Quinoa Salad with Pesto: Packable Lunch Idea

It’s that time of the year again! As kids are heading back to school, it’s time to think about back to school clothing and fall staples {more on that tomorrow} and packing lunches. I always had a packed lunch throughout elementary, middle and high school {I wasn’t a huge fan of cafeteria food!} and I still pack my lunch most days for work. But, coming up with packable lunch recipes can be difficult. Even if you aren’t heading back to school, this is a great time of the year to hit the “reset button” on packing your lunch for work!


I’ve always been fascinated by the “salad in a Mason jar” idea. You can customize each jar with the toppings of your choice, make a weeks worth by dividing the ingredients into separate jars and grab one out of the refrigerator and head to work. When it comes to packing lunches, I’m all about convenience, ease and bonus points if it’s filling and healthy! 

As for the inspiration behind these ingredients, one of my favorite places to pick up a salad is sweetgreen. Not only are the ingredients fresh, but the combinations are delicious and super healthy. Unfortunately, the salads are a little on the expensive side. A few months ago, sweetgreen opened a location near my office and I knew that had the potential to be bad. One of the main reasons I love packing my lunch is because I hate the price of eating out. Thankfully, I haven’t been too tempted by sweetgreen since they opened, and now that I was able to recreate one of my favorite salads they offer, I think I will stick to this homemade and cheaper version! 

Check out the recipe below. If you don’t like some of these ingredients, you can easily replace them with your favorites. I couldn’t pass up the chance to include fresh corn on the cob since summer is fading quickly. And no matter what ingredients I select, I always like to incorporate a grain, such as quinoa, to make it a little more filling. 

**See THIS post on how I make my pesto**


print recipe

Quinoa Salad with Pesto
A healthy and packable lunch idea for work or back to school.
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 3/4 cup pesto
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 3 quart-sized Mason jars
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Once the quinoa has cooled, in a clean Mason jar, begin by layering the ingredients in the following order: quinoa, arugula, tomatoes, corn and about 1 tablespoon of pesto. Repeat the layers ending with the pesto. Secure the lid tightly and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Yield: 3 servings
What are your go-to lunch recipes that are easy to take to school or work? If you are looking for more packable lunch ideas, check out THIS cauliflower rice and THIS quinoa caprese salad. 

Have a great Tuesday, friends!

This post is linked up with: Tasty Tuesdays | Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday | Two Cup Tuesday | Weekend Potluck 

11 thoughts on “Quinoa Salad with Pesto: Packable Lunch Idea

  1. I am loving anything with fresh corn cut off the cob right now. This looks healthy, colorful and flavorful!! Thank you for the new work lunch ideas, keep em' coming!!

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