Southwestern Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
Southwestern Quinoa Mason Jar Salads- quinoa layered with a cumin lime dressing, black beans, corn, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Perfect to prep for delicious and healthy lunches during the week! (vegan + gluten-free)
Just like overnight oats, I’m about 1,000 years late to the Mason Jar Salad Party. Except this time, I don’t have a good excuse.
I have tons of Mason Jars that have been sitting pretty in my cabinet for years and, as most of you know, there are plenty of recipe ideas out there to choose from. Actually that’s probably why I waited so long. I think I was avoiding making them because everyone else was doing it. Sometimes you just gotta give in and go with the flow.
Okay, that might not be the best advice in every circumstance but it in this case it makes sense. The jars are super convenient for meal prepping and I love how portable they are too. Whoever originally thought of this idea deserves at least 5 fist bump emojis. And maybe a few of the praising hands too. ;)
So yeah, I’m sure you can find a very similar recipe out there somewhere but I’m going to ignore that little voice in my head for now and share my version with you anyway.
Most of you know by now how obsessed I am with Mexican food so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that’s what I chose to stuff the jars with. It starts with a layer of fluffy quinoa soaked in a dressing made from a mixture of cumin, cilantro, lime and jalapeño. Then that gets layered with antioxidant-packed black beans, sweet corn, crunchy bell peppers, green onion, and juicy cherry tomatoes. OMG SO MUCH YUM.
It took me about 35 minutes to make all 4 salads which I personally think is well worth the time. I mean that’s practically a weeks worth of healthy lunches made and ready-to-eat.
If you’re feeling extra special, you can serve each salad with half of an avocado diced on top. That’s my favorite way to eat them and it’s honestly so good that I crave it.
I’m telling you, healthy food has never been more convenient or delicious. I know you guys are going to love them. Enjoy!
Southwestern Quinoa Mason Jar Salads
Yield: 4 (16 ounce) salads
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 15
Total Time: 35
- 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 bell peppers, cored and diced
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 3 green onions, diced
- diced avocado for serving (optional)
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup lime juice (approx. 4 limes)
- 1 garlic clove (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, until all of the water has absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile make the dressing by adding all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blending until smooth.
Once the quinoa has cooled, divide it evenly between 4 (16 ounce) jars. Pour 1/4th the dressing into each jar and gently stir to combine. Next layer the black beans, corn, bell pepper, green onion and tomato on top. Seal with a lid and refrigerate for up to 4 days. When ready to serve, dump the salad out into a bowl and top with diced avocado (optional).
Nutrition Facts are for one (16 ounce) salad.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
Yummm! I love that the quinoa gets to soak up all the flavor. I’ve got about 10 jalapenos growing that are juuuuust about ready in a few days, which means we’re about to have a whole lot of Mexican meals pretty soon.
These mason jar salads are so colorful and cute! I love that the quinoa is on the bottom so it gets all those flavors :)
I have yet to make a mason jar salad BUT if and when I do, THIS is my kinda salad. …ie the kind made up of beans and quinoa and corn and not just lettuce :D
I’ve always been timid to post a mason jar salad recipe because the concept is simple, but I think having a theme (like HUHLO Southwestern or Mexican) changes up the whole thing and makes it suuuuper appealing. That cumin dressing? YUHS! 35 minutes of time well spent for 4 entire meals? Totally brilliant. These beauties are perfection!
My thoughts exactly. I still haven’t posted a mason jar salad because I feel like everyone is doing it and there are only so many combos you can do. Plus I work from home haha.
Oooh yum, I’m so with you! I love healthy Mexican. I’m pretty sure that you and I could eat every meal together and be in complete sync lady (except for my protein smoothies since I know you don’t do protein powder)! And beautiful photography as per usual!
I was late to the Mason jar salad party, too, and I agree…when everyone else is doing something I like to wait it out. :) I love this version because I’m all about Mexican food AND quinoa! These look so good and that dressing sounds drink-able. :)
These salads look amazing. Love how portable they are and so packed full of goodness! Definitely going to try these!
Thanks Alida! I hope you enjoy them!
Mason jar salads are like the cutest! And specially when you pick the right colorful ingredients to stack it up.
Yes, color always helps! Thanks Kankana! :)
haha well I’m behind you and have never tried making mason jar salads! Despite the fact that I also own a bajillion mason jars! I am most definitely all about the mexican food and this quinoa salad sound deelicious!
I still haven’t gone to the mason jar salad party, but that’s mostly because I work from home and never really have a reason to pack my salads :lol: And I seriously love your love of Mexican because you know I’m right there with you… it’s my favourite cuisine!
I’ve never made a salad in a jar before because I don’t have large enough jars to hold a serving! This looks delicious though. I can never get enough of Mexican flavours!
I made these to have for lunches during the work week and they were amazing! All I had to do was dump it into a bowl, top with avocado and enjoy. Thank you for the awesome recipe!
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How’s the taste without the jalapeno? I’m not a big fan of jalapenos.
It adds just a hint of spice but you can always leave them out if you don’t like them. :)
This was actually my first mason jar lunch creation and it did not disappoint! Despite not being a huge fan of cilantro, lime or insanely spicy food I gave this recipe a try. Boy am I glad I did! I followed the recipe, using only one jalapeno ( the recipe said 1 or 2) and I didn’t have chili powder so I used 1 teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes for the salad dressing (I just made sue that they were very well blended) The jars that I used were a little big so I filled up the open space with shredded lettuce. That was actually really nice addition. The lettuce added a summer like freshness to the dish. Each serving is very big. Big enough to share. One day I gave away at least 1/3 of the meal to a co-worker who was very interested in the dish. :) I am not a strict vegan so I topped it off with a small spoonful sour cream. It was delicious! I could totally see taking this recipe and putting the whole thing in a big serving bowl for a party.
I’m so glad you liked it, Katherine! Love the addition of lettuce too! :)
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I dislike cilantro would it taste good still without it?
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I do not like quinoa – what can I substitute? These would be great to take to work for lunch.
Rice would make a good substitution! :)
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Thank you for making healthy recipes. I would expect to see nutrition facts though on a healthy eating website? Also the amount of ads is utterly annoying. But I’m looking forward to trying this out.
This recipe was great and has become a part of my regular meal prep rotation – thank you so much! Just noticed that although your description mentions jalapeños it actually isn’t in the ingredient list for the dressing.