Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

I’ll admit, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with copycat recipes of late. I’m not sure if it is because I live so far from restaurants now, or because I just want to see if I can replicate restaurant food at home. I imagine it’s a little of both! This particular salad is my husband’s favorite thing from Applebee’s Restaurant, so I wanted to give it a try. There are several versions of the recipe on line, but I based mine off of one from Mandy’s Recipe Box.Looks good, right?!  What’s even better…it is very easy to put together with some pre-packaged items from the grocery store.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Dressing – 
3 Tablespoons honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise (*I use Hellman’s with Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
 
Salad – 
6 crispy chicken strips, cooked
Pre-packaged salad mix (w/romaine lettuce, carrots, and cabbage)
Pre-packaged coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (I used toasted sesame seeds instead)
1 cup Chow Mein noodles
 
  • For the Dressing 
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Refrigerate while preparing salad.
 
  • For the Salad 
Cut chicken strips into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Mix together about half the bag of each of the pre-packaged salad and coleslaw mixes.
Top with cut up chicken, almonds & Chow Mein noodles. 
Drizzle the dressing on top, to taste.
Makes approx. 3 large salads
You can make as much or as little as you want by altering the amounts of salad used.  The amount of dressing used per salad is such an individual preference, so you may need more or less.  The amount listed was enough for 3 salads (a dinner sized salad entree) for us, but my husband said he would have liked more dressing (he likes a lot, where I like just a little!)
I added mandarin oranges to my salad, and I used toasted sesame seeds in the place of almonds, just because I love them! This was a convenient, filling and delicious salad, and I can’t wait to tackle my next copycat recipe!  So far, I’ve tried Copycat Chick-fil-a ChickenOlive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, and Chili’s Monterey Chicken.
Have you got a restaurant favorite that you make at home? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m linking up this recipe over at – (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home, A Peek Into My Paradise (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 
Yay! This recipe was featured at The Better Baker and The Best Blog Recipes!

The Best Blog Recipes

Panzanella Salad

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of salads, but I am all about some bread.  So, give me a bread salad and I’m pretty happy.  Of course, ‘bread salad’ sounds boring, so we’ll call it by it’s Italian name….Panzanella Salad.  That makes it sound all fancy….except I white-trashed it up by adding bacon bits. (so now it’s sorta a BLT-nella salad, but let’s not get technical.)

As you can see, I went a little heavy on the bread! I also added spinach and arugula. (ok, AND bacon)  What can I say? I’m not Italian.

Panzanella Salad (or BLT salad)

loosely adapted from A Foodie Affair
  • 4 cups stale (1 to 3 day-old bread) Italian-style bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes*
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced  I used cherry tomatoes and cut them in half
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 whole roasted red peppers in the jar I omitted b/c I forgot to pick some up at the store
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow peppers I used green pepper since that is what I had on hand
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata or Nicoise olives, pitted  I omitted b/c I hate olives
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese  I used Asiago since that is what I had
  • Peppered bacon bits (optional)
  • Spinach & Arugula (optional)
*I bought my bread from the clearance bakery items at Wal-Mart & I think my cubes were closer to 1″ than 1/2!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer; drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil just to lightly coat cubes. Dry in oven approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Make dressing with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar. I used an envelope of Good Seasons salad dressing based on A Foodie Affair‘s recommendation.
  3. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, green peppers, basil, coarse salt, and pepper. Toss the ingredients gently to coat; let stand for at least a half-hour.
  4. Panzanella can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for several hours. Remove from refrigerator an hour or so before serving and bring the salad to room temperature. Before serving, add bread cubes and sprinkle with Asiago cheese and bacon if using! Add salad dressing and serve on a bed of spinach and arugula if desired.

The salad was delish, whatever name you want to give my version!

And let’s not forget…today is SEPTEMBER 11th.  I don’t care how long it has been…the very thought of what happened on 9/11 sends chills down my arms, gives me a heavy heart, and makes me want to scream and cry all at the same time.  I did not know anyone who lost their life during the attacks of 9/11, but I mourn for them. I remember them. And I cherish their memories and give thanks to all the heroes of that day.
I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
MAY GOD BLESS THE USA!
 

I’m linking up today with Naptime Creations, Mandy’s Recipe Box, It’s a Blog Party, All the Small Stuff, 33 Shades of Green, Blessed with Grace