Here’s a pleasant, healthy alternative to the ho-hum, heavy BBQ chicken: Yogurt-marinated grilled chicken … served along a colorful Greek style cucumber, tomato, and feta salad.
Soaking the chicken in garlic yogurt delivers a more juicy, tender bite, while the fresh in-season veggies add a blast of healthy flavor. The creamy, crunchy salad contains the traditional sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta cheese … a wonderful high-fiber, gut-friendly combo. And the salty/briny Kalamata olives dance nicely alongside the feta and crisp veggies.
Since the salad doesn’t contain any tender greens, it’s a good one to make ahead for gatherings. Garnish generously with fresh mint leaves right before serving.
Why We Love These Ingredients
Chicken is an excellent low-calorie, low-fat source of protein. High protein foods help manage healthy weight and support balanced blood sugar levels. It’s also a great source of brain-happy “B” Vitamins. A diet high in Vitamin B can help improve mental focus, ease stress, and improve mood.
Oregano is an antioxidant that may help fight bacteria, relieve inflammation, and regulate your blood sugar. It also contains active compounds that protect your cells and help lower cholesterol.
Feta is a Greek brined white cheese made from sheep's milk or from a mixture of sheep and goat's milk. It’s high in calcium and Vitamin B12, which are good for your bones and provide natural energy. Feta also contains probiotics, so it’s a winner for gut health, too!
Some Pro Tips to Get You Started
While this recipe uses chicken thighs, you can easily swap out for chicken breasts. And the longer you soak the chicken in the yogurt marinade, the better. This allows for the flavors to really sing!
You can cook the chicken on the stovetop but it’s great for grilling, too. To grill the chicken, heat grill to medium heat and grease grates with cooking spray. Cook chicken over direct heat until it’s well browned, about 5-7 minutes per side. Close the grill between flips.
For the salad, feel free to incorporate other elements of Greek cuisine like romaine lettuce, fresh dill, or toasted walnuts. You can also include a mix of red, orange, and yellow bell pepper.
As far as tomatoes, feel free to substitute cherry tomatoes for Roma [just slice the tomatoes in half before adding to the salad.
Ready to cook? Let’s do this!
Greek Chicken with Cucumber-Tomato-Feta Salad
Boneless chicken thighs are coated with an herb-filled garlicky yogurt marinade, then seared until tender inside and browned outside. The accompanying salad is fresh and tangy and tastes even better in the summer when tomatoes and cucumbers are at their best.
Cooking time: 13 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
- 1½ pounds mini seedless cucumbers, cut into ¼” slices
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 4 ounces [3/4 cup] crumbled feta
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer ½ cup of the yogurt to a separate medium bowl.
- Coat the chicken: To the large bowl, add the oregano and stir to combine. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the large bowl and turn to coat; set aside.
- Combine cucumbers, tomatoes and 1 tsp salt into a colander placed in the sink. Leave to drain.
- Cook chicken: heat olive oil in a large skillet [preferably nonstick] over medium heat. Shake off excess yogurt marinade and cook the chicken until golden brown [about 5-6 minutes per side.] Transfer to plate to rest. (For grilling info, see pro-tip above.)
- To the medium bowl of yogurt, add the feta and mash with a fork until a chunky paste forms. Shake the cucumbers and tomatoes to get rid of any excess moisture and add to the feta and yogurt dressing along with the olives, red onion and other salad ingredients and stir until coated. Season with salt and pepper and serve along with the chicken. Enjoy!