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Chicken Taco Salad in a Jar

Two mason jars are layered with chicken, black beans, tomatoes, and lettuce. A fork with a teal handle rests in front of the jars.
Recipe At-A-Glance
Meal Prep5 minutes
Meal prep your way to a delicious and healthy lunch with this Chicken Taco Mason Jar Salad! It's the perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken.

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We eat tacos every single week in our house (to the collective horror of the internet, we usually have Taco Wednesday, not Tuesday). And after our taco dinner each week, I put all the leftover taco fillings into a mason jar salad—my Thursday lunches are the best!

This Chicken Taco Salad in a Jar is a spin-off from my taco night salads—but you can make it anytime! The base of that salad? Spicy, flavorful ranch chicken. I love to use rotisserie chicken for these salads. Rotisserie chicken makes it SO simple to get these salads ready to go in just a few minutes.

A teal bowl is filled with chicken taco salad. A lime wedge and a fork with an aqua handle rest in the bowl. A halved avpcado rests on a white countertop.

What is a salad in a jar?

Mason jar salads are meal prepped fresh salads that you can stash in your fridge until lunchtime. They are a great meal prep option 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 the lettuce get all limp if I pack it ahead of time?

Nope, that’s the glorious beauty of mason jar salads, and that’s why I’ve been eating them for well over a decade! The key to this Chicken Taco Mason Jar Salad staying fresh and crisp is to keep the liquid ingredients away from the greens. As long as you keep the jar upright until you are ready to eat, your lettuce should stay nice and fresh! We talk a lot more about properly packing mason jar salads in our big Salad in a Jar 101 post.
A mason jar layered with components for a chicken taco salad sits on a folded dish towel, surrounded by ingredients.

This sounds great, but how do you actually eat a mason jar salad?

I prefer the dump and enjoy method! Some people try to shake the salad and eat it as is, but I don’t think the ingredients get distributed well enough that way. When I was working in an office, I kept a bowl for my mason jar salads right in my desk! When lunch was over, I’d just rinse it out in the office kitchen and pack it away in my desk drawer for tomorrow.

Black beans and lettuce pour out of a jar into a teal bowl. The bowl is filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and black beans.

Can I use leftover rotisserie chicken for this salad?

This salad is a wonderful use for any chicken you have leftover from a rotisserie chicken—in fact, I’ve been known to buy a rotisserie chicken just to meal prep these salads!

Can I add avocado to this salad?

Avocado is delicious on this salad! 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. Any longer than that, and the avocado will get brown, mushy, and not super appealing. Instead, I recommend bringing an avocado with you and cutting it fresh right before serving.

Can I make this a vegetarian or vegan taco salad in a jar?

You sure can! I recommend swapping in chickpeas for the chicken, and you’re on your way to a meatless lunch! To make this completely plant-based, swap out our Greek Yogurt Ranch dressing for either our Cashew Ranch Dressing or Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing.

How long do these salads last in the fridge?

Because of the meat in this salad, you’ll get between 3-5 days in the fridge without issue. If you make these meatless (using chickpeas), you can push it to a week, easy. Enjoy.

 
Chicken Taco Salad in a Jar

Chicken Taco Salad in a Jar

Yield: 1 24-ounce jar
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Meal prep your way to a delicious and healthy lunch with this Chicken Taco Mason Jar Salad! It's the perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing. Toss to mix well. 
  2. Place the chicken mixture in the bottom of the jar, then layer the remaining ingredients in the order listed into the jar, packing in as much romaine as you need to create a tight pack. Cover the jar, and place it in the fridge for up to five days.

Notes

  • Make this vegetarian by swapping in chickpeas for the chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 24 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1212mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 12gSugar: 26gProtein: 24g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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