Panera (Inspired) Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

panera asian chicken salad

I’ve been wanting to make Panera’s Asian Sesame Chicken Salad since the first time I had it a few months ago. (Side note, despite eating at Panera for years, it is only with great reluctance that I occasionally try a new menu item. It’s so hard to deviate from what you like. You know?)

I’m one of those types who, when I find a dish I really like, wants to try to recreate it at home. I know – weird hobby right?

But in any event, I never got around to it… Until this past weekend!

I didn’t recreate it myself, I just slightly tweaked the recipe from Panera’s website (hey I’ve got 2 kids under the age of 2!).  This homemade version of Panera’s Asian Sesame Chicken Salad came out just a little different, I think a little less sweet possibly, but still good. Rachel added in mandarin oranges, I thought it was fine as is.

For the chicken I just grilled up some plain chicken breasts, unseasoned. But Rachel and I both agree it would be really good marinated in this Asian Ginger marinade.

I know, I know – A few days before Thanksgiving and we’re showcasing this salad? Trust me – if not now, after Thanksgiving you are going to love a simple and lighter salad like this. So enjoy your turkey, stuffing, and tons of sides, and enjoy your day after thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Then, come back and try this salad out. :)

panera asian chicken salad

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • Salad
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and sliced thinly on a bias
  • ¼ cup Panera Bread Asian Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Lo-mein noodles
  • Panera Bread Asian Sesame Dressing
  • Makes 1 ¼ cups
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Salad:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Arrange almonds in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes, toss nuts, then toast for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pan to cool.
  4. To make the salad, toss the lettuce, cilantro, lo-mein noodles, chicken, and dressing in a large mixing bowl until combined. Place the mixture on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and almonds and serve.
  5. Panera Bread Asian Sesame Dressing:
  6. Combine all ingredients except canola oil in a medium mixing bowl with a wire whisk.
  7. Once ingredients are combined, slowly pour in the oil while whisking to form an emulsion.
http://thekeenancookbook.com/dinner/panera-inspired-asian-sesame-chicken-salad

Adapted from: Panera Bread

panera asian chicken salad

 

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