Enjoy this delicious Mexican mason jar salad. Our scrumptious Mexican taco salad in a jar recipe is packed with protein and fresh ingredients. It’s so simple and easy to make!
Road trip snacks are often a variation of road trip sandwiches or packaged snacks. But what if you’re looking for a healthier option? Our Mexican mason jar salad recipe offers a great blueprint for adding healthy ingredients to your meal routine, even on the road.
This protein-packed salad in a jar is filled with fresh vegetables, canned tuna, and a flavorful southwest dressing – but you can use it as your invitation to come up with your favorite mix-and-match mason jar salad recipe. Feel free to add tortilla chips to add some crunch.
Check out some more of our recipes in our road trip food ideas post!
Mexican Taco Salad
- 1 Small Bowl
- 1 Whisk
- Pint-sized mason jars with screw on lids
- 2 16 oz jars with a screw-on lid
For the Salad:
- 1/4 cup canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup canned corn (drained)
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 5 oz tuna (drained and flaked)
- 2 cups mixed greens (or chopped romaine lettuce)
For the Southwest Dressing (Optional):
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup lime juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Adjust the seasonings as needed and set aside.
- Begin layering your salad in a large mason jar, starting with the dressing at the bottom.
- Add the corn as the next layer on top of the dressing. Follow the corn with a layer of black beans. Next, add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes. Add the drained and flaked tuna on top of the tomatoes. Finally, top off the jar with mixed greens or chopped romaine lettuce. Pack the greens tightly to keep the dressing separate from the lettuce.
- Seal the jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate until ready to eat.
- When ready to eat, shake the jar to distribute the dressing. Pour the salad onto a plate or into a bowl and enjoy!
- Mason jar salads like this taco salad last up to 4 days.
- We like to store our mason jar salad with the lid down, as it takes up less room. If doing this, you need to reverse the order of ingredients, with lettuce at the bottom and the dressing at the top.
- You can prepare multiple jars in advance and refrigerate them. However, it's best to add delicate ingredients, such as avocado or cheese, right before eating to maintain freshness.
The beauty of making salad in a jar lies in its portability and convenience. Mason jars are great for meal planning and grab-and-go lunches, keeping your salad fresh and crisp for up to three days in the fridge or more relaxed. When you’re ready to enjoy your Mexican salad, give the jar a gentle shake to distribute the dressing evenly, open it up, and dig in!
The beauty of this road trip salad is its versatility. Feel free to swap the ingredients and try a few variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences:
- Veggie Delight: Swap the tuna for cooked chickpeas or grilled tofu to create a vegetarian version. If making the dressing, use plant-based yogurt and mayonnaise.
- Quinoa Power: Add cooked quinoa as an additional layer for an extra dose of protein and fiber.
- Tex-Mex Twist: Sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese and top with sliced avocado for a Tex-Mex flavor explosion.
- Add grilled chicken or cooked shrimp in place of the tuna.
- Add different vegetables, such as cucumber, carrots, or radishes, for variety.
Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, proteins, and dressings to customize your salad to your liking. You can also use other jars to make healthy Mexican taco salads in various sizes.
- To prevent sogginess, layer the ingredients in the correct order, with the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce on top – or the opposite if storing the jars upside down.
- Use wide-mouthed mason jars (rather than regular-mouth jars) to make it easier to assemble the taco salad and retrieve the ingredients when eating.
- If you prefer a warm meal, you can enjoy the salad without refrigeration by adding hot ingredients like grilled chicken or sautéed vegetables. Just make sure to consume it within a couple of hours to maintain food safety.
- Make several jars at once to have healthy, convenient lunches ready for your road trip.
What are some of the best mason jar salad recipes?
If you want to try something other than this Mexican salad recipe, Cobb salad, Greek salad, and Caprese salad are all excellent options for mason jar salads!
Can I use a different type of protein instead of tuna?
Absolutely! You can substitute the tuna with grilled chicken, shrimp, or beans for a vegetarian option.
Can I prepare multiple salad jars in advance?
Yes, you can prepare multiple jars in advance and refrigerate them. However, it’s best to add delicate ingredients, such as avocado or cheese, right before eating to maintain their freshness.
How long can I store the salad in the jar?
The salad can be refrigerated for up to three days. Beyond that, the texture of the lettuce may deteriorate.
Can I reuse the mason jars?
Yes, mason jars are reusable and environmentally friendly. Just make sure to wash them thoroughly before reusing them.
Can I skip the dressing?
You can skip the dressing altogether or substitute it with your favorite store-bought or homemade sauce. Just make sure it has a complementary flavor profile to the salad ingredients.