Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

Raise your hand if you like Chipotle (or another tex-mex establishment). Yes, yes, that’s what I thought. Hands going up high all over the world. Oh, boy. Whose hands are those waving madly over there? Good gracious, those people need to calm down. Oh… Wait. Those are my hands. Both of my hands. Yes, I looooove Chipotle.

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

If it weren’t for my allergies (and of course my wallet), I would be totally fine eating Chipotle twice a day three times a week. Or once a day every day. Which is saying a lot, because I eat based on how I’m feeling, and I almost never eat the same thing too close together. But I would eat Chipotle close together. Oooo, I love me some chicken burrito bowl with dreamy cilantro lime rice and lots of cheese… Heaven is real, and it’s found in that bowl.

But, because of my allergies, Chipotle is not something I should indulge in anymore. Based on that wording I’m sure you’ve guessed that I still do once in a blue moon… I know I shouldn’t, but it’s so convenient! And inexpensive! That blessed burrito bowl can sometimes last two meals, and costs under $7. Its flying saucer shaped container with aluminum top makes it so convenient and travel friendly, and each blessed ingredient is fine served either hot or cold. Seriously, where else can you find food like that?

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

Well, now I can say I can find food like that at right at home (or wherever I am)! Except now it’s even better, because I can have confidence I’m not eating any allergens! And even better-er, my version is even more totable, as it is made in the style of trendy mason jar salads.

Before I began blogging on this self-hosted site, I had a small WordPress hosted blog. Even though I no longer blog over there, there is one recipe and its pin on Pinterest that is still consistently getting some serious traction: my roasted vegetable Mason jar salads. People really seem to like the portable lunch idea, especially when it’s healthy and bursting with a variety of flavors! And the mason jars keep serving sizes reasonable, so you’re sure you’ll never accidentally overeat sitting in front of the computer.

I knew I wanted to create a mason jar lunch on my new blog, and when I was craving some Chipotle this weekend (you would be proud; I abstained), the idea for these wonderful burrito bowl mason jar salads was born.

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

It’s only Monday, and already I feel like this week is going to be awesome because I can look forward to this lunch every day. All day today I was looking forward to lunchtime when I could enjoy my burrito bowl salad. And not only are they so tasty, these filling lunches are so good for you!

Quinoa and chicken breast give plenty of lean protein so you’re full until dinner. Greek yogurt serves as a healthier replacement for the sour cream found in traditional burrito bowls, and sweet potatoes and a healthy portion of bright green lettuce ensure you’re getting nutritious vegetables and superfood power. The whole lunch tastes so good! If you’d like to make it vegetarian, just replace the chicken with beans. I actually meant to include black beans in my salads, but got so excited I completely forgot them. They were just fine without, but please feel free to add beans if you’d like!

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

Just look at those gorgeous layers…

Grab one of these prepared jars on your way out the door in the morning, and guarantee yourself a filling, delicious, healthy lunch that is even better than Chipotle.

Yep, I went there.

Not sad desk lunch, indeed.

Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads

Yield: 5 salads

Serving Size: 1 pint-sized mason jar salad


    For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used a combination of red and white)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice and zest of one lime, or 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • For the bacon: (optional)
  • 2 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 1 large sweet potato, washed, with both ends cut off
  • 1 tablespoon residual bacon oil or coconut oil
  • Other ingredients:
  • 3 cups chopped lettuce
  • 5 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


    For the quinoa:
  1. Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it has reached a boil, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and fluffy.
  2. Set the quinoa aside to cool.
  3. When it has cooled, add the lime juice, lime zest, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to the rice and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste, and add more lime or cilantro as needed.
  4. For the chicken:
  5. Dry off both chicken breasts thoroughly with paper towels, and season both sides of each breast using the 2 teaspoons of salt.
  6. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot.
  7. Add the chicken breasts to the hot skillet, and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Both sides should have a pretty brown sear to them.
  8. When the chicken breasts are cooked all the way through, remove them to a cutting board to cool. Once they've cooled, cut the chicken into small chunks, about 1/2 square inch each.
  9. For the bacon:
  10. If you're going to add bacon to your salad, cook 2 slices of bacon as you normally would, until it is crispy enough to crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon fat for the sweet potatoes.
  11. For the sweet potatoes:
  12. Cut up the sweet potato into tiny chunks, about 1/2 square inch each.
  13. Heat 1 tablespoon of bacon fat (or, if you didn't use bacon, coconut oil) in your large skillet over medium heat.
  14. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes. Sear the potatoes on all sides, stirring every 3-5 minutes.
  15. When the potatoes have all browned on the outside, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook the sweet potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  16. To assemble the salads:
  17. When all ingredients have cooled, you can begin to assemble your burrito bowl salads. Add 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt to the bottom of each pint-sized wide mouth mason jar.
  18. Top with about 2 tablespoons of sweet potato cubes.
  19. On top of the sweet potatoes, add 3-4 tablespoons of the cilantro lime quinoa.
  20. Layer 1-2 tablespoons of cheese over the quinoa, a little less than half a piece of bacon over the cheese, and a layer of chicken over the bacon. (To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 can of rinsed beans for the chicken and bacon and add a layer of beans here.)
  21. Fill the remaining space in the mason jar with lettuce, and sprinkle some additional chopped cilantro on top before screwing on the lid.

Enjoy all week long!
Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salads via StrictlyDelicious

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  1. Harshita says

    These sound great!! Do the salads need to be eaten within the week, or how long do they last in the fridge for?

  2. Kyle says

    I added a layer of salsa at the bottom and subbed pinto beans for the chicken and sour cream for the yogurt. Tried it today: everything I want in a burrito bowl ready to go! Great recipe. Thanks!

  3. Lisa says

    I made the Burrito Bowl Mason Jar salads for my work week and had the first one today. YUM! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but it is really, really good! Takes a bit of prep work, but well worth it. These will definitely be on next weeks menu too :)

  4. Katrina Rivera says

    I just made these yesterday for lunch this week. They are absolutely AMAZING and flavorful. Thank you so much for the recipe!!

  5. Lisa says

    I just finished making these and am eating one now. Thank you so much, this is delicious! The only small change that I made were to cook 2 slices of bacon in a saucepan and then to cook the sweet potato in the drippings. There wasn’t 1 T rendered, but it worked well enough. I also didn’t use the greek yogurt but instead used a homemade cilantro vinaigrette. These are going on permanent lunch rotation. The quinoa with lime and cilantro…OMG, so good.

    • says

      Ooo great idea with the dressing! I’m so glad you liked these Mason jar salads; they are without a doubt one of my favorite recipes!!!

  6. Karen says

    After searing the chicken breast on high for four minutes each side, is it cooked through? I’m not a cook. These look very very good!

    • says

      Hi Karen, I’m so sorry for the delayed reply! Yes the chicken breasts should be cooked after 4 minutes on each side. If yours looks really thick and you’re worried four minutes might not be enough, pound them out a bit to flatten and thin them before searing. I hope you love these as much as I do! <3

  7. says

    I made these jars with, admittedly, a great deal of skepticism.
    WOW. OMG. I have looked forward to lunch every day this week. Having something healthy and delicious that is pre-prepared keeps me from eating last-minute junk food and or fast food.
    I made a couple revisions, based on what I had in my house. I used the chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken and added black beans for more flavor. I accidentally used vanilla flavored yogurt, and it wasn’t too bad! It added a sweetness that I enjoyed. Just before eating, I also threw in a few slices of a clementine and about half a banana. I know it sounds weird, but it was like a party in my mouth.
    Thanks so much for sharing your genius! I can’t wait to make this again.

  8. Dominique says

    Wow, this recipe is AMAZING! I followed it almost to a T – just omitted lime zest as I didn’t have limes handy, was using lime juice in a bottle. Used white quinoa, no bacon, and a bit more greek yogurt. Made 5 mason jars yesterday and took one to lunch today – this is TO DIE FOR! Takes some time to prep all the ingredients but it’s so worth it! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Jenn M says

    Hi Lina!
    I know this is an old recipe but I just found it this past weekend and I wanted to say thank you thank you thank you!!! It is hands down the most delicious healthy mason jar salad I’ve found to date! I made it without the bacon and cheese (I can only imagine how good it is with them) and it is still to die for!!

  10. says

    Looks marvelous! However, I’m a klutz. Is there some food safety issue involved in using the mason jars? I’d like to use a plastic container shaped like mason jars. Fewer problems if I drop it on the walk from the parking lot :). Thanks.

  11. Anne says

    Uhm so just to make sure… You contain it in the jars, but then put it in a bowl before eating it? So you have to bring both to work..?

    • says

      Hello Anne, you can absolutely eat the salad straight out of the jar, but you will be eating it in layers (all lettuce, all cheese, all quinoa, etc.). I prefer a more even distribution of my ingredients, so I turn the salads upside-down into bowls that I keep at work so that I can mix the ingredients before eating.

  12. says

    Hey there! This recipe looks amazing, and I’m certainly planning to try it soon! Do you peel your sweet potatoes, or just cook and eat with the skin on?

    • says

      Hi Tricia, great question! I cook them with the skin on. There’s so many nutrients in the skin and I love the flavor and texture! I hope you enjoy this recipe

  13. Toria says

    Oh my gosh, I spent about 20 minutes reading and re-reading the ingredients, looking for chipotle chilli (which I love) before I realised “Chipotle” must be the name of a store in the US! *d’oh* We don’t have that chain in Australia. :)

    • says

      Toria, that’s so funny!!! Yes, Chipotle the name of is a veeerryyy popular burrito chain here in the US. :)

      If you’re looking to add some chipotle (the pepper) heat to this recipe I’d suggest doing so with some salsa or adding chipotle chili to the chicken and/or sweet potatoes while cooking!

  14. Cindi Prather says

    Thanks for a mason jar recipe that uses pint jars. I only have pints and think pint jars would be easier to transport to work.

  15. Eric says

    Few questions if you’re still replying. How long do these keep? And should I refrigerate? Or does it just stay in a cool place? Also as far as eating do you eat them cold straight off the shelf or the fridge, or do you heat them up in some way? I’m a truck driver and don’t always have access to things right away. Thanks.

    • Jordan says

      Hey Eric – I just made these last night. With any mason jar salad, you should keep these cool in the refrigerator until ready to eat. You eat them cold, without heating up at all. I just had my first one for lunch today and it was delicious! Everything stayed pretty well intact and no mushiness! Hope this helps. :-)

  16. Payal says

    hello lina,

    this salad looks delish :) but i m vegetarian. can u share how can i make this bowl vegetarian for office lunches?

    thanks in advance

    • says

      Hello Payal,
      Absolutely! There should be a note in the post, but just leave out the chicken and replace it with cooked black or kidney beans! I’d use about 1/4 cup per salad. I hope that helps!

      • Payal says

        thx for the quick reply lina :) i will def try the kidney and black beans both and let u know how it turned out.
        thx again.

        • Payal says

          one more request plz..can you plz share more tasty mason jar vegetarian salad recipes here for people like me who dont eat eggs and meat at all.

          thx in advance :)

      • Ashley says

        Hello, quick question. When using a thicker dressing, how do you possibly get it all out of the jar? Or even most of it out? Seems to me it would stick to the bottom and sides; that my TBSP would end up being more of a tsp by the time it’s all over with.

        • says

          Hi Ashley, I just used a spoon to scoop out everything, including the Greek yogurt, and was able to get pretty much all of it from the jar! Wide mouth jars really are the key to that maneuverability. I hope that helps!

  17. Leslie says

    Hi! I know it’s been ages since you’re posted this, but I was wondering if you were able to freeze these? To freeze them should I just not add the lettuce until after I take them out?

    • says

      Hi Leslie, that’s a great question! I haven’t tried it myself, but I know most of these ingredients do freeze very well. I’d save the lettuce, cilantro, and plain Greek yogurt to add right before eating, and I think the rest could freeze nicely!

  18. Carrie ann says

    I was inspired by your photos and loved your expressive way of posting recipes. So I tried them -and fell in love with your salad jars. I tweaked the burrito bowls to make it vegan by substituting fresh salsa for the Greek yogurt and made the sweet potatoes more savory with a crust of cumin, chilies, and a little salt and pepper. Delicious!!! Thanks for bringing a healthy meal and your sparkling personality to our table!

    • says

      Carrie Ann, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I am so thrilled that you liked the salads and I love that you customized them based on your diet! The way you modified the sweet potatoes sounds FANTASTIC :) I’m so glad you found my blog and you’re enjoying it!

  19. Julie says

    WOW!!! So YUMMY! (I’m eating it for the first time now). Thanks so much for the recipe!!
    PS: I added extra lime and cilantro to the yogurt for extra zing!

    so so so so so so good!!!!

  20. says

    Ohh yum I love chipotle! I make burrito “bowls” all the time at home, but never would have thought to pack them to go! I definitely know what I’m packing for lunch my first week back at school :)

  21. says

    I LOVE burrito bowls. I get mine from Willy’s though because I’m in Atlanta and Chipotle over Willy’s is just blasphemy! These look and sound great though, it makes me want to work in an office for an excuse to make one of these (I know, I know I don’t need the jar to have one but it just makes it so much more fun!)

    • says

      Oooo now you make me want to travel to Atl just to try this Willy’s you speak of! haha The jar does make it fun, but I think working at home and not needing the jar might be even better!

      • says

        Most people in ATL will consider it blasphemy if you eat at chipotle instead of Willy’s (the same if you choose pepsi over coke!), I’ve never actually tried Chipotle but Willy’s is amazing!
        I do make a burrito bowl at home with black beans and kale, but I may have to try yours :)

  22. says

    Yes, those are my hands you see waving! I LOVE Chipotle too! And now I’m craving it :s. Your mason jar salad looks SO cute and appetizing, I forget whatever restaurant were talking about before :)

  23. says

    Gorgeous photos! I’m imagining that those little chunks are marinated, crispy tofu pieces… looks good to me :-)
    You can actually get vegetarian chicken pieces but I like the sound of adding beans a lot. Happy FF

  24. says

    Happy Happy Fiesta Friday Lina!! I’m so happy to see you here….and with those delicious burrito bowl mason jars! Oh man, you and I will have to sit down and talk about how much we love Chipotle!! That is one of my most favorite places to go!! I am totally making these salads… you just make the best stuff. Honestly. <3
    We need to talk about you switching your blog to a self hosted blog… I'm ready to make that leap, but I have no clue what I'm doing…or where to go! I did scroll down to the bottom of this page, and saw that it said…"Powered by wordpress"…. so I'm wondering if you're still going through wordpress, or what? Is it ok if I email you?
    Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful salad to the table this week…. I can't wait to print it out… two of them actually….one for me, and one for my daughter Katie. <3 LOVE.

    • says

      Prudy, Prudy, my dear Prudy, thank you for your compliments! But more importantly, pleeaaassse email me about anything and everything you’d like to talk about :) lina@strictlydelicious.com. I am still going through WordPress, it’s just self hosted now. I got used to using WP so I didn’t want to change!

      I can’t wait to hear how it goes if you or your daughter try these!!!

  25. says

    THIS IS GENIUS. I mean, I’ve been trying to figure out how to recreate all the deliciousness of a burrito but sacrifice at least one the carbs (tough ask) and do something about the rice situation. Quinoa, obviously! So glad I found this. Your blog is amazing, I can’t wait to read the rest :)

    • says

      Mandi, thank you thank you so much! And thank you for the love! Isn’t it great to find perfect substitutes?! I’m looking forward to continuing to explore your blog too!

    • says

      Dumb wallets! If only they would multiply their contents when it was really important, right?? Really important being bills and food. :) Good thing we have our homemade substitutes!

  26. says

    First off, this looks absolutely amazing! I’ve only done salads in a jar so far, but this burrito bowl looks delicious. Secondly, I have food allergies and celiac disease, so I don’t eat at Chipotle (or out much at all). However, I have heard of a few establishments where they’ll grab fresh ingredients from the back if you go at a non-busy time. It’s not true everywhere, and changing gloves certainly isn’t a big enough precaution for severe allergies. It might be something to ask about the next time you go in though!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! 😀

    • says

      Wow, Kaila; that’s an AMAZING tip! Thanks for passing it on! It is frustrating to not be able to eat out with all of our allergies, but we learn how to make it work, right?! Thanks for your comment!

  27. says

    I love the idea of having your salad packed neatly in a jar. I have never been to chipotle but have heard their food is good. Love southwestern flavors and the salad looks delicious.

    • says

      Suzanne, Chipotle is sooo good, but I’m glad to have a custom replacement when I can make all my own fillings! And one that’s so neat and convenient, as you say. I’m so glad you like the salad! :)

  28. Dawn says

    Hi Lina,

    These look so wonderful and I am a huge Chipotle (or anything Southwest) fan. Just wondering how the lettuce holds up? Wouldn’t it start to wilt after a day or so?

    Would you also send me the roasted veggie jar salad recipe?

      • Pam F says

        Are you using pint jars or quart size jars? They look like pint size, but most salads seem to get packed in quart jars.

          • Pam F says

            Wow! Thanks for the fast response! You might add the jar size detail to the recipe (under servings?), to help folks out. Making these should help me avoid the “Taco Truck” at work. :)

      • Pam F says

        Hi, Lina!
        I just made the Burrito Bowl salads!So tasty!! I found a couple things: Your instructions say to cook quinoa for 25 minutes. Maybe change to “cook according to package?” Is there a reason to the order you’ve got things being prepared? For efficiency, I switched things up: Started bacon, then quinoa. When bacon was done, started sweet potatoes, finished quinoa. While potatoes were “finishing,” I prepped the chicken, pulled the potatoes, and added chicken to pan. While chicken was cooking, I stirred up my yogurt/dressing. I shifted all hot things to wide metal bowls, and gently tossed/stirred them to speed cooling. I think a “cilantro ranch” dressing would be amazing. I may try that next!
        Thanks for sharing these!

    • Cleryson says

      Hello Lina,

      Lover the recipe. I will try this week. Quick question – should I microwave the mason jar? Or do you pour the whole thing into a plate? I was wondering because of the lettuce and yogurt.



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