Think back to the last time you savored a hearty, vibrant salad, bursting with sweet and savory flavors. Perhaps you were at a local bistro, or maybe it was during a lazy weekend brunch at home.
Now, imagine the opportunity to bring that very experience to your own dining table. That’s what we’re here for today!
Dive into the journey of preparing a magnificent Strawberry Chicken Salad paired with a tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, and believe us, this salad not only equals, but also surpasses its restaurant counterparts.
Crafting the Strawberry Chicken Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
Beginning with the Dressing
Let’s start with a fascinating facet of this salad – the Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing. The dressing takes center stage, transforming simple ingredients into a delightfully tangy, sweet, and creamy condiment.
This dressing is lighter, a nod to those preferring a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
Combine 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, followed by a 1/4 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed for the best flavor. Sourcing the zest from 1 lemon, you may need an extra lemon to obtain the right quantity of juice.
Into the mix, add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, or olive oil if that’s what you have on hand. To sweeten things up, incorporate 2 teaspoons of a powdered sweetener of your choice.
Lastly, introduce 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together and voila!
You have a rich and creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing, its flavor leaving you pining for more.
Building the Salad
Moving on to the ingredients of the salad, it’s all about playing with textures and flavors. The first ingredient on the list is feta cheese, preferably a brick of feta that you crumble yourself.
Trust us, the extra effort is absolutely worth it.
Chicken forms the protein backbone of our salad. For convenience, pre-cooked, frozen, diced chicken breasts work wonders.
Just microwave for a minute to a minute and a half, and you’ve got your chicken ready!
The salad also includes sliced strawberries, approximately 2 to 3 large ones per salad, offering a burst of sweetness to balance the savoriness of the chicken and feta. But, there’s more!
Candied pecans lend an irresistible crunch and sweetness to the salad. Baking pecans with a mix of egg white and sweetener at 250 degrees for 45 minutes creates these delectable bites.
Start assembling by selecting your base – spinach works incredibly well here. Toss in about 3 to 4 ounces of chicken, add in your self-crumbed feta, sliced strawberries, and a handful of your candied pecans. Finish with a drizzle of your Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing.
Indulge in this sensory delight – the saltiness of the feta, the sweetness of the strawberries and pecans, the savory chicken, and the creamy tang of the dressing.
Each bite is a different melody, yet together they form a beautiful symphony.
Tips and Variations
Customize this salad to your preferences:
- For a vegan version, swap the chicken for tofu and use a plant-based yogurt for the dressing.
- Add other berries for an extra fruit burst – blueberries and raspberries work great.
- Opt for a different cheese – goat cheese or blue cheese would make a delicious substitute.
- Swap spinach for other greens such as arugula or mixed lettuce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different oil in the dressing?
Absolutely! While we recommend avocado or olive oil for their flavor profiles, any oil you prefer will work fine.
What if I don’t have fresh lemons?
Fresh lemons lend a vibrant freshness to the dressing. However, in a pinch, bottled lemon juice and dried lemon zest can be used.
Kitchen Tools/Equipment Needed:
To prepare this dish, you’ll need:
- A large salad bowl
- A whisk
- A citrus zester
- A citrus juicer
- A microwave (if using pre-cooked chicken)
- An oven (for making candied pecans)
This hearty Strawberry Chicken Salad with a Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing brings together the perfect blend of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors. It’s an excellent meal option for a quick lunch or a light dinner.
For the Salad:
3 to 4 oz pre-cooked diced chicken breasts
2 to 3 large strawberries, sliced
A handful of spinach
A piece of feta cheese, crumbled
A few candied pecans
For the Dressing:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons powdered sweetener
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Start by preparing the dressing. Combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, avocado oil, sweetener, and poppy seeds in a bowl. Whisk until creamy.
- In a salad bowl, add spinach. Top with chicken, strawberries, and crumbled feta.
- Sprinkle a few candied pecans over the salad.
- Drizzle with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing. Toss and serve.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Lunch/Dinner
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 Salad
- Calories: 350
- Sugar: 9g
- Sodium: 250mg
- Fat: 22g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 12g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 22g
- Cholesterol: 60mg
Keywords: Strawberry Chicken Salad Recipe