Lemon and Chilli Chicken Salad with Chickpeas

Bored with plain chicken salad?

This is wonderfully light but the lemon and chilli marinade makes the chicken breast extra tasty. It fits the bill perfectly for those who are trying to eat a bit healthier following the festive season as you don’t need to add any extra salad dressing.

I used one large chicken breast and it made enough salad for 3 lunches, so I think that also makes this recipe pretty economical.

Feel free to use your favourite green salad leaves as the base – I chopped up a small lettuce which is similar in taste and texture to an Iceberg. This dish would also work well with baby spinach leaves.

The chicken does need a couple of hours to marinate ideally, but you could leave it in the fridge overnight if that suits you better.

Ingredients – serves 2-3 for lunch:

  • 1 large skinless chicken breast (approx 300g/10 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (or any other red chilli sauce you like)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (from a bottle is fine)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g/7 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • green salad leaves, to serve
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, optional, to serve


  • Slice your chicken breast into thin bite-sized chunks and place into a glass or ceramic dish.
  • Add the oil, sambal oelek, lemon juice and garlic to the chicken pieces and stir to mix and coat. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours (or overnight).
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add the chicken and any excess marinade.
  • Cook the chicken pieces for 2 minutes, then turn them all over and cook for another minute.
  • Add the chickpeas to the pan and toss to coat in the juices.
  • Cook for a minute or so until the chicken is tender and cooked through – the time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. Remove from the heat.
  • Place your salad leaves on your serving plates and then top with the chicken & chickpea mixture. There will be some cooking juices left in the pan – this is your dressing if you like a moist salad.
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes into small pieces, if using, then scatter these over the top of the salads.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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