I was gushing about this salad on Facebook yesterday, because it was so good! I’ve been meaning to try out mason jar salads as a way to have a healthy, veggie-based lunch that can be prepared on the weekend and last throughout the week. I made up two different salad recipes yesterday, and after trying the first one, I am in love.
If you’re not as much of a fan of from-scratch cooking as I am, you could pull this together more quickly by:
- Purchasing fat-free ranch dressing (must be 1 point per serving)
- Purchasing bacon crumbles
- Purchasing pre-cooked chicken breasts
But, in my opinion, it won’t taste as good as this. Especially the dressing. Low-calorie ranch dressing always seems to have a chemically taste to me, and the dressing linked in the recipe below is rich, creamy, and takes about 5 minutes to make.
Before making a whole batch of jarred salads for the week, I cooked up four large chicken breasts on the stovetop and baked some bacon in the oven.
The bacon I used was incredibly fatty (it was from a sow that had to be butchered on our local farm). But, I knew that fat would translate into deliciousness, and a little would go a long way. I only used one piece on my salad, but counted it as 2 PointsPlus to account for the extra fat. If you’re using the regular bacon you buy at the store, you’ll get to put 1.5 pieces on your salad!
I was a little bit afraid that I wouldn’t get any crumbly bacon for the salad, but I cooked it in the oven at 350 for almost 45 minutes to slowly render the fat. The bacon came out perfect for the salad!
Recipe: Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Mason Jar Salad
Ingredients (for 1 jar)
- 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt ranch dressing (recipe)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
- 3 oz cooked chicken breast
- 1.5 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
Prepare the ranch dressing and place 2 Tbsp in the bottom of a 1-quart mason jar (1 dressing recipe makes enough for 8 salads). Add cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, ensuring that the veggies cover the salad dressing. Add chicken breast, then top with bacon crumbles. To finish, stuff as much lettuce in the top of the jar as you can.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
Most people recommend using a wide mouth jar for this, but regular jars were all I had on hand, and they worked fine. When you’re ready for lunch, shake up the contents of the jar and dump it in a bowl. You’ll probably want to scrape down the sides of jar to get all the bits of bacon and delicious ranch dressing out.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show how well-dressed this salad was. It was oozing with ranch goodness, and the yogurt-based recipe added very small amounts of fat and calories. This entire salad was only 6 points, and it was very filling. I’d guess a similar salad at a restaurant would be in the 15-20 point range (and likely would include cheese, which I didn’t think it needed). I made versions of this salad for my husband that included 1.5x the dressing, more chicken, and more bacon.