Taco Chicken Salad in a Jar

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 4

Are you looking for a new, portable lunch option? Layered salads in jars are visually stunning and keep your salad fresh and ingredients separate until you eat. The concept involves placing heavier items and firmer vegetables on the bottom of the jar along with the dressing and the lighter, more fragile ingredients on top. This complete meal in a jar keeps fresh and safe up to three days in the refrigerator.


1/3 cup (75 mL) onion, raw, diced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) olive oil
1/3 lb (0.2 kg) ground chicken, lean
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) chili powder
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) garlic powder
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) oregano, dried
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) sea salt
1 1/3 cup (325 mL) sweet red pepper, fresh, diced
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups (500 mL) cucumber, quartered and sliced
4 cups (1 L) romaine lettuce, raw, shredded
1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella cheese, part-skim, 16.5% MF, shredded
1 cup (250 mL) black beans, canned, rinsed and drained (or boiled from dry)
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream, light
1/2 cup (125 mL) salsa, ready to serve


1 Dice the onion and set aside. Heat oil over medium high heat in non-stick skillet. Add ground chicken and onions and sauté. Use the back of a spoon to break up ground chicken into smaller pieces. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano and sea salt. Continue to stir and sauté until ground chicken is broken into crumbly pieces, fully cooked through and no longer any pink visible – about 10 minutes.
2 Prepare the rest of the salad ingredients: dice red peppers, halve cherry tomatoes, quarter cucumber length-wise and slice, shred lettuce and cheese. Drain the canned black beans under cold running water. Set all aside in individual bowls.
3 You will need four one-quart (one litre) size clean canning jars and lids. The order in which you place the ingredients into the jars is important. To assemble jars add ⅓ cup (75 mL) ground taco chicken to the bottom of each jar. Top each jar with ⅓ cup (75 mL) red pepper, ½ cup (125 mL) cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup (60 mL) black beans, ¼ cup (60 mL) shredded cheese, 2 tbsp (30 mL) sour cream, 2 tbsp (30 mL) salsa, ½ cup (125 mL) cucumber, and 1 cup (250 mL) chopped romaine lettuce. Store in the refrigerator.
4 To eat, dump the contents onto a dinner size plate. Toss and enjoy!