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Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce

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Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.

Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.

We’re obsessed with street-cart Halal chicken, but since all the good chicken trucks are in the city which is over an hour commute from me, I had to figure out a way to make this to make it part of our dinner rotation!

When I worked full-time in New York City, I often hit up the halal chicken trucks for lunch, the smell of the sizzling chicken always lured me in! I usually swapped out the rice for salad and loaded on the white sauce and hot sauce. My husband is also obsessed, and has been asking me to recreate the chicken and white sauce for years.

Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.

After many attempts at trying to get the white sauce right, I finally created a version that we all loved, which also happens to be good for you and your gut! I partnered with Stonyfield, my favorite yogurt brand to create this sauce with their new Stonyfield Whole Milk Yogurt with Probiotics, which is so creamy and delicious and so perfect in this sauce. Now there are 1 billion more reasons to love Stonyfield Yogurt even more! And trust me, you might want to double the sauce recipe, it’s that good! Is it exactly like the ones you get from the street carts? No, but who cares, we all love it!

How To Make Halal Chicken


If you wish to serve this over rice instead, you certainly can. I would cook up some brown basmati rice in chicken broth to serve on the side. For the hot sauce drizzled on top, I used some prepared harissa and it was perfect.

What is Halal Sauce Made Of?

To figure out the infamous white sauce recipe, my husband actually took a packet of white sauce the last time he ordered out, which listed most of the ingredients on the back. It was easy to figure out mayonnaise was a key ingredient, but the buttermilk powder and spices was pretty vague. A quick search on the internet turned up many recipes I tried, but most had too much mayonnaise and didn’t taste right. After several attempts, we all loved this final version made with plain whole milk yogurt (not Greek or low-fat) a touch of mayonnaise, a little lemon juice, vinegar, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. And since I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more probiotics in my day, this recipe is a winner!

Tips and Variations

  • Can you use 0% yogurt? Sure, but it won’t taste as good.
  • Can you use chicken breast for halal chicken? Street carts always use chicken thighs, which my family loves because they are moist and juicy. If you prefer breasts, you’ll want to cut down on the cook time so it doesn’t dry out.
  • How long will the white sauce last in the refrigerator? 4 to 5 days should be fine.
  • How can you make this for meal prep? Keep the salad and chicken separate so you can heat up the chicken separately if you want to eat it hot. Pack the dressing and hot sauce in small containers. These are the glass meal prep containers (affil link) I have and love.

Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.

Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce

4.95 from 171 votes
Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Arabic
Halal Food Cart inspired chicken served over a big salad of lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with a yummy white sauce.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 salad


For the chicken:

  • 24 ounces about 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

White Yogurt Sauce (makes 1 1/4 cups):

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • prepared mild harissa, optional for drizzling


  • Season the chicken with lemon juice, garlic, cumin, oil, salt and spices. Set aside at least 15 minutes, or as long as overnight.
  • Combine the ingredients for the white yogurt sauce and refrigerate.
  • When ready to cook, heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken and leave until the bottom is completely browned, about 5 minutes before flipping.
  • Cook on the other side for another 4 to 5 minutes, until browned.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the chicken continue cooking, about 10 minutes, until just about cooked through in the thickest parts (no worries if it’s not completely cooked).
  • Set aside on a cutting board and chop the chicken into thin strips and add back to the pan to brown and finish cooking, 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Assemble the salad by dividing the lettuce, tomato and red onion.
  • Top with chicken and drizzle with yogurt sauce (this is your dressing) and harissa, if desired.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 salad, Calories: 345 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 37.5 g, Fat: 16 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 13 mg, Sodium: 666 mg, Fiber: 2.5 g, Sugar: 7 g


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Skinnytaste possible. All thoughts are my own. Photo credit: Jess Larson.

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293 comments on “Food Cart-Style Chicken Salad with White Sauce”

  1. Hi all! I don’t have mayo. Do I have to buy a jar or can I add some Greek yogurt to the stony field? Thank you!

  2. Finally got around to making this and was not disappointed. Super flavorful way to cook chicken and can easily become a staple. The creamy yogurt sauce was not too tart, but just right. Ate it as a salad with toasted naan on the side and the crunchy lettuce and onions were a great texture with the chicken and tomatoes. I didn’t have harissa or the ingredients to make it but I am sure it would have been a wonderful addition.

  3. Yummy!  The flavor on  the chicken is amazing!  The white sauce is scrumptious.  The combination of flavors with the salad and harissa., perfection!!   Will definitely be making this again.

  4. What’s the level of spiciness?  My wife can’t tolerate spicy. If I leave out harissa on hers, would it work??

  5. I love this recipe so much and use the white sauce with many other dishes like salmon. It is versatile to put the chicken in a pita or as a salad so it works with my family. I have already made this many times and have shared the recipe with all my friends and family (who cook).

  6. Ok, I was all set to make these with boneless skinless thighs, and then I opened my package of thighs from the freezer and realized they were skin on and bone in. I went forward with the marinade anyway, without skin, and grilled them on indirect medium high for about 50 minutes (to 195 F, which I prefer because you get some breakdown of collagen). These are fabulous, even without the yogurt! I was too lazy to get to the store to get the yogurt in time and I’m just eating them with nothing else and I can confirm that they are fantastic!

  7. This recipe has been a mainstay in our house for a couple years now ! When it gets hot, I start to crave this amazing sauce and the crisp salad. It’s great perfectly as is, but I usually add avocado and pickled peppadew peppers thinly sliced. It’s great with whatever’s on hand – I’ve made a fully veggie salad with greens, avo, cucumber, artichoke hearts and chickpeas with that DRESSING ! So yum. Thank you for this recipe !

  8. Ok so I never write reviews. Like ever. But I just had to share how much I LOVED this recipe. I’ve made it twice in two weeks because it is THAT good. The sauce, chicken flavor and veggies are the perfect combination. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars! I’ve already sent this recipe to quite a few friends and family members. This will definitely be a repetitive staple recipe at my house. 

  9. This turned out great! It was easy, tasty, and healthy. I did end up adding some minced fresh garlic to sauce, as it seemed to need a little something. I definitely recommend adding the harissa (or even sriracha, as I know harissa isn’t always easy to find) to the salad, too. 

  10. Avatar photo
    Kristina Hudson

    This was a delicious dinner!  I marinated the chicken overnight and used my cast iron skillet to cook it, it was so full of flavor!  I will definitely make this again and again!!!!

  11. This is one of our favorites.   I usually grill the chicken and found that Stoneyfield whole milk Greek yogurt gave the sauce a nice zing.  

  12. So delicious! Immediately added to the weeknight rotation. My husband raved and we sent to others to make. Truly delicious and so easy! The flavors were unexpected and unbelievable.

  13. This was so delicious, it was ridiculous. My husband had to force himself to stop devouring it. We served it with whole wheat pita and made a sandwich out of it. So yum!

  14. This chicken was extremely good! I ended up marinating the chicken for 24 hours. Chicken was so juicy and flavorful. I’ve never had this from a food cart in NYC so i have nothing to compare this to. But reading about it sounded so good, I’m glad I tried it. 
    The white sauce was so-so. I found it kinda boring. I don’t know what it needs, but definitely needs some zing.
    By the way, the recipe suggested you cook for 5 minutes each side, then turn to low for 10 minutes, then slice and cook again for another 10 minutes. That is way too long. Just do 5 minutes each side, slice and then back on for another 10 minutes, just like the video. Not sure if it’s a typo?