Level up your lunch packing game with these Chickpea Mason Jar Salads! Packed with veggies and plant-based protein, these will keep for several days in the fridge.
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Question for y'all: what's your lunch packing strategy?
Do you get up each morning and pack something for lunch? Is it leftovers? Do you do bulk lunch packing on the weekends? Do you buy your lunch everyday?
There are no wrong answers, but I do have some delicious inspiration if you're looking to level-up your lunch packing game: You could check out these 22 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas for packable salads, bowls, and more. Or, if you're more into sandwiches, perhaps you'll find something in this list of 22 Vegetarian and Vegan Sandwiches.
And more good news! Today we're going to add one more to the list with these delicious and nourishing Chickpea Mason Jar Salads.
What is a mason jar salad?
Glad you asked! Simply put, it's a salad that's packed into a mason jar.
Not only is it super adorable and gives off a sort of hipster Martha Stewart vibe, but if you pack them right you can pack an entire week's worth of salads in one day and they'll last perfectly in your fridge.
What's in Chickpea Mason Jar Salads?
Really, you can put anything you want into a mason jar salad, but today we're going to start off with a zippy Chickpea Salad (yup, the same chickpea salad that's in these Chickpea Salad Sandwiches) and go from there. Here's what you'll need:
- Chickpeas –> Obviously. Check out my Instant Pot Chickpeas if you want to cook ’em from scratch.
- Red pepper –> Diced up nice and fine.
- Green onions –> Thinly sliced, please and thanks.
- Capers –> For a little salty bite.
- Sunflower seeds –> For crunch!
- Parsley –> Sooooo fresh.
- Yogurt –> To keep things on the light side.
- Mayo –> Because we’re worth it.
- Dijon mustard –> For a little punch.
- Maple syrup –> To sweeten things up.
- Lettuce, cucumber, celery, and tomatoes --> For the salad
- Shredded raw veggies --> Because why not?
- Cooked farro --> Or another whole grain.
Be sure to check out all of my 10 Lunch Packing Tips for Healthy and Tasty Lunches!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKPEA SALAD:
Step 1: Start by toasting your sunflower seeds until they’re smelling nutty and delicious. I do this in a dry skillet over medium heat while I’m prepping the other ingredients. Just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!
Step 2: Prep the rest of the ingredients. Dice your red pepper, slice your green onion, and chop your parsley.
Step 3: Place the chickpeas into a medium-sized bowl and give them a rough mashing with a fork. You don’t want to purée them or anything, just break them up a bit.
Step 4: Add the diced veggies, toasted sunflower seeds, yogurt, mayo, mustard, and maple syrup to the bowl. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper.
How to make Mason Jar Salads
To make your mason jar salads, all you need to do is layer in the ingredients!
Step 1: Spoon any wet stuff / heavy stuff into the bottom of the jar. I started with the chickpea salad, followed by tomatoes and cucumbers.
Step 2: Add any grains, like farro, quinoa, or brown rice.
Step 3: Finish with the more delicate ingredients that you don't want to get squished or wet, like lettuce leaves.
Step 4: Screw on the lid, and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
When you're ready to serve your mason jar salad, all you need to do is tip it out onto a plate or large bowl. This means the lettuce will now be on the bottom, and the chickpea salad will be on top.
Simply give it a toss, and enjoy your lunch!
ARE CHICKPEAS HEALTHY?
Heck yes they are!
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. About two-thirds of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble, which is great for digestive health, particularly in the colon. The remaining third is soluble fiber, which can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides; important for cardiovascular health.
Chickpeas are also a great source of plant-based protein, offering up about 12 grams per cup. The protein-fiber combination in chickpeas is key for stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace.
Chickpeas are notable for antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, but also contain concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Chickpeas also contain valuable amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the body’s omega-3 fatty acid from which all other omega-3 fats are made.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Chickpea Mason Jar Salads
- Mason Jars
For the chickpea salad:
- 1 ¾ cups chickpeas Approx one 14oz can rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted
- 3 tablespoon plain yoghurt
- 1 - 2 tablespoons mayonaise
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 small red pepper finely diced
- ½ cup green onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon capers
- salt and pepper
For the mason jar salads
- 1 cup cooked and cooled whole grain wheat berries, quinoa, oats, or a blend
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- ½ medium long English cucumber diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 large carrot or other root vegetable, shredded
- 1 bunch romaine lettuce washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
For the chickpea salad:
- Place the chickpeas into a bowl and lightly smash them with a fork. Add the toasted sunflower seeds, yoghurt, mayo, mustard, green onion, parsley, and capers. Stir to combine, taste, and season with salt and pepper.
For the mason jar salads:
- Spoon the chickpea salad into 4 widemouth mason jars.
- Add ¼ cup of whole grain, followed by the sliced cherry tomatoes, then cucumbers, celery, carrot, and finally with the romaine lettuce.
- Screw the lids on and place in the fridge until you're ready for them.
- To serve, tip the contents into a bowl and toss lightly.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
- Mason jar salads will last 4-5 days in the fridge if packed correctly
This recipe was originally published April 14, 2017. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on September 10, 2020.