Here’s a sneak peek into my lunch world.
Because I cannot stop eating this strawberry poppyseed salad! I mean, I am eating it every day. It is to die for. Delicious. So fresh. Satisfying but not heavy. Major flavor bomb. And it’s also kind of a copycat panera strawberry poppyseed chicken salad. Secrets!
We’ve developed a once-a-week habit of going to (or bringing home) Panera because Max is obsessed with bagels at the moment. Like, they are probably his favorite food right now and for those of you with toddlers, if there is a favorite food that isn’t mac and cheese or hot dogs… we are ALL over it.
I didn’t eat at Panera for YEARS. I mean, maybe ten-ish years? After college, I burned myself out on it and wasn’t really interested in the options. I don’t love deli meat or cold sandwiches and for a long time, the salads were sad. Just couldn’t do it!
But then Eddie started grabbing lunch there occasionally and would mention it. And once Emilia was born, I think that is when we started getting it once a week or every other.
And while I’d love to get a massive bread bowl of soup every single time, it is super heavy and not really conducive to hot summer weather.
Enter that freaking strawberry poppyseed salad. It is SO good. Sometimes I get the strawberry poppyseed salad on its own. Sometimes I get the strawberry poppyseed salad with chicken. Even better.
There has never been a more SUMMER meal than this.
Now I will say! It is sweet. It is a really, really sweet salad. I practically feel like I’m eating dessert. It has strawberries, blueberries, oranges and pineapple. Plus a fairly sweet poppyseed dressing that I added lime and orange to. If you’re someone who wants more savory? This probably isn’t for you.
HOWEVER. It tastes insanely fantastic if you want a refreshing, fruit-based salad for summer.
The balsamic chicken grills up perfectly and tastes like heaven. It adds the best savory bite and I usually don’t even care about chicken. You could easily add shrimp or salmon too. A million options here for you bored millennials like me.
I could eat bowl after bowl after bowl of this salad and you can bet that I will for the rest of the season.
We went strawberry picking this past weekend and the abundance of fresh, wildly sweet strawberries makes me so happy. And believe it or now, more so than cobbler, this salad is my favorite way to consume the red gems.
I don’t even know me!
Grilled Chicken Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 cups torn butter lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup sliced pineapple
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 3/4 cup mandarin oranges
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted chasews
citrus poppyseed dressing
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Place the chicken in a baking dish or a resealable bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour it over the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per sides. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly.
In a large bowl, toss the butter lettuce with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the strawberries, pineapple, blueberries and oranges. Toss well. Add the chicken and cashews on top and drizzle on the dressing to serve.
citrus poppyseed dressing
Combine the vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, honey, shallot, garlic, mustard powder, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until combined. With the processor on, stream in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and comes together. Stir in the poppy seeds with a spoon and serve. This stays great in the fridge for a few days!
All images and text © .
Please please please please please go make this for lunch. K thanks bye!