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Quinoa Caprese Mason Jar Salad

Quinoa Caprese Mason Jar Salad

I am Really Into Mason Jar Salads and I am always trying new ideas.  A couple of months ago I ordered one of my favorite salads at dinner, the Caprese.  Creamy mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic – what is not to love?  I knew I wanted to make it into a Mason Jar salad, but it would need some alterations.  What I created is a full meal with veggies and protein that I can easily take to the office for lunch.

The Dressing

I try hard to never eat store bought dressing.  Homemade salad dressing is easy, delicious, and contains very few ingredients.  My recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette is made with seven ingredients, while most store brands will have 15 to 20.  This recipe is similar to many others you will see, so feel free to adjust to your taste. Put all of the ingredients together  and then drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.  Sometimes I will throw all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shake vigorously for a couple of minutes.

The Quinoa

Any quinoa will work for this recipe.  I happened to have some White Quinoa on hand from my last Brandless order, so I went with that.  When I cook quinoa, I always do two things to enhance the flavor; rinse and toast.

Rinsing the quinoa gets rid of the natural, bitter outer coating.  Toasting it brings out the flavor.  I just throw mine straight into a skillet on medium heat and stir occasionally.  Don’t worry, you will know when it is ready by the delicious nutty aroma in the air.  Make sure to cook your quinoa first so it has time to cool before putting in the jars.

Putting Your Salad Together

All Mason Jar Salads should be made in wide mouth jars, and the dressing should always go first.  I like to use two to three tablespoons of dressing per jar, and then layer in heartier items.  For this salad I want my mozzarella to sit right in the dressing and get super tasty.

I also like to use the pearled mozzarella for convenience.  After the cheese, layer the veggies.  First are the cucumbers, which I like to chop rather than slice to keep them crunchy.

Next the sliced sweet peppers…

And finally the tomatoes.  I use sweet cherry tomatoes and slice them in half.

I LOVE CAPERS, so I put at least a tablespoon on top of the tomatoes before I layer in the quinoa.

After the quinoa is in, stuff those jars to the brim with your lettuce and basil.  Seriously, as much as you can fit into the jars.

Seal those jars up tight and voila!  Lunch for a week!

The Verdict

I have been Really Into Mason Jar Salads for years, and this Quinoa Caprese Mason Jar Salad is one of my absolute favorites. Check out some of my other recipes or try your own.  Let me know if you find one you’re Really Into!

Quinoa Caprese Mason Jar Salad

This salad is a play on a classic caprese.  The quinoa adds the protein you need to make this a main dish salad that is perfect to take to work.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Jars
Author Jessica Patch

Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 Mason Jars
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette See Recipe
  • 8 Oz Mozzarella Cubed or Pearls
  • 2 Whole Cucumbers Chopped
  • 1/2 Lb Sweet Peppers Sliced in Rings
  • 10.5 Oz Cherry Tomatoes Halved
  • 4 Tsp Capers
  • 1 Bunch Basil Chiffonade
  • 4 Cups Spring Mix & Baby Spinach Washed

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Shallot
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Instructions

Salad

  1. Place two tablespoons of Balsamic Vinaigrette in the bottom of each Mason Jar.

  2. Next evenly divide mozzarella between jars.

  3. Top mozzarella with chopped cucumbers.

  4. Place sliced sweet peppers on the chopped cucumbers.

  5. Layer halved tomatoes in the jar.

  6. Sprinkle Capers and Basil on top of tomatoes.

  7. Stuff the jar with Spring Mix & Baby Spinach and seal Mason Jar.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined.

I am a Texan living in California with my husband Mark, my best pup Ziggy, and our two cats Marilyn and Goldie. I love reading, cooking, binge-watching great tv shows and staying up too late talking to my friends.

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