There are so many amazing flavors at play in this copycat Applebee’s Salad recipe, including cornflake crusted chicken on a bed of colorful greens and veggies, with honey mustard dressing.

Looking for more delicious salads? Try my Burrata Salad, Waldorf Salad, or Asian Chicken Salad!

Applebees Chicken Salad in a serving bowl with dressing on top.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Homemade Dressing – The honey mustard dressing adds the perfect flavor and ties everything together. Best part – it is SO easy and made with just a few ingredients!
  • Crispy Chicken – The cornflake crusted, juicy, crispy chicken on top of the salad is truly the highlight of the dish!
  • Great for All Ages: Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad is a hit with everyone in my family, including my three year old. For younger kids try it deconstructed with cut up chicken and veggies and sauce on the side for dipping. Or, make it into a wrap.

This recipe was shared with me when I was teenager, in my High School Gourmet Foods class. The original recipe is from is by Todd Wilbur, from “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes“.

How to make Applebee’s Salad:

Make Dressing: Blend together all ingredients for the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Honey mustard dressing ingredients added to a bowl.

Prep Chicken For Frying: Preheat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat to be at about 350° F. In a small bowl beat the egg and milk together. In another bowl combine the flour, cornflake crumbs and salt and pepper. Cut chicken breast into several long thin strips. Dip the strips in the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture, coating completely.

Process photo for dipping chicken tenders in egg wash and then flour.

Fry Chicken: Add chicken strips to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through and coating is dark golden brown.

Two process photos for frying chicken tenders coated in cornflakes.

Assemble Salad: Combine the romaine, red cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, onions and cucumber in a bowl. Add chicken pieces on top and sprinkle with almonds. Serve this fresh chicken salad with the honey oriental dressing!

Make Ahead Instructions:

To Make Ahead: All the veggies can be chopped and the oriental dressing can be made ahead of time for the Applebee’s salad and kept all separately in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Recipe Variations:

  • Baked Chicken: Prepare and coat chicken as instructed, and place greased or lined baking pan in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Grilled Chicken: Try my Asian Chicken Salad that has similar flavors, but the chicken is marinated and grilled.
  • Vegetarian: Replace the chicken with Air Fryer Tofu.

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Recipe

Applebees Chicken Salad in a serving bowl with dressing on top.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 35 mins

Ingredients
 
 

Dressing:

  • 6 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Salad:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn flakes cereal , crushed into crumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups oil (vegetable or canola), for frying
  • 6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped napa cabbage
  • 2 carrots , shredded
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber , chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Instructions
 

  • Make dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Dressing can be made a few days in advance).
  • Heat oil: Preheat oil in a pot over medium heat. You want the oil at about 350 degrees F, (or test the oil by putting a small piece of torn bread into the pot and if the bread sizzles, it's ready.)
  • Coat chicken: ChickenIn a small bowl beat the egg and milk together. In another bowl combine the flour, cornflake crumbs and salt and pepper. Cut chicken into several long thin strips. Dip the strips in the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture, coating completely. 
  • Fry Chicken: Carefully add coated chicken to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through and coating is dark golden brown.
  • Assemble Salad: Combine the romaine, red cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, onions and cucumber. Add chicken on top and then add almonds. Serve with dressing!

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: All the veggies can be chopped and the dressing can be made ahead of time and kept all separately in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Variations:
  • Baked Chicken: Place chicken on a greased pan in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Grilled Chicken Oriental Salad: Use my chicken marinade!
Recipe from the Book Top Secret Restaurant Recipes, found here.

Nutrition

Calories: 578kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 37gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 547mgPotassium: 1182mgFiber: 6gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 12135IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 6mg

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I originally shared this recipe June 2014. It’s a recipe I first made in my High School “Gourmet Foods” class in 2005! Recipe updated June 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Hi, Lauren. Thank you for the latest delicious recipes. You have created a little bit of USA
    in Western Australia!
    How on earth do you find the time to keep this up? What a Gal! Thanks, heaps, Lauren

  2. Sounds great. I’ll make my chicken in the air fryer to cut the fat and calories down. Thanks.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. And the dressing is so easy and so delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! My kids thought the chicken tenders were the best I’ve made, and I’ve tried many recipes over the years. I double dipped mine for extra crunch.

  5. 5 stars
    Perfect dressing – perfect salad. I make it vegetarian with toasted almonds instead of chicken an add some avacado and fresh cilantro for extra texture and flavor and nutrients. Also, used 100% napa cabbage without adding romaine and the salad can be chopped and stays fresh for meal planning all week that way.

  6. 5 stars
    Super delicious, lots of veggies and the sweet asian dressing is lovely. I was able to convince the little kids to dip their veggies in it. Chicken was also super yummy! Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    I have eaten this many times. We moved and our new town does not have an Applebee’s. 🙁
    Glad to have this recipe; similar salads also have mandarin oranges.

  8. It’s funny that your directions don’t mention the use of the cornflake crumbs. But, I’m sure most of us can figure it out. 🙂

    1. Nancy, you can see where the cornflake crumbs are added in step 3 of the recipe. (They’re added to the flour mixture.)

  9. Just in case anyone wants a truly simple dressing that will surprise at just how much it tastes like Applebees (discovered by accident) check this out. Publix had a sale on coleslaw and Marie’s Coleslaw dressing. I’d never tried this Marie’s dressing before and I wanted coleslaw!. Upon looking at it the consistency it looked like Applebees. Upon tasting it i thought wow, it’s really close! I then bought some sesame oil and Dijon. Added it to taste and I couldn’t believe how good it is! I initially used a little of the original coleslaw for tomorrows lunch but then just made the whole bottle as oriental dressing. Totally awesome!

  10. I’ve made this twice now and my husband and I both really like it. Thanks for the recipe. My 7 year old, not so much but she just eats the chicken instead.

  11. I love this salad! Do you know how to make that teriyaki-sake sauce is that they put over the top of the chicken? That is my favorite part of the salad. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Made this tonight.. loved it! Added just a smidge more honey, as for some reason my kids found the dressing too be a tad bit tart.. but I may have been shy with the honey or maybe used too much vinegar idk. anyways it was great, thanks!

  13. This was my favorite dish at Applebee’s until I saw that it had 1800 calories. Now I won’t touch it. This recipe looks more forgiving.

  14. Okay is it weird that I am especially excited to have the dressing recipe?? So yummy! And, confession… I had the actual Applebees oriental chicken wrap for date night last night! Haha. So excited I can make it from home now!

  15. This is great! I’m going to try making it into their Oriental Wraps – they are my favorite too!

  16. This looks so delicious! I wish I had this right now even though I haven’t even had breakfast yet! lol

  17. Oh my goodness, this looks so delicious! I need to make this salad soon!