This recipe is everything you want, or maybe never knew you wanted, in a chicken salad. Juicy, zaatar spiced chicken, chopped tart apples, nutty pecans, and crunchy celery. Just the right balance between sweet, savory, creamy, and crunchy and the perfect solution to the age-old question of “what’s for lunch?”
The secret to a great chicken salad is all in the chicken. Many recipes call for poaching the chicken in water which results in bland, flavorless, rubbery chicken. No thank you! We start by generously seasoning the chicken with zaatar and baking it. You may now ask what is zaatar? It's a Mediterranean spice mix with mainstay ingredients (if premium brand) of wild thyme (native to Middle East region), sumac, and sesame seeds. Za'atar is a great way to add a delicious Mediterranean flair to chicken and just about any dish. Zaatar even offers health benefits.
If you’ve never tried cooking with zaatar before, this recipe is the perfect excuse to buy some! It’s important, however, to choose a reputable zaatar brand that is honest about its ingredients with no unknown fillings and substitutes.
We hope this recipe proves to you that chicken salad doesn’t have to be boring. Try it on soft, whole wheat bread, stuffed inside of a pita, wrapped in lettuce leaves, or atop a bed of salad greens. No matter which way you serve it, it’s bound to be a hit!
Zaatar Chicken Salad
Prep Time: 15 mins, Cook Time: 35 mins, Total Time: 50 mins
Calories: 289, Fat 14 g, Protein, 37 g, Carbohydrate 5 g, Fiber 1 g.
Ingredients1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil for brushing
1 ½ tablespoon zaatar
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 small Granny Smith apple, diced
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice of ½ a lemon
1-2 teaspoons zaatar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon of zaatar. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached. Allow the chicken to cool completely. (This step can be done a day or two in advance, if desired.)
- Dice the cooled chicken and place in a large bowl.
- Add the diced celery, sliced green onions, chopped pecans, and diced apple to the bowl. Toss until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and 1-2 teaspoons zaatar. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss until all of the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.