This new mason jar recipe was born from a mason jar flop of sorts. I love roasted balsamic vegetables mixed with some pasta and cheese so I thought those ingredients would make a tasty mason jar salad. So I roasted up some bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms, and asparagus in balsamic dressing then ventured to layer those ingredients with fresh mozzarella , pasta, and arugula. It was okay. I ate it fine everyday but Matt did not like it at all. He said the vegetables were slimey and the cheese did not have any flavor. I did not agree with him on the vegetables but on the cheese I did. So I scratched that recipe and went back to the drawing board.
As I put my new new mason jar salad recipe together I decided to only use bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion for the “hearty” vegetable. I thought about putting raw mushrooms in but then opted not to. I am not a big raw mushroom fan so I knew I probably wouldn’t like it. I also left the asparagus out for that same reason.
Originally I was going to use balsamic vinegar dressing but I had a huge bottle of Newmans Own Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing on hand so I decided to use that instead. You can certainly use a balsamic dressing and I know it would taste wonderful. Yes I know some of you are thinking I should just make my own dressing and someday I will but this weekend I was a tad on the lazy side.
For the cheese I went with a crumbled goat cheese. I love the tang and creaminess goat cheese brings to a recipe. A little goes a long way and it gave this salad a great flavor.
I wanted more protein in this mason jar recipe so I threw in some rotisserie chicken. As always you can use whatever chicken you have on hand. You could probably use a high quality smoked deli turkey too, if you wanted.
I also decided to add pasta to this recipe. Not a lot. There is only ¼ cup cooked spiral whole grain pasta in each salad. I feel more satisfied when I have some whole grains at lunch time but if you want to leave it out go right ahead. By leaving out the pasta you will bring the calories below 400 so if you don’t want it then don’t add it in.
For the greens I used arugula. I love love love arugula. It is my favorite green to use in a salad. However, if you prefer to use spinach, kale, or another green then go for it.
Ultimately, this recipe turned out delicious. I loved all the flavors and crunch of the fresh vegetables. I recommend giving this one a try if you are looking for a mason jar salad to add to your rotation.
See my other mason jar salad recipes here.
See here for more “how to” mason jar salad information.
- 5 wide mouth quart size mason jar salads
- 10 tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar dressing (I use Newman's Own)
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 red onions, chopped
- 1 ¼ cup cooked whole grain spiral pasta
- 5 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 1 ¼ cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- 10 ounce package of arugula
- Divide all ingredients between mason jars. Start with dressing then add tomatoes, peppers, onions, pasta, goat cheese, chicken, and end with arugula.
- To eat shake in jar then pour into a bowl.
These salads can be prepared 5 - 6 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator.