Poppy seeds (from the plant Papaver somniferum) are available in two colors, slate blue and white. There is very little difference in the taste between the two, according to TheEpicentre.com. Blue poppy seeds are the most common type used in America, Europe, and other Western countries, and can be found in salad dressings, entrees, and breads or sweet treats. White poppy seeds are usually found in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian foods.

Salad Dressing

While there are numerous poppy seed dressing recipes, they all are quite similar. Nearly all of them include sugar, white vinegar, poppy seeds, and some type of vegetable oil or salad dressing. Additional ingredients may include lemon, grated onion, and mustard. Regardless of the recipe, poppy seed dressing can be used as a topping for fruit salads and green salads. Many people add roasted nuts such as almonds to complement the combined flavors of the poppy seed dressing and fruit.

Breads, Muffins, Pastries, and Cake

The most common foods containing poppy seeds in the Western world are breads, muffins, pastries, and cakes. Poppy seeds are often combined with blueberries or lemon in many muffin and cake recipes due to the poppy seeds’ slight nutty taste. One popular poppy seed pastry is a beigli, a Hungarian roll that is traditionally served at Christmas and Easter, according to Budapest-tourist-guide.com. This roll is filled with a sweet mixture that includes walnuts and poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are also used as a garnish on breads, bagels, and rolls.


When most people think of poppy seed entrees, they picture some version of a poppy seed chicken recipe. However, poppy seeds can be used in other poultry dishes and casseroles as well. What makes most poppy seed chicken recipes so appealing is that you can use leftover chicken or turkey with ingredients most people already have at home. Poppy seeds are also used in some ham dishes or in noodles, cabbage, or other root vegetables that you can serve “as is” or top with a meat sauce.