This Mediterranean salad has a tangy dressing that also serves as an easy marinade for chicken. It makes for the juiciest grilled chicken you’ll ever eat! Make this recipe for a delicious summer meal.

Greek chicken salad on round white dinner plate

Creating light dinners in the summer months is easy, especially if you use an outdoor grill!

For a protein packed, filling meal without heating up your kitchen, look no further than to a salad that you top with your favorite grilled meat, seafood, or poultry.

Thai chicken skewers are a summertime favorite of my family. To shake up the flavor, I decided to make a Greek chicken salad. This easy salad recipe is a great way to incorporate Mediterranean flavors into grilled chicken breasts.

If you don’t have a grill, it’s not a problem. You can simply cook the chicken in a pan on the stove top, or even make baked chicken breasts if you want to.

Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Chicken

In and of themselves, the ingredients are simple. But the combination of them creates flavor in the Greek chicken salad that is beyond delicious.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Mediterranean salad ingredients in glass bowls along with raw chicken breasts

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to make 4 thin cutlets (or 3-4 thinly sliced chicken breasts)
  • English cucumbers – Also known as hot house or European, these cucumbers have thinner skin and are often seedless. Traditional cucumbers are fine, but you may want to remove the seeds from them.
  • Chopped tomatoes – Use your favorite variety. Anything from tiny grape tomatoes to large tomatoes with the seeds removed will be fine.
  • Baby arugula – Baby lettuces have less intense flavor. As a result, kids tend to like them more.
  • Red onion, cut into very thin slices (I like to soak these in red wine vinegar for 30 minutes before adding them to the salad)
  • Kalamata olives
  • Crumbled feta cheese

Easy marinade for chicken and the salad dressing

  • Olive oil – If you prefer another healthy oil, such as avocado or grapeseed, go for it.
  • Lemon juice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Minced garlic – Mincing fresh garlic cloves will give you the best flavor, but jars of minced garlic are great too. Even garlic paste works well.
  • Dried herbs and spices – oregano, basil, cumin, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and kosher or sea salt.
  • Sugar – I use a teaspoon of sugar for sweetness and to cut the acidity from the vinegar, but you can omit it if you need or want to. 

How To Make Grilled Chicken Salad step by step collage shows how to make easy marinade for chicken and use it for grilled chicken breasts

Start with the chicken!

  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and salad dressing in a jar and set aside.
  2. Pour half of the marinade into the bag with the chicken and seal the top.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Avoid marinating for longer than that because the chicken will become waterlogged. As a result, the texture of the chicken will be soggy.
  4. Cook or grill the chicken.

TO GRILL CHICKEN:

  • After the chicken finishes marinating, preheat your grill to medium-high.
  • Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  • Transfer the grilled chicken breasts to a cutting board, then tent them with foil and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

slices of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, and arugula in large glass bowl

Now onto the rest of the ingredients…

While the chicken is marinating, it’s the perfect time to prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.

Optional: Pickled onions

If you want to, you can pickle the red onion. Not only will it add a nice boost of flavor to the Mediterranean salad, but it’s also really simple to do!

TO PICKLE THE ONIONS:

  • Cut 1/4 of a large red onion into thin slices and place them into a quart size mason jar or zip top bag.
  • Then, cover the onion with red wine vinegar, seal the jar or bag, and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

 

Mediterranean salad on a white plate with slices of grilled chicken breast

Once the chicken is cooked it’s time to put it all together. You’ll want to wait to dress the salad until just before serving so it stays crisp and fresh. 

Assemble the Mediterranean salad

  1. Toss all the remaining ingredients for the salad together.
  2. Slice the chicken and add it to the salad.
  3. Shake the dressing to recombine the ingredients, then add just enough to the salad to add flavor, without drowning it.

 

Love the flavors of this salad? Be sure to try check out this Hummus Wrap with Mediterranean Vegetables

 

I hope you like this recipe as much as we do. If you do leave me a comment/rating below – I’d love to hear from you! 

Greek chicken salad with tomatoes cucumbers and chopped chicken
5 from 1 vote

Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Chicken

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
marinade 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 4 servings
This Mediterranean salad has a tangy dressing that's also an easy marinade for grilled chicken. Make this recipe for a flavorful summer meal.

Ingredients

For Marinade/Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon EACH dried basil, sugar, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH cumin, onion powder, paprika, black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts sliced horizontally
  • 2 English or Hot House cucumbers peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 red onion very thinly sliced (I like to soak these in red wine vinegar for 30 minutes before adding them to the salad)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives halved
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions 

  • Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and set aside.
  • Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and pour over half of the dressing mixture. (Reserve the other half for dressing the salad.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  • While the chicken marinades you can prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. This is also a good time to pickle the onions if you like.
  • TO GRILL: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grill the chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board then tent the chicken with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
    TO COOK IN A SKILLET: Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a skillet. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the chicken. Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
  • Toss all the remaining ingredients for the salad together. Slice the chicken and add to the salad. Shake the dressing and add just enough to to the salad. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Omit the feta cheese. It will still have lots of flavor!
English cucumbers – Also known as hot house or European, these cucumbers have thinner skin and are often seedless. Traditional cucumbers are fine, but you may want to remove the seeds from them.
TO PICKLE THE ONIONS:
  • Cut 1/4 of a large red onion into thin slices and place them into a quart size mason jar or zip top bag.
  • Then, cover the onion with red wine vinegar, seal the jar or bag, and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 548IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 2mg

This Mediterranean Salad was first posted on July 9, 2013. Photos and recipe updated on May 13, 2020. 

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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