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Ancient Grain Arugula Salad

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In this copycat Panera Ancient Grain Arugula Salad, grilled chicken and a mixture of cooked grains top baby arugula, coleslaw mix, fresh grapes and apples. Drizzled with a simple cider vinaigrette.
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken, copycat, panera, salad
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 41 mins
Servings 4 servings
Author Laurie McNamara



  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (heaping) teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • juice from 1 small lemon about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sage minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or thin-cut chicken breasts
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • olive oil spray
  • 5 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix green cabbage and carrots
  • 1 apple sliced into matchsticks (fuji or honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes halved
  • 8 ounces cooked grains quinoa, brown rice and lentils*
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas**
  • goat cheese optional



  • In a jar add the garlic powder, onion powder, plus a generous pinch of kosher. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and white balsamic. Whisk to combine. Adding the vinegar to the salt will help dissolve and better flavor the dressing.
  • Then add the apple cider, Dijon, honey and olive oil. Whisk or secure the lid and shake until combined. You may have to stir it again before pouring over your salad. Set aside.


  • In a mixing bowl, measure and add in the minced fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, grated garlic (I use the chunky garlic that comes in the tube – so fast!), paprika, juice of a small lemon and olive oil.
  • Add the chicken thighs (or thin-cut chicken breasts) to the bowl and toss well to coat. Let marinate while you preheat your grill pan over medium heat.
  • Spray the grill pan with olive oil spray and season the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the chicken 4 to 6 minutes a side or until the chicken is fully cooked. I use a instant read thermometer to check and make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining chicken thighs. Let rest for about 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
  • Divide arugula, slaw, grains, apples and grapes almond deep bowls or plates. Top with sliced grilled chicken and toasted pepitas.
  • Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dressing.


*TruRoots makes little 8-1/2 ounce pouches of quick cooking grains, which is what I used (TruRoots olive oil and sea salt quinoa, brown rice and lentil)
**I toast the pepitas in a dry skillet over medium to medium-low heat until golden and fragrant.