Chicken and Nectarine Poppy Seed Salad

Chicken Blueberry Poppyseed Salad I’m going salad crazy.

Oh, wait, I said that already yesterday.

A chicken and nectarine poppy seed salad is basically this: sweet juicy nectarines, bursts of blueberry, delicate baby spinach, lightly spiced grilled chicken, nutty chopped almonds, and homemade sweet poppy seed dressing all in the same bowl.

Holy Salad. This is my summer right here. All 100 days. You’re lookin’ at em.

Chicken Blueberry Poppyseed Salad

I’m the kind of person who gets on a food kick and doesn’t stop. My most recent food kick is chocolate chip cookies. → lie. I am always on that kick.

I can remember a summer when I ate a spinach salad, shredded carrots, wonton strips, and Asian dressing every day for lunch. I don’t know why in the world I wanted to be so healthy for so long but that crunchy tang just spoke to me. Every year in the fall, I consume at least 100 bowls of pumpkin oats. It’s a guaranteed obsession. Last winter I made batch after batch the world’s easiest posole which was basically an excuse to eat Baked Doritos by the fistful. Kick after kick after kick.

To state the obvious, right now I’m kickin’ with summer fruits. Specifically nectarines and blueberries… and more nectarines and more blueberries. The fact that these little beauties grew out of the earth into something that tastes like dessert just totally blows my mind.

Chicken Blueberry Poppyseed Salad

So the elephant in the room: grilled chicken. I have this thing about grilling chicken. Well, I have this thing about grilling in general which is that I don’t do it. That’s Bjork’s domain out there.

Chicken Blueberry Poppyseed Salad

Just plain chicken has never really been my thing, and my typical method of plopping it in a skillet and waiting for it to turn brown is not doing anyone any favors. Enter panini press! This is my new chicken technique – I cover the chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound each piece nice and thin. Then I rub salt, pepper, olive oil, and a few extra spices into each piece, and then I grill it on the panini press, George Foreman style.

It’s delicious, beautiful, and totally fool proof with bonus seductive brown grill marks. And you guys are like, yeah, welcome to the world.

Also, can I put in a quick plug for using yesterday’s homemade poppy seed dressing? Not necessary if you’re short on time, but delicious and feel-good if you have 15 minutes to spare. Yummay.

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

My days of being a salad renegade are long gone thanks to this pretty baby. Addicting salads for the win!

Chicken Blueberry Poppyseed Salad

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chicken and Nectarine Poppy Seed Salad
Serves: 4
  • 2 large chicken breasts (plus salt, pepper, olive oil for seasoning)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 ripe nectarines
  • 6-8 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
  • homemade poppy seed dressing (or store-bought)
  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, olive oil, and any other seasonings you like. I happened to have a random raspberry chipotle seasoning blend in my cupboard, so I rubbed a little bit into the chicken breasts before grilling - it was SO good! Just use whatever seasonings you like and/or have on hand to give the chicken a little extra flavor.
  2. Grill the chicken - I used my panini press to get those really nice browned lines. It worked like a charm. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces or strips.
  3. Assemble individual salads or toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Top with poppy seed dressing.
Nutrition information includes dressing (about 3 tablespoons of the homemade stuff).



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  1. Nothing wrong with a salad overdose.. is there?

    Looks exceptional as always; light and refreshing – perfect for a warm summer night.

    Oh how I miss summer!

  2. Looks so pretty!! When I saw it the day you posted the dressing I thought, “man that looks good!”. YUM!

  3. Such a great summer salad!

  4. I use my panini press as a grill too! Grilling meat is a job for the men in my family…not to say I never use it, but at any family party that’s just where the men seem to congregate. So we let them be useful. And that salad looks sooo yummy, I know what you mean about getting on a food kick…I do that too. Maybe we have addictive personalities? If that’s the case, there are worse things to get hooked on!

  5. What a great lunch idea! I am always looking for fresh new ideas to take to work. This would be fantastic with fresh farmer’s market fruit!

  6. I’m literally drooling over this salad. I need to make it happen soon!

  7. Panini press the chicken! Genius! Why have I never thought of this?
    This salad looks divine

  8. Great tip about the panini press! I always manage to somehow dry my chicken out when trying to grill it or spend hours waiting for it to turn brown (ok, maybe not hours…) and then curse myself for not having thought of a different method.

  9. I’m eating salads these days like they’re going out of style. And I need some variety because JUST grilled chicken and spinach is getting O-L-D. I need to add poppyseed dressing and summer fruit!

  10. Oh my! The title to this salad drew me in, the pictures got me hooked, and now I can’t wait to make this soon!

  11. Oh my gosh I just love this!!

  12. OMG I am on my way to the grocery store to make that for supper tonight! Thank you!

  13. This is legit how all salads should be! I love the fruit and the almonds and the dressing and everything about it.

  14. Hello summer in a bowl, topped with more summer!

  15. LOVE THIS! Looks beautiful and I am sure tastes delish. Great idead with grilling the chicken too…I totally agree that I am doing no one any favors with plain, grilled on the stovetop chicken. I will have to try this! Happy Summer (salad-style!) to you!

  16. This salad LOOKS like summer! I forget about combos like this. Thanks for inspiring me to make it in the near future!

  17. I love nectarines in salad. My current favourite is a roasted red pepper and nectarine one with pumpkin seeds and apple cider vinegar dressing.

    Wish blueberries were cheaper though!

  18. yeah for salad kicks…this summer fresh salad with fruit I love…will so be trying with your homemade dressing!

  19. I love nectarines in my salad. I’ll have to try to make the poppyseed dressing.

  20. Genius! Why have I never thought of this?
    This salad looks divine

  21. This reminds me of my favorite salad from Panera! Every summer, I eat my weight in their Strawberry Poppy Seed and Chicken Salad. No joke. I had it both Saturday AND Sunday for lunch last weekend. So I totally get the food kick thing! :)

    And that’s a brilliant idea about the panini press!! I get bored cooking chicken in a pan, but since I don’t have a real outdoor BBQ grill, I didn’t know what to do. I’ll have to try this soon!

  22. Looks fresh! I loved the recipe so yum

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