A mason jar salad makes meal prep easy, and this one has delicious Thai flavors! Make this curried chicken salad for a quick lunch on the go.
Meal prep is a great idea for busy families, especially when your mornings are too crazy to think about what to pack for lunch.
Or, instead of making dinner after a long day, you can simply open the fridge and pull out a ready-to-serve meal.
I have plenty of dinner ideas that are quick and easy to make. My family loves Instant Pot chicken broccoli rice so much that there are never leftovers. This 30-minute beef teriyaki is a favorite too.
Those meals are delicious, but they require the effort of using kitchen appliances. Mason jar salad recipes are perfect for times when you’re too tired to think about using a stove or Instant Pot!
A note about mason jar salad ingredients
When you’re trying to decide what to use for salad in a jar, it’s important to think about the texture of the ingredients.
If you use nothing but leafy greens and soft vegetables, there’s no way to prevent the dressing from saturating the lettuce.
To prevent a soggy salad, layer firm vegetables, cooked proteins, or legumes between the dressing and the greens.
Thai chicken salad ingredients + notes
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. The complete list (with amounts) is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts– If you prefer dark meat, use boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you’re in a hurry, just toss cooked rotisserie chicken with some curry powder, salt and pepper!.
- avocado oil– any neutral flavor of cooking oil works
- sweet potatoes– You’ll be shredding this before cooking. Butternut squash would be delicious too
- red cabbage– Any type of cabbage will work, or even bok choy
- shredded coconut– Feel free to omit this if you have an allergy or just don’t care for coconut. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened.
- mixed greens
About the mason jar salad dressing
The gluten free dressing is my take on a Thai flavored creamy peanut dressing. To adapt it for nut allergies, I use almond butter.
- almond butter– Feel free to use creamy peanut butter or another nut butter of your choice.
- maple syrup– Honey is a good substitute for maple syrup
- tamari– Gluten-free soy sauce works too
- cayenne pepper– I add a pinch for flavor, but you can omit this if you want to
- cilantro– You can use Italian leaf parsley if you prefer it
How to make salad in a jar
1. Season, cook, and slice the chicken.
To make sure that the juices stay inside of the chicken, rest it for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
2. Shred and cook the sweet potatoes.
Using a food processor is the quickest and simplest way to shred sweet potatoes. If you don’t have one, you can use a box grater.
3. Make the salad dressing.
Because there are whole cloves of garlic and fresh herbs in the dressing, a food processor is the best way to blend them. However, a high speed blender can also get the job done.
First, combine all of the dressing ingredients except for the oil. After blending those together, slowly drizzle the olive oil in to create an emulsion. If you add them at the same time, the oil and vinegar won’t combine properly.
4. Add dressing to the bottom of the mason jar.
5. Layer the chicken on top of the dressing.
6. Add remaining salad ingredients, from heaviest to lightest.
As you add the ingredients to the mason jar, place the heavier/denser ingredients closer to the dressing. Be sure to add the leafy greens last.
Mason jar recipe video
- Don’t overfill the jar. Leave some space at the top of the jar. This way, you can shake the jar to toss the salad with the dressing. Otherwise, you’ll need to empty the contents onto a plate and toss the salad with the dressing there..
- Storing the salad. Keep your salad in the refrigerator and use it within 3 days. After that amount of time, the ingredients will begin to absorb the dressing.
I like to make these salads in wide-mouth mason jars with these plastic lids. One you’ve made the salads they will keep for up to 4 days so lunch is ready to go. Just empty the salad out onto a plate and mix everything with the dressing to serve.
Perfect for my husband to grab on his way out the door to work – and perfect for me to be able to eat lunch with 2 little boys running around!
More Chicken Recipes:
Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken easy, healthy and delicious served over quinoa.
Sticky Chicken a long-time family favorite! My kids love this recipe.
Thai Chicken Sweet Potato Mason Jar Salads
For the Chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half to make 4 thin chicken breasts (or 3-4 chicken breast filets)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or cooking oil of choice
- curry powder
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 1 large sweet potato, shredded
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil, or cooking oil of choice
- salt & pepper
For the Dressing:
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari, gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- ⅔ cup olive oil
For the Salads:
- thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- mixed greens
- For the Chicken: Heat the avocado oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and curry powder. Cook the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool, then slice into thin strips.
- For the Sweet Potatoes: Heat the avocado oil in a medium skillet over medium heat (I like to use cast iron or non-stick for this). Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for 7-9 minutes until soft, stirring often.
- For the dressing: Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small food processor. Process until smooth. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil until incorporated. Alternatively you can add all the ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.
- To Assemble the salads: Divide the salad dressing up evenly between 4 large mason jars. Divide the chicken up and add on top of the dressing. Add the vegetables in this order: sweet potatoes, red cabbage, coconut, cucumbers, greens.
- Add lids (I like these plastic mason jar lids) and refrigerate for up to 4 days. To serve simply pour the salad onto a plate and mix with the dressing. Enjoy!
Try these Healthy Mason Jar Taco Salads from Food Faith Fitness for another great make-ahead lunch!