Crunchy Chicken Poppy Seed Slaw

By Ann Fulton

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We’re gearing up for our first graduation around here!  That on the heels of last weekend’s big garden tour — over 500 people came to our home over the course of the weekend.  (Major props to our sons who couldn’t shoot hoops or do much of anything else in our yard on the first sunny Saturday and Sunday in weeks!)  Even a birthday celebration was thrown into the mix this past week. 

Given all that, quick and easy meals have been in high demand.  I pulled out a simple flank steak marinade that my friend Jen gave me years ago and made a mental note that I need to share that one of these days soon.   For those who don’t know, Jen is responsible for these baked meatballs which are one of the most popular recipes on my blog.  An extra batch in the freezer won’t let you down!

Since hot, humid weather has finally arrived, light-but-hearty dinner salads have also been tasting especially good.  I actually have a long list of blog-worthy recipes in that department.  Finding the time to take the requisite photos is usually what delays some of our favorites from making an appearance.  (Feel free to ask if there’s anything special you’re hungry for.  I might just have a recipe for that!)

But thanks to strawberry season, this dressing has been a staple in my fridge lately, and I enjoy it so much that I needed to figure out a few new ways to use it.  Slaw-based salads provide an excellent way to get those healthy cruciferous veggies, and like kale, cabbage is sturdy enough to keep for several days, making any leftovers a welcome lunch.  

Speaking of kale, if you aren’t a fan of its mildly bitter taste, the light sweetness of this dressing would mitigate that.  So feel free to experiment with kale in place of spinach or slaw mix.

If time allows, it’s a treat to shred your own cabbage (or broccoli–this salad tastes great either way).  Pre-shredded bags, however, are great to have on hand for busy days, and that’s what I used in the pictured batch.

Sliced or diced apple is a welcome addition to this salad as is a cup or two of shredded kale or Brussels sprouts. If you’re an onion fan, feel free to add a couple of sliced green onions or a scant quarter cup of minced red onion. Cheese fans may enjoy a half cup or so of crumbled feta. Feel free to use the recipe as a framework, adjusting the amount of the various ingredients to your liking—just be sure to see the note about increasing the amount of dressing if you enjoy a heavier coating.   

Crunchy Chicken Poppy Seed Slaw
Four easy ingredients plus a flavorful dressing make a crisp, crunchy, healthy meal. 

Yield: 4 main dish or 6-8 side servings
  • 1 (12- to 14-ounce) bag coleslaw or broccoli slaw mix*
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, or a mix of both**
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1 Batch Honey Yogurt Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe follows)***
Honey Yogurt Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 1/3 cup (800g) low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar (white balsamic vinegar is a delicious option)
  • 2 tablespoons (40g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (14 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
For the salad
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the dressing and nuts/seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the dressing overtop, and toss to evenly distribute. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The slaw can be eaten right away but the flavor will improve after a few hours in the fridge.)
  3. Just before serving, toss the slaw again, sprinkle with the nuts and/or seeds., and toss again.
For the dressing
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing will keep for approximately one week.
  • *You may use approximately 6 cups of shredded cabbage instead of the bag mix—and feel free to try this recipe with broccoli slaw, too.
  • **Salted nuts and seeds add a welcome salty-sweet element to the salad, but feel free to use unsalted if preferred. For maximum crunch, I like to add the nuts and seeds to the slaw just before serving.
  • ***One batch of the dressing will cover the slaw with a light to medium coating. If you prefer a more liberally dressed salad, you may wish to double the recipe and add extra to taste. Also, I often use low-fat (2%) yogurt but have used fat-free and whole milk yogurt as well. You may prefer a touch more honey when using fat-free yogurt to offset the extra tang.
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Strawberry Avocado Salad is another delightful way to enjoy the dressing.

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  1. Julie Post author

    I made this with leftover grilled chicken and it was the perfect meal for the hot weather we’ve been having. It’s really tasty and filling but light all at the same time. I will make this easy meal often!