Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Do you have a favorite chicken salad? I love making chicken salad because it’s so versatile. You can easily make it ahead, it holds up well for a picnic or potluck, and you can eat it straight, in bread or toast as a sandwich, or toss it with lettuce or pasta. Here’s a tangy twist on the classic we know and love, a Mediterranean-style chicken salad with chopped poached chicken, lots of olives, capers, red onions soaked in red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Serve it straight, or toss it with some pasta. Or serve it in lettuce cups. If you want to be extra fancy, make little boats with a spoonful of this chicken salad in endive leaves. Endive tastes especially good with the salad’s olives, oil, and vinegar.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad on Simply Recipes

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

There are lots of uses for this basic salad. Try mixing some cooked pasta in with it. Or placing a spoonful into boats of endive lettuce. Endive tastes particularly good with this salad, so it would also work just to chop some up and add it to the chicken salad. You could also stuff an avocado half with it, or stuff fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • 2  Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 3/4 cup mixed pitted deli olives, sliced
  • 1 pinch of red chile flakes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or basil (or both!)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Black pepper to taste

Optional:

  • Endive lettuce for appetizer boats, or chopped to add to the salad
  • Butter lettuce for lettuce cups
  • Fusilli pasta, about 1/4 pound dry for one batch of the salad (use gluten-free pasta for gluten-free option)

Method

1 Mix the minced onion with the vinegar in a bowl and set aside.

2 Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil and add about 2 tablespoons of salt. Cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise and place them in the water. Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken cook very gently, at barely a simmer, for 10-15 minutes, until just cooked through.

3 While the chicken is cooking, mix the olive oil, capers, olives, chile flakes, and oregano in a large bowl. When the chicken is done, place it on a cutting board to cool. Add the onions to the bowl with the olives. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, cut it into dice or shred it. Gently mix the chicken and parsley in with the olives. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Links:

Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Orzo and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, from The Picky Apple

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwiches, from The Kitchn

Greek Grilled Chicken Salad, from Aggie's Kitchen

Mediterranean Chicken Salad on Simply Recipes

 

22 Comments

  1. Sandy S

    Looking forward to trying this chicken salad! Sounds very tasty. I usually add almonds and dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries or currants) to regular chicken salad with celery and mayo. Which I do like. But, this recipe is a whole new take and I appreciate the suggestion of GF pasta!

  2. Dunja

    Hi Elise,
    you asked and I felt compelled to answer! I have followed your site, commented on recipes, and cooked my heart out to your recipes for many years, you are absolutely my favorite food blog out there. Just to prove my point, yesterday I made three BBQ sauces from recipes on your site, the Kansas City Style, the South Carolina Mustard, and the Dr. Pepper, I served them all at today’s Memorial Day cookout and each was a huge hit, with the South Carolina sauce being the favorite, I also made the Antipasto Salad and it was simply divine. So when you asked which chicken salad was my favorite, I did not have to think about it, because it is hands down your Circassian Chicken Salad, which is so incredibly good I make it often and it’s always a hit. This salad looks wonderful as well and I am sure I will try it, but the one above is just my absolute favorite. Just thought I let you know. Keep up your wonderful work, you are always my first go-to when I need something new and delicous to cook or bake, I also love that Hank is contributing such delicious stuff, you guys rock! :)

  3. Michelle

    This is great – I’m always on the lookout for good non-mayo salads to take to the pool in the summer. Unfortuantely, my favorite chicken salad has mayo – it’s a Persian Salad Olivieh – which pretty much combines chicken salad, egg salad, and potato salad all into one, with pickles, onions, peas, and lemon juice to boot. It sounds crazy but it is to die for.

  4. Aggie

    Chicken salad is probably my favorite way to eat chicken, and the options are endless. This one is right up my alley with all it’s Mediterranean add ins – delicious!! Thanks so much for linking to my Chicken Greek Salad – another favorite ;)

  5. mantha

    Light and tasty looking. That’s a really pretty presentation in the endive boats for an outdoor patio “buffet” — I wouldn’t have thought of that.
    Summer’s here!

  6. Lisa

    Looks yummy, but I would definitely leave out the red pepper flakes. Tossed with pasta, this would be a huge hit with my family!

  7. Melissa

    That sounds light and lovely. In answer to your question, I do have a favorite chicken salad, although that’s subject to change every few months. The current favorite is diced chicken with dukkah (almonds, coriander, cumin, sesame, black pepper) and either olive oil and red wine vinegar or yogurt. I add chopped apples and celery to it. I love the crunch of the apple and celery, as well as the citrusy tang of the coriander. And the almonds, cumin, and sesame give just a little earthy balance.

  8. Jackie

    This is delicious! Instead of poaching chicken breasts for this, I made some Avgolemono, Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup, using skinless but not boneless thighs. Then I used the cooked thigh meat for this salad the next day. Paired both of them with a Greek salad made with spinach…and yum!

  9. Heidi

    Wow, this was deceptively good. Simple ingredients that blend together perfectly. I followed the directions, using dried basil since that’s what I had on hand. Quality chicken is essential since there is no mayo to cover it up! Will make again.

  10. anna

    I cheated and used rotisserie chicken and it was FANTASTIC! I’ll pickle the red onions longer next time. This will be a summer favorite. thanks!

  11. Jack

    I made half the recipe a few hours ago, but left out the pasta. This was tasty, but rather dry. For leftovers, I may try adding more olive oil or even some yogurt.

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