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Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

This flavorful Moroccan inspired chicken salad recipe takes minutes to make and is full of good-for-you ingredients like avocado, pineapple, roasted red peppers & spices.

Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with a Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, a Moroccan inspired fresh salad that takes minutes to make but full of unexpected delicious flavors!

I cannot believe how fast this week has gone. I seriously feel like I just got back from Santa Barbara and its already Friday! Next thing you know it will be May.

Oh wait.. thats next week!

Sometimes I feel like I want to throw a toddler temper tantrum, stomp my feet on the ground and tell time to slow down! Do you ever feel like that?

 Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with sliced avocado, pineapple, roasted red pepper and crumbled feta

I would love to just to sit enjoy the moment and not feel like I moving from one event to the next.

I felt like that a couple weeks ago when I made this Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad for the first time – just sat, relaxed, and enjoyed eating this salad..

I hadn’t tried Harissa before … but if you remember one of my goals for the beginning of this year was to try new things in the culinary world.

Speaking of .. I tried octopus this past weekend .. interesting … not bad just interesting because you can see the tentacles. 🙁

Top view of Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad in a bowl with grilled pineapple, sliced avocado, roasted red pepper and crumbled feta

Ok, back to the salad.

So Harissa, have you tried it?

Do you know what it is?

Well, let me enlighten you. Its a Moroccan Hot Chili Paste. It kinda tastes like a combo of sweet roasted red peppers and hot chilis, but its not overly hot. Its pretty much delicious and I’ve been putting it on everything lately!

For this recipe I wanted to mix a bunch of different flavor profiles. To be honest I wasn’t sure it was going to work, I was just kinda throwing stuff together. But that’s what’s so fun about cooking, no rhyme or reason just experimenting!

Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad in a bowl with grilled pineapple, roasted red pepper, sliced avocado and crumbled feta

Guess what?

It totally worked. #success

Not only is this dish so fun and colorful to look at. It is gluten free, healthy, easy to make, involves the grill (which just boosts this dish to the next level), and will keep your taste buds guessing at which flavor it coming next!

The Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is a concoction that Cason and I made. For real. This kid just dips his finger in to a vinegar based dressing and says… mommy I think you need this! He’s such my little Bobby Flay and I love it! I was trying to shoot for a chimichurri base for the dressing and then added in some greek yogurt to smooth it out.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette being poured over Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad

It’s ah-mazing and totally works with the rest of the ingredients!

I really hope you try this recipe, it will blow your mind how all the flavors go so well together. There’s sweet, salty, spicy, and creamy! Everything you want in a dish and then some.

Brighten your salad adventures and move away from the plain old lettuce, tomato, and cucumber recipes. Your family will thank you for it!

Top view of a bowl of Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with grilled pineapple, limes, and fresh avocado

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quick easy dinner ideas

Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 24 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad, Chicken
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American


This flavorful Moroccan inspired chicken salad recipe takes minutes to make & is full of ingredients like avocado, pineapple, roasted red peppers & spices.



Harissa Lime Chicken:

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons of Mina Harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt & pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 rings of pineapple, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 1 cup of julienned roasted red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 12 oz. of fresh spring mix salad

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil


  1. In a bowl mix, harissa, smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, dry cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Mix until just combined.
  2. Add raw chicken breasts to bowl. Toss so that chicken breast is covered. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to let sauce soak to the chicken.
  3. In the meantime, to a food processor add, garlic clove, red wine vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, greek yogurt, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Heat grill to medium high heat, add marinaded chicken to grill along with fresh pineapple rings.
  5. Grill chicken for 5-7 minute per side. (until there is no more pink in center) Grill pineapple for 2-3 minutes per side, so you get grill marks.
  6. Assemble salad, add 3 oz. spring mix to 4 small bowls, top each with roasted red peppers, grilled pineapple, avocado slices, crumbled feta cheese, and sliced grilled harissa lime chicken. Serve with vinaigrette on the side.

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Recipe collage for Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette being poured over Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad



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30 comments on “Harissa Lime Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette”

  1. By “dry cilantro”, do you mean fresh cilantro (coriander) that has been washed and dried or coriander seeds (whole or ground)? I have never encountered the expression, except when I lived in Afghanistan, when it meant the seeds. Also, do you use fresh pineapple or canned?

    1. Hey Cahn, when I say dry cilantro I mean the dry cilantro that comes in bottle. If you do not have that then wash and dry fresh cilantro and just use the fresh cilantro but I would use double the amount called for in the recipe because fresh is not as strong as dry. And for the pineapple I used fresh pineapple, I find its easier to grill. 🙂 Hope that helps, if you need more “work arounds” totally let me know I’d love to help!

    1. Absolutely! I LOVED it! Harissa has totally changed my world. I just put it on eggs the other day. Glad you liked the salad!

  2. Avatar photo
    Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen

    That is a bowl of beauty right there, Krista! The vinaigrette sounds amazing! And how cute is your son and his Bobby Flay skills, by the way?! Sounds like he’s headed in his mama’s footsteps! 🙂

  3. Avatar photo
    Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates

    Time really does go by too fast. I hate that part apart being a grown up.
    This bowl seriously puts chipotle salads to shame (and I am obsessed with theirs!). LOVE harissa!!!

  4. Avatar photo
    Danae @ Recipe Runner

    Octopus is definitely interesting! This salad is interesting too, but in a totally different way, like I want to eat a huge bowl of it and douse it in the vinaigrette kind of way! Can’t wait to try it out!

  5. Avatar photo
    Kate @ Diethood

    WHOA WHOA WHOA! WAAANT! Now I know what I’ll be making this weekend!! And I’ll pass on the octopus… 😉

    1. haha… love it Kate! Totally just made my day! And yes, pass on the octopus those “suckers” staring you in the face is a little hard to get past. But at least I can say I did it! 😉

  6. Avatar photo
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Oh I absolutely love harissa. You don’t need to convince me of that! And I’m obsessed with bowl food and grilling and basically everything you have going on here. In fact, I think you must have made this just for me!

  7. Avatar photo
    heather @french press

    how is it that I have still not tried harissa…this salad sounds like the perfect summer dinner, and I love that your little chef is so involved 🙂

    1. girl! Get on it … although it was my first time trying it when I made this salad but I love it now!

      And it totally cracks me up when little man sticks his finger in to a bowl of vinegar…eeek!

  8. Avatar photo
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    This is BEYOND gorgeous! Seriously, I am awed! I know my husband would love it, and I could totally make a vegetarian version for myself using tofu!

    1. Awww.. thanks girl! You are too sweet. You could totally make a vegetarian version! I can’t wait to hear what you and your husband think!

  9. Avatar photo
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

    Cason is going to have one refined palate! Love it. And I hear ya. I wish so many times I could just sit and enjoy the moment rather than thinking of the long laundry list of things I have to do! Like pack so we can move next week ;( Ugh!

    1. haha.. right. It still shocks me everytime he wants to try something. I guess he does it because mommy does it, but still.. he’s three! 🙂

      Eeek….. can’t wait to see pics of you new house girl! I know its going to be awesome, you have great taste!

  10. Avatar photo
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    Gosh girl this looks soo good. I am so sad I missed you ladies in Santa Barbara but I loved reliving all of it through your gorgeous photos!

    1. I AM TOOO!! I was so hoping you were going. I miss you since our last little adventure in Chicago. Are you gonna go to blogher food this year since its in chicago? if so… we need to hang out.. well we need to hang out if you don’t go! 🙂 hehe Thanks for the love chica.. glad you had relax time with the hubs, that is always needed!

  11. Avatar photo
    Heather - Butter&Burlap

    Delish!! This looks amazing! Whenever Spring hits I get cravings for salads all the time, but find myself running out of ideas haha. This is a perfect recipe to kick start my salad eating, “better-get-ready-for-swim-suit-season” mind-set. So harissa… never tried it. I like that you described the flavor profile, sounds like something I would totally be into. Is it easy to find in grocery stores? I live in the middle of no where in small town, USA, so I didn’t know if this would be an ingredient that would be available. I’d love to try it in this recipe though!

    1. I’ve been there girl! I’m always trying to find new ways to change up salads in the spring.

      So glad you appreciated the description of harissa, I know I would want to know what it tastes like before I buy it. 🙂 And yes, its in the international section at your grocery store. (or at least at mine it is) If you can’t find it there I’m sure you could order it – I used Mina (the brand).