This Layered Mediterranean Salad is super healthy, flavorful, and quick to make. Plump, juicy chicken, couscous, toasted pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado, all layered and drizzled in a basil pesto dressing.
I can just about guarantee that any recipe that has Mediterranean-inspired flavors that I am going to love it. This Mediterranean Salad is a the top of my list lately because all the ingredients combine so beautifully.
Plus, it’s fresh and healthy too. So, if you are working on cleaning up your diet, this is a fabulous recipe to include.
Besides the fact that it tastes awesome and is healthy, I think you are going to also enjoy how quick it is to make. The only thing you need to really cook is the couscous, and that is done fast! And you can even use leftover rotisserie chicken!
Even though this is quick and easy to make, the presentation is beautiful. A dish like this is perfect for a layered salad. All around, this Layered Mediterranean Salad is a hit.
If you are like me and always hunting for some new salad recipes, be sure to try out my Salmon Salad, Pear Gorgonzola Salad, and Easy Kale Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese. Find all my healthy salad recipes here!
- Olive Oil – You’ll need olive oil for preparing the couscous. You can also swap it for your favorite oil if you’d rather.
- Pearl Couscous – If you are new to eating couscous, you may not realize how good it is for you. It is a great source of selenium which is an antioxidant. It’s also a plant-based protein. May sure to get pearl couscous for this recipe.
- Chicken Stock – You’ll get much more flavorful couscous using chicken stock instead of plain water. You could also use vegetable stock if you would like to. You can also use water and a chicken stock powder.
- Pine Nuts – In addition to adding a toasty crunch to the salad, pine nuts are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, and iron too.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Yum! Adding sun-dried tomatoes takes this salad to the next level of delicious. They are loaded with Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese too.
- Feta Cheese – Besides being packed with calcium, feta is also filled with other nutrients like protein, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin B65, and zinc.
- Avocado – The avocado gives the salad a creamy texture and increases the vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium in the dish too.
- Arugula – The peppery and hints of citrus flavors in fresh arugula are hard to beat especially paired with the other ingredients in this Mediterranean salad.
- Cooked Chicken – You can cook the chicken specifically for this dish or use leftovers you have in your fridge. It’s also pretty tasty with rotisserie chicken too.
- Olives – Look for pitted olives. Another fantastic source of vitamin E!
- Basil Pesto – It’s the key ingredient in the homemade dressing. You can use store bought or try my spinach basil pesto recipe.
- Greek Yogurt – This allows the dressing to be creamy and gives you some added protein too.
HOW TO MAKE LAYERED MEDITERRANEAN SALAD
1. Prepare the couscous by heating the oil in a saucepan. Toast it until it has turned a lightly golden brown.
2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a rapid boil. Then add a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the couscous is tender. Drain off any excess liquid.
3. When the couscous is cooking, go ahead and prepare the salad. Toast the pine nuts with medium-high heat until they are light brown. You’ll need to stir frequently, so they don’t burn.
4. Chop up the sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, and feta cheese.
5. Prepare the dressing by combining the pest and yogurt together until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour half of the dressing on top of the couscous and mix. Then add it to the bottom of a large bowl or smaller individual bowls.
7. Add the arugula and chicken, then some of the dressing. Sprinkle on the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, and avocado.
8. Then add the pine nuts and arugula. Drizzle with the rest of the dressing, serve, and enjoy!
CAN I MAKE THIS SALAD VEGETARIAN?
Sure! You can simply omit the chicken completely and swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Then you will have a delicious vegetarian salad to fill up on. Try adding chickpeas in place of the chicken–it will still be a delicious Mediterranean Salad!
IS IT OKAY TO USE DIFFERENT NUTS?
Yep! If you don’t have any or aren’t a fan of pine nuts, you can exchange them for walnuts. They are going to give you the most similar flavor and texture.
IS THIS SALAD GLUTEN-FREE?
No, I’m sorry it’s not. Couscous is made from semolina which is a wheat product. So, if you need it to be gluten-free, I recommend using quinoa instead.
Salads are a great way to increase your nutrients, fill you up, and get lots of various flavors. So don’t be afraid to try out new things like my Curried Tuna and Tomato Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad, and Rainbow Farro Salad.
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating below! It’s so helpful for other readers to see which recipes are tried and true! I’d also love to see it–share your photo of this dish and tag me on Instagram, and I’ll feature you!Print
Layered Mediterranean Chicken Salad
This Mediterranean-inspired salad is beautifully layered and full of flavor. The dressing is easy to make with a basil pesto and Greek yogurt.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: recipes
- Method: assemble
- Cuisine: mediterranean
For the Couscous
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup pearl couscous (7oz/200g)
- 2 cups chicken stock (17fl.oz / 500ml)
For the Salad
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (1.2oz / 35g)
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (3.9oz / 110g)
- 5oz feta cheese (140g)
- 1 large avocado
- 4 cups arugula (2.8oz / 80g)
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (1lb 4oz / 560g)
- 1/2 cup pitted olives (2.1oz / 60g) optional
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup basil pesto (4.2oz / 120g)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt (4.2oz / 120g)
For the Couscous
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high. Toast couscous for 1-2 minutes, until
- Add chicken stock, bring to a rapid simmer, cover with a lid and
reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until couscous is tender. Drain off any excess
For the Salad
- While couscous cooks, prepare salad. Heat a small frying pan on medium-high. Toast pine
nuts, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
- Roughly chop sun-dried tomatoes. Dice feta and avocado.
For the Dressing and to Complete the Salad
- Stir pesto and yogurt together until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour half of the dressing onto the cooked couscous and mix well. Place in the bottom of a
large glass salad bowl (or smaller individual bowls).
- Top with most of the arugula and all of the chicken. Drizzle with dressing. Add sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, feta and olives, if using.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining arugula. Serve with any remaining dressing.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 344
- Sugar: 5.5 grams
- Fat: 28.8 grams
- Saturated Fat: 7.6 grams
- Unsaturated Fat: 21.2 grams
- Trans Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 12.8 grams
- Fiber: 3.8 grams
- Protein: 10.4 grams
Keywords: Mediterranean salad