VIDEO: Mediterranean Layered Salad Recipe


Our busy lives just seem to get busier, and sometimes that means eating a healthy lunch takes a backseat to other priorities. A little prep time and a couple of Mason jars can give you a tasty meal-on-the-go that is perfect for enjoying at your desk. Or for getting outside on your lunch hour and having a makeshift picnic and a chance to recharge. Either way, this Mediterranean-inspired layered salad will keep you going on lean protein and vitamin-packed veggies.

Mediterranean Layered Salad

Yield: 2 entree salads (with extra dressing for later use)

For the Italian Dressing:
Yield: 3 cups (24 servings of 2 Tablespoons each)
1 cup Kroger olive oil
1 cup Kroger red wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, ends removed, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon Kroger dried oregano
½ teaspoon Kroger ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kroger dried basil
1/4 teaspoon Kroger dried thyme
2 Tablespoons Kroger lemon juice

For the Salad:
Yield: 2 salads
2 Tablespoons red onion, diced
10 cherry tomatoes
½ cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup chopped zucchini
½ cup trimmed green beans (ends removed)
½ cup no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup whole wheat rotini pasta, cooked
1/3 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
4 ounces low-sodium albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
3 cups field greens
2 Tablespoons pine nuts

Mix all dressing ingredients in a 4-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid and chill. Shake well before using. Divide salad ingredients between two mason jars. Assemble ingredients as written to maintain textures:

  • 1st layer: 2 tablespoons Italian dressing in bottom of jar
  • 2nd layer: Red onion, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper
  • 3rd layer: Cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, cannellini beans
  • 4th layer: Whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • 5th layer: Cheese, albacore tuna
  • 6th layer: Field greens, pinenuts

Shake jar to distribute salad dressing when you are ready to eat.

Chef Notes: Starkist Selects® very-low-sodium chunk white albacore tuna is suggested. Wide-mouth 1-quart mason jars best accommodate larger salads. Assembled salads will last up to 5 days refrigerated with a tight-fitting lid.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 420 Calories; 20 grams Fat; 3.5 grams Saturated Fat; 35 mg Cholesterol; 230 mg Sodium; 34 grams Carbohydrates; 9 grams Sugar; 9 grams Fiber; 30 grams Protein

What are the health benefits of these ingredients?

  • The base: When choosing a base lettuce for your salad, “the darker the better.” Darker green choices like spinach, mesclun, spring mix and kale are all great options. That’s not to say iceberg lettuce has nothing to offer. It just contains less iron, potassium and vitamins than its darker counterparts.
  • Veggie variety: With a variety of colors and textures in your greens, you can’t go wrong. Veggies are a great source of vitamins like A, B, and C. They’re also low in calories but high in water content and fiber, so they will definitely fill you up.
  • Protein: Plant proteins high in folic acid include kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas. Animal proteins, like lean chicken, salmon, tuna or eggs, are a good bet, too. Just make sure to keep to the recommended portion size for meats: 3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards).
  • Extras: It’s easy to go overboard on the add-ins. Nuts and seeds provide some protein and healthy unsaturated fats. But overdoing it can place them in the “no-no” category, along with other high-calorie salad staples like cheese, dried fruit and anything fried. If you simply must have those nuts and seeds, limit your portion to a handful (roughly 1 ounce).

Looking for more info and want to make an appointment with a registered dietitian? Call 1-855-434-5483 or visit Nutrition Services on

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Categories: EatWell