Salad with Berries, Grilled Lemon Chicken, Feta and Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing


Today was like Christmas for me! I opened my patio door and walked out to a temperature that was most definitely perfectly acceptable for grilling. Yes, grilling season has arrived and I couldn’t be more ready for it! I love the flavor of grilled chicken. I love the flavor of basically grilled anything for that matter. Its a flavor that can’t be imitated from baking or pan searing. I did debate with this recipe whether to do a baked crispy panko crusted lemon chicken or a grilled lemon chicken. I’m glad I went with a grilled version. It is perfect with this salad and grilling the chicken is a savory and simple flavor enhancer.

salad with berries, grilled lemon chicken and feta

I also decided to toss in one of my latest favorites in cheese, Feta. It pairs amazingly well with the tartness of the blackberries and sweetness of the strawberries, and it enhances the slight tang of the lemon chicken. I also thought a salad this delicious wouldn’t do with a store bought dressing so I created a simple homemade version. It is unbelievably easy and if you want to shave off the step of grating the onion you could simply replace it with a 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of onion powder. Enjoy!

salad with berries, lemon chicken, feta, poppy seed dressing


Berry, Lemon Chicken and Feta Salad


  • 1 (11 oz) pkg Spring Mix Salad Blend (I used Dole)
  • 1 lb strawberries , sliced
  • 11 oz black berries
  • 8 oz Feta cheese , crumbled
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese , finely shredded
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • finely grated lemon zest , for topping (optional)
  • poppy seed dressing , recipe follows

Grilled Lemon Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. To assemble salads:
  2. Layer salad blend onto serving plates. Divide strawberries, blackberries, almonds, Feta and Parmesan cheese over salad. Top with grilled lemon chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest if desired. Drizzle top with poppy seed dressing. Serve immediately.
  3. For the grilled lemon chicken:
  4. Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pound thicker portions of chicken to an even thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet. In a mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken in resealable bag, seal bag while pressing out as much excess air as possible. Move chicken around as needed to evenly distribute marinade and allow chicken to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat a grill to moderately high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with oil and transfer chicken to grill (if you notice lemon zest and garlic sticking to one portion of the chicken more than another just brush it along the chicken to evenly distribute). Grill 6 - 8 minutes then rotate chicken to opposite side and grill until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer (total grill time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts, so just be sure to check the temp for doneness). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then slice into strips about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Poppy Seed Dressing


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely grated onion
  • 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, grated onion, mustard and salt until sugar has nearly dissolved (at this point you can transfer to a blender to mince onion pieces further if desired). Stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and stir (if you would like dressing to have a thinner consistency you can mix in a little milk 1 tsp at a time to thin). Store dressing in refrigerator.
  2. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Gorgeous salad! I may have to make this for lunch tomorrow! April 1, 2013 at 12:08am Reply

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking: Such a fabulous combination of flavors in this salad, Jaclyn! It looks so summery, fresh and delicious! April 1, 2013 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Georgia! April 1, 2013 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Kristy @ Sweet Treats and More: I’ve been craving salads lately and this just look perfect and so fresh! April 1, 2013 at 9:07pm Reply

  • Jen @The Fit Housewife: Oh yum, this looks so delicious! I have a thing for lemon chicken, so I’ll have to make this…even my kids will love it because of the added fruit! April 4, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do get a chance to make it Jen and I hope you and your family love it! April 4, 2013 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Julia | Gorgeous salad! Love all the berries plus the chicken to keep you full! Pinned! April 7, 2013 at 11:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the pin Julia! April 10, 2013 at 7:34am Reply

  • Meredith: “This is one of the best salads that I’ve ever eaten” – quote from hubby who is somewhat of a food snob! Loved the flavors in this salad! Thanks for the recipe. The marinade and dressing are super easy to whip up! April 20, 2013 at 4:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s great to hear Meredith!! Thanks so much for your comment, I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe! April 20, 2013 at 10:29pm Reply

  • Nicole @InfiniteLittlePleasures: This looks like a super simple and delicious recipe! I featured it in my blogpost here: :) May 29, 2013 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Tasty Tuesday – Berry, Lemon, Poppy Chicken Salad | booksforbelle: […] strawberries, blackberries, feta cheese, and almonds with a homemade poppy seed dressing.  I found the recipe on pinterest and well mostly followed […] June 4, 2013 at 7:36pm Reply

  • || What I’m Lovin’ Right Now || | All That Glitters: […] recipe here. […] July 3, 2013 at 12:06am Reply

  • Nicole: I’m on a candida diet to handle mild candida prob and was adhering to Primal Blueprint before that. Always looking for new recipes, especially simple ones and found this. With a few tweaks for diet, my husband and I only said “mmmm. MMM” All through dinner. I kept saying how yummy it was for 1/2 hour after dinner. This was beyond good. I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow! I’m having another one of these salads. August 21, 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That is what I love to hear at dinner :). I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed this salad Nicole! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! August 26, 2013 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Karie: Just made this for dinner and the whole family LOVED it!!! Instead of sliced almonds I made candied pecans. Will def. be making this again. June 23, 2014 at 7:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you family liked this recipe Karie! Thanks for your review! June 23, 2014 at 9:51pm Reply

  • Karma: Would you happen to have any alternatives for the feta cheese? July 26, 2014 at 4:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Queso fresco, gorgonzola or goat cheese I think would all be good choices. July 26, 2014 at 10:42pm Reply

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