We have a lot of wonderful mason jar salad recipes on Wholefully, but this Vegetarian Taco Salad is the one that I go back to time and time again.
Why? Well, it’s packed full of flavor, and it tends to work really well with all sorts of Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Southwestern flavors. We tend to always have some chili, enchiladas, or taco skillet in the fridge—I just pair those leftovers with one of these mason jar salads, and BAM, my lunch for the day is done! Adding a salad in a jar is a great way to magically transform ho-hum leftovers into a well-rounded and delicious lunch for the next day.
What is a mason jar salad?
Mason jar salads are pre-assembled fresh salads that you can stash in your fridge until lunchtime. They are a great meal prep option, and since the flavor varieties are endless, you’ll never get bored. If you want to know more, we have a comprehensive post with all the information you need to build a perfect salad in a jar.
But wait, won’t my salad get all soggy and limp?
Not if you pack it in the proper order! The key to this vegan taco salad in a jar staying fresh and crisp is to keep the liquid ingredients (like the dressing and pico de gallo) away from the greens. As long as you keep the jar upright until you are ready to eat, your lettuce should keep its crunch! We talk a lot more about properly packing mason jar salads in our big Salad in a Jar 101 post.
Do I really want to be buying tomatoes in the middle of winter?
Tomatoes can be pretty anemic in the off-season, but I have better luck buying cherry tomatoes throughout the year than the big tomatoes. Something about those little beauties seems to keep them from succumbing to the January pink, mealy tomato disease that infects their bigger cousins. But if you can’t track down good fresh tomatoes, leave them out, and instead add a good size dollop of salsa lower in the jar.
Can I add avocado to this fiesta salad?
Avocado is delicious on this salad, but foods that oxidize—like avocado—are something I don’t recommend adding to mason jar salads in advance. Over the course of time, they start to get brown, mushy, and not super appealing. Instead, I recommend bringing an avocado with you and cutting it fresh right before serving.
If you are making this salad for short-term use (like for lunch the same day or even the next), you can get by with treating the avocado with Fruit Fresh and then packing it in the jar. I wouldn’t try to push it past 24 hours though.
Can I leave the grains out of this taco salad to make it paleo and Whole30-friendly?
You sure can! Drop the cooked grains, and you have a wonderful grain-free salad that is perfect for paleo and Whole30 diets.
How long will this salad last in the fridge?
Because this salad is entirely plant-based, it will last upwards of a week. So you can prep them on the weekend, and still have salads by Friday.
What should I serve this vegetarian taco salad with?
This spicy black bean soup in a jar combined with a black bean fiesta salad in a jar makes for a cozy and warm meal like I always crave in winter, but it’s packed full of bright, summery flavor. It’s the best of both worlds! Enjoy.
Want more salad in a jar recipes like this?
- Chicken Taco Salad in a Jar has a similar profile to the vegetarian version, but with the addition of a taco ranch dressing instead of the cilantro lime dressing.
- Sesame Chickpea Mason Jar Salad packed with vegetarian protein, seeds, bell peppers, and other veggies.
- Italian Favorites Salad in a Jar has the flavors of antipasto in a portable salad form. Olive lovers won’t want to miss this one!