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!

Chicken salad on a serving platter

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!

chicken salad ingredients including chicken, celery, lemon, walnuts, fresh herbs, sundried tomatoes

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 on a platter, garnished with parsley, with a fork for serving

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.

    Dijon dressing in a small bowl
  • 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.

    chicken, vegetables, herbs, and walnuts, arranged in a bowl
  • 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.

    chicken, vegetables, and herbs tossed together in a bowl

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.

Serving suggestions

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
healthy chicken salad served on blue platter

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.

Variations

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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4.85 from 100 votes

Healthy Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Style

Suzy Karadsheh
Chicken salad on a serving platter
This no-mayo healthy chicken salad recipe is chunky and loaded with Mediterranean favorites like shallots, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a handful of walnuts. It's tossed in a light and bright dressing A light and zippy dressing brings it all together!
Prep – 10 mins
Total – 10 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Dinner, Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Dijon Mustard Dressing

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

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
  • cup shelled walnuts chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 7.6gProtein: 14.6gSaturated Fat: 2.4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 36.3mgSodium: 387.1mgPotassium: 427.1mgFiber: 2.5gVitamin A: 149.7IUVitamin C: 3.2mgCalcium: 19.3mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Haven’t tried this yet, I’m going to …. Suggestion for this website: It would be nice as I’m glancing through these recipes to somehow mark the recipes as “Want to Try” & “Make Again!”

    1. Hi, Donna! Thanks so much for that suggestion! We'll look into it. In the meantime, you are able to "favorite" recipes by hitting the heart that pops up on the right side of the screen when viewing them.

  2. 5 stars
    Suzy! I made this for first time for a potluck with friends and the result was amazing!!!! This recipe is a 5 star!!! The combination of flavors is fantastic !!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. 5 stars
    Do you know if this will freeze well? I am going to be going on a trip and would love to make this and freeze individual serving sizes that I can just thaw and eat. What do you think?

    1. Hi, Nikki. We've never tried freezing this one, so I'm not sure. I'd worry that it might affect the taste/texture in a not so great way.

  4. 5 stars
    Love love love. So tasty. I added my own spin. Didn’t have lemons in the house so I substitute with an orange and lime. Wow. Just awesome! Thank you for the great recipe.

  5. I made this recipe with baby spinach, green salad olives/pimentos, sun flowers seeds, walnuts, white raisins, paprika, turmeric, black pepper with sliced avocado layered on toast Delicious with or without bread 👍

  6. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I make it all the time now. Recently, I had a tuna steak that I needed to cook and I didn't know what to do with it. I coated it in your Za'atar seasoning and baked it until it was just slightly pink in the middle, cut it up and used it in place of the chicken in this recipe.... Delicious! Now I have 2 easy go to meals... with chicken or fish!

  7. 5 stars
    Had fun making this salad. I didn't have artichoke hearts but might add some olives next time. Great use of some leftover chicken breasts! Love it!

  8. 5 stars
    Wish I could give this even more stars!! Hands-down one of the best chicken salads I, and the rest of my family have ever had! I only had canned artichokes so I quartered them and tossed them in a bit of Italian dressing and set them aside while I combined the rest of the ingredients. Also, I added sliced black olives. I don't usually like a lot of lemon but boy am I glad I made the dressing as written. I will be making this again and again.

    Thank you so much for this recipe!