A bbq chicken mason jar salad with cool ranch, sweet barbecue sauce, black beans, corn, and cheese. A mason jar salad recipe that is perfect for meal prep.

Mason jar salads are great for meal prepping lunches for the week. They stay fresh for up to 4 days and are easy to put together. They travel well and take up little space.

bbq chicken mason jar salad poured into a blue bowl

Mason Jar Salad

Mason jar salads make the perfect meal prep. An entire salad in a jar is kept fresh for up to 4 days at a time.

This salad was my version of the Panera BBQ Chicken Salad. It has a lot of the same flavors and tastes.

I don’t have the typical Panera Bread salad dressing that they use, but I feel like the ranch/bbq sauce combination does come close.

What is the point of Mason Jar Salads?

Mason Jar Salads are a way to prep salads in advance and keep them fresh. Normally, when you make salad in advance and store it in the refrigerator, it becomes mushy and soggy. With mason jar salads, they are stacked in a specific order to maintain freshness.

Products I used for this Barbecue Chicken Salad Recipe

Barbecue Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast – I like grilled chicken in this, but you can use rotisserie chicken or chicken cooked in olive oil and a little seasoning.
  • cheddar cheese – I used fat-free, but you can use any kind you like
  • red onion – I chop mine in bite-size pieces. You could also use marinated red onion.
  • barbecue sauce – Stubbs brand is my favorite for this recipe. I thin it out with a little water.
  • black beans – be sure to drain and rinse them
  • ranch dressing – Hidden Valley Homestyle Light (60 calories for 2 tablespoons version) is my favorite for this. I thin it out with a little water.
  • mixed greens – I like to buy the spring lettuce mix packages
  • corn – I use frozen and just thaw it before using
ingredients for bbq chicken mason jar salad

How to Layer a Mason Jar Salad with Chicken

Detailed instructions and measurements to make bbq chicken mason jar salad are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

  1. To a quart-sized mason jar, layer the ingredients in the following order:
    ranch
    bbq sauce
    corn
    black beans
    red onion
    chicken
    cheese
    lettuce
  2. Secure the lid tightly to the jar.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Do you eat Mason Jar Salads from the jar?

When you’re ready to eat, you can either shake it up and eat it straight from the jar or pour it into a large bowl.

Mason Jar BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

The point of mason jar salads is to be able to meal prep them in advance while they stay fresh and prevent them from getting soggy.

In order to for this to work, you have to layer the ingredients in the correct order and to secure it tightly with a lid.

I order my ingredients from wet to dry. Some people order them from density, but I find that by starting with wet on the bottom, it keeps the lettuce from getting soggy.

Does the spring mix lettuce ever get soggy in a Mason Jar Salad?

No. If you layer the ingredients correctly and seal tightly, the lettuce will stay fresh and crisp.

What size mason jars do you use for Mason Jar Salad?

I use quart mason jars.

How do you thin out the ranch dressing and barbecue sauce?

I add just a little splash of water.

Why do you thin out the dressing for Jar Salad?

I thin out the dressing for two reasons. The first is so that there are no clumps in the dressing. It helps it spread more evenly.

The second reason is because I get more dressing for the same amount of calories.

How does your fork reach the bottom of the Mason Jar?

With the size jar I use, the fork is taller than the jar. I have no issues reaching the bottom with my fork.

Will all the dressing stick to the bottom of a Mason Jar Salad?

No. If you shake it thoroughly, it will stick to the ingredients and not to the bottom of the jar.

Once the jar is filled, is there room to shake the Jar Salad?

Yes. Once you start to shake the jar, the ingredients will shift and push the others around. There is plenty of room to shake the ingredients around inside.

Where do you find the plastic lids for your mason jars?

I buy mine on Amazon. They are listed on my favorite products page.

bbq chicken mason jar salad without a lid

Jar Salad Substitutions

black beans – you can substitute any of your favorite beans in this. You could even do chickpeas if you prefer.

red onion – if the flavor of raw red onion is too strong, you can saute them or marinate them before adding them to the salad.

chicken breast – this salad would also be great with beef or turkey.

BBQ sauce – If you like a more vinegar based BBQ sauce, you can add apple cider vinegar to thin yours out.

corn – you could roast your corn before adding it to the salad for extra flavor

How do you store salad in a Mason Jar?

Store them upright in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. You can store them up to 4 days.

Don’t tilt or turn the jar until you are ready to eat the salad. It’s important that they stay layered correctly to stay fresh.

How long will salad last in a mason jar?

Salad will stay fresh up to 4 days in a mason jar when stacked and stored properly.

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Mason Jar Salad – BBQ Chicken Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 0 minutes
Total 5 minutes
Servings: 1 person
A barbecue chicken mason jar salad with cool ranch, sweet barbecue sauce, black beans, corn, and cheese. A mason jar salad recipe that is perfect for meal prep.

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • To a quart-sized mason jar, layer the ingredients in the following order: ranch bbq saucecornblack beansred onionchickencheeselettuce
  • Secure the lid tightly to the jar.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • When you’re ready to eat, you can either shake it up and eat it straight from the jar or pour it into a large bowl.

Notes

The point of mason jar salads is to be able to meal prep them in advance while they stay fresh and prevent them from getting soggy.
In order to for this to work, you have to layer the ingredients in the correct order and secure them tightly with a lid.
I order my ingredients from wet to dry. Some people order them from density, but I find that starting with wet on the bottom, keeps the lettuce from getting soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1jar, Calories: 386kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 1057mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American

Hi! I’m Kara!

Kara loves all things food and spending time with her family and dogs. She has a passion for cooking and loves making yummy, family-friendly recipes.

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