Panera-Style Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

I think it’s the summer heat, but I’m loving big dinner salads lately. This is one of my most recent favorites. It’s based on one of my favorite Panera salads and while I don’t think it’s dead-on, it’s a really great at-home option.

Warm, grilled chicken along with cold mandarin oranges and a great dressing – this salad is a winner.


Panera-Style Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
(from Iowa Girl Eats)
Serves 2

Romaine lettuce
2 medium chicken breasts
6 oz. can mandarin oranges, rinsed and drained
2 oz. slivered almonds
Wonton strips

For the chicken marinade:
3 T. soy sauce
2 t. brown sugar
1 t. sesame oil
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder

For the dressing:
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. canola oil
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
1/2 t. salt
Pepper, to taste
1/2 t. sesame seeds, toasted


In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken marinade ingredients.  Add the chicken breasts and marinade for 15 minutes. Grill over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, until cooked through and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Cut into slices.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat, then add in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Once it’s cool, combine the vinegar and sugar mixture with the rest of the dressing ingredients in a jar, and shake to combine.

Toss the lettuce with a few tablespoons of dressing and divide between two plates. Top with sliced chicken, mandarin oranges, almonds and wonton strips.


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