Fresh, flavorful, easy – that’s this Strawberry Summer Salad in a nutshell! It’s full of summer flavors like juicy blueberries and strawberries, grilled chicken, fresh greens, and a quick poppyseed dressing. Serve this up for every picnic and cook-out from Memorial Day to Labor Day!
This is one of the easiest recipes ever – which makes it perfect for summer time! Who wants to spend all day over a hot stove? Not me, and I suspect, not you either!
So, what’s even in this salad??
- Fresh Fruit – Blueberries! Strawberries! YUM!
- Pecans – Gotta have some crunch, ya know?
- Fresh Greens – Essential for the base of any salad
- Grilled Chicken – Because it’s grilling season!
- Poppyseed Dressing – Super simple to make and only 5 ingredients
- Feta Cheese – because CHEESE
- Bacon – because BACON (I realize I used essentially the same argument for cheese, but can you blame me?)
The only things that require any prep work in this salad are the strawberries (roughly chop them), the dressing (shake it up in a jar in about 10 seconds) and the chicken (grill some or use rotisserie chicken to make it even easier on yourself).
See? SO easy. You can, of course, customize this to meet your own preferences/needs. Leave out the chicken and bacon to make it a vegetarian option. If you’re serving this at a cook out or picnic, just have a plate of grilled chicken and some bacon crumbles on the side that people can add to their own serving!
Don’t like nuts? Leave them out or have them on the side! You can also leave the dressing on the side so people can choose to add as much or as little as they want.
Don’t you just want to stuff your face into this bowl of fresh, flavorful goodness?? I know I do! Also, can we talk about how it basically looks like 4th of July in a bowl? I was NOT going for that look but I think it worked out perfectly – just screams SUMMER!
If you want to prep this salad for lunches during the week, I recommend prepping each component and keeping them in their own containers in the fridge. Salads generally don’t hold up that well once they’ve been assembled and had the dressing added.
This salad serves about 3-4 as a main dish, and 6-8 as a side! I left my chicken in big strips but you can certainly chop those pieces smaller to stretch the serving size. You can, of course, double or cut this recipe in half to fit your needs as well!
The important thing is that you make + enjoy this salad, preferably out on your deck, in the warm sun, with a glass of ice water in hand. Er, I mean wine? Is that what adults drink? Am I the only one who’s still just obsessed with plain ice water? ?
Happy Cooking, friends!
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Strawberry Summer Salad with Chicken, Bacon, and Poppyseed Dressing
- 3 cups mixed greens I used a mix of arugula, spinach, and butter lettuce
- 1 lb chicken breast, seasoned + cooked see note below about how I cook mine without a grill
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 4 TBSP white wine vinegar
- 4 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP water
- 3-4 TBSP sugar
- 1 TBSP poppyseeds
- 2 tsp honey mustard
- pinch of salt
- Prep: Cook your chicken and bacon. We like to do our bacon in the oven, according to package directions. I like to season the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add 1 TBSP olive oil to a medium pan on the stove top over medium heat and cook chicken 4-6 minutes on each side, until done in the middle (no pink!). OR grill your chicken!
- Dressing: Add all dressing ingredients (starting with only 3 TBSP sugar) to a mason jar, tightly screw on the lid, and shake for a minute to combine everything. Taste, and add the extra TBSP of sugar if desired.
- Salad: Assemble the salad - start with your greens - roughly chop them - then add the chicken, bacon, pecans, berries, and cheese. Add the dressing just before serving.
- Make Ahead + Serving Tips: I do NOT recommend assembling the salad ahead of time. You can have the individual components prepped (slice the strawberries, cook and slice the chicken and bacon, etc.) a day ahead, but wait until just before serving to assemble the salad. You can always leave the dressing on the side so people can add as much or as little as they want. Same with the meat, nuts, or cheese to accommodate people with dietary restrictions.
- Store: Store leftovers, covered tightly, in the fridge for 2-3 days. It's best enjoyed closest to the day it was made.
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