Grilled Chicken on Greens with Creamy Harissa Dressing

Photo: Annabelle Breakey

We've breathed new life into sliced chicken on greens with harissa, a fiery Tunisian chile sauce (or paste) laced with coriander, garlic, cumin, and caraway. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, plus at least 3 hours of marinating time. Notes: Chicken breasts vary a lot in size, so note the weight of the package before buying. The heat level of harissa depends on the brand, so start with a little and add more from there. You can buy it and smoked paprika at specialty food stores like Whole Foods Market.

Yield: Makes 4 dinner salads
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 4 Hours

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 274
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Protein: 32g
  • Fat: 8.1g
  • Saturated fat: 1.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 17g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Sodium: 739mg
  • Cholesterol: 69mg


  • 1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 2 halves; see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded fresh lemon zest
  • About 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentón; see Notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 medium red onion, peeled, halved crosswise, and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • About 1 tsp. harissa sauce or paste (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens
  • 1 cup 2-in.-long carrot matchsticks (1 medium carrot)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1/4 cup quartered, pitted kalamata olives


  1. 1. Put chicken breast halves between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or the back of a small, heavy saucepan until 1/4 in. thick. Whisk lemon zest, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, the smoked paprika, and cumin together in a small bowl. Put chicken breasts in a large, wide bowl and add marinade, rubbing all over chicken to coat. Cover and chill at least 3 hours and up to overnight. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before grilling. Meanwhile, rinse onion and dry it with paper towels.
  2. 2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 4 to 5 seconds). Lay chicken on well-oiled grate and cook, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate or cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, harissa, 1 tbsp. mint, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the lemon juice together in a small bowl. Slice chicken on the diagonal across the grain into 1/4-in.-thick strips.
  4. 4. In a large bowl, toss together greens, carrot, bell pepper, onion, and olives with 1/2 cup dressing until just coated.
  5. 5. Divide salad among 4 plates and top with chicken. Drizzle remaining dressing over salads, dividing evenly, and garnish with remaining mint.
  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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