Empty Out A Mason Jar, Then Pack With Fixings For Delicious Take-To-Work Taco Salad

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

It’s really tough to get in the habit of packing your lunch every single day, but this mason jar taco salad may just be the meal that makes all the difference!

Take me, for example. I always say that I’m going to pack myself a delicious and nutritious lunch ahead of time, but when 12 o’clock rolls around, I can usually be found ordering an unhealthy lunch at the deli next door.

To be an effective meal-prepper, you have to be excited about what you’re eating!

Having a tasty lunch option makes it so much easier to get the ball rolling and to make it the night before.

We’re especially in love with the current trend for yummy meals and snacks that can be prepped in an ordinary mason jar, like these simple make-ahead smoothies.

In fact, our new favorite recipe — for mason jar taco salad — is just a savory take on the same concept.

Pop your ingredients in a jar on Sunday night, then enjoy during lunch hour on Monday!

Scroll through to see how it’s done.

Cook: 0 min
Prep: 15 min
Serves: 1
  • 14 cup seasoned taco meat
  • 2 tbsps. tortilla strips
  • To taste lettuce
  • To taste tomatoes
  • 2 tbsps. salsa
  • 2 tbsps. shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsps. corn
  • 2 tbsps. beans
  • 1 tbsp. ranch dressing
  • Chop and shred your tomatoes and lettuce, then set aside.
  • Layer the ingredients, starting with meat on the bottom and working your way up, layering each ingredient.
  • Seal the jar and refrigerate.
  • Serve and enjoy within a week!
Scroll through below to learn how to make this delicious mason jar taco salad!
Mason Jar Taco Salad 15 minutes 0 minutes 15 minutes Serves 1 // seasoned taco meat tortilla strips lettuce tomatoes salsa shredded cheese corn beans ranch dressing Chop and shred your tomatoes and lettuce, then set aside. Layer the ingredients, starting with meat on the bottom and working your way up, layering each ingredient. Seal the jar and refrigerate. Serve and enjoy within a week!

1. Lay Out Ingredients

1. Lay Out Ingredients
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

First, you’re going to need a wide range of ingredients. Our recipe calls for:

  • Taco meat
  • Tortilla strips
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Salsa
  • Corn
  • Black beans
  • Cheese
  • Ranch dressing

You will also need a large mason jar, preferably a wide-mouthed jar that holds 24 oz.

2. Chop Fresh Veggies

2. Chop Fresh Veggies
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Our recipe calls for lettuce and tomatoes. Dice tomatoes finely and shred lettuce until you have about 1/4 cup of each.

You can also take this opportunity to chop and add any other fresh veggies you might want!

If you want, swap out for another dark, leafy green. You can also add in hot or sweet peppers for a little extra kick, if desired.

3. Layer Heavy Ingredients

3. Layer Heavy Ingredients
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Begin layering your ingredients into the jar, starting with the heaviest ingredients first.

Start by filling the jar up with your seasoned taco meat. Then pour beans on top, and layer corn on top of that.

If you choose to add any other substantial ingredients, like avocado, add during this stage, as well!

4. Layer Lighter Toppings

4. Layer Lighter Toppings
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Next, layer in your lighter toppings.

The tomatoes and lettuce, as well as any other fresh veggies you choose, can be added here.

Add a layer of salsa on top of this layer. You can either use jarred salsa, or fresh salsa for this step.

5. Finish Off With Condiments

5. Finish Off With Condiments
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Next, top off your taco salad with a few delicious extras!

First, add crunchy tortilla strips. You can also use crumbled up tortilla chips in a pinch.

Next, add a layer of shredded cheese, and top the whole thing off with a drizzle of ranch dressing.

6. Seal And Refrigerate

6. Seal And Refrigerate
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Once your salad is complete, you can simply twist on the jar top and pop it in the fridge!

If you want to prep salads for the whole week, you can use any leftover ingredients to fill up four more mason jars.

For a different salad every day, try swapping out some of the ingredients for different flavor profiles and combinations.

7. Plate And Serve

7. Plate And Serve
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Make sure the cap on your jar is twisted on tight, and you can bring it just about anywhere.

Pop it in your bag and bring it to the office for a satisfying, homemade lunch that won’t spill in your backpack.

When you get to work, simply unscrew the jar and dump the whole thing into a plate or bowl.

Just be sure to eat it within one week of preparing it!

8. Enjoy!

8. Enjoy!
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

The last step is the easiest and most enjoyable of all: Dig in!

Enjoy your delicious and satisfying salad, then just rinse out your jar and bring it home.

When your salad is all gone, it’s time to start planning for next week’s meals!

If you love the idea of these easy, make-ahead salads, be sure to SHARE with friends and family!