Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 4

Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

My all time favorite salad is Panera’s strawberry poppyseed salad. Unfortunately for me and everyone else who loves this salad, it is seasonal and only available in the summer. So like any foodie, I created a copycat Panera strawberry poppyseed salad recipe to make at home whenever I have a craving. This easy salad uses simple greens and fresh berries to create the perfect summer salad bursting with flavor! So if you are tired of bland salads with iceberg lettuce that you don’t enjoy, treat your taste buds to my copycat version of this sweet salad with crunchy pecans and fresh fruit! Full recipe card below.

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What is Panera Poppyseed Salad?

If you have never had the seasonal strawberry poppy seed salad at Panera you are definitely missing out! This sweet restaurant salad is full of fresh fruit paired with crunchy pecans and crisp romaine lettuce topped with a creamy poppyseed dressing. I am usually not a huge green salad fan, but this one gets me every time. They also have a modified version that includes chicken.

Why I Love This Recipe

This summer salad is full of fresh ingredients and is on the lighter side which makes it a great option if you are watching calories or want a no cook lunch for warmer weather days. You can stock up on fresh fruit at the farmer’s market and make tasty salads all week!

Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Salad Ingredients

This refreshing summer salad is an easy lunch time plate full of fresh produce. It only takes 15 minutes and will have you coming back for more every time! Let me walk you through what I used in my copycat version and where substitutions and even additions can be made.

Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad www.GarrisonStreetEats.com

Romaine Lettuce/Mixed Greens – Panera’s version of this salad uses only romaine lettuce however I prefer a little more variety. I used a 60/40 split between mixed greens and chopped romaine lettuce. You could also make this a strawberry spinach salad and use only spinach which I have done before.

Strawberries – The star of this salad is the fresh strawberries. They add so much flavor and freshness to the salad. Just make sure you use fresh strawberries not frozen. I cut mine into quarters but you can slice them however you like.

Blueberries – The second main fruit in this salad is blueberries which go really well with the strawberries and add some sweetness. Again you will want to use fresh blueberries not frozen.

Pineapple – More fruit is the name of the game in this salad and who doesn’t like pineapple? I even put it on my pizza, haha! While you can use fresh pineapple, you don’t have to. I actually like to buy the kids fruit snack cups instead of canned fruit because then I don’t have to use up as much and always have a cup or two on hand in the pantry. Just make sure you completely drain the liquid out before adding it to the salad.

Mandarin Oranges – For this recipe you can use fresh mandarin oranges like Cuties or canned oranges. Again I used the snack packs. It’s just the right amount and I don’t end up throwing away a fourth of a can. Just drain the liquid before adding the oranges to the salad. You could also use regular orange slices but the bite size of mandarin oranges makes them a better fit.

Pecans – While pecans are included in Panera’s recipe, they are an optional ingredient especially if you have a nut allergy. But if you can include them, they add a wonderful crunch and earthy flavor to the salad. I buy my pecans in bulk at Costco and keep them in the freezer until I need them.

Poppyseed Dressing – I used the Skinny Girl poppyseed dressing because it has only 10 calories and it’s gluten free and vegan! The Panera version is a creamy poppyseed dressing but I thought this one was a good substitute and I didn’t want to spend $5 on salad dressing. If you have never had poppyseed dressing it is a sweeter dressing that compliments the fruit really well. I recommend sticking to this flavor of dressing but you can definitely use the real Panera poppyseed dressing or a homemade poppyseed dressing if you would like.

Optional Ingredients – While the Panera version of this salad doesn’t include any additional ingredients, you could definitely add red onions, feta cheese, goat cheese, blue cheese, or even creamy avocado! Another good option on Panera’s website is making it a chicken salad. You can use rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked tender chicken strips that come in a bag at your local grocery store. Just add them to the top for a filling and healthy lunch.

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Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 7

Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad


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  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Looking for a healthy salad you will actually enjoy eating? Try my copycat Panera strawberry salad. This easy salad uses simple greens, fresh berries, and poppyseed dressing to create the perfect summer salad bursting with flavor! So if you are tired of bland salads with iceberg lettuce that you don’t enjoy, treat your taste buds to my copycat version of this sweet salad with crunchy pecans, fresh strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, and pineapple! It’s perfect for lunch as a main dish or as a side salad. Either way, you will love this Panera bread copycat recipe!


Ingredients

Units Scale

2 cups Romaine Lettuce chopped

3 cups Mixed Greens

1 cup Fresh Strawberries (about 8 strawberries quartered)

1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries

1/2 cup Pineapple canned

1/2 cup Mandarin Oranges canned

1/3 cup Pecans

Poppyseed Dressing


Instructions

  1. Wash and cut fresh strawberries into quarters.
  2. Wash and dry fresh blueberries.
  3. Wash and dry lettuce and mixed greens. Chop the romaine into bite size pieces. You want to make sure all the produce is dry before assembling the salad or it may be soggy.
  4. Toss romaine lettuce, mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, oranges, and pecans in a large bowl.
  5. Add as little or as much dressing as you like right before serving.
  6. Store undressed salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Notes

This makes enough for 2 large salads or 4 side salads.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 8

Make Ahead Instructions and Storage

If you want to make this salad ahead of time I recommend cutting up your fruit first, then store individual salads in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days without the dressing. Add dressing just before serving.

When to Make Copycat Panera Summer Salad

This super easy Panera copycat salad makes a great lunch for summer, a side salad, or a healthy option when you are watching your waistline. But if I am being honest, this is my favorite way to trick myself into eating more salad and fruit! It’s so good you don’t even feel like it’s a salad. The best part is you can throw it together in just fifteen minutes. Trust me, you will love this flavorful salad recipe!

Looking for more easy copycat recipes? Try my copycat Chuy’s jalapeno dip, Kraft chipotle aioli, Texas roadhouse butter, Crumbl cookies, or Root Down curry lime fry sauce.

Copycat Panera Summer Strawberry Poppyseed Salad www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 3

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