Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad is easy to make and absolutely delicious. Romaine lettuce tossed with bacon, chicken, and mozzarella cheese and coated with a simple raspberry poppy seed dressing.
For a large part of my life, I was a little bit anti-veggie. Maybe a lot. I wanted to like them, but I just didn’t. One of my friends introduced me to this salad and it has been my favorite ever since. Yes, there is some lettuce in it, but that’s the only vegetable in the whole salad! And there’s BACON. Enough said. I make this quite often, and everyone loves it.
Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad
The salad is made with only 4 ingredients – romaine lettuce, bacon, chicken, and mozzarella cheese. The dressing is simple as well but definitely makes the salad. The dressing is made with rice vinegar, oil, sugar, poppy seeds, and raspberry jam. The whole salad is easy to make and is perfect for parties, potlucks, and family dinners.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a fast meal option. The salad only takes a few minutes to put together and the dressing is absolutely perfect too. I love recipes that are this easy!
- Side dish or full meal. If you’re trying to eat lighter, then serve up a big plate of this delicious salad and enjoy it as a meal. If you simply want a delicious side dish, serve up a smaller side of salad alongside your main dish. It’s great either way!
- It’s customizable! You can add a little more of this or that or try adding in some fresh berries for a versatile dish that will always taste great.
Ingredients in Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad
Romaine lettuce – Romaine lettuce serves as the base of the salad. You will need about 2-3 heads of lettuce. I never really measure the lettuce – I just use enough to fill up a large bowl! If the lettuce heads are smaller, you’ll use about 3 of them, but if you have large lettuce heads, you may only need 2. The lettuce needs to be chopped or torn in bite-sized pieces.
Bacon – Don’t forget the bacon! You’ll need about 10-12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled. And no one will complain if you want to add a little more.
Chicken – You will need about 2-3 cups of shredded or diced chicken. I usually use a rotisserie chicken, but you can bake chicken breasts ahead of time and then use them when they are cooled. Our favorite way to bake chicken can be found below.
Mozzarella cheese – You will need one to two cups of mozzarella cheese for the salad. You can swap in another type of cheese, but I think mozzarella goes perfectly with the chicken and bacon.
For the Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing, you will need:
Rice vinegar – Provides the perfect flavor for the dressing.
Oil – I usually use canola or vegetable oil, but you can use another type of oil if you prefer. Make sure to use an oil that doesn’t have a very strong flavor (like olive oil), because it will overpower the other flavors in the salad and dressing.
Sugar – A half cup of sugar will add just the right amount of sweetness to the dressing.
Poppy seeds – Add two tablespoons of poppy seeds to add a little bit of flavor and crunch.
Raspberry jam – Just a couple teaspoons of raspberry jam adds a subtle raspberry flavor to the dressing. If you want a little bit more raspberry flavor, add a little bit more!
How to make Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad
In a large bowl, mix the lettuce, bacon, chicken and cheese together.
Set aside and mix up the dressing.
Mix up the dressing with a whisk, or do what I do and shake up all of the ingredients in a Blender Bottle.
Combine or let everyone add the dressing to their own salads.
Salad Serving Tip
If you aren’t serving right away, store the dressing in the refrigerator. I like to keep the dressing separate and let everyone use as much as they want, but if you are taking the salad to a potluck or something, you can add the dressing in and mix it all up immediately before serving. The dressing should last about 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad
- 2-3 heads Romaine lettuce chopped or torn in bite-sized pieces
- 10-12 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2-3 cups of cooked chicken shredded or diced (I usually use a rotisserie chicken)
- 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup oil
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tsp raspberry jam
- In a large bowl, mix the lettuce, bacon, chicken and cheese together. Set aside and mix up the dressing.
- Mix up the dressing with a whisk, or do what I do and shake up all of the ingredients in a Blender Bottle.
- If you aren’t serving right away, store the dressing in the refrigerator. I like to keep the dressing separate and let everyone use as much as they want, but if you are taking the salad to a potluck or something, you can add the dressing in and mix it all up immediately before serving.
What to serve with Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad?
This salad has a lot of protein in it and is very filling, so I often eat it as a main course all by itself. It’s perfect for lunch or even dinner. Pair it with a slice of Homemade French Bread or a 30-Minute Dinner Roll and you’ve got an incredible meal that is so simple. Just don’t forget dessert. Have a slice of Easy Cherry Chocolate Cake or No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake to finish off the perfect meal.
Our favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven! Less mess and the bacon turns out perfectly crispy every time.
Preheat your oven to 400° F.
Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan (something with sides) with foil.
Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the lined pan. You can overlap the bacon a bit if desired, but it won’t be as crisp in those spots.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the desired level of crispness has been reached.
Transfer your bacon to a paper towel lined plate to help drain excess grease.
THE BEST WAY TO BAKE CHICKEN
I usually use a rotisserie chicken for this salad, but you can easily cook your own chicken if you’d prefer. You can shred it once cooked, or dice it into bite-sized pieces.
Over the years, I’ve tried lots of methods for baking chicken and have finally figured out the best way to prevent the chicken from drying out. Here are a few tips to baking perfectly juicy and moist chicken every time!
–Brine the chicken first. You only have to brine the chicken for about 15 minutes for it to be effective, but you can brine it for up to 5-6 hours if you’d like. To brine the chicken, just place the chicken in a bowl filled with lukewarm water and a few tablespoons of salt. If you are brining for 15 minutes, just leave at room temperature, but if you want to brine the chicken longer than that, place the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Rinse off the chicken before baking. (You can skip the brining step and still bake some delicious chicken, but this step really does make a big difference. If you’ve never brined your chicken before, you’ve got to at least try it one time so you can see what it does!)
– Brush with butter, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and then bake in a single layer in a greased baking dish.
–Bake at a high heat for a shorter amount of time. I like to bake mine at 450° for about 18-20 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°.
–Let the chicken rest. As soon as the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the oven and tent the pan with some foil. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting the chicken. This is a key step in making sure that none of the juices escape!
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Raspberry Poppy Seed Bacon Chicken Salad is easy to make and absolutely delicious. Romaine lettuce tossed with bacon, chicken and mozzarella cheese and coated with a simple raspberry poppy seed dressing.