Easy Strawberry Poppyseed Salad Panera Bread Copycat

This is the best-tasting Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad recipe with my healthy, creamy poppyseed salad dressing made higher in protein with cottage cheese, and honey, orange juice, and avocado oil. This Panera Bread copycat recipe includes fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, feta cheese and pecans.

Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad on a plate.

This is the best-tasting strawberry poppyseed salad recipe, inspired by the Panera Bread strawberry salad. The healthy, creamy poppyseed salad dressing is high in protein with cottage cheese and all-natural ingredients, including honey, orange juice, and avocado oil, making it a great lunch option. This Panera Bread copycat recipe is a healthy and delicious mix of fresh fruit, including fresh pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries, making it one of the tastiest salads you’ll ever try. And when you add my Juicy Pan-Seared Chicken Breast Recipe, you have a gorgeous chicken salad or healthy dinner you’ll be proud to serve for any special occasion, including Easter, Mother’s Day, or bridal showers.

As Panera’s overall top-selling salad, this strawberry poppy seed chicken salad is my favorite way to savor the essence of summer with every bite. You will feel so proud of yourself for making and serving one of the most iconic strawberry poppyseed salads on the Panera menu without any artificial preservatives.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Salad Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad on a plate.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make my easy strawberry salad with Panera poppyseed dressing:

Salad Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce: For a different texture and flavor, you can use any mixed greens, spinach, or arugula.

Fresh Strawberries & Fresh Blueberries: Raspberries, blackberries, or sliced apples would also taste delicious.

Mandarin Oranges: You can also use fresh orange segments, tangerines, or clementines for a similar citrus flavor. Canned oranges work great. You’ll want to drain off the excess liquid first.

Pineapple Chunks: For a different tropical flavor, fresh or canned pineapple can be used in addition to mango chunks, papaya, or peaches.

Pecans: Use your favorite nuts, including walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds for a nutty crunch. You can also use toasted pecans for added flavor.

Feta Cheese: For a different cheesy flavor, you can omit this or replace it with goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, or shredded mozzarella.

Chicken Breast: For a different protein source, you can also use rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, grilled shrimp, tofu, or chickpeas. Make my Juicy Pan-Seared Chicken Breast Recipe.

Homemade Dressing Ingredients:

Whipped Cottage Cheese: This adds a subtle cheesy flavor and protein. You can replace it with Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese for a similar creamy texture.

Avocado Oil: You can also use light olive oil for a different healthy fat option.

Honey: Maple syrup, agave nectar, or date syrup can also be used.

Apple Cider Vinegar: You can substitute it with white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or lemon juice for a different acidic component.

Orange Juice: You can omit this or replace it with pineapple juice for a different citrus flavor.

Garlic Powder: You can also use finely minced fresh garlic.

Onion Powder: You can omit this or use fresh minced onion (1 tablespoon) or shallot for a different onion flavor.

Poppyseeds: Chia seeds or sesame seeds can be used instead for a different seed texture.

Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad on a plate.

How to Make My Delicious Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step instructions for making perfect summer salad with strawberries. The instructions are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Cook the Chicken

Adding chicken to the salad is optional. Make my Juicy Pan-Seared Chicken Breast Recipe.

Step 2: Prepare the Dressing

In a blender or food processor, combine cottage cheese, avocado oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and poppy seeds.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.

Adding cottage cheese to chopper cup.
Adding poppyseed dressing ingredients to chopper cup.

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

In a salad bowl or serving platter, add 4 cups of chopped romaine lettuce. Add the chopped strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, and pecan pieces. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and arrange the sliced chicken breast on top of the salad.

Drizzle the prepared poppyseed dressing over the salad just before serving. Enjoy your fresh, flavorful strawberry poppyseed salad!

Add my Juicy Pan-Seared Chicken Breast Recipe for a complete meal and one of the most delicious panera bread copycat recipes.

Drained canned mandarin oranges and pineapple chuncks.
Juicy pan-seared chicken cut into strips for the salad.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Dressing Adjustments: If the dressing is too thick, thin it out with a bit more orange juice or water. For a sweeter dressing, add a bit more honey or maple syrup.

Meal Prep: You can prepare the dressing and chop the fruits and lettuce in advance. Store them separately in the refrigerator and assemble the salad just before serving for a quick meal.

Presentation: For a beautiful presentation, layer the ingredients in a clear glass bowl or arrange them in sections on a large platter before tossing them with the dressing.

Delicious Salad Serving Suggestions:

  • Add chunks of fresh avocado for extra flavor and creamy texture.
  • Ddd more vegetables such as cucumber or bell peppers enhance the salad’s flavor and nutrition.
  • Include ready chicken breast strips for a quick and easy protein boost.
  • Top the salad with the crunch of blue corn tortilla strips.
  • Drizzle Caesar dressing over the salad for a savory twist.
  • Use an air fryer to quickly crisp up the chicken or additional toppings.
  • Serve with a side of fresh summer fruit for a refreshing finish.

Separate Components: To keep the salad fresh and prevent it from becoming soggy, store the salad ingredients and dressing separately. Store the lettuce, fruits, chicken, and nuts in individual airtight containers.

Poppy Seed Dressing Storage: Store the poppyseed dressing in a sealed jar or container. Shake or stir well before using, as separation may occur.

Avoid Sogginess: To avoid sogginess, only add the dressing to the salad right before serving. This will keep the lettuce crisp and the fruits fresh.

Can I use a different type of lettuce?
Yes, you can substitute romaine lettuce with mixed greens, spinach, or arugula for a different texture and flavor.

What fresh fruits can I use instead of strawberries in this poppyseed salad?
You can use raspberries, blackberries, or sliced apples as an alternative to strawberries.

How can I make the creamy poppyseed dressing vegan?
Substitute cottage cheese with a plant-based yogurt and honey with maple syrup or agave nectar to make the dressing vegan.

Can I prepare the copycat Panera strawberry poppyseed salad recipe in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the ingredients in advance. Store the salad components and dressing separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad just before serving to maintain freshness.

How long does the dressing last in the refrigerator?
The poppyseed dressing can be stored in a sealed jar or container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake or stir well before using.

What other fruits can I use in this salad?
You can use other fruits like raspberries, cherries, kiwi, or apples based on seasonal availability and your preference.

How can I add more protein to this Panera strawberry salad?
In addition to chicken, you can add more protein by including grilled shrimp, chickpeas, or tofu. Adding a hard-boiled egg is another good option.

How can I make the Panera’s poppyseed dressing thinner?
If the dressing is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a bit more orange juice or water until the desired consistency is reached.

Can I use store-bought dressing?
Yes, you can use store-bought poppyseed dressing if you prefer. Look for a healthy, low-sugar option to keep the salad nutritious.

Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad on a plate.

Easy Strawberry Poppyseed Salad Panera Bread Copycat

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the best-tasting Panera Bread strawberry poppyseed salad recipe with my healthy, creamy poppyseed salad dressing made higher in protein with cottage cheese, and honey, orange juice, and avocado oil. This Panera Bread copycat recipe includes fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, feta cheese and pecans.
5 from 5 votes
Servings 2
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 8 ounces chicken breast (cooked)

Poppyseed Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds

Instructions
 

  • In a blender or food processor, combine cottage cheese, avocado oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
    Blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.
  • In a salad bowl or serving platter, add 4 cups of chopped romaine lettuce. Add the chopped strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, and pecan pieces. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and arrange the sliced chicken breast on top of the salad.
    Drizzle the prepared poppyseed dressing over the salad just before serving. Enjoy your fresh, flavorful strawberry poppyseed salad!
    Add my Juicy Pan-Seared Chicken for a complete meal and one of the most delicious panera bread copycat recipes.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Dressing Adjustments: If the dressing is too thick, thin it out with a bit more orange juice or water. For a sweeter dressing, add a bit more honey or maple syrup.
Meal Prep: You can prepare the dressing and chop the fruits and lettuce in advance. Store them separately in the refrigerator and assemble the salad just before serving for a quick meal.
Presentation: For a beautiful presentation, layer the ingredients in a clear glass bowl or arrange them in sections on a large platter before tossing them with the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 32gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 689mgPotassium: 1002mgFiber: 7gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 8552IUVitamin C: 65mgCalcium: 203mgIron: 3mg
Keyword blueberries, copycat recipe, cottage cheese, mandarin oranges, Panera Bread, pineapple, strawberries, strawberry salad
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It’s just as good as Panera! I love the hint of orange citrus flavor in the dressing.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this delicious salad recipe with you! Please let me know if you have a chance to make it and how it turns out 🙂

5 from 5 votes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating