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Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads

These Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads are an easy and delicious make-ahead meal. I love how you can make 4 jars (or more!) all at once, then grab one straight from the fridge for a fast meal at home, or an easy packed lunch for school or work.

mediterranean mason jar saads with chickpeas

Adding chickpeas to this salad adds a great source of plant-based protein to help make this a complete meal, but you can add any other protein you like. Tangy feta crumbles add an additional source of protein and a little extra flavor, but you can easily leave it out to make this a vegan and dairy-free recipe.

What is a Mason Jar Salad?

I mason jar salad is simply a way of packing a salad for easy travel, or for convenient make-ahead meals. When making a mason jar salad, there is a strategy involved with the layering of the ingredients.

chickpea salad in mason jars

You always put the salad dressing on the bottom, then you layer the sturdier ingredients (that won’t get soggy) on top of the dressing, like chopped cucumbers, onions, or cooked beans. Lighter, leafier ingredients, like romaine or spinach, should be added at the top of the jar, to keep it totally separate from the dressing.

How Long Will Mason Jar Salads Last?

I typically make no more than 4 days of salads at a time, so that the ingredients stay as fresh as possible. After 4 days, a prepared salad seems less appealing, and chopped lettuces will start to wilt. In the case of this recipe, the salad makes 4 servings, but I typically eat one serving right away on the day I make it, and then I’ll eat it for 3 more days after that.

chickpea mediterranean salad

What’s the Best Mason Jar For Salad?

I use wide-mouth quart-size jars for packing individual servings of salad. (You can order a set of 3 on Amazon, or a set of 12 if you want to have extra jars for food storage, too.)

How to Eat a Mason Jar Salad

When I first heard of mason jar salads, I thought people were attempting to eat them directly out of the jar. Don’t do that!

how to eat mason jar salad

Instead, pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl. Because the dressing is on the bottom of the jar, it pours out over all of the vegetables for a ready-to-eat, flavorful meal. (And you won’t have to try to awkwardly stick your fork in a narrow mason jar.)

red onions in mason jars with dressing

In the case of these Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads, I layered the raw onions in the dressing, so that their pungent flavor would mellow in the fridge. I love the marinated onion flavor, almost like a pickled onion!

As always, the toppings I added to this salad are just a suggestion. If you want to swap the romaine for another type of lettuce, or the tomatoes for bell pepper, go for it! I’d also suggest adding some sliced olives, or even capers, if you like. (I’m not an olive fan, so I always skip them!)

mason jar salad with chickpeas

Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

These Mediterranean Chickpea Mason Jar Salads are an easy make-ahead meal. Great for a vegetarian packed lunch or fast dinner, they are loaded with plant-based protein and feature a flavorful red wine vinaigrette. 

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: mason jar
Servings: 4
Calories: 324 kcal
Ingredients
Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Salad Assembly
  • 1 small red onion , diced
  • 1 English cucumber , chopped
  • 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans (1 15-oz. can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (optional)
  • 1 large head of romaine , chopped
Instructions
  1. Prepare the red wine vinaigrette by adding the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, maple syrup, water, oregano, salt, and several grinds of black pepper to a small jar with a lid. (I use a small mason jar.) Shake it vigorously to combine.

  2. Arrange 4 wide-mouth quart-sized mason jars on your counter for easy salad assembly. Pour 3 tablespoons of the dressing into the bottom of each one. On top of the dressing, add the diced onion, cucumber, beans, cherry tomatoes, feta, and then the lettuce, in that order to avoid soggy vegetables.

  3. Secure the lid to make the jars airtight, then store in the fridge until ready to serve for up to 4 days.

  4. To serve the mason jar salad, unscrew the lid and pour the contents into a large bowl. Since the dressing is on the bottom, it will pour over the salad last, dressing all of the vegetables. Stir well to coat, then enjoy right away.

Per serving (with feta): Calories: 324, Fat: 19g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 6g, Protein: 10g

Recipe Notes:

  • For a creamy vegan option, try adding a spoonful of tahini to the red wine vinaigrette. You won’t miss the cheese!
  • You can use any other vinegar you like, if you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand.
  • The tiny addition of maple syrup helps to balance the acidity of the vinegar, but feel free to leave it out if needed.
  • If you don’t eat beans, feel free to swap the protein for cooked chicken if you eat meat, or try some cooked quinoa for a complete source of plant-based protein.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever made a mason jar salad before? These Fall Mason Jar Salads are a big hit when you want a hearty, comforting option!

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Comments

Diana

Looks great! I like that the dressing is on the bottom to prevent sogginess! Do you have any suggestions on preventing the jar from toppling over on the way to work (hence spreading dressing all over the rest of the salad stuff).

Thanks in advance!

    Megan Gilmore

    I try to place the jars in a bag with other things that will keep it upright, but I don’t think it would be too bad if the dressing spreads only a few hours before you eat it. I just wouldn’t want it to topple over and then be stored in the fridge for 3 more days.

    I actually have a Kelly Moore camera bag/purse with dividers in it (intended for camera lenses) and it works AMAZINGLY well for keeping things upright. My husband and I bring 2 travel mugs of hot coffee and two ice waters from home in it to the movie theater, and nothing tips over. (I usually share shots of this on Instagram if you want to see it for yourself– I’m obsessed with my purse. And I don’t think I’ve ever used it for camera lenses. LOL)

JEn

Yum! These sound so good. And bonus, I’ve been playing with aquafaba a lot lately and need to eat more chickpeas. 😁

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