Souvla San Francisco restaurant chicken salad copycat - this San Fran Chicken Salad with Yoghurt Ranch Dressing is sensational - satisfying, filling, and loaded with incredible flavours and textures.
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4.89 from 9 votes

San Fran Chicken Salad with Yoghurt Ranch Dressing

Inspired by Souvla, a popular restaurant in San Francisco, this is one of the best chicken salads I've ever had. Yes there are lots of components - but it is worth it! Yoghurt is a terrific marinade for chicken - tenderises, adds juiciness and infuses with flavour. It's satisfying, filling, fresh, great textures, the dressing is awesome. Great show off salad to serve to friends! VIDEO below.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 2 -3 people
Calories: 479kcal
Author: Nagi


Yoghurt Ranch Dressing:

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt, preferably full fat
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp EACH dried dill, parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper (Note 1)
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

Chicken & Marinade:

  • 200 - 250 g / 7 - 8 oz chicken breast, halved horizontally
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp oil, for cooking

Pickled Onion:

  • 1/2 red onion, halved then finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar

Marinated Kale:

  • 3 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces (Note 2)
  • 1 - 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  • 1 grapefruit or orange
  • 4 cups cos lettuce, romaine or other crispy lettuce, torn or cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 fennel, shaved (0.5 mm / 1/5" thickness) or finely sliced
  • Handful snow pea sprouts, optional
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan


  • Mix the Yoghurt Ranch Dressing ingredients in a bowl. Adjust olive oil + lemon juice to taste.
  • Chicken Marinade: Transfer 1/4 cup into a bowl with the chicken. Add lemon juice and garlic. Toss to coat, marinate for 1 hr - 24 hours.
  • Place Pickled Onion ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat. Set aside for 1 hour+ or until onion is softened (if in a rush, make sure the onion is finely sliced = faster pickle).
  • Place kale in a large bowl, drizzle with oil then sprinkle with salt. Use your fingers to massage the oil onto the leaves - you want to ensure every part of the kale is coated in oil. Set aside for 30 minutes or until kale is softened.
  • Segment the grapefruit or orange - watch the video. Do this over a bowl to catch juices. Squeeze all remaining juice out of the membrane after segmenting.
  • Pour juices into the Dressing. Mix - it should now be more of a Dressing consistency.
  • Cook Chicken: Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until nicely charred. Transfer onto plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes. Slice thinly.
  • Assemble Salad: Add lettuce, fennel and chicken into the kale bowl. Spoon over most of the dressing to coat everything lightly, then toss well. Transfer into a serving bowl.
  • Scatter over grapefruit, onion (not the liquid), top with a handful of snow pea sprouts, sprinkle over parmesan. Drizzle over remaining dressing to taste. Serve!


1. Feel free to swap the dried herbs for fresh. Triple the quantity if using fresh, finely chopped. i.e. 3/4 tsp of each herb.
2. KALE: Tear the leaves off the thick stalk running down the middle of each leaf, then tear into bite size pieces. Measure the kale by lightly packing the torn pieces into measuring cups. This is a terrific easy way to prepare raw kale for salads.
3. This recipe serves 2 generously as a main, or 3 normal people (perhaps with a small roll). Nutrition assumes 2 servings, assuming full fat Greek yoghurt is used.


Serving: 611g | Calories: 479kcal