Mediterranean Chicken Salad

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This mediterranean chicken salad is full of delicious flavors from a rainbow of vegetables, a drizzle of lemon sumac dressing and tender grilled chicken marinated in a yogurt and homemade ras el hanout spice mix.

mediterranean chicken salad

How to make mediterranean chicken salad:

The most important component of this mediterranean chicken salad (aside from the lemon sumac dressing) is the ras el hanout/yogurt marinade for the chicken. It not only flavors the chicken but the yogurt also tenderizes it and gives it a delicious, velvety, flavorful and slightly tangy coating.

What is ras el hanout?

Ras el hanout is a north African spice blend and I have actually used it before in a few recipes, such as this Caesar Salad with Grilled Ras el Hanout Chicken. There is no hard and fast rule as to what all should go into ras el hanout and the spices I use in my version are cardamom, coriander, clove, fennel, cumin, fenugreek, black peppercorns and cinnamon.

ras el hanout ingredients and measurements

I like to make the blend from whole seeds (plus ground cinnamon) because I have a large mortar and pestle and I like to grind spices but if you’d rather mix together already ground spices, that will work fine as well. (Or you can use an electric spice grinder, of course, if you have one.)

How to make the mediterranean chicken:

Once you have the ras el hanout spice blend, you whisk 1.5 teaspoons of it together with 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast that you cut up into bite-size pieces first. Having the chicken in small pieces like that (rather than marinating the breast whole) ensures that the marinade can really infuse the meat well and it also makes for a really short grilling time (just about ten minutes).

You marinate the chicken for at least two hours or up to ten hours. (So if you want to, you can put the chicken in the marinade in the morning and it will be ready for the grill by dinnertime.)

how to make mediterranean chicken salad step by step

You can grill the chicken either on a grill pan (which you can heat on the stovetop or put in a 450-degree Fahrenheit oven) or on your actual grill. If you use the actual grill, I recommend skewering the chicken pieces onto wooden skewers so they don’t get lost.

To grill the chicken, take the pieces out of the marinade and lightly shake off the excess but do leave enough marinade on to keep the chicken coated. The marinade coating will taste delicious after the chicken is grilled and also protects the meat during the cooking process so it won’t get tough.

how to make mediterranean chicken salad step by step

How to make the lemon sumac dressing:

The dressing is the second most important component for this mediterranean chicken salad and it is full of intense savory and tangy flavor from 2 teaspoons ground sumac, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

By itself the dressing tastes quite sharp but drizzled onto the salad with the grilled chicken, kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato and salad greens it works beautifully.

The dressing takes only a minute to whisk together, so you can make it right before serving.

More delicious light chicken dishes:

mediterranean chicken salad
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5 from 5 votes

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

This mediterranean chicken salad is full of delicious flavors from a rainbow of vegetables, a drizzle of lemon sumac dressing and tender grilled chicken marinated in a yogurt and homemade ras el hanout spice mix.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: lemon sumac dressing, mediterranean chicken salad
Servings: 2
Calories: 519kcal


For the ras el hanout spice blend:

  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the salad:

  • 1.5 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 4 canned artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • half a cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 12 kalamata olives
  • 1 large tomato, sliced and quartered
  • 2 cups salad greens
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


For the ras el hanout spice blend:

  • Grind all ingredients except for the cinnamon in a mortar with a pestle until finely ground.
  • Mix the cinnamon into the spice blend.

For the salad:

  • Whisk ras el hanout, yogurt, salt and lemon juice together in a bowl, marinate the chicken in it for at least 2 hours and up to 10 hours.
  • Shake excess marinade off the chicken (not too much though, you still want the pieces to be coated with marinade, just not swimming in it). 
  • Grill the chicken either on the grill or on a grill pan. (Heat the grill pan on the stovetop on high heat or heat it in the oven at 450 degrees F.)
    The chicken is ready when its internal temperature registers 165 degrees F. and that should take about ten minutes.
  • Assemble the salad.

For the dressing:

  • Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.


Calories: 519kcal

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mediterranean chicken salad

This entry was posted in Lunch.


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