Chopped Chicken Salad to Go

Chopped Chicken Salad To Go | A great make-ahead mason jar salad perfect for packing. #cleaneating #eatclean #salad #nutrition

Good morning friends!

How are you doing today? I hope your week has been lovely so far, and if you’re a Canadian parent or student, I hope the back to school transition went smoothly! Yesterday was my final day of work before moving on to my new job opportunity next week, and it was full of saying goodbye to my awesome co-workers. I’m going to miss them all so, so much, but at the same time am super excited about the new possibilities that lie ahead. For now, I’ve got a couple of vacation days to enjoy. Hot yoga here I come!

I know that not everyone is going back to school, but September always feels like a new year to me because of all the change it brings. I know a lot of others look at it this way too, and if your eating habits could use some cleaning up, it’s a good time to look for some fun and nutritious portable lunch ideas. That’s exactly what I’ve got for you today, and although I hesitate to call it a recipe because of its simplicity, I’m excited to tell you about it nevertheless. To begin, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Chopped Chicken Salad Ingredients

If you don’t have some of the above veggies, feel free to swap in your favourites or those that you have on hand. Similarly with the chicken, vegetarians and vegans could easily swap in cooked beans, edamame, marinated tofu, or tempeh. It’s almost impossible to mess up the assembly of this meal, which I’ve decided to call Chopped Chicken Salad to Go

All you need to do is stack the ingredients in some mason jars, top them with greens, and voila! Instant portable lunches for an entire week (or however many you decide to make).

Chopped Chicken Salad To Go

The order of the layers here is important. The chicken is at the bottom, so that if you were to drizzle in a dressing ahead of time and let the salad sit, it would absorb the flavour and become gorgeously juicy. The greens are at the top so they don’t get squished, and the cooked spelt berries are just beneath so that when the jar is tipped over into a bowl, you have a nice grainy base. This recipe makes enough to fill 4 mason jars with the capacity of about 1 1/2 cups each, and any remaining space in the top can be filled with greens. Happy lunching!

Chopped Chicken Salad To Go from Eat Spin Run Repeat


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Chopped Chicken Salad To Go | A great make-ahead mason jar salad perfect for packing. #cleaneating #eatclean #salad #nutrition

Chopped Chicken Salad to Go

  • Author: Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: about 5 cups 1x


This easy to make, portable salad is satisfying and one you’ll look forward to on days when you’re eating lunch on the go.


  • 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup carrots, grated or diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup mixed sweet bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw spelt berries or wheat berries (or sub uncooked quinoa to keep the recipe gluten-free)
  • baby greens (as many as you like!)
  • your dressing of choice (I like to use a simple homemade blend of equal parts extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar with a good pinch of black pepper and sea salt)


For the spelt berries/grain:

  • Spelt berries can be soaked in water ahead of time, which will shorten their cooking time. To do this, place spelt berries (or wheat berries) in a bowl of water and set it on the counter for 4-8 hours.
  • If you soaked the spelt berries, drain off the soaking water and rinse. Transfer to a small saucepan and add 2 1/2 cups of water or low sodium vegetable broth. Cook over medium heat. Soaked berries should take about 25 minutes whereas unsoaked berries will take 50-60 minutes. When fully cooked, they should be slightly more chewy than cooked wild rice, but not crunchy. Drain any remaining water and rinse the grains, then set aside to cool.
  • If using quinoa, boil the grains in water or low-sodium vegetable broth over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain any excess, then set aside to cool.

For the rest of the salad:

  • Chop all vegetables and chicken. Evenly distribute them in layers across 4 jars, in the order listed. (Chicken on the bottom, spelt berries/quinoa on the top). Fill any remaining space at the top of the jars with baby greens.
    When ready to eat, drizzle with your favourite dressing and shake the jar. Pour into a bowl (over more greens if you want to), and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 25-60 mins
  • Category: salad
  • Method: boil

If you give this one a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

37 thoughts on “Chopped Chicken Salad to Go

  1. enjoy your few days of vacation, angela!! hopefully, the weather will be nice the rest of this week (although that doesn’t really matter when in a yoga studio!). will you be working closer to uptown?!
    our lunches tended to be a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a couple of homemade cookies. we came home at lunch til grade 7 – i don’t think any kids still go home for lunch since a lot of schools have the two nutrition breaks now!

  2. I am IN LOVE with your mason jar salad idea – and am planning a shopping excursion TONIGHT to get some. I am with Miz…STUNNING!

    Your purple pepper salad looks delicious, too! I saw purple peppers at the market the other day – glad I stuck with yellow peppers as I was buying a whole huge box of them and wanted something sweet! The purple ones just looked sooooo pretty though!

    School lunches? Couldn’t do without GREEN jello. Mmmmm…

    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Ami! Don’t worry, mason jars are super cheap. I actually found 4 at Value Village for about $1 and use them regularly (I gave them a good scrub and run through the dishwasher first of course!) Oh, and SNAP on that jello!! We used to get it, but only as a treat. I was more of a fan of the blue, but green was just fine too. 😉

  3. That salad looks AMAZING. I need to get myself some mason jars to bring my salads to work – my coworkers would be so jealous!!

    I grew up having some type of sandwich almost everyday (turkey, ham, etc.)… my dad always made them for me – he was the best at it!

  4. Hot yoga sounds like a great way to spend vacation! Enjoy your time off 🙂

    I made a mason jar salad yesterday for my first day of grad school! Great way to kick off the school year.

      1. It has been great so far. The weather has been beautiful and I am loving my apartment and the location! More grad school orientations tomorrow so I am really looking forward to meeting my classmates.

  5. Ok, two things…

    1. Blue gushers, natural or not, have a special place on my list of “foods” I love but can’t eat every day unless I want cavities and heart disease.

    2. Thanks for introducing me to the purple pepper! I had NEVER even heard of it, let alone seen it! How cool! I’ll be watching my farmers’ markets closely to see if they are available in Upstate New York.

  6. The salad in a jar looks soo cute! I would definitely eat it just because of the presentation 🙂 And purple bell peppers?! I learn something new every day! hehe sometimes if I was lucky my mum would let me have sandwiches with a chocolate spread for lunch – like dessert. It was amazing – crusts taken off please! 🙂

  7. Weird question I am sure… but could you use a pyrex bowl? Or would there be too much air promoting bacteria growth as the salad sits for a few days? My husband asked this and I didn’t have an answer. I personaly like the compact size of the mason jar. Thanks!

    1. Hmm… I’m not 100% sure, but I think you’d be fine. It’s just like storing leftovers in glass containers – you could store them in small ones, or big ones (that would take up way more space in the fridge than needed!) I don’t really see the extra air space being a problem. For carrying to and from work or school etc, the same food safety rules would apply regardless of the container – if there’s an animal-based protein like chicken or fish in the jar, make sure you get it in the fridge!

  8. We were introduced to these today at our American Heart Association luncheon. One of our attorneys lost 40 pounds using it for his lunches and won $750 in a biggest loser contest he had against another attorney. Everyone at the luncheon got a large jar to use. Can’t wait to try it out with your recipe.

    1. Wow, that sounds like a fantastic contest! I really hope you get some good use out of your jar. I have heaps of them and use them for everything from drinking water, smoothies and green juice out of, to carrying salads. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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