Strawberry Pecan Salad

Summer salads are perfect for 4th of July or bbq’s with friends and family. This Strawberry Pecan Salad is loaded with fresh berries and candied Fisher’s Pecan Halves. It’s also topped with a sweet, homemade lemon poppyseed dressing.

***This post is sponsored by Fisher Nuts. I am excited to be a partner in creating delicious recipes, all opinions are 100% my own***

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Strawberry Pecan Salad with a sweet, homemade Lemon Poppyseed dressing and candied Pecans #thinkfisher

Salads are one of the first things I’m drawn to at a potluck or BBQ. I love the unique twists people put on them, and I love that someone else had to chop up the veggies! Ha!

Today’s recipe is super simple. I started by making some candied pecans. It only takes a couple minutes, and it’s worth the extra effort. By toasting them quickly in a skillet it brings out their nutty flavor. And adding a little sugar to the skillet gives them a sweet crispy coating! Just make sure you make extra for your salad, because if you’re like me you’ll be nibbling on them before you assemble!

Strawberry Pecan Salad with a sweet, homemade Lemon Poppyseed dressing and candied Pecans #thinkfisher

Bringing a salad to a potluck or bbq is always a great idea. Especially when it’s loaded with sweet, ripe berries too. This salad reminds me of my favorite one from Panera, that’s only available in the summer. I added fresh strawberries (from my garden!), blueberries, and mandarin oranges. I also added goat cheese. I think it pairs so nicely with all the fruit in this recipe. You can use gorgonzola too, if you prefer.

I also whipped up a quick dressing. If you’re not eating this salad immediately, hold off on adding the dressing. It’s best right before serving. You don’t need a blender or anything fancy for this delicious lemon poppyseed dressing. I have a little dressing pitcher, but a mason jar and lid would work great too!

Strawberry Pecan Salad with a sweet, homemade Lemon Poppyseed dressing and candied Pecans #thinkfisher

Fisher Nuts wants to know how YOU enjoy summer salads? Do you like yours loaded with fruit and nuts, like me? Or do you prefer it with fresh veggies and cheese? For inspiration, check out Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s summer salad recipes: http://www.fishernuts.com/recipes/salads

Strawberry Pecan Salad with a sweet, homemade Lemon Poppyseed dressing and candied Pecans #thinkfisher

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Strawberry Pecan Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup Fisher Nuts Pecan Halves
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 oz package Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, halved
  • 4 oz fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced (cut into small pieces)
  • 15 oz can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp poppyseeds


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, saute pecans with sugar. This will take several minutes for the sugar to dissolve as you stir the pecans. Set aside and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine romaine, berries, oranges, cheese and onion. Add diced chicken. Toss gently.
  3. In a small mason jar, combine dressing ingredients and shake with lid on.
  4. When ready to serve, add candied pecans and drizzle with dressing. ENJOY!

Did you make this recipe?

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Strawberry Pecan Salad with a sweet, homemade Lemon Poppyseed dressing and candied Pecans #thinkfisher

**This is a sponsored post on behalf of Fisher Nuts. I’m a part of the Fishers Fresh Thinkers. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on June 29, 2014

Comments & Reviews

  1. Made this last night and it really was a fabulous combination of flavors. Totally agree that there is too much sugar in the salad dressing, so start out slow and add as you go. I made it as written and the viscosity was amazing, the poppy seeds stayed suspended. Too sweet for me so I added more fresh lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Flavor improved, but the dressing did separate. Do what works for you.

  2. Thank you for the recipe, but don’t you think 1/2 cup of sugar is way too much for the dressing, considering that there is only 1/2 cup lemon juice in it?

    1. You can totally change it to your preference. I based it off of how I think it tastes at Panera.

  3. This salad is absolutely delicious!!! I used agave and honey instead of the sugar in the dressing. I also used grape seed oil instead of olive oil. I did not candy my own pecans either… Trader Joe’s sweetened pecans were perfect. Mandarin oranges are so bland, I used a could Cuties instead. Can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow.

  4. This was a beautiful, delicious hit for our 4th of July, family dinner yesterday!  I had to make a couple of changes.  I left out the chicken.  Then had to use regular mustard and feta cheese because I didn’t have te other’s in hand.  Finally, I added a bit of butter to the pecan – sugaring process to make the sugar stay.  It was a success!
         Will add chicken this evening for a yummy, summer salad!!  
          THANK YOU!!!

  5. I made a similar salad after eating it at Panera and then realizing it was “out of season” there.  For the dressing,  I purchase a creamy poppyseed dressing–to it I add some of the pineapple juice out of the can of pineapple tidbits.  I include pineapple along with the other fruit, etc.  I wanted to ask if anyone is aware of a really good french garlic salad dressing–we used to purchase it from Brown Jug, a restaurant that was in our community–they served it with their salads but also sold it to customers.   Since it went out of busn., no one seems able to locate recipe.  It was a thick dark orangeish red dressing with a chutney that seemed heavy on garlic and some onion.  Any ideas?  Tyvm

  6. I just stumbled on this and it looks amazing!  I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried the dressing with honey rather than the refined sugar.  Same with the candied pecans?

  7. Just made this for a simple, light dinner. It’s great! Pretty simple overall, even the candied pecans weren’t too hard 🙂 I had to leave out the goat cheese and poppyseeds but it was/is (I’m still chowing down!) an awesome salad! Can’t wait to have some for lunch tomorrow! 

  8. July 6, 2015   – I’m making this salad again tonight !!  The first time I added the pecans without the sugar coating and also the poppyseeds (did not have any on hand)..  I added a comment on my Pinterest board after having it, but neglected to post directly to you.  My husband and I love this salad !!  A good way to get fruit into him, Lol !  It is on he menu again tonight (minus the chicken) .  Thank you for sharing this keeper.

    1. I love when people come back to tell me they tried my recipes. I love it more when the recipe is a success, haha!! Glad you and your husband enjoyed this one 🙂

  9. I have been eating & making a salad like this for years. I got the idea from a seafood place in Destin, FL that served the exact same salad. it is very good.

  10. Oh I really love the salads that have fruit in them! Especially for summer! The one you made looks so good!

  11. My favorite salad is fruit salad with nuts, cherries, fruit cocktail, and marshmallows. Always reminds me of family.

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