Bold and tangy flavors packed into this Greek-inspired salad with Za'atar seasoned chicken and creamy Greek vinaigrette make a zesty filling meal. I love the Mediterranean flavors in this salad!
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Za'atar seasoned chicken tops this Greek salad with romaine lettuce, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, fresh tomatoes, red onion, Kalamata olives, green bell peppers, and cucumbers. Serve with creamy Greek dressing and this meal is perfect for meal prep, lunch, or dinner.
Note, this isn't a traditional Greek salad, since it contains lettuce. This is an Americanized version with many of the same flavors, like cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta, green peppers, and tomatoes. A traditional Greek salad would not contain lettuce, and is sometimes referred to as a Village Salad.
- Make chicken, vinaigrette, and even chop veggies ahead of time for easy meal prep.
- Make your own dressing from scratch! It is easier than you think and always tastes better than store bought.
- Slowly drizzle olive oil into the dressing while blending to emulsify the ingredients.
- When making dressing, add in the red pepper flakes and oregano after blending. Blending those ingredients can make them bitter.
- For tips on making the best chicken breasts ever, check out this post: How to cook perfect juicy chicken breasts every time.
- Food processor - To make this Greek dressing extra creamy, I slowly add the olive oil while the other ingredients blend in the food processor so it all gets emulsified together. I like this Ninja Food Processor Combo.
- Mason jar - Not required for this recipe, but I love these 16 ounce wide mouth mason jars for storing my salad dressings.
- Produce storage containers - also not a requirement, but these Rubbermaid FreshWorks produce storage containers help my produce last much longer in the refrigerator.
- Za'atar - a Middle Eastern spice blend with oregano, sumac, sesame seeds and other spices. Smells and tastes so good. Should be available at your local grocery store, or you can find it here.
- Garlic - I always recommend using fresh garlic over the jarred stuff. It packs in much more flavor.
- Salt - I use Redmond Real Salt in the recipes on Feeding Our Faces. This salt is unrefined, unbleached, and has a better taste than iodized table salt.
- Good olive oil - Since this olive oil is the main ingredient in this dressing, it is recommended to use a good quality oil. My favorite brand is California Olive Ranch Extra virgin Olive Oil.
- Feta - always buy feta in a block in brine rather than pre-crumbled. The block stays fresher longer and doesn't get as dried out.
- Romaine lettuce - you can use any lettuce in this salad, but my favorite is Romaine. Throw some spinach in too for a nice mix.
This is an easy recipe that comes down to 3 parts: chopping vegetables, cooking chicken, and making the dressing.
How to cut romaine lettuce for a salad?
- Cut the ends off of the Romaine lettuce.
- Separate the leaves and stack them on top of one another, spines aligned.
- Slice through the middle stems of the lettuce lengthwise.
- Cut into smaller bite sized pieces.
- Rinse lettuce well with cold water. I like a produce spinner to wash and dry the lettuce.
To make za'atar chicken
Prepare the chicken breasts by trimming any fat or skin still present. Pat down chicken breast with a paper towel to dry. Combine seasonings for the chicken and coat the chicken breasts evenly. I like to add the seasonings to a large zip top bag, add the chicken, seal, and give it a good shake.
You can allow the chicken and seasonings to marinate in the fridge for up to 2 hours, or cook right away.
To cook the chicken, I prefer the sear and bake method. For an in-depth tutorial on making perfectly juicy chicken breasts using the sear and bake method, check out this post: How to cook perfect juicy chicken breasts every time.
For the sear and bake method, preheat a skillet on medium heat. Sear the chicken breasts on each side for 2-3 minutes, until a browned crust develops. Finish the chicken in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350°F until cooked throughout, and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Set aside and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before cutting.
How to make Greek salad dressing from scratch?
Making homemade salad dressings is easier than you think and the result is always much better than store bought! The key to making this Greek dressing creamy is to emulsify the oil with a food processor. Emulsification is the process of combining two ingredients that normally do not mix, like oil and vinegar in this case.
First add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, and garlic to a food processor and blend until combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while processing to allow the ingredients to be emulsified together. Remove from the food processor and transfer to your preferred storage container. I like using these 16 ounce wide mouth mason jars for salad dressings. Once blended, add in red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt and pepper and shake to combine.
This Greek vinaigrette recipe makes ¾ cup total, or four 3 tablespoon sized servings. It will last a week in the refrigerator.
Salad assembly and storage
Next put it all together! If you are making this salad for meal prep, I would store the lettuce separately from the rest of the vegetables and chicken so it doesn't get soggy. I like these 4 ounce mason jars to store individual dressing portions.
Salad, cooked chicken, and chopped vegetables should last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Greek dressing is typically made of red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic and oregano. This version also contains honey for a little bit of sweetness and red pepper flakes for an extra kick.
This dressing should last a week in the fridge. Typically dressings with high acidity (vinegar) and spices and dry herbs last a few weeks. Since this dressing contains fresh ingredient (the fresh garlic) it will last less time.
While you're prepping this salad, might as well take care of breakfast for the week too!
Any questions? I'd love to help! Drop a comment below or send me an email!
Greek Salad with Za’atar Chicken
- 2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts 1-1.5 pounds
- 1.5 teaspoons za’atar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Greek Vinaigrette: (makes ¾ cup, 4 servings)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil*
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
- 1 green bell pepper cut into thin strips
- ½ red onion cut into thin strips
- 1 pint Tomatoes Roma, cherry, or grape variety, diced or cut in halves
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- Roasted red peppers thinly sliced
- Kalamata olives halved lengthwise
- 4 ounces feta cheese buy the block, not crumbled
- 3 heads of romaine lettuce
- CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together seasonings for the chicken. Pat chicken breasts and cover with seasonings. You can cook the chicken immediately or let marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Cook using the sear and bake method**: preheat a skillet on medium heat. Sear chicken breasts on each side for 2-3 minutes, until a browned crust develops. Finish the chicken in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked throughout, and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Set aside and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before cutting.
- DRESSING: Add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, and garlic to a food processor and blend until combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while processing. Once blended add in red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt and pepper and shake to combine***.
- ASSEMBLE: Add lettuce to a bowl and top with green bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Add chicken and pour dressing over and enjoy!