Chicken Farro Salad

Lemony Leftover Chicken and Farro Salad

The whole family will love this hearty, healthy chicken farro salad recipe. Use leftover chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is my go-to) chewy, nutty farro and a bevy of Mediterranean flavors for a bright, delicious farro salad that’s great for picnics and easy summer eating.

leftover rotisserie chicken for the Mediterranean salad.

Why You’ll Love Lemony Leftover Chicken and Farro Salad

I’ve been making versions of healthy chicken salad like this for years.  I love it because it doesn’t get weighed down with goopy mayonnaise or creamy dressings that can become a petri dish of biohazards when sitting out on a hot summer day. Instead, it’s loaded with big identifiable chunks of chicken and fresh vegetables and simply dressed with a lemony vinaigrette.

we like to eat our leftover chicken farro salad under the chickee hut overlooking Florida Bay.

Since we spend many weekends visiting my parents in the Florida Keys (where it’s perpetually 95° and balmy), we’d rather be boating, swimming or crooning to Jimmy Buffett instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Therefore, I make this leftover chicken farro salad the day before and bring it out the next day at lunchtime along with ice cold drinks and chilled wedges of pineapple and watermelon for an easy, breezy picnic lunch under the chickee hut. (That’s the chickee hut above — and you can’t really see it in this shot, but there is a picnic table under there.)

Combining vegetables for farro salad in a bowl.

You can actually take this salad in many different directions depending on what you mix it with, but for this particular rendition, I’m sticking with Mediterranean flavors.

Newsletter Signup
Join our community of food lovers!

Get my latest recipes, helpful kitchen tips and more good things each week in your inbox.

Ingredients For Leftover Chicken Farro Salad

  • Leftover Rotisserie Chicken – I use the breast meat.
  • Farro – cook according to the package instructions and cool completely before assembling the salad
  • Chick Peas – from a can; well rinsed and drained.
  • Onion – I use red onion, but you can also use sweet or Vidalia onions.
  • Grape Tomatoes – if they’re large, slice them in half.
  • Roasted Bell Pepper you can use storebought or learn how to make roasted bell peppers here.
  • Kalmata Olives – I get mine from the deli section; the ones packed in oil.
  • Cucumber (I used English cucumbers) – if you use regular cukes, peel and seed tehm before slicing.
  • Feta Cheese – you can use crumbled cheese or get a block and dice it.
  • Capers – packed in brine, these tiny little buds add a punch of flavor.
  • Fresh Parsley – to add a lightness to the salad.
  • Mint Leaves – you might think mint doesn’t go with savory, but it enhances the other flavors.
  • Oregano – just a little fresh oregano goes a long way.
Cooking and cooling whole grains for farro salad.

Pro Tip:

The key to this salad is to cook the farro and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding other ingredients. Otherwise, it would wilt the vegetables, and you want them to stay vibrant. When cooling the farro, remove the lid to allow the grains to dry out as they cool.  

cutting feta cheese for the leftover chicken salad.

Best Cheese For Healthy Chicken Salad

You can use several types of cheeses in this Mediterranean farro salad.

I prefer feta (the crumbles or a whole block cut into cubes), but fresh mozzarella chunks would be great, too. Even shaved parmesan would bring an earthy, umami flair.

I usually don’t add the cheese until just before serving to keep the flavors fresh and the texture palatable. (Not to be gross, but the cheese that sits in a salad for a few days can take on a wholly unpleasant texture). 

making lemon dressing with a whisk.

Making the dressing

Tangy citrus dressing really adds a lively punch to the flavors in the leftover rotisserie chicken salad and it’s so much better than any ready-made salad dressing.

Ingredients For lemon dressing:

  • Lemon (zest and juice
  • Garlic
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified and dress the salad, tossing well to coat all the ingredients. Note: You may not need all of the vinaigrette for the salad. Add about half of the dressing and toss completely, then taste for seasoning. If it needs more, add it a tablespoon at a time, tossing after each addition.

dressing the Mediterranean chickpea salad.

Versatility of Healthy Chicken Salad

This simple, flavorful leftover chicken farro salad with that citrusy dose of vinaigrette and fresh herbs is an easy, delicious meal, that’s perfect for picnics, potlucks and even pack-n-go work lunches… and if you happen to be vacationing by the shore, make it ahead of time, for a no-fuss, healthy, delicious meal to fuel your fun-filled day. 

Healthy chicken salad in a wooden bowl.

More Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes: 

Serving Healthy Chicken Salad

More Farro Salad Recipes:

Tried this recipe? Leave a rating and review.

Your comments and shares are invaluable to me and the thousands of readers who use this site daily. If you've made the recipe, leave a star rating and review. We want to hear how you liked it.

We'd love it if you shared the recipe with your friends on social media!

Print Pin
5 from 9 votes

Lemony Leftover Chicken and Farro Salad

This salad makes a complete meal for lunch or dinner!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword baked chicken, farro, vinaigrette
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


For Salad

  • breast meat from 1 rotisserie chicken skinned, boned, diced into 1/2″ chunks
  • cups grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ english cucumber sliced lengthwise and cut into thin half moons
  • ½ red onion finely diced
  • 1 red yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped into bite size chunks
  • 1 cup farro prepared according to manufacturers instructions
  • 8 ounces garbanzo beans chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup kalamata olives seeded, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 1 cup feta cheese drained and cubed
  • ½ cup italian parsley leaves fresh chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves optional, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano fresh optional, chopped

For Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or other wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • For salad: In a large bowl toss all salad ingredients together.
  • For vinaigrette: Add the lemon juice to a glass measuring cup. Add enough vinegar to the lemon juice to equal 1/4 cup liquid. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until dressing is emulsified.
  • Drizzle dressing over the chicken salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.


If you’re not serving the salad immediately, wait to add the herbs just before serving for brighter, and fresher flavors.


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 2261mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 333mg | Iron: 5.3mg

Pin “Lemony Leftover Chicken and Farro Salad” For Later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    Cannot get my husband and son to eat hardly anything but beef and potatoes. I was craving some Mediterranean and came across your recipe (honestly made the whole thing for me, ). But hubs said it looked so good he had to try it. He liked Now to see if we can sneak some into the teenager. Really great recipe. Thank you

  2. Jessica Formicola says:

    5 stars
    I love all of the bright colors and flavors of this salad! I can’t wait to have it for lunch today!

  3. 5 stars
    I loved this salad! So many ways to enjoy and so flavorful!

  4. 5 stars
    What a delicious chicken recipe! My family will love the flavors, colors and textures of this farro salad. It’s the perfect side dish for our family BBQ this weekend!

  5. 5 stars
    Such a fabulous use for leftover chicken! I love all the colors of the fresh veggies in this dish and I’m always up for a lunch that’s both healthy and delicious!

    1. I’m glad you like it– we seriously eat this at least 1-2 times per month.

  6. 5 stars
    Excellent salad! It has everything … a grain, chicken, vegetables and lots of flavor. My only comment is that I feel you’ve underestimated how many people it can feed. I felt that this could easily feed 8 people. I will make this again. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Karen! On the portion size, I guess my family are big eaters…

  7. My parents just did a kitchen remodel (thanks to a water leak) and tore down a wall to create an open concept. They lived in a condo for the majority of the time though (thanks to insurance). I can relate with the stress, I can’t believe they’re living at home through it! I hope everything goes smoothly, quickly, and properly. It was very sweet of you to bring them such a fresh meal.

  8. Suzanne King says:

    I still want to eat them both. You’re doing a great job and I look so forward to your posts. Thanks for the good times!

    1. Thanks so much Suzanne! I appreciate hearing from you!

  9. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I love all the ingredients in this salad-olives and farro and fresh tomatoes. And the dressing sounds so tart and refreshing. Can’t wait to try. I hope your parents’ reno goes well!

  10. says:

    Sounds delicious. I want to prepare this sometime.

  11. Oh, good luck to them!

    And that salad looks delicious – and perfect when you want to carry something, and have it fresh and nice a few hours later! I’m sure they enjoyed it.

    1. It’s perfect for just that type of occasion, Anne