Strawberry Chicken Salad & Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

May 5, 2012

As I mentioned in my last post (No-Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake), it's strawberry season where I live.  It's one of my absolute favorite food-times of the year!  I just adore fresh strawberries picked from the field that very day.  They're so sweet, juicy, and delicious.  I could pop them in my mouth just as they are ... oh, and I do ... with more than my fair share.

But I like to whip up tasty concoctions with them, too.

So, when I found this Strawberry Chicken Salad in the latest edition of Cooking Light magazine, it didn't take me long to give it a whirl.  And. It. Is. Tasty. - winning the approval of both me and my hubby.

The original recipe calls for using bottled poppy seed dressing.  I wanted to see if I could pull together a homemade dressing, instead of using the bottled.  Not that there's anything wrong with bottled dressings ... I just wanted to also have a homemade alternative.  I loved, loved, loved the homemade dressing!!  I'll definitely be making it again, even when I'm not making this Strawberry Chicken Salad.

For the dressing, combine some cider vinegar, canola oil, a bit of sugar, poppy seeds, and a bunch of chopped onion.  Give it a whirl in a food processor or blender ... and you have homemade Poppy Seed Dressing.  Pretty easy, huh?

Mix this dressing into a combination of chicken, fresh basil, minced green onions, fresh diced strawberries, and chopped pecans ... and you've got one tasty and refreshing chicken salad.  It's great just on its own, but I could also see this in phyllo cups as a wonderful hors d'ouvre ... or, on croissants for a beautiful sandwich ... or, in a tea sandwich, or ... or ... or

I'll just have to give these other ideas a try, won't I?!?

Strawberry Chicken Salad
Source:  Chicken salad adapted from Cooking Light magazine; Homemade poppy seed dressing adapted from Happier than a Pig in Mud
(Printable recipe)
Chicken Salad:
3/4 c. bottled or homemade poppy seed dressing (see below)
1/4 c. minced green onions
3 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 c. chopped cooked chicken
2 c. diced fresh strawberries
1 c. chopped pecans
Salt, to taste

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. white, yellow, or Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds

Prepare the Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing (if using):
1.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Process until well combined.

Prepare the Chicken Salad:
2.  Stir together the poppy seed dressing, green onions, basil, and black pepper in a large bowl.  Fold in the chicken, strawberries, and pecans.  Add salt to taste.

3.  Cover and chill for about 2 hours.

Note:  This salad is best eaten the day it is made.  Though it was still tasty the next day, be aware that on the second day the strawberries will have gotten a bit limp and some of their color will have 'bled' onto the chicken.



  1. It is awesome to have strawberries all day. To have an enticing and fresh salad would be more fun. =)

  2. This salad looks wonderful, and I love that you posted a recipe for homemade poppyseed dressing. I've been wanting to make my own for a long time!

    1. The poppy seed dressing is so easy and so good! I'm not a huge fan of bottled dressings, so am working on having a bigger variety of homemade dressings in my line-up. I really liked this one! (though my Honey Vinegarette is my absolute favorite) :-)

  3. Oh this salad looks amazing! I love hearty, filling salads that are healthy and delicious! Thanks for posting this, I'm always looking for new salad ideas and inspiration! I'm your newest follower! :o)

  4. Beautiful colors in the salad, looks nice and healthy! Glad you liked the dressing:@)

  5. That does look good. I love that you made your own dressing. It sounds delicious! I found you through At The Picket Fence's link party. Hope you'll stop and visit at Quirky Vistas.


  6. Perfect timing for this salad. I am going to try this maybe this week end. Thank you for sharing.

  7. My kids are strange... they love poppyseed. This dressing is going to be a great way to get them to eat more veggies. Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday. See you next week.

  8. This salad looks really good, as does the dressing. I love the strawberries and pecans in the salad. Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday! I hope to see you at the next party!

  9. Oh so yummy!! Thanks for linking to Foodie Friday last week. I've chosen this to feature on todays linky!

  10. Ooooh Tracey, you always have the best recipes! Can't wait to try your homemade dressing over this salad!
    Hope you're having a wonderful long weekend!

  11. Great that you linked in, thanks.

  12. OMGoodness that looks so good! I pinned it to my Soups, Salads & Sandwiches board. I would love to have you share it at my party, the Rock 'N Share going on now.

  13. I made this and loved it--it was a big hit for dinner. Even the kids ate it!


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