This healthy, no-mayo Mediterranean chicken salad is hearty and packed with flavor and crunch! Cooked chicken, tossed with fresh herbs, shallots, celery, walnuts, and a couple of Mediterranean favorites including sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. You'll love the zippy Dijon dressing pulling this chicken salad recipe together!
The perfect way to use leftover rotisserie chicken!
I'll be the first to admit that a rotisserie chicken dinner is a lifesaver for busy moms.
And I've gotten creative with giving leftover rotisserie chicken a new life, tucked into something like breakfast egg muffins or shredded up and tossed with a few Mediterranean favorites to make a delicious chicken salad that packs crunch and flavor without the use of heavy mayo!
Healthy Chicken Salad, Mediterranean style
You'll love this Mediterranean twist on classic chicken salad, offering the right balance of crunch and flavor, thanks to fresh veggies, fresh parsley, walnuts, and artichoke hearts. And while I simply love sun-dried tomatoes tossed with pasta in a creamy sauce, they're delicious in this no-mayo chicken salad!
But to be honest, the biggest draw here is the bright Dijon dressing bringing this Mediterranean chicken salad to a new level of delicious!
Chicken salad dressing
Many people wonder how do I make a chicken salad dressing without using mayo? Dijon mustard, combined with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil is your answer! This dressing is equally rich and tangy, it will add great flavor without drowning the salad. Here's what you'll need to make this chicken salad dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tsp Dijon mustard
- Spices. I used sumac and paprika, but you can also use dried oregano
How to make healthy chicken salad
This recipe is easy to make in just three simple steps:
- Make the dressing
Combine ⅓ cup of good extra virgin olive oil, zest of 1 lemon, juice of 2 lemons (yes, you need the tang), 2 minced garlic cloves, and 3 teaspoons of good Dijon mustard. Season with Sumac and paprika (or you choice of spices). Whisk well to combine.
- Make the salad
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken), chopped shallot, 2 chopped celery stalks, marinated artichoke hearts (I used one can, drained), and a couple ounces of chopped sundried tomatoes. Add about a cup of chopped fresh parsley and ⅓ cup chopped walnuts.
- Add dressing and mix
Pour the delicious Dijon mustard dressing all over. Toss the chicken salad ingredients together, making sure the dressing is well distributed.
Tip for best homemade chicken salad
You can serve chicken salad immediately, but if you want the best flavor, allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for the flavors to meld. Cover and refrigerate the salad until you need it.
There is no wrong way to serve chicken salad with Dijon mustard. You can serve it out of the bowl for a potluck or picnic, or you can turn it into:
- Chicken salad sandwiches in your favorite bread
- Chicken salad lettuce wraps! This is a great low carb option using lettuce leaves to hold the chicken
How long will chicken salad last in the fridge?
Store leftovers in a tight lid containers in the fridge for 2 to 3 nights. If you are meal prepping and want it to last a day or two longer, you can prepare the chicken salad but do not add the dressing. Store the dressing in the fridge separately until you are ready to serve.
You can change up this Mediterranean chicken salad recipe. Here are a few ideas:
- Use olives in place of artichoke hearts
- Swap basil, dill, or cilantro (or a combination of fresh herbs) in place of parsley
- Use roasted garlic instead of or in addition to fresh garlic
- Throw in a handful of raisins for a hint of sweetness--a Sicilian twist
- Add a spoon or two of Greek yogurt in the salad dressing
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Healthy Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Style
For the Dijon Mustard Dressing
For the Chicken Salad
- 12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded (Rotisserie chicken will work here)
- 1 to 2 shallots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 15- ounce can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 to 2 ounces sundried tomatoes chopped
- Handful fresh Italian parsley about 1 cup packed, chopped
- ⅓ cup shelled walnuts chopped
- Salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, add the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, shallots, celery, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, parsley, and walnuts. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
- Pour dressing over the chicken salad, toss to combine.
- For best flavor, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
- For best flavor allow the salad to rest for a bit. This chicken salad is best if made about about half hour or so before serving to allow flavors to meld. Cover and refrigerate.
- Use rotisserie or cooked chicken. I often use rotisserie chicken, but you can use cooked chicken breasts (about 2 to 3 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves, depending on size.)
- Serving. If you're serving this chicken salad for dinner, it will definitely feed 4 people. But, it's the perfect potluck dish to share with a larger crowd.
- Variations. You can use olives in place of artichoke hearts, for example. You can also try different herbs. Roasted garlic is an option in place of or in addition to fresh garlic, it will add great earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness that compliments the raisins very well. You can use store-bought roasted garlic, or make your own at home. Roasted garlic can be made ahead and stored for use; see this tutorial. Throw in a handful of raisins for a Sicilian twist. Lastly, you can try adding a little Greek yogurt to the dressing if you like.
- Leftover Storage Instructions: Store leftover chicken salad in tight lid containers in the fridge. If stored properly, leftovers should be good for 2 nights or so (taste before serving.)
- Visit Our Shop for all-natural and organic spices and quality extra virgin olive oils and more!
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.