Okay, so pretty much every time I post a new mason jar salad, I declare it’s my favorite salad ever and I will never try anything else. And then the next week rolls around and I come up with something new and that one becomes my favorite that I can’t live without. I’m fickle with my food. But I swear–this Mango Black Bean Mason Jar Salad with Quinoa and Honey Lime Vinaigrette–THIS ONE is IT.
I’m not sure exactly what it is that’s so good about this salad, but every day at lunch I CLEANED my plate. I don’t know if its the sweetness of the mango, or the slightly spicy kick of the sort of deconstructed guacamole, or if it’s the deliciousness of the Honey Lime Vinaigrette. But… all of it together? It’s pretty kick ass.
If you’re a little apprehensive about the mango against all the savory flavors–believe me, I understand–let me reassure you: the best way to describe this salad would be like a mango salsa and guacamole had a baby, and then gave it a bath in a sweet lime salad dressing. Just writing about this salad is making me hungry for another one.
As always with mason jar salads, layer your salad so that the “wetter” ingredients and protein are at the bottom, with chopped veggies in the middle and salad greens on top. Anything you want to absorb the dressing put at the bottom. I almost always put my quinoa, fruit, and beans (if I’m using them) at the bottom. I fill the middle with veggies like onions or avocado, or other dry ingredients like dried fruit or nuts or even chopped herbs. These serve as a sort of insulation layer between the wet ingredients and the salad greens, keeping them nice and crisp and not soggy. Also make sure to pack your jars tightly with greens, so nothing can shift or move around and get those greens wet. That’d be gross.
And now, without further ado…
Mango Black Bean Mason Jar Salads with Quinoa and Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Makes 5 salads. (You’ll need 5 clean mason jars with lids.)
For the dressing:
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender. Blend on low until thoroughly combined. With the blender running on low, stream the olive oil into the blender and blend until smooth.
For the salad:
- 2 avocados, diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 cups frozen diced mango, thawed
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 2 cans black beans, drained
- 1 can yellow corn, drained
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 5 cups shredded romaine lettuce
Assemble the salad in the following order:
In the bottom of each jar, add 2-3 tablespoons of the Honey Lime Vinaigrette.
Next, divide the quinoa evenly between all 5 jars.
Squeeze the juice of one half of the lime on the mango, and the other half over the avocado. Sprinkle the avocado with a little salt.
Divide the mango evenly between the jars:
Then add the black beans and corn:
Next, add the deconstructed guacamole ingredients. First the avocado:
Then the red onion:
And a little jalapeno:
Top with cilantro, then pack each jar full of the salad greens. You can use romaine as I’ve indicated above, or spinach would work really well as well.
When ready to serve, shake the jar to distribute the dressing, and pour onto a plate. Voila!