Cumin chicken salad


  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time30 mins
  • Makes4 main-course servings
*PLUS Barbecuing Time: 12 minutes, Marinating Time: 60 minutes


  • 2 to 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, or olive oil

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, seeded

  • 1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce

  • 3 green onions

  • 1 avocado


  • Place chicken in a shallow dish in a single layer. Stir 1 tablespoon (15 mL) each of oil and cumin together. Rub or brush all over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • For dressing, in a bowl whisk 1-1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) Dijon with lemon juice, 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) cumin, salt and pepper. While whisking, add 1/3 cup oil. Stir in shallot. Taste and add remaining Dijon, if you want it tangier. Chop tomatoes and add. Let sit at room temperature while cooking chicken, or for up to half a day.

  • Wash and tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Measure about 16 cups (4 L) into a large salad bowl. Thinly slice onions and add. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

  • To grill chicken, oil grill and preheat barbecue. Grill chicken until golden and springy to the touch, from 6 to 8 minutes per side. Or to sauté, heat about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil in a large nonstick frying pan set over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, partially covered, until springy to the touch, from 6 to 8 minutes per side. Thinly slice chicken into strips.

  • Peel avocado and remove pit. Cut into small chunks. Add warm chicken to salad mixture. Whisk dressing and toss with salad. Sprinkle with avocado.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 419, Protein 22.2g, Carbohydrates 15g, Fat 31.8g, Fibre 6.4g, Sodium 433mg.

Cumin flavours without overpowering this main-course salad, while avocado adds creaminess.

Veg-Mex variation

Omit chicken. Stir 2 additional chopped tomatoes into dressing. After salad is tossed, top with a sprinkling of grated Monterey Jack cheese and crushed tortilla chips.