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Summer will be here soon, which means it is time for grilling food outside! Grilling is a quick and easy way to make a healthy dinner the entire family will love. And one of the keys to great grilling is using a tasty marinade to enhance the flavors of the meat and vegetables. I like to use Mazola® Corn Oil in my marinades, like in the Greek marinade I make for this grilled Greek chicken salad. Mazola Corn Oil is a smart heart-heathy choice for the family. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com.
I love to make tasty marinades and use them to create fresh and delicious family dinners. This recipe is easy to make and makes a light and tasty meal you can have ready quickly on a busy summer day.
Salads are the perfect summer time dinner because there are so many fresh and healthy vegetables available. And with this grilled chicken salad all the cooking is outside, so you don’t have to heat up the kitchen on a hot day.
Making the Marinade
To marinade my chicken breast I made a simple Greek inspired marinade. The Mazola Corn Oil is combined with fresh lemon juice and dried herbs for an easy marinade that will infuse the chicken with flavor and keep it moist.
Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy* cooking oil and creates marinades that make great-tasting food because it has a neutral taste that lets the natural flavor of your food stand out.
I used fresh lemon juice in my marinade and added in the zest from the fresh lemons into the marinade. But if you can’t find lemons the marinade will still be delicious if made with bottle lemon juice.
I combined the Mazola Corn Oil and lemon juice with some simple dried herbs – salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and oregano. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a jar or bowl.
Marinade the Chicken
I used chicken breast tenderloins for this salad. The tenderloins are sliced thin, so they cook on the grill in minutes!
Put the chicken in a shallow dish or plastic bag and pour the marinade over the top. Chicken breast needs to marinade anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, refrigerated, to infuse the flavor into the meat.
While the chicken marinades it is the perfect time to get all your salad ingredients washed and prepped. My family and I love spinach salads, so I used spinach as the base for this salad.
I also used grape tomatoes, bell peppers, olives and a little bit of feta cheese on the salad. But you could use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Some other vegetables that would go well in the salad are cucumbers, red onions or pepperoncini.
Grill the Chicken
Once the chicken has marinaded about 30 minutes it is time to fire up the grill! Cooking chicken breast tenderloins on the grill is very fast.
Simply preheat your grill for a few minutes on high. Then reduce the heat to medium and take the chicken breasts out of the marinade and place them on the grill grate.
Make sure you discard the marinade that you used on the chicken! It is not safe to re-use marinade. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side.
Six minutes should be enough to cook the chicken breast tenderloins. But I always check the temperature of my meat with an instant read thermometer, because it is not worth taking any risks with food safety. Chicken breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚ F.
If you are using whole chicken breasts instead of breasts tenderloins you will need to cook them longer, for about 12 minutes, because they are thicker. But again, go by temperature, not time.
Assemble the Grilled Greek Chicken Salad
Once the chicken is cooked let it rest for 3 minutes and then slice it thinly and add it on top of the salad.
This grilled Greek chicken salad is delicious served right away, with the hot chicken on a cold salad. Or you can grill the chicken ahead of time, refrigerate it and serve the salad with cold chicken.
Grilling the chicken ahead of time is very convenient, because you can have a quick low effort dinner available on busy nights.
The marinade infuses a delicious lemony taste into the chicken breast making for a great contrast with the crisp vegetables. This salad is an easy way to bring some of the flavors of Greece into a simple summer family dinner.
- 4 chicken breast tenderloins (1 pound)
- 1/4 cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 2 lemons or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olives
- 4 Tablespoons feta cheese
- If using fresh lemons juice and zest the lemons.
- Mix the Mazola Corn oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl or jar. Stir well.
- Put the chicken breast tenderloin in a shallow pan or plastic bag. Pour the marinade over top of the chicken.
- Let the chicken marinade, refrigerated, for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- When almost ready to cook the chicken prepare the salad bowls. Add the spinach to a bowl and top with bell peppers, grape tomatoes and olives.
- Preheat the grill on high for 3 minutes.
- Reduce the grill heat to medium. Place the chicken breast tenderloins on the grill. Discard the marinade. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip the chicken over and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Check the chicken and ensure it has reached 165 F. Let it rest off the grill for about 3 minutes.
- Slice the chicken and place it on top of the prepared salad bowls.
- Sprinkle feta cheese on top of the salads.
If using whole chicken breasts they will need to grill for about 12 minutes total.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 767mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
Nutrition facts are estimates.
*see Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.