This mason jar salad recipe is inspired by the delicious greens & ancient grain salad found at CoreLife Eatery. It’s filled with vegetables, quinoa, chickpeas, super greens, and dressed with balsamic vinegar dressing. This make-ahead salad in a jar recipe is perfect for weekday lunches.
Over the weekend my oldest daughter Emma wanted to try out CoreLife Eatery. Since entering her teenage years she’s developed a bigger interest in healthy foods and thanks to Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat she heard about this new place and wanted to test it out. Sounds good to me. So Emma, my mom, and myself had a girl’s shopping day and ate dinner at CoreLife
From first glance CoreLife reminded me of Panera but with more exotic menu items. They also make the food right in front of you which I thought was interesting – in that sense CoreLife reminded me of Moe’s. You order your food, they prepare it right there, and then you pay for it. It’s like a cafeteria line but with very healthy menu items. Basically, Corelife is like healthy fast food. However, unlike “fastfood” it’s very expensive. For the 3 of us I spent $30! That’s with no drinks and Emma and my mom getting small bowls. Yikes!
Even though it was very good, I don’t see us going back there on a regular basis. However, I loved the Greens & Ancient Grains Salad that I got but, unfortunately, I don’t see myself spending $10 for another one. Sorry, not when I can recreate that salad for much less in my own kitchen.
With that said, I decided to transform the CoreLife Greens & Ancient Grains salad into a delicious mason jar salad I could make on Sunday and enjoy the entire week.
The original salad includes quinoa, kale, arugula, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, shredded white cheddar, and balsamic dressing. I did change things up a little bit for my mason jar salad recipe.
Instead of kale, I used super greens. Super greens is a mixture of baby kale, swiss chard, and baby spinach. You can find this at any grocery store. I get mine from Wegmans but I’ve seen it at Aldi’s and Bj’s Wholesale. I find raw kale to be a touch too earthy for me in salads. I’ll eat it if I’m out but if I’m making a salad I’ll typically turn to super greens or a green not as rough. You can also use baby spinach.
I kept the arugula because I LOVE arugula – it’s my favorite salad green.
I also decided to lose the corn and add some cucumbers and red onion to bulk it up. I’m not a huge corn in a salad fan so I left it out. I kept the broccoli because I feel that’s a key ingredient. My only tip is to give the broccoli a couple rough chops to make the pieces smaller. In my opinion, this makes it easier to layer and eat.
Chickpeas are one of my favorite salad ingredients so, of course, they made the cut. It’s a great way to bulk up the protein while keeping the recipe vegetarian.
For the cheese, I use yellow shredded cheddar instead of white cheddar. No real reason other than that’s what I had in the fridge.
Another ingredient I love adding to salads is quinoa, so just like the chickpeas, the quinoa stayed. Again, if you’re looking to bulk up a salad yet keep it meat-free then add quinoa. It adds fiber and protein. So good! If you need help cooking quinoa then check out my how to cook quinoa tutorial.
Here’s my salad in a jar layered and ready to eat!
If you’re unsure how-to layer ingredients then check out this mason jar salad tutorial I put together. It answer’s all your questions.
For this mason jar salad recipe I used:
- 5 (32-ounce) mason jars
- 10 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 1 quart grape tomatoes
- 5 mini cucumbers, thickly sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1¼ cup cooked quinoa
- 10 tablespoons shredded cheddar
- 5 cups arugula
- 5 cups super greens
- Divide all the ingredients among the mason jars. Start with the dressing and continue with tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, onion, chickpeas, quinoa, cheddar, and finishing with greens and arugula. Place lid tightly on.
- When ready to eat, shake the jar and dump onto a plate. Enjoy,
Mason jars can be made up to 5-6 days ahead of time
Here are a couple of my other favorite mason jar salad recipes:
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