This nutritious and portable Mason Jar Kale Salad recipe makes a fun packed lunch! Add some carbs (bread, or a cooked whole grain on the salad) to make it a meal.
As part of the Let’s Move! Event at the White House (<—recap) that I attended last week, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford gave us a fun cooking demonstration: these adorable mason jar kale salads, which make for a really fun portable lunch.
They provided us with the recipe to share and it sounded so amazing I knew I wanted to post it here on the blog. I mean – kale, chickpeas, crunchy cabbage, fennel, seeds – so many of my favorite ingredients all in one recipe!
I especially loved the creativity that was using chickpeas (baked so they are crunchy) as the “croutons” – genius! The chickpeas take about an hour to bake, so if you’re tight on time, store bought baked crunchy chickpeas (Whole Foods sells them) would work well here, too. But if you do make them yourself – make a double batch so you can enjoy the leftovers as snacks! 🙂
Other than baking the chickpeas and chopping some veggies, though, this recipe comes together really quickly. And speaking of Let’s Move!, I think this recipe would be a good one to have a kid help you with – would be fun to let them fill the mason jars!
Anyway – here’s what you’re working with. The serrano pepper and the cheese are optional, but don’t skimp on the other ingredients. 🙂
Mason Jar Kale Salad Recipe
Step 1: Make your dressing.
The dressing goes in the bottom of the mason jars as the first layer so that it doesn’t get everything soggy by the time you eat.
Step 2: Add the kale & cabbage.
Next, you layer in the kale, followed by the shredded cabbage.
Step 3: Add the crunch.
Then toss in the carrots and fennel. I love the bright colors and all the great CRUNCH in this salad!
Step 4: Toss in the extra flavor ingredients.
Lastly, toss on the pepitas, cranberries, reggiano cheese, and serrano peppers. The salads are now ready to be sealed up and refrigerated until use! Put the roasted chickpeas in a little ziplock bag on the side (unrefrigerated) so they stay crisp.
The only thing I would consider adding to this salad to make it more of a meal is some carbs! A chewy whole grain like barley would be really good here, as would quinoa or brown rice. Or just a piece of toast on the side! 🙂 I would layer the grain above the veggies before the seeds and dried fruit so it doesn’t soak up all the dressing on the bottom.
For the Salad
For the Dressing
Have you ever tried making a mason jar salad? What did you put in it? And why is it that mason jars make food way more fun than regular containers? 😉
Love salads? Here are some more recipes to try: