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Tahini Chicken with Israeli Tomato + Cucumber Salad

Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Why we love it:

This salad is simple to make and served in many regions throughout the Middle East. It shines when tomatoes and cucumbers are in peak season at the end of the summer. We’ve paired with simple grilled chicken and a craveable tahini sauce. Definitely double up and make the leftovers for your packed lunch!


  • 12 pound Heirloom Tomato (or variety of choice)
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced and divided)
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice, divided)
  • 14 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus a drizzle more perhaps)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 pound Chicken Tenders
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 12 cup Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 14 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
  • Pita (for serving)

Cooking Instructions


    Get ready to chop.

    Dice the tomatoes into small ¼” cubes, adding them and their juices to a bowl as you go. Dice the cucumber to the same size cubes. Dice the red onion into the same size as well - if you only want to use ½ of the onion, save the other ½ for a different use.

    Mince the garlic finely and add in about ½ - reserve the rest for the tahini sauce. Zest and juice ½ of the lemon into the bowl. Add about ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir gently but thoroughly. Set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Sprinkle the chicken tenders with 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon of salt and squeeze the other ½ of the lemon over top.

    Heat a grill pan with 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the tenders. Cook for about 4 - 6 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. The inside should be just opaque and cooked through and the outsides golden brown. Turn off the heat.


    Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the ½ cup tahini, 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, and 1 Tablespoon water until it’s smooth. Add the remaining minced garlic and a pinch of salt to taste.

  • 4. SERVING

    Plate the chicken and a generous scoop of tomato salad. Serve the tahini sauce over top. If desired, serve with a side of rice, lentils or flatbread.

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    use a whole roasted chicken, legs, thighs, grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, etc.
    store bought hummus or pesto would taste great and be easy
    it’s less traditional but adding diced avocado is very tasty

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Deconstruct the salad as needed - omit onion, serve more cucumber and less tomato
  • Serve chicken tenders with tahini sauce as a dip on the side. You can also stir some tahini sauce into yogurt for a creamier and thicker dip
  • Serve with rice or bread

For Toddlers

  • Dice chicken into small pieces
  • Omit the honey from the tahini sauce before offering to them or just mix tahini and yogurt for the sauce
  • Serve with rice and yogurt

For Choosy Eaters

  • Slice cucumbers larger and serve alone - tomatoes too if they like them
  • Stir a bit of tahini sauce into yogurt for their dip
  • Add bread or rice or simple pasta on the side

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. The tahini sauce can be made a week ahead
  2. You can use the seasoning and olive oil on the chicken in a tupperware and marinate overnight. Alternatively, cook the chicken and serve the entire meal cold the next day or for lunch
  3. The chicken, sauce, and salad also taste great in a pita together with some shredded lettuce
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