8 Easy Mason Jar Meal Prep Recipes

First it was the slow cooker. Then came the Instant Pot. Now, Mason jar meals are the superstars of easy meal preparation – and with good reason. They not only provide the perfect compact container for take-away eating, but they are also simple to clean and keep food odors from escaping.

Try out these fantastic mason jar meal prep recipes that provide a week of quick and healthy breakfasts, lunches or dinners!

  1. Mason Jar Burrito Bowls – Here in San Diego, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like burritos. With this delicious mason jar twist on burritos, you can enjoy a healthier version of the popular take-out gem for nearly a whole week of lunches! Choose your favorite lean protein, whole grain, veggies and toppings, and in just 30 minutes of meal prep, you’ll have four nutritious meals ready to grab from the fridge and go.
  2. Sweet & Spicy Chili with Cornbread In a Jar – No matter if you’re a sweet-tooth or a savory-hound, this easy make-ahead chili recipe is for you. Perfect for our cooler fall days, this protein-packed lunch or dinner calls for savory lean ground beef, black and vegetarian baked beans topped with a sweet dollop of cornbread – all in the convenience of a jar.
  3. Cobb Salad in a Jar – The only thing you might have trouble with in this recipe is deciding to go with buttermilk ranch or blue cheese dressing! You won’t need to worry about soggy lettuce here, as the dressing and “wet” veggies – like tomatoes and cucumbers – all stay at the bottom of the jar. Top those off with chicken, bacon, avocado, eggs and lettuce for a nutritious meal on-the-go.
  4. Kale-Pasta Mason Jar – How about a vegetarian make-ahead meal that’s loaded with good fats and superfoods? Cook up your favorite small, whole-wheat pasta – like elbow, farfalle or penne – then add in fresh mozzarella balls, marinara, chopped kale and pine nuts for a perfectly-portioned, meat-free lunch or dinner.
  5. Lemon Pepper Chicken or Chili Lime Shrimp Salad – Take your pick of lemony chicken or spicy, chili lime shrimp. Roast it on a sheet pan in the oven until golden brown. Chop it up and pile it into mason jars atop fresh layers of shredded carrots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cabbage and cucumber – with your homemade lemon pepper or chili lime dressing at the very bottom – and you’ve got an incredible meal that you only have to shake to enjoy!
  6. Butternut Squash & Quinoa Mason Jar – During fall and winter, butternut squash and quinoa are the basis of many people’s healthy meal prep routines. Both are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and are very simple to prepare – especially in large batches. This heavenly vegan make-ahead meal is filling and satisfying for omnivores too! Combine butternut squash and quinoa with pine nuts, arugula, tahini, limes and thinly-sliced red onion and enjoy for days to come.
  7. Sausage, Spinach & Pepper Omelette in a Jar – Most people are familiar with the hundreds of mason jar breakfast recipes for overnight oats. But what about folks who love their eggs and sausage in the morning? This make-ahead omelette recipe is for you! Combine scrambled eggs with your favorite turkey, pork or veggie sausage patties, stir in veggies and cheese, and you have a scrumptious, hot, take-away breakfast Monday through Friday mornings.
  8. Rainbow Fruit Salad in a Jar – Who says that desserts and sweet treats have to be unhealthy? Kids and adults alike won’t mind passing over the cookie jar in favor of this delightful dish. Take fresh, tart fruit like berries, kiwi, oranges and pineapple and top it with a sweet, citrus yogurt dressing for a dessert that lasts all week long. It tastes too good to be good for you – but it is!

Looking for easy, healthy recipes to make when you’re short on time? Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups is your source for nutritious and simple meal ideas.

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