Cilantro Lime Mason Jar Salad

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Cilantro lime is one of my all-time favorite pairings for a southwestern dish. As we are in the midst of a warm summer and my plastic cups have been packed up with a bottle of wine, I have been dying to try a Mason Jar Salad for a picnic-style dinner.  Not only is the combination of cilantro and lime fresh and flavorful, but it compliments the best Mexican ingredients: crunchy pumpkin seeds, queso fresco, chili-lime black beans, avocado and cherry tomatoes.

The Jolly Hostess twist this week takes the easiest bean base for salads (and dips!) and pairs it with cilantro lime chicken. Say hello to Read’s Southwestern Bean Salad.   I love that I can simply open this can, add it as a layer along with a few other ingredients and my appetizer is done.  The flavor of this salad is on point (while cooking away, I couldn’t stop eating it with a spoon!) and it doubles as a salad dressing in this dish.  The salad is then packaged in a mason jar for Pinterest-ready presentation and packability (all the necessary “P’s”, right?!).

This is a sponsored post by Aunt Nellie’s. Opinions are my own.  Thanks to all readers and brands for supporting The Jolly Hostess.

Makes (2) 5 oz mason jars; Prep Time: 25 mins; Cook Time: 20 mins


Marinade for Chicken:

2 limes, juiced

3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped (2 for marinate, 1 for salad below)

1 tsp honey

Dash of pepper, salt and garlic powder


2 chicken breasts, soaked in marinade for at least 20 mins, grilled and chopped

8 tbsp Read’s Southwestern Bean Salad, strained over a bowl

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, chopped

1 cup lettuce ribbons (how to here!)

1/2 cup queso fresco, chopped

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds

Chili-Lime Dressing:

Sauce strained from Read’s Southwestern Bean Salad

1 tbsp ranch

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Prep marinade in a zip lock bag, setting aside 1 tbsp cilantro, add chicken and let sit in fridge for 20 minutes.

Prep the next four ingredients while chicken marinades.

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Once Southwestern Bean Salad has strained, add ranch to sauce and whisk to make dressing. Set aside in fridge.

Grill chicken on medium high heat, about 10 on each side.  Chop into small pieces.

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Time to layer (speaking of, how great would Southwestern Bean Salad be with a Mexican Layered Dip?)! Use half of your ingredients for each 5 oz mason jar.  Layer 1 chicken breast, 10 halved cherry tomatoes, 8 slices avocado, 4 tbsp Southwestern Bean Salad, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup queso fresco, 1/2 tbsp cilantro, sprinkle pepitas. Repeat in second mason jar.

I like to keep the dressing in a separate container until ready to eat.  Pack along with your wine for a picnic or in your tote for work lunch. Simply take off lid of mason jar and enjoy on a plate or right out of the jar (so classy!).



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