Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars

Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars - healthy and portable lunches for the work week! Lean chicken, sweet grapes, Asiago cheese, crunchy walnuts and spinach, dressed with Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette. |

When I was a kid, I had a few food quirks, but nothing too crazy. I’d like to think that my parents lucked out, and I was a pretty easy-going kid. But there was one thing that was a total no-go for me. Absolutely not, under any circumstances.
Fruit mixing with what I deemed “real food,” meaning anything savory. Pineapple on pizza? NO. Applesauce and pork chops? Mandarin oranges in an otherwise normal garden salad? Watermelon on the same plate as a hamburger? No no no no NOOOOO. Fruit and real food were not to canoodle on my watch.

Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars - healthy and portable lunches for the work week! Lean chicken, sweet grapes, Asiago cheese, crunchy walnuts and spinach, dressed with Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette. |

I’m happy to report that taste buds do indeed mature a little bit as you grow up and now, I’m full-on obsessed with the interplay between sweet fruit and savory food. I have several varieties of fresh and dried fruits on hand at all times to throw into savory dishes. Raisins and currants go in stuffed peppers. Mango is a must for dipping sauce for rangoons. Pineapple belongs onburgers. And tacos. And black bean dip. Apples can be the star of chicken chili. Salmon gets smothered with apricot glaze.

And now, chicken and grapes is my newest obsession. I grabbed some jars and packed my lunches for the entire week. Savory cooked chicken breast, sweet red grapes, crunchy walnuts, and salty Asiago cheese are packed together with leafy spinach and a mustardy, herby dressing. Fruit and real food never tasted so good together. I’m kicking younger Lori in the shins for missing out on all of this.

Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars - healthy and portable lunches for the work week! Lean chicken, sweet grapes, Asiago cheese, crunchy walnuts and spinach, dressed with Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette. |

Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars

Yield: 4 jars


For the Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette:

  • 5 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad Jars:

  • 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shaved Asiago cheese
  • 4 cups baby spinach, roughly torn


  1. Make Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until all oil is incorporated.
  2. Divide Mustard-Thyme Vinaigrette equally among 4 pint-sized mason jars. Divide chicken over dressing. Layer remaining ingredients, ending with spinach (you may have to tightly pack spinach into jars). Top with lids and refrigerate up to 4 days. To serve, pour onto plate or bowl, stir and enjoy.

This recipe originally appeared here on the Naturebox blog.

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16 Responses to “Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars”

  1. Jane's Adventures in Dinner — November 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Dream work lunch.


  2. indiaandworldcuisine.blogspot. — November 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    loved this delectable salad in a jar…looks great 🙂


  3. Suzanne — November 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Love this, healthful, beautiful, portable it’s a great idea!


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 14th, 2013 @ 9:31 am

      Thanks Suzanne – that’s my idea of the trifecta when it comes to lunches 🙂


  4. Betsy @ Desserts Required — November 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I LOVE this recipe. I am having brunch for 35 people next weekend. I think this is perfect because I can make it ahead of time and it is delicious! Thanks!!


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 16th, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Betsy! I hope this works out for you! You even even make miniatures in 1/2-pint jars, too. Good luck with the brunch!


      • Betsy Cohen replied: — November 24th, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

        All 34 guests FLIPPED over this fabulous salad. They were WOWed by the look and beyond impressed with the taste.

        I was able to assemble the salads on Friday, which was a Godsend given how many other dishes I had to make. This, truly, is one of my favorite company-serving recipes!! Thanks so much Lori!!!!!

        • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 24th, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

          I’m so glad to hear this, Betsy! This brought such a smile to my face 🙂

  5. Jessica — February 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    I dont have grapes and just came back from the store 🙁 would another fruit taste good with it? On hand I only have strawberries, mango, or bananas


    • Lori Yates replied: — February 4th, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

      Hi Jessica! I think strawberries would work well here. Enjoy!


  6. Mandy — February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Hi Lori,

    Grapes aren’t in season in my area and really hard to find – do you think I could substitute sliced apples?


    • Lori Yates replied: — February 9th, 2015 @ 12:23 pm

      Hi Mandy! Apples would definitely work with the rest of the flavors here! I would suggest either dipping them in lemon juice, or slicing and adding them right before you eat so they don’t go all brown on you 🙂 Strawberries might be a nice substitute too!


  7. Jim East — May 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I have been looking for some new ideas for my brown bag lunch. I have not thought of using this type of containment devise. Thank you for your ideas.


    • Lori Yates replied: — May 17th, 2015 @ 11:33 am

      You’re welcome, Jim. Good luck with your new lunch ideas!


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