Applebees Asian Chicken Salad Copycat - The Daring Gourmet

This popular salad featuring crispy breaded chicken on a bed of lettuce with toasted almonds, crunchy noodles, and a delicious Asian salad dressing is one of my favorite restaurant salads.  With this copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad recipe you can make this salad right at home for a fraction of the cost!  Plus it’s made from scratch without all of the preservatives, additives, or any of those other ingredients whose names are difficult to pronounce!

And while we’re on the subject of copycat recipes, be sure to try some of my other favorites like Cheeseburger Macaroni, Big Mac Sauce, Rice a Roni, and French Onion Dip Mix!

applebee's oriental chicken salad recipe copycat asian dressing chow mein noodles almonds restaurant best

I moved from Germany to the U.S. in my mid-20’s and funnily enough this salad is one of the first restaurant dishes I had after moving here.  I was on a date on it sounded good.  And it was.  So much so that I wanted to recreate it at home, from scratch.

Call me cheap, but I’m often a little begrudging when it comes to ordering entree salads at restaurants.  I mean, it’s hard justifying paying $16+ for a pile of lettuce when I can get chicken, pork, or steak with sides for around the same price.  The profit margin on salads is enormous!  I’m not saying I never order salads at restaurants.  I do.  I just often feel a little irked about it.  Maybe I’m just weird.  So when I come across salads at restaurants that I particularly like, I’ll often work to recreate them at home.  And that’s just what I did with the popular Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad.  Instead of paying around $64 plus tax for a family of four like ours to eat this salad at Applebee’s, we can pay a tiny fraction of that cost to make it right at home!

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Ingredients

This oriental chicken salad recipe is made up of 4 components:

  • The chicken – it’s breaded in a flour and crushed cornflakes coating, fried until crispy, and cut into pieces.
  • The salad – this is comprised of romaine lettuce, Napa cabbage, red cabbage, and julienned carrots.
  • The dressing – this creamy Asian dressing ties everything together.
  • The yummy extras – toasted almonds, crunchy chow mein noodles and green onions.  These really make the salad sing!

Oriental Salad Dressing 

The magic that ties everything together, the dressing for this Chinese chicken salad is nice and creamy and has a fabulous flavor.  To make this oriental salad dressing you’ll need:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Honey
  • Chinese rice vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

This is one of my favorite salad dressings and I use it on a lot of salads.  For another favorite, try my Asian Salad Dressing, which is similar to what you’ll find served in Japanese restaurants.

applebee's oriental chicken salad recipe copycat asian dressing chow mein noodles almonds restaurant best

Can This Be Made in Advance?

Yes, it can!  For convenience you can cover and refrigerate the salad for several hours ahead of time (keep the dressing and chicken separate), and the dressing can be made up to a couple of days in advance and chilled.  While it’s ideal to make the chicken just before serving so it’s nice and crispy, even that can be made in advance.  Just heat it up in the oven instead of the microwave so it crisps up again).

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Recipe (Copycat)

Let’s get started!

Combine the salad dressing ingredients, shake thoroughly until combined.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the salad materials in a large bowl, reserving the green onions.

making the dressing and placing veggie in large bowl

Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs in a medium bowl.

Combine the flour, crushed cornflakes and salt in a medium shallow bowl.

preparing batter ingredients

Dip the chicken strips into the buttermilk/egg mixture then dredge in the flour/cornflake mixture until coated on all sides.

dipping the chicken strips in egg and breadcrumb mixture

Heat the oil to 375 degrees F and, working in batches, fry the chicken until it’s a deep golden brown, about 7-8 minutes.

Note:  You can also fry the chicken in a skillet.

frying the breaded chicken strips

Drain the chicken strips on paper towels.  Divide the salad among plates.  Slice the chicken strips, arrange them on top of the salad, sprinkle with toasted almonds, chow mein noodles, and green onions and serve with the Asian Dressing.


applebee's oriental chicken salad recipe copycat asian dressing chow mein noodles almonds restaurant best

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet July 20, 2014




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