Black Bean and Mango Salad Jars


Black Bean Mango Salad

You guys asked for more salad jars, so here’s my latest favorite.  (You can see my last version, here, with more info on the idea.) It’s no secret that I could Latin food pretty much every day of the week and sweet, juicy mangoes combined with hearty black beans is one of my favorite combos.  I especially love the protein and fiber powerhouse you get when you combine beans with chicken. Since these have some “wet” ingredients like chopped tomatoes and mangoes, I usually just make a few at a time (like, 3) so they don’t get mushy.  I could seriously eat this combination of ingredients, in any form, every day of the week.

Mango Salad Jar Ingredients

Since these have hearty beans in there, I put in a little less chicken, (3 ounces instead of 4).  I put each jar directly on my kitchen scale and drop the chicken in.  You can roast or grill your own chicken (here’s a post with our favorite instructions) or grab a rotisserie chicken and use that.  If you want these to be extra yummy, make some of our Taco Chicken or Slow Cooker Taco Chicken.   I will say that how you prepare your chicken does make a huge difference on the outcome of your salads.  If you drop a bunch of unseasoned chicken breasts into a pot of boiling water and call it good, it’s not going to taste very good.  Take the time to make great meat and your salads will be extra delish!

Layer all of your ingredients into your jars in a beautiful rainbow of deliciousness.

Mango Salad Jars Top View

Stuff the rest with your favorite greens.  Spinach works really well because it’s pretty hearty.  Kale is also a great choice (if you don’t mind eating kale.)  The really important thing with jar salads is that your greens are dry.

Spinach Topped Jar Salads

Many greens come already washed and ready to go.  I know many of you like to re-wash them anyway, but honestly I just go with it. If you’re going to wash them, you’ll want to lay them out and let them dry all the way before you put them in your jars.  I just stuff whatever will fit reasonably in there, which is usually about 1 1/2-2 cups.

Layered Mango Salad Jars

I prefer to dress my salads in a bowl when I eat them (as opposed to putting dressing on the bottom of the jar) because I use a super simple olive oil and vinegar combo.  For this salad I loooooove using both our Chili and Lime Olive Oil, and also a generous splash of rice vinegar.  I actually found this Mango rice vinegar recently and it’s perfect!

Lime and Chili Olive Oil

Don’t forget my advice of salt and peppering your salads, it makes SUCH a difference in flavor.  And since I just eat these at home, I just keep avocados on hand and add them when I’m ready to eat.

Black Bean and Mango Salad with Lime and Chili Olive Oil

This is seriously delish, and so filling.  Make a few and let me know what you think!  If you want to grab the flavored olive oils I use for this, you can grab a 2-pack bundle, here (they’re on sale right now).  Just pick Chili and Lime.



Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I am soooo excited you posted another “salad in a jar” recipe!!!!! Thank you!! I am IN LOVE w/ the last jar recipe. I have made them 3 times already!! What a great idea! Would love to see even more jar recipes, especially with the warmer weather coming. You guys are the best!

  2. (First time commenting but need to get in the habit!) I got your cookbook last week and am totally in love! Every recipe I was like YES YES YES. Thank you!! Also, this salad looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. Somehow I know I’m gonna be looking for that mango vinegar even though I don’t normally like mangos. Haha.

  3. Yay for Utah! I hope I can make it to one of your signings! You gals are awesome! Need to figure out a clever way to tell my husband that it’s a “necessity” to have more cookbooks and recipes than I already do.

  4. Looks awesome! I just got your book today. Literally want to eat everything in it. I’m so excited! Thanks for another awesome book!

  5. AHHH! I’m so sad! The one girl’s trip I take to NYC is when you are coming to Salt Lake! I love your cookbooks and can’t wait to get your new one.

  6. I am so excited you’ll be in my neighborhood! But because I’m a baseball mom I can’t make it to Orson Gygi during the hours you’ll be there. I’d love to purchase some of your oils though. Any chance I can grab some earlier that day…or the next?

    1. I hope you’ll be able to make it to one of our other signings instead! Orson Gygi will probably be stocking our oils after the event, so you should be able to still get some!

  7. I haven’t bought mangoes for a long time because I’m not very good at picking them. This salad makes me think maybe it’s time to give it another try.

  8. That is my absolute favorite combination of flavors! I serve it over brown rice at least twice a week in the summer, no joke. Sometimes I’ll add in a little shredded pepperjack cheese to send it over the top. 🙂

  9. Do we need to RSVP for the Orson Gygi gig? I got my book in the mail yesterday and immediately fell in love.

    1. So glad you got your book! We might actually have people RSVP just to help us plan the event, but you are welcome to just come either way!

  10. Oh and a question … do you know which Costco you will be in? Looking there for more copies of the book to use for gifts, but haven’t seen them yet …

    1. It’s not quite out in stores just yet. The official release date is April 7th, so they should be popping up in-store at that point. I know we will be in Utah Costcos, but I’m not sure which ones specifically just yet. In the next day or two we’ll let you know which Costco store we’ll be signing at and you can come see us there for sure!

  11. April 9 … On my calendar … I will be there!! (with my girls since it’s also Spring Break here)
    The salad jars are my new favorite thing!! Such an awesome solution for lunchtime!. Also love your dressing recommendations and will now be searching for the mango rice vinegar … tried the lime olive oil yesterday with just red wine vinegar on my salad and it was fabulous. I’ll be ready to do some big restocking on OBB olive oils at the Orson event for my salad jars!!!!! SUpeR EXCiTed!!!

    1. Yay! I’m so excited to put a cute face with your name, Meredith. Can’t wait to meet ya!

  12. Never seen a jar salad before, but hey, I’m willing to give it a go. My wife is pretty picky about washing the salad, even the pre-washed stuff. But sometimes I’d rather just eat it “dirty” because the bag says it’s triple washed and I don’t like eating wet lettuce. Quick story, one of my pals sent me a pic via Facebook of a bag of lettuce that was pre-washed with a whole grasshopper in it. Whole. I hope that grasshopper was organic because it was organic lettuce. Just not meat free if you know what I mean.

    1. That’s better than the LIVE black widow I found in a bunch of grapes once. I still check grapes for webs…