This easy harissa chicken salad makes a healthy, tasty and simple midweek meal. Harissa marinated chicken, bulgur wheat with fresh herbs and a light dressing, it's perfect for harissa lovers!
I love harissa chicken!
I am having a love affair with harissa. Seriously, I use it every week and without fail it makes an easy meal lip-smackingly good. Throughout last winter, my easy harissa chicken traybake was my go to meal. I varied the vegetables but the harissa chicken was always the same. I've lost count of how many times I've made that recipe! If you love spicy chicken then do also check out my chipotle lime chicken which would also go very well with this salad.
This harissa chicken salad is perfect for spring and summer
Now that the weather is warmer, I have nothing against easy traybakes and one pot meals but it's time to lighten up a little too. We still want to eat harissa chicken but instead of baking it in the oven with some vegetables, I'm now cooking it in a griddle pan and serving it with salad. See those gorgeous charred bits in the picture - that's all thanks to the grooves on the griddle! I've also recently made a harissa carrot salad which is brilliant as a bbq side dish.
Ingredient notes for harissa chicken salad
I've kept this harissa chicken salad quite simple. To make it you'll need:
- Chicken - I use chicken breasts as they are great for butterflying and then cooking in a griddle pan. I also find my children prefer breast meat but you could use chicken thighs.
- Harissa paste - I use rose harissa but you can use any kind of harissa
- Vinegar - I usually use white or red wine vinegar but cider vinegar also works.
- Bulgur wheat - This gives the salad a lovely slightly chewy texture. You could use a different grain though such as spelt, farro or couscous.
- Vegetables - I add a mixture of cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions.
- Chilli pepper - I like to add a chilli pepper to give some heat to the salad but this is totally optional. You might feel the harissa on the chicken gives enough heat!
- Fresh herbs - I love to use a mixture of parsley and coriander (cilantro). If you only have one herb it will still be delicious though. A little bit of fresh mint also goes well.
- Extra virgin olive oil - This is for the dressing and extra virgin olive oil is definitely the best
- Seasoning - A little salt and black pepper.
How do you make this harissa chicken salad?
This harissa chicken salad is really easy to make and there is a full recipe card further down the post too.
Mix the vinegar into the harissa and coat the chicken in it. Put it in the fridge.
Ideally you want to marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours. I realise this may not be practical so try to marinate it for at least an hour. I always butterfly the chicken breasts so they have a larger surface area for the marinade to add flavour to.
Cook the bulgur wheat according to the pack instructions. Usually it takes about ten minutes to cook in a pan of boiling water.
Brush a little oil onto a griddle pan or frying pan and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side.
Just chop up the vegetables while the chicken is cooking. Stir the vegetables, herbs and dressing into the bulgur wheat and taste before serving. You may want to add extra seasoning, olive oil or vinegar.
When the chicken is ready, cut it into strips and serve on top of the salad.
How can you adapt the recipe?
Of course, if you're serving this to people who don't like chilli, then leave it out. You can easily dice some up and put it in a little ramekin for the chilli lovers to help themselves to!
You can also adapt the recipe by varying the vegetables you add to the bulgur wheat salad. You can add sweetcorn, diced peppers or radishes.
You don't even have to use bulgur wheat. This salad also works well with rice, orzo, couscous or even buckwheat.
Can you cook the harissa marinated chicken on the bbq?
Of course you can! This recipe would be a brilliant one to cook outside on the bbq. The extra flavour that the smoky coals would add would go really well with the chicken.
What can you do with the leftovers?
The leftover chicken and bulgur wheat salad can both be stored in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. You can serve it again just as it is or use both components in different ways. The chicken can be served in sandwiches or wraps, on pizza or in different salads. You could even use it in these harissa chicken quesadillas.
Any leftover bulgur wheat salad can also be served as a side dish with other meals.
Harissa Chicken Salad
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoon harissa paste
- 3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 160 g bulgur wheat
- 200 g cucumber diced
- 4 tomatoes diced
- 3 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 Chilli pepper finely diced
- 10 g parsley roughly chopped
- 15 g coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped
For the Dressing
- 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Pinch salt
Optional for Serving
- extra harissa
- Put the harissa and vinegar into a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts. Put them in the bowl. Make sure the marinade coats all of the chicken. Put in the fridge until you are ready to cook. Ideally a minimum of an hour but I like to put the chicken in the marinade in the morning and then cook in the evening.
- Cook the bulgur what according to the pack instructions. This can be done in advance and then the drained bulgur wheat can be kept in the fridge.
- Chop up all the vegetables and herbs for the salad. Mix them into the bulgur wheat. Stir in the dressing. Taste and adjust any seasoning if necessary.
- Brush a griddle pan with oil. When it's hot, add the chicken. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes. If you don't have a griddle pan then use a frying pan or even just bake in the oven.
More Chicken Recipes
These easy chicken recipes are all great for an easy midweek meal and tasty enough to serve to guests too!
- Jamie Oliver's chicken broccoli and bulgur wheat salad
- Chicken New Yorker
- Spanish chicken kebabs
- Marinated Middle Eastern chicken
- Asian chicken noodle salad
Keep in touch
Do let me know if you make this harissa chicken salad or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.