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. These Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars would not have flown with the younger version of myself.
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.
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.
And now, chicken and grapes is my newest obsession. I grabbed some jars and packed my lunches for the entire week with these Chicken & Spinach Salad Jars. 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
Want more salad jar ideas? Check out these other portable, fun lunch recipes!