If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise and celery in your chicken salad, try this Mediterranean chicken salad instead. It’s made with olive oil, and it’s healthy and delicious.
I really like classic chicken salad. I like the creamy mayonnaise-based sauce, the crunch from the celery. But not everyone likes the classic recipe and many health-conscious people don’t want mayonnaise in their salad.
A healthy variation on the classic salad
If you’re one of them, or just feel like trying something new, this healthy Mediterranean chicken salad, made with olive oil, is perfect for you.
The medley of textures and flavors in this delicious salad is exquisite. Instead of mayonnaise, the dressing is based on olive oil and red wine vinegar. With capers, olives and fresh herbs, this is a unique, fresh-tasting chicken salad.
I also love the way macerating the red onions in vinegar takes the edge off, just enough that they’re not unpleasantly sharp.
The ingredients you’ll need
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this tasty salad (exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
- Olive oil spray
- Minced red onion
- Red wine vinegar
- Chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Pitted black olives
- Chopped fresh oregano
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Shredded lettuce
How to make Mediterranean chicken salad
It’s easy! The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Bake your chicken breasts, cool and cube them.
- Macerate red onions in some vinegar (so that they’re not so sharp and pungent).
- Mix the dressing in a large serving bowl.
- Add the cubed chicken, the macerated red onions, and cilantro to the bowl. Toss to coat, then serve.
Needless to say, this recipe becomes even easier and quicker if you use leftover cooked chicken.
How to serve Mediterranean chicken salad
Served on a bed of shredded lettuce, this tasty salad is the perfect lunch. But sometimes, on hot summer nights when I don’t feel like cooking, I serve it for dinner. No one complains!
Since it’s a full meal, there’s really no need to serve it with anything on the side. But if you wish, you can serve it with some toasted and buttered almond flour bread. You can also stuff the salad in lettuce wraps.
Is this a healthy recipe?
What about leftovers?
With the exception of the lettuce, you can keep leftovers of this Mediterranean chicken salad in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
More tasty chicken salads
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Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- Olive oil spray
- 1/2 medium red onion, minced (3 oz)
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, 8 oz each
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (2 oz)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 6 cups shredded lettuce
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray it with olive oil spray.
- In a small bowl, mix the minced red onion with the vinegar. Set aside.
- Place the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray them with olive oil spray. Bake until juicily cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: in a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, capers, olives, and oregano.
- When the chicken is ready, transfer it to a cutting board and allow to slightly cool, about 5 minutes. Add the red onions and the vinegar to the dressing. Cube the chicken.
- Add the cubed chicken and the cilantro to the dressing. Toss gently to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, on a bed of shredded lettuce.