Another delicious grilling recipe coming straight to you this week — Harissa-Yogurt Marinated Chicken with light and fresh Cucumber-Quinoa Salad!
Grilled chicken never has to be boring and this recipe shows how with just a few simple steps and ingredients, you will have a flavor-packed dinner. In this recipe, I have simply marinated boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can sub chicken breast if you prefer) in a harissa-yogurt combination that is tangy, warm — and all-around delightful. Grilled until cooked through and juicy, the chicken is then sliced and served with a refreshing and herby cucumber quinoa salad, which is great to make ahead of time to make dinner preparation easier as well as to have on hand all week if desired.
While the quinoa is packed with additional protein, it is also packed with sliced Persian cucumbers, mint, and dill and tossed with a simple vinaigrette and topped with some creamy, salty feta cheese, which gives you so many different flavors with each bite. The salad pairs just so beautifully with the warm spices from the harissa-yogurt chicken making this Harissa-Yogurt Marinated Chicken with Cucumber-Quinoa Salad a complete winner for a simple grilled dinner.
If you are looking for more grilled chicken ideas, here are a few more recipes to try:
grilled chicken with chipotle-whiskey bbq sauce
grilled sesame chicken skewers with ginger-scallion rice
grilled chili chicken tacos with tomatillo salsa
Harissa-Yogurt Marinated Chicken with Cucumber- Quinoa Salad
For the Chicken Marinade:
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 tbsp harissa
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 7 oz. Greek yogurt I use 2%
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh
For the Quinoa Salad:
- 1 cup traditional white quinoa
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced persian cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped dill fronds
- ½ cup roughly chopped mint
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 ounces block feta thinly sliced (can sub for crumbled feta)
Marinate the Chicken:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the avocado oil, harissa, garlic, greek yogurt, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined and smooth. Trim the chicken of excess fat and add the trimmed chicken to the harissa-yogurt mixture. Cover and let marinade for at least 2 hours, and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the Quinoa Salad:
- Bring 1 cup of quinoa and 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then gently fluff with a fork.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature (you can also cover and chill for up to 3 days and make this salad later).
- Once the quinoa has cooled, add the cucumber, dill and mint; stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the garlic, olive oil, champagne vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk to combine then pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir to combine.
- Add the feta, and gently toss once more. Set aside while you grill the chicken.
Grill the Chicken:
- Heat grill over medium-high heat (350- 400 degrees F) and oil the grill grates (to do this, dip a wadded paper towel in a little oil and, using tongs, wipe the oil evenly over the grate. Be careful not to use too much oil, because that's a sure fire way to start a good flare-up—a little goes a long way here.)
- Cook the chicken over the heat for 4 minutes per side, until the pieces turn golden and grill marks appear. The lid should be closed throughout the cooking process.
- Flip the pieces once more and turn heat to medium-low, about 300°F, for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the internal temp is 165°F.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5-8 minutes before slicing and serving with the quinoa-cucumber salad.
SHOP MY FAVORITE GRILLING ITEMS HERE:
MJJanuary 3, 2023 at 12:26 am
I made this chicken to go with tahdig. I grilled inside on a cast iron grill pan just to make to grill marks and finished in foil in the oven. OMG so good. That marinade is amazing.
AlexJanuary 3, 2023 at 1:35 pm
amazing! glad you love it!
Julie RodriguezOctober 31, 2021 at 5:41 pm
Getting a head start on dinner and just discovered that I am out of olive oil. For the salad dressing, can I substitute olive oil with avocado oil or should I go get olive oil?
AlexNovember 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm
yes avocado oil would be totally fine
CatherineAugust 15, 2021 at 2:29 pm
This is my favorite recipe in the entire world. I make it almost once a week – so delicious, thank you!!
DelaneyJuly 7, 2021 at 4:29 pm
Absolutely amazing! A crowd favorite and easy to make a lot for a big crowd. We paired with Alex’s Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad and it was amazing. So grateful to have DD as a “bible” for healthy cooking. 🙂
SandraJuly 6, 2021 at 1:41 am
How would you cook the chicken in oven ?
Haley SchulmanJune 3, 2021 at 11:55 pm
This turned out perfect! I just bought a grill and was so nervous to use it. Thanks for the specific cooking times- so helpful to a newbie
AlexJune 4, 2021 at 12:24 am
So glad it was a hit!
JessicaMay 26, 2021 at 10:40 pm
This was SO GOOD
StefanieMay 24, 2021 at 3:09 am
Super easy and delicious. I’ve never tried harissa so I was skeptical.. it totally worked! Thanks Alex for another great recipe!!
SarahOctober 7, 2021 at 7:17 pm
Could you use another starch? If so what? Thanks!
MariaMay 23, 2021 at 10:19 pm
Just made this! Added spring mix lettuce, subbed the quinoa for farro and air fried the chicken. A-MAZING! Perfect summer salad recipe.
Elizabeth DesmaraisMay 23, 2021 at 12:20 am
I just made the marinade, tasted it and it’s pretty salty! And I love salt. Is it meant to be this way?
Did I space out and use the wrong measuring spoon? Or lose count? Help! Please!
AlexMay 24, 2021 at 12:17 am
I think the marinade alone will be very salty– but once it’s on the chicken breast it should level out, since it’s 2 lbs of chicken
AngelaMay 20, 2021 at 11:37 pm
Did you use Harissa seasoning or Harissa Paste? Can’t wait to try this!
AlexMay 21, 2021 at 12:07 pm
I prefer harissa paste!
AngelaMay 21, 2021 at 3:39 pm
Thank you Alex!
I make harissa paste with equal parts harissa seasoning, water and oil.
HannahMay 24, 2021 at 8:33 pm
Everything about this was amazing. I didn’t have harissa so I used sambal instead and it turned out great! Definitely looking forward to trying with harissa though. The quinoa salad was the star though…going to be on repeat all summer long.
CHMay 20, 2021 at 7:47 pm
Would dairy-free yogurt taste ok?
AlexMay 20, 2021 at 7:54 pm
I haven’t yet tried it with DF yogurt, but I think that or DF sour cream– if you have a brand you love– should work well here.
CHMay 27, 2021 at 6:32 pm
Update: I used df sour cream and it turned out great! Thank you for the reply. This recipe is absolutely delicious.
Also, Your recipes have changed my life in the kitchen….so grateful for all the clean meals that don’t sacrifice great flavor. And making fancy meals totally approachable and simple for all of us. Thank you so much for all that you do!
KateMay 19, 2021 at 9:59 pm
Would harissa seasoning be an ok sub for the paste? Having trouble finding it!
AlexMay 20, 2021 at 12:13 am
yes it should still be delicious!
KatMay 19, 2021 at 7:15 pm
This looks so good ! Where do you find your Harissa ? And what brand do you use ?
AlexMay 20, 2021 at 12:16 am
It’s fairly easy to find in most grocery stores (Check the shelves with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or North African products… or it’s sometimes near ketchup, condiments, etc.) A few brands I’ve tried and like include Mina Harissa + Casablanca foods!
Christol McKernanMay 19, 2021 at 9:58 am
Is there Anything else that can be used instead of quinoa? I can’t wait to try this!
AlexMay 19, 2021 at 12:18 pm
any cooked pasta would work, tooo, for a pasta salad rendition.
Michelle RyanMay 19, 2021 at 2:52 am
So yummy!!! So light! I wish I would’ve set aside a small portion of the marinade to try and a dipping sauce with the chicken!
Michelle RyanMay 19, 2021 at 2:51 am
So light and delicious! I only wish I would’ve saved a small portion of the marinade before I put the chicken in to try as a dipping sauce!!
SharMay 19, 2021 at 12:35 am
Any suggestions to sub the champagne vinegar? Would white wine or red wine work well?
AlexMay 19, 2021 at 12:19 pm
White wine would be the best sub!
SHARMay 19, 2021 at 10:44 pm
I subbed out the champagne vinegar for white wine and used couscous instead of quinoa. It was DELISH!!
SheriMay 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm
Love your recipes! Could you air fry the chicken as well?
AlexMay 19, 2021 at 6:19 pm
I am sure you can! I haven’t tried that yet.
JBMay 19, 2021 at 6:53 pm
Yes, I’m wondering how to prepare chicken if I don’t have a grill. Bake or pan fry?
AlexMay 19, 2021 at 7:18 pm
I would pan fry in a cast iron skillet or in a grill pan over medium-high heat!
MegMay 20, 2021 at 12:13 am
Is harissa a spice or a paste? I purchased some online and it came as a ground spice. Is this what I use? Thanks!
AlexJune 2, 2021 at 12:06 pm
I prefer the paste version!