Jar Lunch: 7 layer dip with baked tortilla strips

The Jar Lunch: It’s like a bag lunch or a bento lunch, but the next big thing is lunch packed in a good ol’ mason jar. I have to microwave my lunch at work, so metal containers won’t work and heating up plastic has me worried. We often simply fill mason jars with leftovers, but sometimes it is fun to come up with a clever jar lunch and make a big batch. Lunch for the whole family is already packed.

If you’re anything like us, you have a taco or burrito night in your dinner repertoire. Here’s a simple lunch to pack with those leftover ingredients. This Jar Lunch has the official teenager seal of approval. Packed in a wide mouth half-pint jar, the less healthy ingredients are portioned. If you have time, make some of my baked tortilla chips, only cut them into strips instead of triangles. Pack with a generous portion of fruits or vegetables like pineapple slices, jicama and carrot sticks, or a green salad.

7 Layer Dip in a Jar

In a wide mouth half-pint mason jar layer:

1/4 cup refried beans
2 tablespoons salsa or pico de gallo
3 tablespoons guacamole
2 tablespoons crema or sour cream
2 tablespoons shredded colby jack cheese
sliced black olives
pickled jalapeño slices

This lunch is easily customizable for those picky eaters. Jess got a layer of shredded cabbage instead of olives. Other layer options: crumbled cotija, scallions, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes.

Here’s the link to the baked tortilla chips again. If you’re going for healthier, it’s worth the time to make chips that don’t taste like the store-bought cardboard ones. They don’t take long to make, but they do take undivided attention as they go from perfect to burnt in an instant.


about 2-1/2 small corn tortillas worth of chips

Other tips:

  • Thoroughly stir ingredients like guacamole or crema before layering for easier spreading.
  • If you use canned refried beans, add hot sauce and fire roasted diced green chiles to improve the flavor.
  • Simple homemade guacamole is always better: avocado, finely diced jalapeño, fresh lime juice, cilantro, salt.

Enjoy! Please add your photos to the Jar Lunch Flickr pool for this or any other jar lunches you make!

See our other Jar Lunches here.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Jar Lunch: 7 layer dip with baked tortilla strips

  1. I see a cookbook in your near future. How long do you nuke them for? Do they heat uniformly? I’m dying to try this.

    • misterkrista

      We don’t warm them because of the avocado, salsa, and crema are better cold or room temp. It sounds kinda gross to eat cold refried beans, but it is like the 7 layer dip people always bring to parties!

  2. Oh yum, I’m off for a lunch of mexican leftovers….I just adore your jar lunch idea. Adore.

  3. The sound of a 7 layer dip is a little too enticing – it sounds so full of flavour!

  4. I could dig into this – ha! Have a Great Weekend – thanks for sharing!

  5. robinsnestofchicks

    You are so clever! Love this idea. Fun backyard summer dinner idea too! Just add cold beer for the adults and lemonade for the kiddos!

  6. I love this idea for packing up taco night leftovers! Smart AND good-looking.

  7. I love this idea! We switched from plastic tupperware and reused yogurt containers a while ago in favor of glass pyrex dishes with snap on lids. However, those snap on lids leak, so I’ve been using jars instead.

  8. I’m also in love with the jar lunch idea. In fact, I’m in love with jars.

  9. Have to agree with theplumpapate – love jars but LOVE the idea of the Jar Lunch! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Pingback: simple dinner » Blog Archive » Meals In A Jar: From Savory Dinner To Sweet Desserts – Huffington Post

  11. Suzi

    I have not seen canning jars with the white lids, where do you find them? I love this idea and your recipes! Thank you!

  12. Pingback: Meals In A Jar: From Savory Dinner To Sweet Desserts : W3District

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