Bored with your usual lunch? This greek quinoa salad is easily packed into mason jars for quick meal prep. Ready to pack your healthy meal tomorrow morning?
You know what rough mornings are like, right?
You meant to get up early, but it was just so comfortable in bed, while the kids slept a little longer than they usually do.
No rugrats jumping on your head? You’ll gladly take that extra rest.
You doze off a little. And suddenly the alarm bells in your head go off, how is it already this late?!
It gets hectic. You need to do so many things, your head is spinning.
The kids need to be woken, dressed and fed. YOU need to somehow dress yourself.
And battle your hair…
School stuff? Check. Work stuff? Check.
You promised yourself you’d get better at packing your lunches the night before this school year.
You wanted to quit living off snacks, quit sending the kids to school with an apple and a cereal bar, quit feeling guilty over not getting it together.
But it’s just. so. hard.
You’re exhausted at night and the last thing on your mind is getting into the kitchen again.
Maybe you pull yourself together for the kids’ lunches. But your own? Your lunch takes a backseat.
But what if you had a simple solution?
A solution to allow you to make a filling and energy-boosting lunch for yourself, make it ahead of time, save yourself some sanity (and money!).
Because if you have a good midday meal, your afternoon and evening will be less mentally challenging. Your mornings will be that little bit less rushed.
These Mason Jar Greek Quinoa Salads would be a great place to start.
You can actually make them 4-5 days ahead if need be. Five days!
Which technically means you could prep a week’s worth of lunches all in one go.
You can make them on Sunday, when you aren’t crazy overwhelmed by a full day of work and school runs already.
If you don’t have five large mason jars or lack the fridge space, keep the ingredients separately in glass meal prep containers like these on Amazon* and refrigerate them that way. Then you’ll have to pull yourself together just a tiny bit every night, scooping the prepped veggies, quinoa and co. into a clean jar.
Just imagine how much easier your mornings could be if you took a little time to prep a few salads for yourself!
If you’re not a fan of any of the ingredients, you can absolutely customize this recipe.
Use red peppers instead of tomatoes. Switch up the starch. Leave out the feta to make it vegan or add shredded chicken for an extra dose of hearty protein.
If you’re not a fan of fresh oregano, arugula or baby spinach would be great alternatives.
For the jars, I used these cheap 34 ounce jars from IKEA. They photograph beautifully, but the round shape isn’t the greatest to keep multiple jars next to each other in the fridge.
I’ve been eyeing these square ones on Amazon*, the clamp top is a must because there’s never a lid to be lost and the seal is pretty tight, which keeps the salads nicely fresh.
In any case, try them next week and see for yourself how helpful a teensy bit of meal prep can be.
You do not even have to make five of them, you can do just one or two.
It will make your morning that much less frazzled because you’ll know you don’t have to worry about your lunch. Sadly, it doesn’t help with bad hair days though…
And to un-frazzle dinner time? Add a simple chicken sheet pan dinner to your meal plan and enjoy your time off from doing dishes.
How to make greek quinoa salad in mason jars (40 sec):
Here’s the printable recipe:
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa, I used a multicolor mix
- 1/2 large cucumber, cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
- 1/4 small red onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp cubed feta cheese
- 2 tbsp kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves, or other greens
Make the dressing:
- Add all dressing ingredients to a jar with a screw-on lid and shake until creamy.
Make the salad:
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Cool completely before assembling the salad!
- In a minimum 34 ounce mason jar, layer the salad as follows:Dressing, cucumber, tomatoes, quinoa, onion, feta, olives, greens.
- Close the jar, making sure it is sealed tightly. It should keep in the fridge for 4-5 days if prepped with clean utensils, clean jars and washed ingredients, but use your common sense if the salad does end up not smelling fresh anymore.
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