Taco Salad Jars

September 13th, 2012 at 8:08 am

These Taco Salad Jars make a healthy lunch or light dinner that’s so easy to transport! If you’re on the go and need something fast and easy to grab for a meal, salads in jars really could not be a better choice.

Big jars, little jars, meat-based, vegetarian, summer veggies, autumn veggies—there are so many directions to go with salad jars. I’ve always been a fan of taco salad, but I don’t like the usual toppings of tons of cheese, sour cream, and corn chips covering up a skimpy pile of veggies and meat. I’d rather put the emphasis on the proteins and veggies and cut out the corn and dairy altogether…which is just what I did in these fun jars.

Here’s a breakdown of how I layered my salad:

No matter what type of salad jar you’re making, this is a good model to follow. Place your meat or protein or anything that’s “wet” on the very bottom of the jar (layer 1). This might include lentil or bean salad for a vegan option or any type of cooked meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.). By placing the “wet” mixture on the bottom, you won’t run the risk of making your vegetables soggy. Who wants a soggy salad? Yuck!

Next (layer 2), add beans or starchy vegetables like steamed sweet potatoes, or any firm and sturdy vegetable like finely chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots. Then add tomatoes or softer veggies like cucumbers or diced avocado tossed with lemon juice (layer 3). And finally top the whole thing off with your greens, sprouts, or lettuce (layer 4).

When you’re ready to serve, all you have to do is pop off the lid, dump the salad into a bowl, and chow down! (You could also shake it up if you’re camping or in the car and skip the bowl altogether.) It helps to use your protein as a place to add flavor (such as sauced taco meat, dressed bean salad, etc.) so that you don’t even need to serve dressing on the side. When you mix the protein with the rest of the ingredients, the flavor of it will be all you need.

Below you’ll find my recipes for both the taco beef that I used in these salad jars and my taco seasoning, which works equally well on chicken, fish, and black beans or brown lentils.

Cookbook Update

Earlier this week, I held Super Healthy Cookies in my own two hands! It’s beautiful and I am so excited for you to enjoy all of the fruits of my baking labor. These cookies are near and dear to my heart. I think you’ll love them!

The book will be released later in September or in early October, available for purchase on Amazon.com. I will let you know as soon as it’s hot off the press!


Taco Beef

Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed and pasture-raised

1 batch Taco Seasoning (recipe below)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden utensil, until browned and cooked. Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Taco Seasoning

Makes enough for 1 pound of meat

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.



  1. Why is everything better, cuter and yummier in a jar? haha
    I love it, these are so brilliant! Oooh congrats on the book. I can’t wait to check it out, it looks beautiful.

  2. Fabulous idea! Love salads in a jar :)

  3. Such a cute recipe idea!

    Can’t wait to see the new book :)

  4. Oh, your salad jar looks beautiful — and especially with taco meat in it, just the sort of meal I would especially enjoy!

    Looking forward to more about your new book!

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The Pure Kitchen Books

In Hallie’s cookbooks you’ll find gluten-free, dairy-free recipes made with whole, natural foods.

The Pure Kitchen: Amazon | Hallie's eStore

Super Healthy Cookies: Amazon | Hallie's e-store

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free: A Whole Food Starter Guide and Cookbook

About me

I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.