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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep

This Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep is a make-ahead spin on the basic American dish. It’s a tasty chilly lunch stuffed with crunchy veggies, hard-boiled eggs, deli meat and cheese, and topped with home made Thousand Island fashion dressing!

easy chef salad meal prep with dressing cup in a glass meal prep container.

I keep in mind ordering this salad as a child as a result of it was stuffed with meat, cheese, and people tiny child cooked shrimps. Don’t even keep in mind if I ate the precise salad. However all these toppings had been my jam! And I simply by no means obtained that type of ingredient variation on one plate at residence, ?

Lately, I do eat the entire salad, homegrown lettuce and all. However prep is lots of chopping all these random components, which is one thing I really like to show into meal prep. Get all of it finished without delay and luxuriate in easy meals for the subsequent couple of days!

What’s a chef salad?

The chef salad is a basic American salad consisting of sliced meat and cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and a wide range of greens together with cucumbers and tomatoes. Dressing to go together with the salad varies relying on the place you might be, and will be something from Thousand Island to Ranch to French Dressing.

The precise origins of this dish are a bit unknown, because it has at all times been extra of a template than a particular recipe, however it began showing in American cookbooks within the 1930’s. One other model was served Ritz-Carlton New York Metropolis within the Nineteen Forties.

This salad is really easy to switch with what you have already got in your kitchen! Change up the veggies, meats or cheeses. You possibly can strive my fast home made Thousand Island, or use a bottled dressing to save lots of much more time. I hope you take pleasure in this basic lunch salad that I’m positive you’ll sit up for all morning!

Recipe Overview

Whole Time: half-hour
Issue: Simple
Methodology: Stovetop
Prep: Make-Forward Pleasant

What are the components on this Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep?

The salad itself is made with components you’ll be able to positively discover at any grocery retailer. And should you can’t discover one thing, I guess you’ll be able to simply skip it and use one thing else! You can even simply modify the portion sizes by together with kind of sliced meat and cheese.

You may make my home made Thousand Island dressing to go together with, or simply use your favourite bottled dressing. This recipe is tremendous versatile, which is what makes it really easy.

ingredients for the easy chef salad meal prep before cutting.

Listed below are the components I used for the precise salad pictured right here, plus slightly information on every:

  • romaine lettuce – You should utilize nearly any inexperienced leafy salad combine as a base for chef salad. I develop plenty of romaine in my yard, in order that’s what I went with! Different nice choices are leafy inexperienced & pink lettuce, Bibb lettuce, watercress and extra!
  • eggs – Exhausting-boiled eggs are a basic ingredient within the chef salad, plus they add some additional protein and a creamy texture to the salad.
  • sliced deli ham & smoked turkey – These are the 2 deli meats I selected for my salad, however there are a number of choices you’ll be able to select for a chef salad, together with: sliced rooster breast, bacon, leftover diced ham, tiny cooked shrimp, or deli sliced rooster.
  • cheddar cheese & swiss cheese – As soon as once more, be happy to choose to your favourite cheeses or no matter you have got readily available. Almost any sliced cheese can be scrumptious, or should you’ve obtained crumbly cheese like feta, that will work too!
  • grape or cherry tomatoes & cucumber – Whereas it’s all fairly versatile, most chef salads do have tomatoes and cucumbers concerned. I really like cucumbers for the crunch and tomatoes for the flavour!
  • pepperoncinis – My private contact to this basic salad is a few sliced pepperoncinis. I completely love the tangy vibe they create to the salad, which does properly in balancing the candy dressing taste.

The dressing components are all pantry staples that come collectively to create a creamy & tangy scrumptious home made dressing you gained’t imagine you made your self!

ingredients to make the salad dressing for the easy chef salad meal prep before mixing.

Right here’s what I used for the dressing:

  • mayonnaise – Say what you need however mayonnaise makes an excellent base for creamy dressings!
  • ketchup – Including a little bit of ketchup brings some sweetness, taste, and coloration to the dressing.
  • dill pickle relish – If you happen to don’t have relish, you should use finely diced dill pickles! This provides taste and tang to the dressing.
  • lemon juice – Somewhat burst of acid brightens the flavour of the dressing!
  • onion powder & candy paprika – These are our seasonings that deliver taste in addition to a contact of coloration from the paprika.
  • sugar & salt – The tiniest pinch of sugar to sweeten and a pinch of salt to stability all of it out. If you happen to’re utilizing candy pickle relish, skip the additional sugar!

How do you make this Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep?

This salad is without doubt one of the best meal prep lunches to place collectively! The three fundamental steps embrace: exhausting boil the eggs, make the dressing, after which prep and assemble the meal prep containers.

Begin by cooking the eggs in your most popular methodology to a tough boil. You should utilize the Prompt Pot, or the basic stovetop methodology. After the eggs have cooked and completed their ice tub, take away the shells and roughly chop the eggs into chew sized items. Set them apart in a bowl or just on the slicing board.

Subsequent, combine up the dressing in a small bowl. Give it a style and see what you suppose. If it’s too salty, add a pinch of sugar. If it’s too candy, add a pinch of salt.

You possibly can divide the dressing into small meal prep bowls to go together with every salad, or preserve it saved on this mixing bowl till you want it. This dressing positively tastes even higher after 24 hours or so within the fridge to let the flavors meld collectively.

before and after mixing up the dressing for the easy chef salad meal prep.

Time to prep the remaining components and separate them into your particular person meal prep containers. For the meats and cheeses, I like to rearrange them in a stack and roughly minimize into squares.

For the cucumber, peel half of the peel away to provide it a striped look. Reduce the cucumber into quarter moon items. Use a paper towel to pat the cucumber items dry. This helps to cut back moisture and preserve the meal prep bowl brisker for longer.

You can even deseed the cucumber to cut back the moisture even additional. After peeling, minimize it in half to disclose the seeds by your entire cucumber. Use a spoon to take away the seeds.

Make sure you absolutely drain and pat dry the pepperoncinis so that they don’t add an excessive amount of moisture to the salad. I additionally want to go away the cherry tomatoes complete to maintain the moisture inside.

cutting up the ham and cucumber on a cutting board for the easy chef salad meal prep.
prepping and cutting all the ingredients for the chef salad on a cutting board.

After all of the components are prepped, it’s time to assemble the salads. You should utilize a glass meal prep bowl like I did within the photographs, or go for the mason jar salad methodology with the dressing on the underside and salad on the highest.

Divide all of the components evenly between every container. If you wish to add or change any components, now’s the time! My greatest recommendation is to maintain the moisture low. If you happen to’re uncertain, add the additional components proper whenever you’re about to benefit from the salad.

Can I swap the cheese and meat for one thing else?

Completely! The fantastic thing about this salad is you should use your favourite sliced meats, and even leftover sliced rooster or diced ham. There are additionally variations of this salad that embrace cooked shrimp.

Swap the cheese for any sort you want – sliced or cubed cheese is the basic approach, however you may also go for any type of crumbled or shredded cheese you like or have already got readily available.

easy chef salad meal prep in rectangular glass containers.
easy chef salad meal prep with dressing in rectangular glass containers.

What do you have to serve with this meal prep salad?

My prime advice is to serve this salad with my favourite home made air fryer croutons! In fact you’ll be able to go together with store-bought, however these are WAY higher, I promise.

If you might want to do away with any recent herbs, you’ll be able to positively add these to the salad as properly. I had a mixture of chopped dill and parsley leftover from one other recipe and it was a beautiful addition.

Greatest ideas for meal prepping this Simple Chef Salad:

Listed below are my greatest ideas for making these Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep bowls prove as scrumptious as potential:

  • Take away as a lot moisture as potential from all parts of the salad! Further moisture is the primary cause this salad will begin to go unhealthy within the fridge. Make it last more by eradicating moisture.
  • Retailer the dressing individually till proper earlier than serving! This may be in a completely separate container, or in a small dressing cup saved in the identical meal prep container (as pictured right here!).
  • Cucumbers: To scale back moisture from the cucumbers, you’ll be able to take away the seeds from the middle after slicing the cucumber in half. That is the a part of the cucumber that often will get delicate first.
  • Tomatoes: To maintain the tomatoes agency, I like to recommend leaving them complete within the salad.

The place do you get these meal prep containers?

It’s so essential to have reliable containers to your meal prepped meals (see ALL my suggestions right here!). Hermetic, glass, freezer protected – these are a few of my necessities.

For this meal, I used 3-Cup Pyrex Rectangle Glass Containers (affiliate hyperlink!), however any container with a lid that may match a minimum of 3 cups of lunch will work! You can even use a big mason jar and observe the mason jar salad methodology!

plated chef salad with fresh veggies, croutons, meat and cheese on a bed of romaine.
plated chef salad with fresh veggies, croutons, meat and cheese on a bed of romaine with dressing.

Is that this recipe freezer-friendly?

I might not advocate freezing this recipe. With all of the recent components, it simply wouldn’t work.

Find out how to retailer this Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep:

Preserve the dressing in a separate container able to pour over the salad simply earlier than serving. I used small salad dressing containers (affiliate hyperlink!) with their very own silicone lids which match immediately into the meal prep container. Put the lids on and retailer within the fridge for as much as 3 days for highest quality. 


easy chef salad meal prep with dressing in rectangular glass containers.

Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep

Prep: 20 minutesCook dinner: 10 minutesWhole: half-hour

This Simple Chef Salad Meal Prep is a make-ahead spin on the basic American salad. This tasty chilly lunch is filled with crunchy veggies, hard-boiled eggs, deli meat and cheese, and topped with home made Thousand Island fashion dressing!


For the dressing:

For the salad:


  1. Boil the eggs: Exhausting-boil the eggs utilizing your most popular methodology, I like to make use of the 5-5-5 Prompt Pot methodology, or you’ll be able to use the stovetop for a standard methodology. You may make the salad dressing whereas the eggs are cooking. As soon as the eggs are completed with their ice tub, peel them, roughly chop, and put aside for later.
  2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, mix all dressing components, then stir till the dressing is properly blended and no clumps stay. For meal prep, divide the dressing between 4 small cups after which put aside. This dressing tastes higher the subsequent day, after all of the flavors have melded collectively for a minimum of 24 hours or so.
  3. Prep salad components: To prep the deli meat, stack slices and minimize all of the items collectively without delay to get roughly chopped squares of meat. Repeat the identical course of with the cheese, stacking the slices collectively and roughly chopping into squares. Go away tomatoes complete to cut back moisture. Half peel the cucumber so it seems stripey, then roughly chop into quarter moons. End by patting the cucumbers dry with a paper towel to cut back moisture. You can even select to scrape out the seeds with a spoon earlier than slicing to even additional cut back moisture. Lastly, guarantee your lettuce is washed and dried.  
  4. Meal prep it: Divide the chopped lettuce between 4 meal prep containers, topping every portion with 1 / 4 of the minimize deli meat and cheese, and one hard-boiled egg every. Divide the tomatoes, cucumber and pepperoncinis between every of the 4 containers. Preserve the dressing in a separate container able to pour over the salad simply earlier than serving. Put the lids on and retailer within the fridge for as much as 3 days for highest quality.


Servings: This recipe is well adaptable for kind of than 4 servings. Every meal prep salad incorporates: 1 cup packed lettuce, 1 exhausting boiled egg, 3-4 slices deli meat, 1-2 slices cheese, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup cucumbers, and a pair of tablespoons pepperoncini peppers.

Dressing recipe tailored from Thousand Island Dressing from Merely Recipes. Diet data estimated with My Health Pal.

Diet Info

  • Serving Dimension: 1 salad bowl
  • Energy: 617
  • Fats: 47g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Protein: 32g


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