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. 5 stars
    I truly dislike mayo, so this recipe really caught my attention. So good! I took it to a summer Concerts in the Park picnic and it got gobbled up!

    I am also not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes so I substituted sliced, black olives. I didn't have sumac so I used the lemon pepper.

    I also added some salad greens to the mixture. So good!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this vegan with smashed chickpeas instead of chicken and it is AMAZING. I’m definitely going to be making this on a regular basis, thank you !!

  3. LOVE this recipe. Easy to make and so much flavor. This is going to be a regular in our summer repertoire!

    1. Hi, Mairead. Raisins are an optional ingredient here. You can add them if they are something you enjoy.

  4. 5 stars
    Hello Suzy,
    This sounds so yummy! In the notes, you mention how roasted garlic compliments the raisins. Did I miss the raisins in the ingredients?
    Thank you! Rochelle

    1. Hi, Rochelle. Raisins are just an optional ingredient. You can add them for extra flavor if they are something you enjoy.

  5. 5 stars
    Fantastic! We did not include the garlic, but it was amazingly flavorful and complex regardless. We paired it with the avocado and grilled halloumi salad for a warm, spring evening dinner salad combo. They will both be summer staples for us. Thank you for this amazing website!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this! It's my go-to recipe during the week... make ahead and eat it plain, on a croissant, or lettuce cups. It's so delicious and to be honest, you don't even have to measure anything because everything goes together so well. I sometimes add in sunflower seed or whatever is on hand to give it even more crunch (it already has a ton and lots of dimension). Thanks for sharing this!

  7. 5 stars
    I loved the freshness of this recipe! Definitely will make again since I am a huge fan of anything with artichoke hearts and white wine vinegar. It was worth all the chopping and prep work! Keeper for sure!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi suzie!
    Loving the recipes! So delicious!

    I’m going to be making this dish in a couple of days for a gathering, could I use a jar crushed garlic paste instead of roasting garlic? If so how much should I use?

    Thank you

    1. Hi, Nick! I'm so sorry I'm just getting to your question. I would have recommended roasting the garlic, but if you did use the crushed garlic paste, please let us know how it was!

  9. 5 stars
    Suzy,

    You knocked it out of the park with this one! This just might be the best chicken salad I have every made. So fresh! Sometimes really healthy recipes can be a bit bland, but this recipe really sparkles. I did sous vide my chicken breast to 160 so it shredded beautifully.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this the other day and it was wonderful! My family loved it! Since then, my husband has learned he is allergic to tomatoes. I wondered if you might have any suggestions for a good substitute? I’m thinking of maybe adding some beef or veggie broth for the liquid, and maybe some black beans for substance? Just wondering if I should add some extra seasonings too, and/or if there are some other things you might recommend. Thank you!?
    Regards

    1. Hi Alisha. Thank you for sharing. The only use of tomatoes in this chicken salad is the addition of 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes. You can safely eliminate that and still have a delicious chicken salad...once you give it a taste, adjust the seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!

  11. 5 stars
    This is a fabulous recipe.The flavor combinationsThe first time I made it exactly to the recipe. It was so good we made it again a couple of weeks later and it got rave reviews, once again. Suzy's dishes are so tasty and healthy. They always have that something extra that makes sharing a meal with family and friends really special. Thank you!

    1. 5 stars
      Great recipe - my guests all loved it. It did take closer to an hour to make with a rotisserie chicken. First time using sumac as well.

      - Ana

      1. Thanks for sharing, Ana! With ready store-bought rotisserie, it should be far quicker 🙂

      2. 5 stars
        I did use a rotisserie chicken but I probably needed to have my sous chef avalable. It's an amazing recipe, and will be part of the rotation from now on. LOVE your website! Thank you so much, Suzy!

        Ana

  12. 5 stars
    Wow Suzy, you have out did yourself once again! This chicken salad is the bomb! I used currants (soaked as well) since that is what I keep on hand. I also threw in some chopped celery leaves, just because. I haven't purchased sumac yet so I used lemon pepper. I served it over romaine lettuce, salad style. Next time I'll add a little more walnuts and artichoke hearts. A new rotational recipe for sure!

  13. I'm looking forward to making this, but I have a question. In the dressing recipe it calls for 1 tsp Sumac, but in the directions it just says to season with sweet paprika. Do you use both?

    1. Rusty, thanks so much for catching that! There is 1 tsp sumac in there and also 1/2 tsp sweet paprika (I made the correction.) Thanks!