Marinated chicken, a sweet-tangy vinaigrette and just the right toppings make this Chicken Souvlaki Salad a showstopper recipe.
I used to order a salad at a pizza joint near my house in Connecticut. It was one that came highly recommended from friends and family — and I fell hard for it. The combination of warm marinated chicken, briny feta cheese and a lemony shallot vinaigrette was a party for my taste buds.
When we moved, that was among the material things I missed from Connecticut. (See also: pizza, deli sandwiches and just-made fresh mozzarella.)
To rectify the situation, I started making my own version. The chicken souvlaki was the easiest part — I’ve made that before. But the right combination of toppings was a careful balance that had to be struck. And then there was the vinaigrette — a little sweet, a little tart, robust — that took more finagling.
But I eventually got it right. And now, I can have this beloved salad whenever I want.
Making Chicken Souvlaki Salad
The salad is both flexible and easy to make. But that comes last. With recipes like this, you have to start at the beginning: marinating the chicken.
Lemon, garlic, oregano … those are the building blocks of the flavor in the marinated chicken. Whisk together the marinade and then pour it all over the chicken breasts. Cover it and let those flavors meld over at least three hours.
Trust me, it’s worth the time.
Once the marinating is done, the chicken is cooked in a skillet on a stove. Easy.
Next comes the vinaigrette. It has a layered flavor — sweet, tangy, bold — that is a result of the combination of ingredients. Lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, a minced shallot, olive oil and a few other ingredients are whisked together.
If you can, make this while the chicken is cooking so that it can sit a few minutes before using it. That will let the flavors mingle more.
Then, finally, assemble the salads. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, warm chicken, feta — those are the ingredients I recommend using.
But this salad is so flexible. Omit the parts you aren’t interested in. Add other ones you are (artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, other vegetables) interested in.
You’ll see here that I also have steamed broccolini on the salad pictured. It came recently in my Misfits Market box, so I thought “why not?” And it was a tasty addition.
Once you have your salads all arranged, dress it with the vinaigrette. Then dig in.
This Chicken Souvlaki Salad is a dish I love enjoying year-round, but it’s especially good in the summer. If you want to make it even more special, try it with warmed pita bread. Delightful!
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 package romaine hearts, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the chicken in a resealable bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, kosher salt and black pepper until well combined. Pour over the chicken, seal the bag and marinate for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a grill pan in the oven. Once hot, add the chicken and cook, turning once, for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the oven carefully.
- Meanwhile, assemble the salad by layering the ingredients in four bowls. Cut the chicken into slices and divide evenly among the bowls.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Drizzle over the salads. Serve immediately.