I love foods that remind me of a specific moment in time. Tzatziki sauce is one of those recipes. And though not a summer goes by without us making tzatziki sauce at least a few times, our new go-to is this tzatziki chicken salad. It’s easy and light since it’s made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo, making it the perfect summer chicken salad.
One bite of tzatziki sauce and I’m instantly reminded of the first time I tasted it. I was in Chapel Hill North Carolina, over 10 years ago, meeting my sister’s boyfriend for the first time. They took me out for Greek food and her boyfriend, now husband, told me I must try the ‘white sauce.’ I spooned up a big glob of this unfamiliar sauce onto my gyro, as the sauce lover that I am, and never turned back. I’ve been a tzatziki lover every since.
Our fridge usually always has the ingredients for a fresh batch of tzatziki, especially during the hot summer months. …a cucumber, greek yogurt, fresh herbs from the garden, lemon juice, and garlic. I hardly ever measure and no batch is really the same, though I love each one. It’s the perfect condiment for summer grilling, like these lamb souvlaki kebabs, as a dip for veggies, and a great coddiment for wraps. But to make things even easier, one day I just added some cooked and shredded chicken to the mix and wahlah… tzatziki chicken salad.
Hot summer days are made for cool chicken salad. I pack this into jars and load it up in the stroller for an easy picnic lunch or have a batch ready in the fridge for a light dinner alongside pita bread. Or you can add in some extra cucumbers, greens, and tomatoes and you have a great salad.
I’ve been enjoying reading several summer bucket lists (like this and this) online and though I haven’t made one yet, picnic-ing is always on my list. Here are a few more things I’d like to not let the summer go without a good dose of:
camping and hiking more often
mastering a few cocktails
making the best use of our garden
frequenting the farmers market and getting to know the vendors more and
making several foods from scratch (like cheese, bagels, and english muffins!).
I also love that some of our good friends put on their list to go on some tourist-y dates – like visiting the Beehive House downtown or taking a drive out to Antelope Island. I may have to steal some of their ideas too!
One thing I know, my summer will be filled with this salad!
A simple chicken salad recipe using Greek yogurt instead of mayo and with all of the traditional tzatziki flavors.
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
- 1/4 cup herbs, chopped (combo of mint, basil, parsley and dill)
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely dice the half cucumber and sprinkle with salt, then place in a colander over the sink to let the juices drain while you make the rest of the salad.
- In a bowl mix together the shredded chicken, yogurt, herbs, lemon juice, and minced garlic.
- Add in the cucumber.
- Serve over greens or in a sandwich. Top with feta cheese or extra cucumbers and herbs.
For a vegetarian version try adding lentils instead of the chicken.