A healthy and delicious combination of chicken, quinoa and Greek flavours.
Sometimes a salad is a wonderful side to a meal, like our fresh and simple maroulosalata and our fennel salad. Sometimes a light salad can be a meal, as is often the case during the summer months when our garden tomatoes are ripe and our Greek horiatiki or village salad is on repeat 7 days a week. And sometimes, like with this recipe, a salad can be a hearty meal, one that you can happily serve to a hungry family, and one which is substantial enough to serve guests invited to dine with you under the summer stars.
There are many layers of flavour with this salad. From the moist chicken marinated in all sorts of Greek goodness, to the varied, fresh veggies and the nuttiness of the quinoa. All of these tastes and textures combine to create a salad that is a little bit different with every bite. But don’t worry, every bite is delicious :).
Cooking chicken makes me nervous. How can I tell when my chicken is cooked through?
The best and most reliable way is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is done when your thermometer registers 160 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer (put it on your shopping list) then you can cut one of the chicken breasts at its thickest part and check the inside. You should see no pink, and the juices should run clear.
Do I have to use romaine lettuce? What if I prefer spring mix, or iceberg.
Dear friends, use the lettuce that makes you happy. For this salad we much prefer romaine lettuce because it is hearty and has all sorts of wonderful texture to help hold the quinoa and the dressing. Still, if you want to use a different lettuce, go ahead.
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Greek chicken and quinoa salad
- Outdoor grill or barbecue (optional)
- 4 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
For the chicken marinade
- 1/2 cup plain yogourt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp pepper
For the salad
- 12 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup quinoa
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- 4 tbsp chopped red onion
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- In a large bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade until well combined. Add in the chicken breast, turn to coat, and keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- When you are ready to cook your chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for no more than 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine your quinoa with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, for approximately 20 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and is cooked through.
- Preheat your outdoor grill or barbecue or your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain the excess marinade off of your chicken and place it on a lightly greased outdoor grill or oven grill or roasting pan.
- Cook until cooked completely through and no pink is remaining. This will take approximately 7 - 10 minutes per side depending upon the thickness of your chicken breasts. The internal temperature of your chicken should register at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once cooked, set aside to rest while you assemble the rest of your salad.
- Prepare your dressing by combining all ingredients in a mason jar and shaking vigorously. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Toss the lettuce, quinoa, parsley, red onion, tomatoes, olives, cucumber and feta with the dressing, keeping 2 - 3 tablespoons of the dressing to the side.
- To serve, slice each chicken breast into strips, or cut into cubes. Divide the salad among four serving plates and top each serving of salad with a chicken breast. Drizzle the chicken breast with a little of the salad dressing and enjoy!