strawberry chicken salad

strawberry chicken salad in a bowl showing strawberries, avocado, chicken, pecans on a striped towel.

In July and August, when local strawberries are available, I make this salad as a one-dish meal. I make the candied pecans ahead and store them in an airtight container. The lemon poppy seed dressing is so versatile; I use it with most salads that combine fruit and greens.

strawberry chicken salad

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 15 minute assembly


  • Candied pecans:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ pound (about 2 cups) pecan halves
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped to bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced in half
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup candied pecans
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa, slightly cooled is best (about ¼ cup uncooked)
  • 1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled (look for Feta made of sheeps milk, packed in brine)
  • Lemon poppy seed dressing:
  • ½ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds



Heat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.


In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, corn syrup, water, and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the pecans; stir until evenly coated.


Spread the pecans onto the lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The nuts should be fragrant and crisp, but not browned.


Cool and store in an airtight container; the nuts will keep for a month.


In a medium salad bowl, toss the romaine, strawberries, chicken, and quinoa.


In a salad dressing jar or bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk to combine. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently. Assemble the avocado slices, pecans and feta on top of the dressed salad and serve.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Melinda Larson
    June 12, 2017 at 1:35 am

    I recently made this salad for my daughter’s bridal shower. It was a huge hit!! Thanks Carol!! I even forgot to add the quinoa (which I had prepared the day before) and it was still delicious. ( ;

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