Easy Mediterranean-Style Chicken Salad Recipe

Easy Mediterranean-Style Chicken Salad Recipe

Here are three reasons why this easy Mediterranean-style chicken salad recipe needs to be a part of your weekly meal prep.

1. We all need more crispy crunchy refreshing salads in our lives.

I mean, let’s face it. As good as our intentions are to “eat more veggies”, how often is it that we somehow just don’t manage that goal as much as we would like. My solution is to have the food I want to be eating ready to go in the fridge, so that when I’m hungry, brain dead, and just need something to pull out without thinking, dishes like this chicken salad recipe are right at my fingertips.

easy chicken salad

2. It’s super versatile: You can swap in different seasonal veggies all year round.

I’m going to point out a “mistake” to you. Notice that the photo above does not match the ingredients as listed in the recipe below. This is because when I made this easy chicken salad to photograph, I got super excited about the bounty of fresh veg in my fridge, and kinda ended up abandoning the recipe. And by abandon, I mean added red bell pepper because it sounded good, omitted the celery because I figured the fennel bulb was enough, and added a HUGE pile of parsley because I wanted to use up a bunch that I had kicking around in the fridge for awhile. (It was nice and fresh, btw, because I store it like this). My point is, use what you have on hand. I suggest keeping the veggies to two or three different types, and don’t feel restricted by the ingredient list below.

3. It takes just a few minutes to make, and actually gets better as it sits in the fridge.

If you use a store bought rotisserie chicken to make this salad, it takes just a few minutes of chopping before the salad comes together. When I have time, I like to cook my own chicken, as it makes it just that much better. To cook chicken breasts for this salad, I pull them out of the fridge an hour before cooking so that they come to room temperature. During this time, I salt them (about 1 teaspoon fine sea salt per pound of meat), and sprinkle with a spice blend (I like an Italian seasoning), and put them on a baking sheet. After an hour, I preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and cook the chicken breasts for 30 minutes or so. To test for done-ness, use an instant read thermometer. The temperature should read 165 degrees F when done.

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Mediterranean-style Chicken Salad Recipe

A super delicious take on traditional chicken salad.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: easy chicken salad recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Aliye Aydin

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley
  • 2 small stalks celery
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 5 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken*
  • 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise** (I like an avocado oil based one from Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen)
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • fine sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Dice red onion and place in a small bowl with red wine vinegar. Set aside.
  • Soak currants in boiling water in another small bowl for about 15 minutes. Drain. If using raisins, chop them into smaller pieces.
  • Zest and juice lemon. Mince 3 Tablespoons parsley leaves and dice celery. Dice fennel bulb. Toast pine nuts. 
  • Put chicken in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, parsley, celery, diced fennel, pine nuts, mayonnaise, ground fennel seeds, and cinnamon. Add in soaked onions (leave the vinegar behind), and taste. Add salt and more vinegar if desired. 

Notes

*If you're short on time, purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store. Alternatively, bake 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Be sure to season with 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before cooking.
**If you're not a fan of mayonnaise, use 3/4 cup plain yogurt mixed with 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil as a substitute, or omit altogether.
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