Did you have any teenage moments when you thought you were quite the grown up? For me, it was the first time I ordered the Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. A better homemade version of the original restaurant recipe anyone can make! Juicy oven fried chicken, fresh greens, crispy ramen noodles in a sweet and tangy oriental dressing. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

My mom, sisters, and I were seated at a high top in the bar area. I felt too old and too sophisticated for the kids menu, and my mom was not going to let me order a steak, so I drifted to the Oriental Chicken Salad, which fell somewhere in between.

The Oriental Chicken Salad also happened to be what the two other older, clearly cooler teenagers I could spot from my high vantage point were eating. They seemed hip and cool. I wanted to be hip and cool. Oriental Chicken Salad it would be. I ordered my chicken crispy and my dressing on the side. Extra crunchy noodles please.

I was quite the sophisticate.

When the salad arrived, I gave it a skeptical toss (really, adults eat salads and consider it a meal?), and took a tentative forkful. It was love at first bite!

If you’ve never had the Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad, you should know that it’s delicious. I went on to order it many times through high school, and years later, it’s still flagged as a customer favorite on the Applebee’s menu. It contains all the critical components that make a salad satisfying: crisp greens, filling protein, almonds and chow mein noodles for crunch, and a sweet, creamy dressing to tie it all together.

Tastes EXACTLY like Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad! Easy copycat restaurant recipe that anyone can make at home. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

As a teenager, I gave little thought to the nutritional quality of my meals, and it never would have occurred to me that any dish with the word “salad” in its title might not be healthy. As an adult, I’ve learned that, unfortunately, salads are often one of the least healthy things on a restaurant’s menu. While writing this post, I became morbidly curious about the Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad calorie count and had to take a peek. I was shocked. Depending upon your diet, it could be nearly a day’s worth of calories.

I generally try to avoid counting calories, especially when I go out to eat, but I do believe it is reasonable to expect my salads to be nutritious. I also expect them to be yummy, filling, and offer a good variety of ingredients, flavors, and textures. Have I set the bar too high? Absolutely not! Case in point: today’s homemade version of Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. It’s just as deliciously addictive as Applebee’s version, but it is actually good for you and reasonable in the calorie department too.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad with oriental dressing. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

About This Oriental Chicken Salad

In place of the deep-fried chicken strips Applebee’s puts on its Oriental Chicken Salad, I swapped these Crispy Asian Chicken Tenders. They offer the same juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside sensation but are oven baked instead of fried. I kept the chow mein noodles and toasted almonds (gotta have that crunch!) and layered in extra fresh veggies. Finally, I made my own homemade oriental dressing, which uses Greek yogurt in place of the mayo in the Applebee’s version.

I inhaled this salad for lunch and can see it being a great choice for light, cool meals throughout the summer. I love it topped with my chicken tenders, but you can also easily swap grilled chicken, Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, Baked Chicken Breast, or even salmon or shrimp.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Store. This salad is best enjoyed the day it is made, but you can store it in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Make Ahead. If you’re hoping to make this salad ahead for a party or easy lunches, you can individually prepare and store the ingredients. Prepare the chicken tenders, dressing, and all the salad ingredients except for the almonds and chow mein noodles. Store the lettuce and dressing in separate containers in the refrigerator, and store the almonds and chow mein noodles at room temperature. Combine and toss when ready to eat.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. Just like the original! A healthy homemade version that anyone can make! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

More Main Dish Salad Recipes

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. A better homemade version of the original restaurant recipe anyone can make! Juicy oven fried chicken, fresh greens, crispy ramen noodles in a sweet and tangy oriental dressing. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

3.84 from 6 votes
A healthy copycat version of Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad that's just as good as the original for a fraction of the calories!

Prep: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Salad:

  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce about 1 head
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 8 Crispy Asian Chicken Tenders
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup chow mein noodles
  • 2 green onions chopped

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons nonfat milk if necessary

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the Greek yogurt, honey, vinegar, mustard, sesame oil, and salt. Taste and add more salt as desired. If the dressing is too thick for your liking, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss the romaine, red cabbage, and carrots. Arrange the chicken tenders on top. Drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the chow mein noodles, almonds, and green onion. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 29gFat: 11gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 304mgFiber: 6gSugar: 16g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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28 Comments

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  1. I like how this is a lightened up version of the Applebee’s salad! I can’t say I’ve ever had this salad at Applebee’s, but I’ve definitely encountered similar, and the flavor combo is spot on. I remember the days where I desperately wanted to be grown up. Now I wonder what my rush was!! :P

  2. Brilliant! This is the only entree I’ve ever eaten at Applebee’s. I know I’m going to love YOUR version even better!

  3. Well, Erin, you got me with this one!  I had no idea how you would use chicken tenders in a recipe, but you only landed on what used to be my favorite meal at Applebee’s.    I say used to, because they apparently changed the recipe a few years back and it was not anywhere near as good.  I did always order the salad with grilled chicken, but I would definitely make the chicken tenders/fingers for this recipe.  The calorie count makes that a reasonable thing to do.  I also like the idea of using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise.  I will put this on my list of definite things to make this summer.   I’m glad that I’m able to be reasonably open-minded…  ?

  4. pretty sure that salad was my first restaurant favorite! i haven’t had it for ages but i’d bet i’d still love it, especially a homemade version!

  5. This is one of my go-to menu choices at Applebies too! Although it seems like they give you less salad stuff these days, or maybe I just got a very generous chef a few times.
    I will have to try your recipe because this means I can add all the veggies I want, AND I don’t have to cook the chicken!
    Val

  6. hey girl- this looks amazing! I have had Applebee’s Oriental chicken rollup and it is so amazing!~ yummy

  7. I made this for company and it was delicious! I never go to Applebee’s so had never had their version but this looked so good I had to try it. I will honestly say I am not one those people who typically thinks baked chicken tenders are as good as fried…they’re just not the same. What makes these baked tenders a winner is the flavor! I actually marinated over 24 hours (oops) and would do it that way again after tasting how much the marinade flavored the chicken. I did add a little ginger, garlic and soy sauce to the dressing but I’m sure it would have been great without that modification too. My guests loved it too, thank you!!4 stars

    1. Julie, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for the tip about the 24 hour marinade! I so appreciate that you took the time to leave this awesome feedback.

  8. Have had AppleBee’s salad and it is delicious….but will try it your way and see how your’s is….great I am sure….love your recipes….and pass them on to my daughter who watches what she eats  me, not so much :)  but I do watch fat content, not by choice tho….. can’t wait till my daughter sees this she will be making it tomorrow I’m sure….they love salad, and my youngest granddaughter Faith loves salad better than she does anything….she is a cheerleader (and a flyer) so she has to be thin, so she will love this too…thanks for posting it Erin :) 
    Going to rate it anyways, a 5* of course….5 stars

    1. I hope you enjoy this recipe! I’d love to know what you think if you give it a try. :) Thank you so much for this kind comment!

    1. Hi Ruhi! I’m not sure where you are located, but they are available at most grocery stores in the U.S. in the Asian food aisle. I’m sure you can find them online too!

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry this recipe wasn’t a hit for you. I (and many other readers) have loved the salad flavors, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it too!

  9. I have had Applebee’s oriental chicken salad many times, and the dressing never tasted like this. Not even close. Don’t bother making it.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear that this dish wasn’t to your tastes, Nancy. I know it can be frustrating to try a new recipe and not have it turn out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  10. This salad is bang-on to my memories of this Applebee’s salad. I love everything about it. It is absolutely delicious. My only criticism that makes me back it off by one star is that the chicken doesn’t reheat great and the salad dressing is really only good for about one extra day. So, if you have enough people to feed, no problem. But leftovers aren’t nearly as good as the same day.4 stars