I was grocery shopping last week and I noticed in the weekly flyer that they were running a sale on a “Limited Edition” Greek Chicken Salad dip. While it sounded tasty, it was ground so small it was almost unrecognizable. When I read the list of ingredients, it sounded similar to a chicken salad I already make at home so I thought: “I’ll pass on that and make it myself this weekend.” Today, I’d like to share my Greek Chicken Salad with you!
I started with a whole chicken I roasted earlier in the morning, but if you have some leftover chicken or want to pick up a rotisserie chicken, that will work, too. Both white and dark meat are fine as long as it’s been picked clean of any bones.
Next, we add the fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, hot pepperocini peppers, and some Greek kalamata olives. If you do not have Kalamata olives, use black olives. They will also work great in this salad. If you prefer not to use olives at all, omit them altogether. You might also like to add chopped red onion. I think raw onions are sometimes overpowering in a salad and many people do not like them. I have left them out of my recipe but if you like red onion, it does go well in this salad, too. I have included them in the recipe and in the notes.
Now, mix the fresh chopped parsley, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and seasonings together in a small bowl and toss it together with the chicken and fresh vegetables. Yes, you read that right. This chicken salad contains no mayonnaise. All you need is a single serving container of plain Greek yogurt. Believe me, you won’t even miss the mayonnaise in this Greek Chicken Salad. The Greek yogurt is thick and tangy in it’s own right, but when we add the blend of fresh herbs, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and other seasonings, it takes it to the next level.
Lastly, add the Greek Feta cheese and toss to combine. When I am using this for sandwiches, I prefer to leave it pretty chunky. For a dip, I cut everything up a little smaller – I like to still be able to identify the ingredients, and I have to admit it always feels a little indulgent to see all the yummy things you’re getting in each bite.
If you’re making this for a party, you can easily make it a day or two ahead of your party. It will give the salad flavors a chance to meld. When I make it ahead, I still cut my fresh tomatoes and cucumbers the day of the party and just mix them into the salad just ahead of the party so they don’t wilt or let off too much water.
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Need some other quick appetizers? Check these out:
Greek Chicken Salad
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast or thighs [See Note 1]
- 1 small cucumber , peeled and chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , sliced in half
- 1/2 small red onion , finely chopped [See Note 2]
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese , plain or herbed [See Note 3]
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives , sliced in thirds [See Note 4]
- 4 hot pepperoncini peppers , seeded, stemmed and chopped [See Note 5]
- 1 (5.3 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually about 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley , coarsely chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper , to taste
- In a medium-size bowl, add the chicken, cucumber, red onion (optional), pepperoncini, and olives.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add to the chicken salad and stir to coat.
- Add the feta cheese and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving for the flavors to meld. [See Note 5]
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Red onion can be overpowering and not all guests enjoy red onions. I left this out of my recipe for a crowd but do include it when I make this for my husband and myself.
- Feta cheese - I use herbed Greek feta crumbles. You may also use plain feta.
- If you do not have Greek Kalamata olives substitute black olives - or omit them altogether
- If you do not care for hot pepperccini peppers, omit them -or use sweet pepper rings.
- If you're making this for a party, you can easily make it a day or two ahead of your party. It will give the salad flavors a chance to meld. When I make it ahead of a party, I still cut my fresh tomatoes and cucumbers the day of the party and mix them into the salad just ahead of the party so they don't wilt or let off too much water.