Autumn Chicken and Pear Salad with Poppyseed Dressing is made with fresh mixed greens, crispy bacon, juicy cajun seasoned chicken, and sliced pears. Topped with sunflower seeds, green onion, avocado, and creamy poppyseed dressing, this chicken and pear salad is delicious and bursting with flavor!
Just because fall has arrived, that does not mean I have given up my love of making (and eating) salads. In fact, quite the opposite. Protein-packed salads, like this chicken and pear salad, give all the flavors of autumn with a little hint of summer.
Crunchy greens, juicy chicken, sweet pear, surprise bacon bits, and creamy avocado all mixed together in one beautiful bowl, salads like this are my favorite. It’s like a big, warm, salad hug… especially when homemade poppyseed dressing is involved.
This pear salad is absolutely delicious and perfect for anyone who loves an easy dinner and good food.
Ingredients in this Autumn Chicken and Pear Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
There are two main parts to this pear salad. The salad part and the poppyseed dressing part. If you prefer not to make your own poppyseed dressing, store-bought will taste just as great.
The salad part:
- Italian seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- fresh mixed greens
- green onion
- cherry tomatoes
- sunflower seeds
The poppyseed dressing–
- granulated sugar
- white vinegar
- vegetable oil
- sesame seeds
- miracle whip
To make this easy and delicious chicken and pear salad, start by chopping up the bacon and frying it in a large skillet. Once the bacon is cooked and crispy, remove it to a plate and return the skillet to the heat. Leaving the bacon drippings in the skillet, add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cooking the chicken in the bacon grease combined with the awesome seasoning mixture guarantees some seriously delicious chicken.
As the chicken cooks, assemble your own pear salad.
Whenever I build a salad I always like to add a mixture of different textures and flavors- crunchy, creamy, sweet, salty. The alternative is a flat and boring salad that no one wants to eat.
That would be sad, right?
Start by choosing a mixture of different salad greens. Lucky for us, these days we can purchase bags or tubs filled with a variety of different greens, cutting out time spent in the kitchen. Once the greens are sorted the fun can really start.
- Crunchy- green onion, sunflower seeds
- Creamy- avocado
- Sweet- pears, cherry tomatoes
- Salty- sunflower seeds, bacon
As always, if you don’t like green onions or cherry tomatoes, leave them out. Swap them with something you love instead.
Tips and Tricks for making the best Autumn Chicken and Pear Salad
- Prepare the poppyseed dressing ahead of time to save time in the kitchen.
- The same can be said for the bacon and chicken, however, you will need to microwave them if you want a warm chicken salad.
- Season the chicken with the paprika, Italian seasoning, and Cajun seasoning before adding to the skillet to cook.
- Pick pears that are ripe, yet firm. If a pear is too ripe, it will simply fall apart in the salad.
- Slice and chop the pear and avocado just before serving as they will start browning. To slow this process, squeeze some lemon juice or orange juice over the flesh of the pear and avocado after it has been cut up.
DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS AUTUMN CHICKEN AND PEAR SALAD WITH POPPYSEED DRESSING AND SAVE IT FOR LATER. EASY AND HEALTHY, THIS PEAR SALAD IS AN IRRESISTIBLE DINNER TIME FAVORITE YOU’LL MAKE OVER AND OVER.
For more salad recipes check out,
- Chickpea Tomato Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing
- Chopped Shrimp Salad Recipe with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Marinated Salmon Apple Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
- Shredded Brussels Sprout Persimmon Salad
- Turmeric Salad with Apples and Acorn Squash
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Autumn Chicken and Pear Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
For the Poppyseed Dressing
- Whisk together the paprika, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper, in a small bowl. Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken breasts. Set aside.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add the chicken to the same skillet with the bacon drippings. Cook the chicken for approximately 3 minutes on each side until browned. Cover the skillet with a tightly fitted lid and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 165 degrees F. with a digital thermometer.
- As the chicken cooks, prepare the poppyseed dressing. Add all ingredients to a small food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Assemble the salad bowls. To each bowl add the greens, sliced pear, green onion, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, and chopped bacon. Top with cooked chicken breast and drizzle with poppyseed dressing. Enjoy!