Reason number 247,628 why I love summer? Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed Salad. It is hands down my favorite salad, and I look forward to Panera bringing it back each summer. With juicy slices of chicken, crunchy bites of pecans, and a sweet explosion of fresh summertime fruit, this salad is amazing.
I kept the same fresh flavors throughout the recipe, but I substituted baby spinach for the traditional romaine lettuce, just to incorporate some extra vitamins and nutrients. You can either make your own poppyseed dressing (recipe below), or find a favorite at your local grocery store (there are some really tasty options out there). However you decide to dress it, this salad provides a light, refreshing, and satisfying meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
- 3 cups baby spinach
- You may also use romaine
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (in juice) – drained
- 1/2 cup mandarin oranges – drained
- 1/4 cup pecans or slivered almonds
- 3 ounces grilled chicken breast – sliced
- If you are looking to save time, there are many pre-grilled refrigerated chicken options, which you can find near the lunch meat. The brands that come to mind are Oscar Meyer and Perdue.
- Poppyseed Dressing – to taste (about 2-4 tablespoons)
- Homemade (recipe follows) or Store-bought
Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing
Inspired from Food.com
- 1/4 cup light Miracle Whip
- You can also use light mayo, but I would increase the sugar a little bit
- 2 tbls. milk
- 1 tbls. sugar or Splenda
- Add more or less depending on desired sweetness
- 1 tbls. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. poppy seeds
- Toss together salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Drizzle desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
- Refrigerate remaining dressing for future use.