This ras el hanout-spiced grilled chicken salad is full of delicious Mediterranean spices and flavors. Its star is tender grilled chicken that’s marinated in a Greek yogurt and ras el hanout spice mix. The salad is finished with feta, olives, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomato, parsley and a delicious lemon sumac dressing.
For more light Mediterranean flavors, be sure to also check out this pesto orzo salad with grilled shrimp!
Why make this recipe?
This is a delicious meal salad that I make over and over again throughout the summer. It’s full of flavorful spices and vegetables you typically find in Mediterranean cuisine.
The star of the salad are the juicy and tender grilled chicken bites that are marinated in ras el hanout-spiced Greek yogurt. The spices infuse the meat and give it a delicious and complex flavor while the yogurt gently tenderizes the chicken without making it rubbery.
The dressing is a bright and flavorful mix of lemon juice, sumac, cumin, a little bit of salt and olive oil and it works beautifully with all the fresh vegetables.
What is ras el hanout?
Ras el hanout is a north African spice blend and, loosely translated, the term means “the best spices on offer.” That means that there is no hard and fast rule as to what all can go into a ras el hanout blend. But, some spices are common among the different ras el hanout versions, including cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander and clove.
The spices I use in my ras el hanout blend are:
- fennel seeds
- black peppercorns
You can make ras el hanout either from whole spice seeds or from already ground spices. If you use spice seeds, you’ll need to grind them before mixing the blend together.
How to make the salad:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Marinate and grill the chicken:
Step 1. Gather your ingredients: Greek yogurt, fresh lemon, ras el hanout, salt and chicken breast.
Step 2. Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, ras el hanout and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the chicken chunks. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 10 hours.
Step 3. Take the chicken out and lightly shake off excess marinade. (You can also use a paper towel to lightly dab off excess marinade.) Skewer the chicken and grill on a grill or a grill pan.
Prepare the salad ingredients:
Step 4. Finely chop parsley, quarter or chop artichoke hearts, core and dice tomatoes and slice and quarter cucumber.
Make the lemon sumac dressing:
Step 5. Gather the dressing ingredients: sumac, fresh lemon, cumin, salt and olive oil.
Step 6. Whisk all ingredients together.
Note: The ground sumac will settle to the bottom, so be sure to spoon the dressing on the salad immediately after whisking it together.
How to serve the salad:
Add salad greens onto plates. Top the greens with tomato, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and cucumber. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese and parsley on top. Distribute the grilled chicken chunks between the plates. Drizzle with the dressing.
Recipe notes & tips:
- Cutting the chicken into small pieces (rather than marinating whole chicken breasts) ensures that the marinade can really infuse the meat well. It also makes for a really short grilling time (about 10 minutes).
- Be sure to keep a little bit of marinade on the chicken to give it a velvety, flavorful and slightly tangy coating. That coating not only tastes delicious, it also protects the meat during grilling and keeps it from getting dry or tough.
Frequently asked questions:
You can store the individual components of the salad (the vegetables, the chicken and the dressing) in separate, airtight containers in the fridge for up to a day. Once you’ve spooned the dressing onto the salad it’s best to eat it.
Absolutely. But, as always, I recommend that you get the blend from a dedicated spice shop to ensure freshness and quality.
Ras el hanout has an earthy flavor that is balanced with citrus from cardamom and a hint of sweetness from cinnamon and clove. The blend works great with chicken.
More Mediterranean recipes you’ll love:
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating or comment! Thanks!
Full Printable Recipe
Ras el Hanout-Spiced Grilled Chicken Salad with Sumac Dressing
- measuring cups and spoons
- spice grinder or mortar and pestle (if using spice seeds)
- citrus juicer
- knife and cutting board
- mixing bowl
- rubber spatula
- paper towels
- meat thermometer (recommended)
For the ras el hanout spice blend (makes about 2 tablespoons):*
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or ½ teaspoon ground coriander)
- ½ teaspoon whole cloves (or ⅜ teaspoon ground clove)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (or ¾ teaspoon ground fennel seeds)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ¾ teaspoon ground cumin)
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or ¾ teaspoon ground fenugreek)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (or 1 teaspoon ground black pepper)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the chicken:
- ½ cup plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ras el hanout
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
For the salad:
- 2 cups salad greens
- 4 artichoke hearts, drained (you can use plain from a can or marinated from a jar)
- ½ cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 12 kalamata olives
- 1 large or 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground sumac
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the ras el hanout spice blend:
- If you're using spice seeds, grind all seeds in a spice grinder or in a mortar with a pestle, then mix in the cinnamon. If you're using ground spices, mix all spices together.
For the chicken:
- Whisk yogurt, ras el hanout, salt and lemon juice together in a bowl. Mix in the chicken, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 10 hours.
- Shake excess marinade off the chicken or dab the chicken lightly with a paper towel to remove excess marinade.
- 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 10 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.
For the salad:
- Assemble the salad: start with the salad greens, then add artichoke hearts, cucumber, olives and tomato. Sprinkle feta and parsley on top, then add the chicken.
For the dressing:
- Whisk all ingredients together, then spoon the dressing onto the salad. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.