chicken salad recipe

ReFRESHing Chicken Salad Recipe

More energy per bite, in a low-calorie snack or no-cook main dish?

Yes, please!

This ReFRESHing Chicken Salad Recipe is easy to throw together using leftover roasted chicken (even from the store-bought type works) or shredded chicken from the slow cooker, instant pot or even good-old-fashioned stove-top cooked.

At my house, we serve it with gluten-free crackers and cucumber slices, wrapped up in a butter lettuce leaf like a green taco, or on a slice of Dave’s 12 Grain bread (for my non-gluten-free family members!)

Can’t wait to hear how you choose to enjoy this nutritious, easy snack or meal at your family’s table!


Here’s how to make our

ReFRESHing Chicken Salad Recipe


  • 1.5 to 2 cups chopped or diced cold chicken (shredded or roasted)

  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced

  • 1-2 green onion stalks, finely diced

  • half handful Pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds - we buy ours at the grocery store bulk section)

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/4 apple, diced fine (choose a sweet apple if you like sweeter tasting salad, or a tart one if you like it more sour-tasting)

  • 2 Tbsp Greek Yogurt (or to your taste - can also use mayo if you prefer)

  • Sprinkle of each: FRESH cracked black pepper, Himalayan Sea Salt

  • Optional - to add a little heat, one sprinkle of cayenne or chili pepper


Stir all ingredients together and either serve immediately, or you can refrigerate to serve later or take to a gathering.

This ReFRESHing salad makes a wonderful easy-grab lunch for the family’s busy days as well, as it can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days, up to a week.

Nutritionally, it provides energy through the high protein, healthy fat and fiber combination of the ingredients, yet leaves you feeling light instead of over-full!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Recipe

Eating out the healthy way can be challenging – for many reasons in our family! Four kids with very different tastes and likes, a tight family budget and a need to stay health-conscience all create the challenge of choosing healthy meals while we are out. 

So we have found solace in one of our go-to restaurants in our southern Arizona town – Pita Jungle! The whole family orders to their liking, we make sure to go during “happy hour” between 3 and 6 pm, and we can both afford AND enjoy dinner occasionally away from home. This salad became a standby favorite for us from that restaurant. As a healthy foodie, I found myself thinking about it between visits (can anyone relate? haha!) I decided that making it at home couldn’t be that hard….and voila….it’s NOT!

So for any of you who don’t have the access to a restaurant like this, or just LOVE to enjoy a FRESH, simple salad entrée for quick family dinners, here it is!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad – Coach Bess style!


  • 1/2-1 lb chicken breast, grilled and diced

  • Romaine lettuce, sliced into ribbons and chopped

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, roasted in olive oil stovetop for 3-4 minutes

  • 1 cucumber, diced into ½ inch chunks

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced into ½ inch chunks

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into thin pieces

  • Handful cilantro, chopped

  • 1/2-3/4 cup previously made Tabouli (recipe link for this below!)

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)

  • 1/4 cup toasted pinions (pinenuts - these are optional)


  • 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup


  1. Make sure that ALL ingredients are chopped and diced into the same size pieces before stirring together into a chopped salad-type dish. The chicken can easily be prepared ahead of time (previously grilled) and refrigerated, then use cold since this is a cold salad.

  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until completely blended, taste-test and adjust as needed for taste/consistency. Dressing should be a semi-thick mixture. Pour over chopped salad, then toss all together.

  3. Serve salad immediately for best taste and texture.

Make ahead items: Grilled Chicken and Tabouli - both can be made ahead up to a day or two and refrigerated. (Find the recipe for Coach Bess’ Tabouli HERE & her classic Grilled Chicken Recipe HERE)

The delicious dressing - takes just seconds to whisk together!

The delicious dressing - takes just seconds to whisk together!