Healthy Taco Salads are a favorite of mine – perfect for feeling indulged while sticking to healthy eating goals, but our baked tortilla shell version isn’t exactly transportable. Which is why I decided to mix things up this week and whip up a (Vegetarian) Mason Jar Taco Salad for on-the-go healthy indulgence.
Mason Jar Taco Salad Recipe
To make this recipe extremely travel-safe, I also made it vegetarian by swapping out the taco meat with well-seasoned quinoa.
No risk of meat going off – and besides, I’m not one for cold meat anyways. Of course, if you want some taco meat on your salad you could keep it in a small separate container and warm it up as you are preparing to eat.
And to make this recipe a super-healthy lunch choice, I packed each of my 4 quart-size mason jars with about 2 1/2 cups of veggies! I aim for 7-10 daily, and this gets 4 of them out of the way while still feeling deliciously indulgent (especially when dressed with the salsa and sour cream, and then sprinkled with a bit of cheddar cheese – you can even add some crushed tortilla chips if you want).
This salad keeps well in the fridge for about 3 days – after that I dislike the smell of the quinoa and toss it, but all my research indicates that it’s still good to eat for a full week so that’s a personal preference.
Ingredients for Mason Jar Taco Salad
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 small to medium red onion, chopped, optional
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce or spinach
- 1 cups salsa
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 4 Tablespoons cheddar cheese, optional
Tip: avocados will brown after being cut – my preference is to cut them just before enjoying the salad but you can alternatively toss the diced avocado with 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- 4 quart-sized mason jar
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Colander or salad spinner
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to Make Quinoa Taco Salad
First, prepare the quinoa according to package directions. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of the taco seasoning and set aside to cool.
Drain and rinse the black beans and toss with the remaining Tablespoon of taco seasoning.
Chop up the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion (optional) and romaine lettuce. If you are chopping the avocado now, chop and toss with 2 teaspoons lime juice to prevent browning.
Assemble the mason jar salads by adding 2/3 of a cup quinoa to the bottom of each salad, following by 1/4 of the beans, 1 cup of chopped lettuce and then 1/4 of the rest of the vegetables.
I prefer to add the salsa and sour cream when serving – but if you’d prefer to add it before hand, add it in between the quinoa and black beans – salsa first.
Grab your free printable for our vegetarian taco salad in a jar recipe:
This easy, healthy taco salad is a great lunch on the go – and a delicious way to enjoy four of your daily vegetable servings!