Are you looking for a healthy and filling salad packed with protein? Look no further than this delicious protein salad in a jar! With quinoa, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, and feta cheese, this salad will keep you full and satisfied all day. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead of time and store in individual mason jars, making it the perfect meal prep option for busy weekdays. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make this protein-packed salad step-by-step so you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere.
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I’ve been making this protein salad for over five years, and it’s still one of my favorites. As a busy mom, I’m always looking for healthy and easy meals that I can prepare ahead of time. And this salad fits the bill perfectly!
I love how simple it is to throw together and how it stays fresh for up to five days in individual jars.
The best part? This salad is made using pantry staples, so I can always whip it up on short notice without running to the grocery store. So if you’re looking for a delicious and easy salad that is perfect to meal prep for the week, keep reading to learn how to make this protein-packed salad.
So if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious salad perfect for busy moms, keep reading to learn how to make this protein salad in a jar!
Other favorite mason jar salads include this Southwest Chicken Salad in a Jar, Healthy Taco Salad in a Jar, Steak Salad in a Jar, and Spinach Pasta Salad in a Jar. Or check out all of my delicious mason jar salad recipes.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- It’s packed with protein: With ingredients like quinoa, chickpeas, and hard-boiled eggs, this salad is a protein powerhouse that will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours.
- It’s incredibly versatile: Mix and match the ingredients to suit your taste preferences or use whatever you have in your pantry or fridge.
- It’s perfect for meal prep: Make a big batch of this salad on the weekend, and you’ll have lunch or dinner ready for the rest of the week! Simply store the salads in individual jars in the fridge and grab one whenever you’re in a rush.
- It’s delicious: With a homemade Italian vinaigrette, juicy cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, tangy feta cheese, and fresh baby spinach, this salad is bursting with flavor and texture. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a healthy meal without sacrificing taste.
How to Make Protein Salad in a Jar
This protein salad in a jar is a delicious and nutritious meal that’s packed with protein and perfect for those who are looking for a healthy and filling lunch option. It’s made with quinoa, chickpeas, hard-boiled eggs, and feta cheese, all of which are great sources of protein. Not only is this salad delicious, but it’s also easy to make and can be stored in individual mason jars, making it a great option for meal prep. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, this salad is sure to keep you satisfied all day long.
- Quinoa: Quinoa is a nutrient-dense seed high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s also gluten-free and has a nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a great source of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. They have a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Hard-boiled eggs are a convenient, affordable way to add protein to your meals, and they’re easy to prepare ahead of time.
- Feta cheese: Feta cheese is a tangy and salty cheese often used in Mediterranean and Greek cuisines. It’s a good protein and calcium source, adding a nice texture and flavor to this salad.
- Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are a sweet and juicy variety of tomatoes that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. They add a burst of flavor and color to this salad.
- Mini cucumbers: Mini cucumbers are a small variety of cucumbers that are crunchy and refreshing. They’re high in water content and low in calories, making them a great addition to this salad.
- Baby spinach: Baby spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green high in vitamins A and C, iron, and folate. It has a mild flavor and a tender texture that makes it perfect for salads.
- Italian vinaigrette: This homemade Italian dressing is made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs. It adds a deliciously tangy and savory flavor to the salad, and it’s much healthier and tastier than store-bought dressings. However, you can use a high-quality store-bought dressing.
- Start by cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and then cook it in a small pot with water or vegetable broth for about 10 minutes until it’s fluffy and tender. See my tutorial on how to cook quinoa for more tips.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop the cherry tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and hard-boiled eggs.
- Once the quinoa is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork.
- To assemble the salad, grab five mason jars and start layering the ingredients in this order: dressing, cherry tomatoes, mini cucumbers, chickpeas, quinoa, feta cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and baby spinach.
- Once all the ingredients are in the jars, tightly screw on the lids and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When you’re ready to eat, shake the jar, mix everything up, and then pour the salad onto a plate.
- When cooking the quinoa, rinse it in cold water to remove any bitter coating. Also, use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water to add more flavor to the quinoa.
- To save time, you can make the quinoa and hard-boiled eggs ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
- Add other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or red onions to make the salad even more nutritious.
- To prevent the salad from getting soggy, always start with the dressing at the bottom of the jar and then layer the ingredients in order of their density, with the heaviest ingredients at the bottom and the lighter ones on top. This will help keep the greens crisp and fresh. See this tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to layer a mason jar salad perfectly!
Substitutions & Variations
- Quinoa: If you don’t have quinoa, you can use other grains like brown rice, farro, or barley.
- Chickpeas: You can substitute chickpeas with other black, kidney, or cannellini beans.
- Feta cheese: Use any of your favorite cheeses in this protein salad recipe. Fresh mozzarella, sharp cheddar, provolone, or even pepper jack cheese are good options.
- Vegetables: Feel free to swap the cherry tomatoes and mini cucumbers with other veggies like bell peppers, carrots, or red onions.
- Dressing: You can use any dressing you like, such as homemade balsamic vinaigrette, honey lemon vinaigrette, or Greek Vinaigrette.
- Spinach: You can use any leafy greens, such as kale, arugula, or mixed greens.
- Protein: You can add grilled or shredded chicken for extra protein.
- Cook the quinoa and hard-boiled eggs ahead of time: You can cook the quinoa and hard-boiled eggs up to 2-3 days in advance and store them in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad. This will save you time and make the salad assembly process quicker and easier.
- Prep the vegetables: You can cut the cherry tomatoes and mini cucumbers ahead of time and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. This will also save you time when assembling the salad later on.
- Store the salads in mason jars: These can be made and stored in mason jars in the fridge for up to 5 days. Layer the ingredients in the jars, starting with the dressing at the bottom and ending with the spinach at the top. Seal the jars tightly and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
Protein Salad in a Jar
- 5 32-ounce mason jars
- 1/3 cup dry white quinoa
- 2/3 cup water or vegetable broth
- 10 tablespoons homemade Italian vinaigrette or store-bought
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 5-6 mini cucumbers cut into slices
- 1 15-ounce chickpeas drain and rinsed
- 10 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 5 hard-boiled eggs chopped
- 5 cups baby spinach
- Start by cooking the quinoa. First place the dry quinoa into a bowl and fill it with water. Stir with a spoon until the water becomes cloudy. Drain and rinse the quinoa using a mesh strainer.
- Place the quinoa into a small pot with 2/3 cups of water or broth. Cover and bring to a bowl, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes until water is absorbed.
- Set the quinoa aside for ten more minutes, and then fluff it with a fork. Cook the quinoa before using it in the salad. It's helpful to make the quinoa ahead of time.
- Put the salad together: Divide the ingredients among the five mason jars. Start with the dressing, continue with tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, quinoa, feta, eggs, and finish with the baby spinach.
- Tightly place the lid on and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When you're ready to eat, shake the jar and pour the salad onto a plate.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Have you tried this Protein Salad in a Jar Recipe? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture in our FB Group and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny.