Parmesan Crusted Chicken Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

I used to work downtown, which made getting to work during Spring Break an absolute feat with all the San Antonio tourists. Backed up in the garage or on the street for hours, but it was so worth it because working downtown has its perks: seeing the San Antonio Riverwalk every day, getting to drive by The Alamo each morning and night, and of course, the dining options. We used to go eat at all the fabulous restaurants downtown, though, always eager to try the newest spot. But amidst trying the trendy spots, I always found myself craving this salad from Paesanos on the Riverwalk. The salad is loaded full of mandarin oranges, sliced almonds, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. I never failed to add a piece of parmesan crusted chicken to my salad. And to top it all off, they tossed the whole thing in the most delectable honey poppyseed dressing. I still dream about that salad, even though I now office on the North Side of town.

Last night, I decided to make that dream of mine a reality, and recreate this salad at home. And it tasted just like I remember!I also added some hearts of palm, because we love them and the flavors were basically begging for it. The chicken is perfectly light, golden brown and crispy, but not too heavy or greasy.

I am sure the dressing at the restaurant uses full-fat mayo and other things I would rather just not even know about it. My version of the poppyseed dressing only uses 5 ingredients: light mayo, honey, a little bit of milk, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds. And let me tell you, it is dreamy ya’ll.


I am honestly counting down until lunchtime so I can eat my leftovers today. So for now, back to dreaming about this salad.

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Serves: 4


Parmesan Crusted Chicken:
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

5 ounces mixed greens
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
10 ounces hearts of palm, sliced
10 ounces canned mandarin orange slices (I use no sugar added)
3 ounces Feta cheese


Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise, so that you have 4 thinner breasts.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Set up 3 dishes or bowls for dredging the chicken: parmesan first, then the eggs, and then the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Using a fork to move the chicken, dredge each piece first in the parmesan, then the egg, and finally the panko breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry the chicken 4-5 minutes on each side until light golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Move to a cutting board and let rest about 5 minutes before slicing.

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together until well combined.

Assemble salads:

  1. Divide lettuce among 4 bowls (or one large serving bowl) and toss with remaining salad ingredients. Top with chicken and then drizzle with honey poppyseed dressing.

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