California Chicken Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing

Lately, I’ve been eating pretty strict according to Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut, which I raved about a few months ago, here. Thus the reason for me not posting very many actual meals. It’s been mostly grilled chicken with fruit and steamed veggies. I had put on a few pounds since the holidays and just had not been able to get them off, so I have been doing this to jump start and it’s working so far!

This salad is my favorite recipe that she has in the book. It’s light, refreshing, and perfect for a side dish, lunch or a light dinner. I was a little sceptical at first about the avocado/mango/strawberry combo, but trust me it adds a wonderful creaminess and a great contrast with the acidity of the fruit.

I also made my own salad dressing for the first time and it turned out great! I wanted to do a variation on the poppyseed salad dressing at Panera, and I found this one after a google search. I added a couple of things and it turned out great! I’ll definitely be using this dressing again. One major plus for the dressing, was it was all ingredients I have on hand all the time.

California Chicken Salad
Source: Adapted from Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut
Serves 2

4-5 cups mixed salad greens
5 large strawberries, sliced
1 mango, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 chicken breasts, grilled & diced

In a large bowl, place salad greens, then add all other ingredients. Serve drizzled with the poppy seed dressing below, or the dressing of your choice.

Balsamic Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
Source: Adapted from this site

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tsp. splenda or sugar
1 tbsp. fat free mayo (optional)

Whisk together all the ingredients.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Be Sociable, Share!


  1. OH YUM!!!!!!!! I’m starring this! These are all some of my favorite flavors and looks like an awesome salad!!! 🙂

  2. this salad looks awesome!! Thanks for the comment. keep the recipes coming!

  3. Mmmm… that sounds and looks delicious!

  4. i love all the color and the dressing sounds fabulous!

  5. I’m putting this on my menu for next week! I’ve really started liking avocados a lot more lately and love the idea of all of the fruit. I think with the grilled chicken, even my husband would consider this a complete meal! thanks 🙂

  6. This looks healthy AND delicious! Now if only we could get some warm weather around here…

  7. Hello! I love your blog – I found you through Laura’s blog, and I think I have gone through pages and pages of your recipes!

    Have a great day!

  8. I can’t wait to make that dressing! Looks so tasty!

  9. Super cute blog 🙂

    Looks like a lovely salad – the combination of strawberries, mango, and avocado sounds so refreshing!