Southwest Chicken and Black Bean Salad
This Southwest Chicken and Black Bean Salad is bursting with flavor, thanks to crisp and colorful bell peppers, shredded cheddar cheese, succulent grilled chicken, black beans that marinate in dressing. Packing salad in Mason jars is a handy trick for avoiding soggy salads at the office. It makes meal prep a breeze, and because the layers keep ingredients separate, these jars can keep fresh for days. With a lunch like this one, you definitely won’t be tempted by the greasy cafeteria or the fast food drive-thru.
When packing this black bean salad into your jars, the general rule of thumb is to put your wettest ingredients at the bottom of the jar, followed by the heavier ingredients. This includes things like dressing and beans. If you’re storing the jars over a number of days, it’s best to add any perishable proteins as close to the day-of as possible. So make sure you leave room in the jar for the grilled chicken or another protein source. Before eating, pour the salad out into a bowl and toss to combine the ingredients and distribute the dressing.
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. lemon pepper
- 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups black beans drained, rinsed
- 3 cups sliced orange bell peppers
- 3 cups sliced red bell peppers
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups sliced grilled chicken breast
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To make dressing, combine vinegar, lemon juice, and lemon pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to blend.
Slowly add oil while whisking; mix well. Evenly divide dressing between 4 one-quart Mason jars. Set aside.
Evenly layer beans, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, chicken, cheese, and cilantro on top of dressing in jars.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Shake before serving.
The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.