads are one of my favorite make-ahead meal options. They help make healthy eating a breeze during a busy week.
You simply layer ingredients into large mason jars (I use these quart-sized jars) so that the dressing and sturdier ingredients are on the bottom. The softer toppings and leafy greens stay on top, so nothing gets soggy.
When it’s time to eat, you take off the lid and dump the ingredients out of the jar into a large salad bowl. The simple action of turning the jar over is usually enough to coat all of the ingredients in the dressing that was on the bottom, so all you have to do at meal time is dig in with a fork!
This salad is ultra-filling, thanks to the addition of white beans, which are loaded with protein (nearly 8 grams per 1/2 cup serving). These pulses are also a great source of iron and magnesium, which are thought to help promote healthy muscles and blood flow in the body.
Butternut squash is jam-packed with Vitamin A. Just 1 cup provides 350% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), and is thought to help promote healthy eyesight. This squash is also loaded with potassium, which may help promote healthy blood pressure.
All together, this salad is going to leave you feeling totally nourished and satisfied. Though it does take a bit of time to prepare, most of it is hands-off time that you can spend doing something else around your house while the squash and quinoa cook to perfection. I hope it will make eating well a little easier for you!
Fall Mason Jar Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 head cabbage (or 3 cups shredded)
- 1/2 red onion , diced
- 1.5 cups cooked white beans (or a 15 oz. can, rinsed and drained)
- 5-6 cups mixed greens
- To roast the squash, preheat the oven to 400ºF and toss the butternut squash cubes in the olive oil. Arrange the squash into a single layer on a large baking sheet, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 40 minutes, or until fork tender. (Flip the squash halfway through baking.)
- While the squash is roasting, combine the dry quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower the heat, to let the quinoa cook until tender about 15 minutes. (I actually cook the quinoa in the Instant Pot using this method, so it's as easy as possible.)
- While everything is cooking, finely shred the cabbage and dice the red onion, and then combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, and shake to mix well.
- To assemble the salads, you'll need 3 quart-sized mason jars. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing at the bottom, followed by 1 cup of shredded cabbage, a scant 1/4 cup of diced red onion, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, a scant cup of roasted squash cubes, 1/2 cup of white beans, and then fill the rest of the jar with mixed greens. (It's okay to tightly pack the mixed greens at the top.)
- Repeat the layers for each jar, and reserve any extra salad toppings in airtight containers in your fridge. (I had a bit of leftover quinoa and diced red onion, which I'll use for a stir fry.) Seal the jars with a lid and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To serve, dump the contents of the jar into a large bowl and stir well to make sure all of the vegetables are dressed. Enjoy!
- This salad is totally customizable, so feel free to add in or leave out any ingredients you choose to.
- I used maple syrup to keep this dressing vegan, but you could use honey if you prefer, or leave out the sweetener entirely for a more pungent dressing.
This salad is a great way to make sure you’re reaching your Half-Cup Habit goals. This 4-week challenge encourages readers to add 1/2 cup serving of pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, or dry peas) to their diets three times a week. In other words, you simply have to eat 1 1/2 cups of cooked pulses a week. By participating, users will receive free recipes, pulses cooking tips and more.
Click here to join me in taking the Half-Cup Habit today!
Reader Feedback: Have you made a Mason Jar salad before? What’s your favorite salad combination lately?
Disclosure: I developed this recipe as part of my ongoing sponsorship with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.