Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing


MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! I hope you’ve had such a wonderful holiday!

Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppyseed Dressing | Cooking Classy

While I didn’t make this salad on Christmas I’m really wishing I had another serving of it now! Yes this may sound a little strange, I had my doubts as I was brainstorming the idea of this salad in my mind, but I’m telling you it is one of my new favorites! It has such exciting flavors that all blend so amazingly well together! We all know that cranberry and orange were made to go together but when you add in creamy avocados, salty feta cheese, crunchy toasted almonds and a slightly sweet poppy seed dressing incredible things just happen. Then of course I added grilled chicken because I wanted to make a meal out of this, plus I just love the flavor of any kind of orange chicken so I knew this salad needed it.

You can use another type of lettuce with this salad, pretty much any mellow type lettuce will do, I just love spinach for its’ color and nutrition. Another thing I may try adding to this sometime would be bacon. I actually love the way bacon and orange pair together, plus nearly any salad (or any food for that matter) is better with bacon, right?


Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppyseed Dressing | Cooking ClassyOrange Poppy Seed Dressing | Cooking Classy Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppyseed Dressing | Cooking Classy


Cranberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

5 from 1 vote



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds


  • 1 lb chicken , grilled
  • 9 oz baby spinach
  • 2 medium avocados , cored and diced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds , toasted
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries


  1. Add olive oil, canola oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard and salt to a blender. Pulse until well emulsified. Pour into a jar and stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.
  3. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Amy @ The Blond Cook: I will definitely need to be eating salad after this holiday season! I am loving the combination of cranberries and the orange poppy seed dressing with chicken and spinach. Merry Christmas! December 25, 2014 at 7:57pm Reply

  • Malia @ Small Town Girl: Yum, drool, pinned! Love this! So many flavors that I adore :) December 25, 2014 at 10:40pm Reply

  • OMG! I always love your salad recipes but this one is up there with the best! December 26, 2014 at 5:52am Reply

  • Vera: This looks delicious! I always love a good original salad, and that has definitely got it! Thanks for sharing! With love,
    December 26, 2014 at 10:25am Reply

  • Natasha of Gorgeous salad! Perfect meal replacement during the post-holiday-I-definitely-overate recovery phase! ;) Pinning! :) December 26, 2014 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: This salad looks delicious! I love cranberries and almonds in my salad, and that dressing sounds amazing. Hope you had a great Christmas! December 26, 2014 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Rachel!! I hope you had a great Christmas too! :) December 26, 2014 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): I absolutely love this salad, what great flavors and textures! December 26, 2014 at 10:38pm Reply

  • Tonya: Approximately how many will this serve? (My apologies if it’s listed and I missed it. I’m still on my first cup of coffee!) Thanks ☺ December 29, 2014 at 7:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably about 4. January 18, 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Jennifer: i made this tonight and it Served 5 adults for dinner. I loved the Orange poppyseed dressing. I liked the salad as is but agree that bacon might be a nice addition next time! I will make this again. December 31, 2014 at 7:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback! Glad you liked it! December 31, 2014 at 9:02pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: I love salads and this one looks great! I’m a suckered for anything with avocados. January 4, 2015 at 6:42am Reply

  • Isabelle Smith: we had that for dinner today and it was delicious! January 7, 2015 at 1:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it Isabelle! Thanks for leaving a comment! January 7, 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Torii: I wonder if this would hold up well in a mason jar salad? January 8, 2015 at 11:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think so as long as you toss the avocado with some lime juice or something so they don’t brown quickly. January 15, 2015 at 9:14pm Reply

  • Elliott: Hey Jaclyn. I can’t wait to try this. What do you find the poppy seeds add to the salad? January 9, 2015 at 10:25am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ve found two stores I like to buy them from just local grocery stores though. They sell them in bulk at one and in large containers at another for the same cost of the tiny little one you get for $5 at most. Anyway you find them in the spice section of the grocery store but if you can’t find a large container I might even suggest buying them online for much cheaper. January 11, 2015 at 12:05am Reply

  • Susan: Oh my goodness, all my absolute favourite ingredients all in one salad!! The dressing seems amazing! Will definitely be making this, thank you! January 14, 2015 at 1:34am Reply

  • Nikki: I made this dressing and it is so simple yet so delicious. My boyfriend also loved it, and he isn’t much of a fan of salds but definitly took it down with this poppy seed dressing. Love your recipes! January 14, 2015 at 10:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you both like it and I’m happy to hear you love my recipes :)! Thanks for your comment Nikki! January 15, 2015 at 8:50pm Reply

  • Jenny: Tried this salad today and I absolutely loved. What is the calorie count per serving? January 24, 2015 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have that info for my recipes but you can likely calculate it on January 24, 2015 at 10:53pm Reply

  • Rhonda Willson: We just had this for dinner and my husband said it was the best salad I’d ever made. He loved the dressing. It was so nice that for once the kiddos did not ask for Ranch dressing. I loved the saltiness of the Feta paired with the sweetness of the cranberries and avocado. January 30, 2015 at 6:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad your family enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a comment Rhonda! February 5, 2015 at 6:22pm Reply

  • Rhonda Willson: I forgot to mention that I used a jerk seasoning on the chicken which paired well with the flavors of the dressing. January 30, 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Sara: I’ve made this twice and it is so delicious! I really loved the dressing also. I used goat cheese instead of feta- it was great. Thanks! February 6, 2015 at 8:33am Reply

  • Katy: I will try this salad but I might use chia seeds instead of poppyseeds for extra protein amd fiber. February 12, 2015 at 6:44pm Reply

  • Christi: I made this tonight and I absolutely love the dressing. I served individual portions, so I have some dressing left over. I am super excited to get to take it for lunch tomorrow. Thank you for such a quick and delicious idea. February 23, 2015 at 7:37pm Reply

  • Lisa Ward: How many servings and calorie count per serving PLEASE:-) April 7, 2015 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry, unfortunately I don’t have nutritional info for my recipes. May 2, 2015 at 10:56am Reply

  • Randy Barnes: Top 3 Salads of “ever eaten” in 62 year’s of living. April 8, 2015 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: This comment made my day. Thanks so much Randy! April 30, 2015 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Diane Allen: This looks delicious but I had significant trouble adding it to my online recipe program (www plantoeat com) The java scrip with popups etc slowed down the page considerably and it didn’t import except in print mode. I think the ease of use for your sight could be enhanced by addressing this issue. April 9, 2015 at 9:46am Reply

  • Pat: The flavors must just pop in your mouth! Thanks for sharing! May 7, 2015 at 9:39am Reply

  • Kirtan Singh: Shared this on my hospitals Facebook. Everyone loves it!! (Don’t worry, I gave you credit) :) June 19, 2015 at 8:46am Reply

  • Busy Mom: This looks delicious! Just wondering, did you use extra virgin olive oil or a lighter olive oil in the dressing? July 14, 2015 at 9:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just used regular (not light or extra virgin). I hope you love it! July 15, 2015 at 12:09am Reply

  • Stephanie: Oh my goodness. This was Gorgeous! Luckily, we have a fresh fruit/veg shop across the street (literally) that sold everything I needed and a butcher next to them for the chicken. I can make this often, which is what will be happening. I knew as soon as I saw it that I would Love it – and I was Not disappointed! x August 7, 2015 at 11:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Stephanie! Thanks for your feedback! August 8, 2015 at 11:08am Reply

  • Sarah: Loved this! I think adding some mandarin oranges to the mix would add yet another layer of flavor that would be fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration! September 3, 2015 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Toni Jordan: I love this salad! I made it with spring mix instead of spinach because that’s what I had in my fridge and I left out the feta. I agree with Sarah – adding mandarin oranges would be great. The dressing is supreme. I love all your recipes, Jaclyn! September 16, 2015 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Helen: Loved the salad with orange poppy seed dressing. It is currently being served on Norfolk Island which is where I was introduced to the salad last week. Delish. Looking forward to trying the others as well esp with our lovely warm days ahead. October 7, 2015 at 4:55am Reply

  • Terri Houser: OH OH the dressing is so DELISH!!!! LOVE the salad!!
    I know I will eat that often! October 11, 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

  • Rebecca: I would pay good money at a restaurant for this salad – the dressing knocks it out of the park!!! This gets devoured at our house on a regular basis.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents with the rest of us! November 23, 2015 at 5:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe Rebecca! Thanks for your review! November 23, 2015 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Pilar: hi, can I refrigerate this dressing a couple of days? December 22, 2015 at 6:30pm Reply

  • Michelle: My daughter is allergic to canola oil. Can I just use all olive oil? This salad looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it! January 4, 2016 at 4:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you could sub with more olive oil or vegetable oil. I hope your family loves it! January 4, 2016 at 4:19pm Reply

  • shannon: what is the nutrition value for this? January 17, 2016 at 11:19am Reply

  • Sue: An amazing combination of flavours – didn’t read the recipe properly 😜 And forgot the feta January 18, 2016 at 7:30pm Reply

  • Doris V: I made this and one of your other salads and my family LOVED them. They were so tasty they were fighting for more. My husband is totally sold out and he is not a big salad person.

    Thank you!!! January 26, 2016 at 10:24am Reply

  • Jessica: This is the type of salad I should be eating!! It puts my plain ones to shame. Thanks for the inspirations. I’m buying cranberries next time I go shopping. :) February 5, 2016 at 8:45pm Reply

  • Michelle: This sounds delicious. Is it ok to use 1/2 cup olive oil instead of 1/4 cup canola oil? Thanks! March 15, 2016 at 9:09am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be fine. Hope you love it! March 15, 2016 at 11:25am Reply

  • Maria Sinnott: Any idea of calories per serving? Thanks. April 26, 2016 at 4:49pm Reply

  • michelle taboas: Saw it, pinned it, made it, and making it again tomorrow!! Love love loved it!! June 16, 2016 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Love this – Thanks Michelle! June 21, 2016 at 10:41am Reply

  • Patty Anderson: Hi Jaclyn,
    I made this salad for a family Christmas dinner, minus the chicken. It was a huge hit!
    I am helping put a cookbook together with my Thirty-One sisters. May I have your permission to share this recipe?

    Thank you.

    Patty Anderson
    Independent Consultant
    Thirty-One Gifts July 7, 2016 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Patty Anderson: I highly recommend this salad to anyone looking for a change, delicious!! July 7, 2016 at 3:18pm Reply

  • Gena: I like to try this Salad, but how to grill the chicken and what spices to use on it for grilling I making it for the first time. August 12, 2016 at 4:16am Reply

  • Fabiola Jaramillo: Salad looks incredible, just two questions: number of servings and is it possible to use olive oil only? more and more I am convinced that canola oil is too bad for health. August 16, 2016 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Surfdancer: Hi Jaclyn,

    Love the look of this salad!! Just gorgeous!!Do you think the taste would change much if I used just EVOO instead of 1/2 canola and 1/2 olive oil I try to avoid canola.

    Also, the sugar grams calculate to be almost 10 grams per serving with 2 tbsp of honey and 1/4 cup oj. I’ve seen many poppyseed dressings only call for 1 tbsp honey- how do you think it would taste with half the honey? Has anyone tried it?

    Gorgeous pics and great isntructions btw!!! August 18, 2016 at 9:56am Reply

  • Dixie: I made this for my book club as a side, without chucken. I was very disappointed in the dressing. Not good at all. Sounded so good, but not! November 17, 2016 at 11:22pm Reply

  • Angie: Oh yum!! I made this salad tonight and literally went back for seconds, thirds, and fourths!! The dressing is incredible! I didn’t add the chicken in tonight but tomorrow I’m eating the leftovers and adding in the chicken. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I highly recommend it!! January 5, 2017 at 9:18pm Reply

  • Suzy: I made this salad and boy was it refreshing and delicious! The dressing is my new favorite, definitely a keeper! July 18, 2017 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Olja: Delicious! Complete meal that leaves you satisfied every time. It is easy to make, you can use chicken roast leftover. January 6, 2018 at 6:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Olja and great idea! January 8, 2018 at 11:36am Reply

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