Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad is an unconventional chicken salad recipe that’s a fresh and fun summer lunch recipe. You’ll love how all the flavors come together so easily!

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad served over baby lettuce.

Before my gramma passed years ago, one of her favorite stories to tell about me was the time when I was a wee one, recently potty-trained, who of course had to go to the bathroom during a visit to the strawberry fields. 

This was 30-some-odd years ago, long before port-a-potties and farm stores started showing up on farms during U-Pick seasons.  My strong-willed little self emphatically told her that space in front of the car in that dusty dirt parking lot was “not a bathroom.” 

I’m pretty sure there’s a yellowing photo of this event floating around somewhere so gramma’s story will forever live on.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad served over baby lettuce.

So as you can imagine, when berry season hits here in the Northeast, I get a little nostalgic. This strawberry poppyseed chicken salad is one that my gramma would have loved. 

She was definitely into strange food combinations and in my humble opinion, strawberries paired with chicken and a tangy poppyseed dressing fits pretty well into that category. But it all works so, so well.

How to Make Chicken Salad with Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Like most other chicken salad recipes, this one comes together in a flash. If you have leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken, you’ll definitely want to chop some of it up for this salad. 

Otherwise, you can quickly poach some chicken or use leftover grilled chicken.

To make the dressing, simply blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender, leaving the poppyseeds to add last.

Then mix the chopped chicken with Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, chives, basil or mint, and some of the dressing.

Place the chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce and drizzle some extra dressing over the top. Then devour!

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad served over baby lettuce.

Served over a bed of lettuce or fresh spinach like we did earlier this week (and I did twice in a day!), or on a croissant like we did a couple of months ago, you can’t go wrong with this fresh and colorful chicken salad. 

I can just see gramma plucking her fallen salad bits off of the glasses hanging from her neck now while she once again tells my strawberry fields story for the gajillionth time. Some things never do get old.

Looking for more strawberry recipes?

Some of my favorite strawberry recipes are this strawberry summer cake, these strawberry crumb bars, and this peach strawberry cobbler.

They’re all excellent recipes to celebrate the best berry season!

Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad served over baby lettuce.

Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A fun and fresh twist on regular chicken salad, this strawberry poppyseed chicken salad is one you'll look forward to making every summer.

Ingredients

For the poppyseed dressing:

  • 2 tsp grated white onion
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder or a scant 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp white wine or white balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp poppyseeds

For the strawberry chicken salad:

  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken breast
  • ¼ to ½ cup poppyseed dressing
  • 1 ½ tbsp plain Greek yogurt (non-fat is fine)
  • Scant ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives or scallions
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or fresh mint
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

Instructions

  1. To make the poppyseed dressing: Add the onion, mustard, sugar, salt, honey, and vinegar to a blender and blend on low until completely smooth, about 15 seconds. With the blender running, pour the oil into the blender in a slow, steady stream and blend until thickened, about 10 seconds. Add the poppyseeds and blend quickly to combine.
  2. To make the salad: In a large bowl, stir the chicken, ¼ cup of dressing, yogurt, and black pepper together until well-combined. Fold in the chives, basil/mint, and strawberries. If the salad seems a little dry, stir in some extra dressing, up to another ¼ cup. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to come together. Salad can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Notes

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  • Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    June 29, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    OMG I so love chicken salad. Wonderful childhood memories attached to it. This a wonderful rendition of that classic salad.

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