Healthy work lunches can be a struggle—if you’re not a master meal prepper (…yet), you either end up spending 15 dollars at an overpriced salad bar, or eating the same mixed greens day after day (or snagging yet another bagel leftover from a morning meeting).
Grab a six-pack of Mason jars, though, and you’ve got the perfect vehicle for healthy—and beautiful!—work lunches all week long. Yes, a lot of Mason jar recipes out there are salads—but they’re anything but boring.
What better motivation do you need to kick your meal-prep game into high gear?
We rounded up some of the most enchanting Mason jar recipes on the world wide web so you’ll never have to wonder about what to bring for lunch again. And, since each of these meals packs a solid dose of protein, you’ll be satisfied straight through quitting time.
This classic salad is the perfect starter Mason jar lunch. With a variety of flavors, textures, and cheesy goodness, Comfortably Domestic’s recipe is easy to prep and enjoy all week long. Cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, hard-boiled eggs, lean turkey, and lean ham all provide protein, for a total of about 13 grams total per jar.
Shrimp and Feta Cobb Salad
Something about Savoring the Thyme’s recipe feels like summer. The shrimp puts a fun spin on your usual Cobb salad—but all of the other usual flavors (like red onion, cucumber, and tomato) are there, too! With the combo of feta cheese, shrimp, egg, and bacon, this salad comes in around 30 grams of protein.
Chickpea, Farro, and Greens Salad
Cookie+Kate’s meat-free Mason jar salad recipe is perfect for #MeatlessMonday—and every other day of the week. Plus, it packs the protein you need, plant-style, providing about 19 grams of protein per serving.
Related: 7 Vegetarian Protein Sources
Asian Noodle Salad
This is not your average Mason jar meal. Foxes Love Lemons puts a twist on the usual jarred salad with this Asian-inspired noodle dish. And, there’s spicy peanut dressing—need we say more? This flavor-packed meal contains about eight grams of protein from the edamame, noodles, and good ol’ PB.
Chicken Taco Salad
Tacos are pretty much impossible to eat at your desk—otherwise we’d do it all the time. But swap the taco shell for a jar and throw in some extra lettuce, and you can make a salad that tastes just as good. This recipe from The Seasoned Mom uses Greek yogurt for a lightened-up dressing, and packs additional protein from black beans, cheddar cheese, and chicken breast, for about 38 grams (oh yeah!) of protein a pop.
Cup o’ Zucchini Noodles and Chicken
Nothing is as comforting (or bloat-inducing) as a nice cup of noodles. But Hungry Girl gives this quick lunch a healthy makeover (sans-bloat, since the noodles are replaced with zucchini) with her chicken and zoodle soup jar recipe. It provides all the yummies from your favorite chicken noodle soup—like mushrooms, peas, and carrots—and packs 30 grams of protein per serving.
Turkey Burger Salad
Pack all the flavor of a burger into a portable lunch with this recipe from Food Faith Fitness. Caramelized onions and a tomato sauce dressing kick up the flavor of often-bland turkey for a meal that contains 28 grams of protein.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Another plant-based meal, The Girl on Bloor’s chickpea-based recipe is aromatic and bursting with fresh ingredients. Sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onion, and plenty of herbs make for a taste bud party that also provides about seven grams of protein (if you divide the recipe into three portions). You can always bump up the protein by adding tuna or another type of bean into the mix.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
If your sweet tooth is in full swing all day long (no judgment!), this is the Mason jar recipe you need in your life. Eating Bird Food’s salad sweetens up lunchtime with fresh strawberries and a citrusy poppy seed dressing. You’ll get your dose of veggies from asparagus, cucumbers, and avocado—plus a good 30 grams of protein from the chicken and spinach.
Tropical Sriracha Chicken Salad
Were you sold at sriracha? Us too. The Healthy Maven’s recipe definitely provides the funky flair you need after weeks and weeks of lame work lunches. The chicken marinade and dressing are both full of big flavors, like sriracha and lime, that blend perfectly with the avocado and pineapple in the salad. Each sweet and spicy serving packs upwards of 30 grams of protein.