Make your favorite salad at home with this recipe for Panera’s Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. It tastes JUST like the restaurant version at a fraction of the cost.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.
It’s time for all the summer salads. I’ve been wanting to create my own recipe for Panera’s Asian Sesame Salad forever and I finally am ready to share it.
If you’re a fan of this salad, you are going to love this recipe. It tastes JUST like the real thing. And it’s wayyyy cheaper to make at home.
Ingredients for Panera Asian Sesame Salad Dressing
This dressing my friends. It tastes just like the real deal. I could literally drink it.
How to Make the Asian Sesame Dressing
The dressing takes one extra step than my usual dressing recipes. Because this is a sweet and tangy dressing, there is some sugar in the recipe.
In order to make sure we have a super smooth dressing and that there are no sugar granules, the rice vinegar has to be heated. Then the sugar is added and whisked until dissolved.
Pour the vinegar mixture into a jar and allow it to come to room temperature. Add remaining ingredients, seal tightly with the lid and shake until combined.
Refrigerate until cold. Make sure you do not shake while the vinegar is still hot. It can escape the jar and spatter you.
Store the dressing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Ingredients for Asian Sesame Salad
Here are the remaining ingredients you’ll need to grab for the base of the salad.
Prepare the Chicken
Start by seasoning the chicken with lemon pepper and kosher salt. I like to grill the chicken for this salad.
Heat the grill over medium heat. If you have a thick piece of chicken, grill 6 minutes per side. Once it’s done, let it rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
If you don’t have a grill or the weather isn’t ideal, you can definitely sear the chicken in a skillet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and cook until juices run clear.
How to Assemble Panera Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
Add lettuce, chopped cilantro, chicken, sliced almonds and wonton strips to a large bowl. Drizzle with your desired amount of dressing and toss well.
If you don’t plan on eating all of it in one sitting, just mix up a portion of the recipe. Nobody likes a soggy salad.
Perfect for Meal Prep
This salad makes a great lunch option to take to work or have prepared to keep life easy.
I like to keep all the components separate then toss them together right before eating. These meal prep containers work really well for this salad.
Keep the wonton strips and sliced almonds at room temperature to make sure they don’t get soggy.
More Salad Recipes to Try
Panera Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
For the Asian Sesame Dressing:
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. sesame seeds
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
For the salad:
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp. lemon pepper
- 1 large romaine heart, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup wonton strips
- Add rice vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a jar and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add remaining dressing ingredients, seal the jar and shake to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well before using.
- For the chicken: preheat grill or skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the lemon pepper. Cook chicken for about 6 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice chicken into thin strips.
- Add lettuce, cilantro, chicken, almonds and wonton strips to a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss well to coat.