Lunchtime Layered Taco Salad Jar

easy layered quinoa taco salad jar

When I worked outside of the home I enjoyed packing a lunch everyday for myself. I don’t function well unless I’ve had something healthy to feed my brain. I’m sure you’ve all seen salad jars, but have you actually ever made one? I wish I had known about them when I was packing my lunches all those years! I hadn’t seen this brilliant idea until last year. I work from home now, but I still love them. They are easy to put together. Depending on what you layer in the jar, you can even make them once a week for the whole week. For this one, I’m using my very favorite quinoa taco salad recipe – minus the taco.

lunchtime quinoa taco salad in a jar

The idea with these taco salad jars is to layer the vinaigrette at the bottom and work your way up to the leafy greens. That way the greens stay fresh because they haven’t been sitting in the dressing. When it’s time to eat, you just turn the jar over. The dressing coats everything and it’s ready to eat!

lunch salad in a jar ingredients

I chose my favorite ingredients, but these are just a suggestion. You could certainly add in shredded chicken or meat, cheese, sour cream, or use a different dressing. (I used non-dairy homemade cashew sour cream for mine.)

layered salad jar

Then you just start layering.

layered quinoa taco salad in a jar

You can just eat it out of the jar. If I’m at home, I transfer it to a plate. It’s a little easier to eat that way. But you can also see that it fills up a salad plate and makes for a yummy, filling lunch.


Taco Salad Jar

Note: This makes a big, hearty salad. This can also be separated out into two pint-sized jars for two smaller salads.


For cumin-lime vinaigrette:

  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh squeeze lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch sea salt

For salad:

  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small avocado, diced (toss with a little lime juice to prevent browning)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh salsa
  • small handful cilantro
  • shredded or sliced lettuce or another leafy green
  • optional – sour cream and cheese

For vinaigrette – whisk all of the ingredients together and pour in the bottom of a quart-sized canning jar.
For salad – Layer ingredients in jar in the order listed (black beans, diced pepper, green onions, quinoa, etc.) ending with the lettuce. Top with lid and refrigerate until ready to eat. Can be made 2-3 days in advance.
To eat – turn jar over to let vinaigrette coat the salad ingredients. Eat out of the jar or turn out onto a plate.

Yield: 1 large main dish salad, or 2 small side dish salads

lunch salad in a jar on a plate


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Lindsey Johnson

Lindsey Johnson can usually be found in one of three places--the kitchen (cooking and washing dishes), behind her camera, or at her laptop editing photos and writing. If she's not in any of those places, chances are she's chasing after her three crazy kids or scoring a great find at the thrift store. She writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia and lives near the beautiful mountains in Utah with the aforementioned three crazy kids and one great husband.


  1. Sarah :

    this looks so so so good!
    I am going to do this!

  2. shahinafroz :

    Thanks for such informative article.I am seeking this topic for one month.Drone

  3. genevieve y :

    This looks delicious! I’m a super busy person so this kind of lunch would be perfect for me- easy to grab for on-the-go :)

  4. Kate :

    I can’t wait to try this ~

    Using the glass jar is visually appealing and made me think of many variations. I am glad you pointed out that it can easily be eaten at home as well.

    Do you suggest a particular kind of jar, or size?


    *Liked it on StumbleUpon too