Mediterranean Salad Jars (V)
It’s been a hot minute for a new vegan recipe. Sharpen those knifes, herbivores, here’s an easy and filling option for the upcoming week. I prepped these Mediterranean salad jars for my brother’s lunches this week using some of his favorite toppings: chickpeas, English cucumber, cherry tomato, and Kalamata olives. What I love most about stacking the ingredients in a jar is that the chickpeas become even more flavorful while they’re marinating inside tangy balsamic dressing.
These ingredients resemble a Greek salad, so feel free to switch up the dressing or toppings to your liking. We’re keeping it simple with balsamic vinaigrette, but a lemony Greek vinaigrette would also taste delicious. While these Mediterranean salad jars are vegan, you can also adapt them to your preferences with ingredients like:
Some orzo, couscous, or quinoa
Feta cheese, or try making vegan feta
Lemon-pepper seasoned chicken breast
Healthy Fat, Protein, & Fiber
We’ve got it all. Protein comes from a handful of chickpeas (to add more protein, consider throwing in quinoa or chicken breast). Kalamata olives provide healthy fat, along with the olive oil dressing. Finally, get your fiber and micronutrient fix from all that color: tomatoes, purple onion, cucumbers, and mixed greens.
Salad Jar Storage
As a general rule for all salad jars, add dressing to the bottom. There’s opportunity from here, whatever you stack on top of dressing will “marinate” inside it. Beans and legumes are a great option because they’ll take on the flavor of the dressing.
From there, stack the most dense ingredients on the bottom and lighter and light up to the top. Crunchy or delicate toppings should go on top such as onions, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, etc. I’ve found that this assembly helps the jars hold up longer (up to 5 days in the fridge).
No time to prep dressing?
I’ve included an easy recipe for balsamic vinaigrette dressing below. But if you’re short on time, you can absolutely choose a bottled dressing. I advise choosing salad dressings made with heart-healthy fats.
Primal Kitchen Balsamic Vinaigrette is my top choice because it’s made with 100% avocado oil. It’s paleo-friendly, keto, Whole 30 approved, and vegan. No soy or canola oil, no corn syrup or honey, and it’s so tasty! I’ve included a link to find this dressing at Thrive Market, but I’ve also seen it at Natural Grocer, Whole Foods, and some Smiths locations.
CALORIES: 433 per jar
If you’re dialed into a higher protein target, consider adding chopped chicken, feta cheese, and/or doubling the chickpeas.
pin for later!
salad jars (V)
Yields: 4 Servings
2 cups canned chickpeas (1/4 cup per jar)
1 English cucumber
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
1 7-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives (see note 1)
1/2 cup purple onion
4 cups mixed greens or romaine lettuce
Optional add-ins: feta cheese or vegan feta, chopped chicken, orzo or couscous
Easy Balsamic Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey (see note 2)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 or 2 garlic clove(s) (minced)
Salt & pepper to taste
To make the dressing: Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a jar with a lid. Replace lid and shake vigorously until combined.
Using a sharp knife, halve cherry tomatoes and chop cucumber and onion into bite size pieces.
Rinse chickpeas in a strainer until they’re no longer “bubbly”.
In 4 jars, stack the dressing in the bottom, followed by chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onion.
If there’s room inside each jar, add lettuce. If not, I stored my lettuce alongside the jars.
When you’re ready to eat, just dump the contents of the jar onto a bed of lettuce and enjoy. Jars will keep up to 5 days in the fridge!
Note 1: Look for pitted olives in 100% olive oil. I really like Mezzetta Brand.
Note 2: If you don’t eat honey, sub for brown rice syrup or maple syrup.