This copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad is a “main dish” kind of salad with comforting yet energizing fresh flavors that tastes even better than the restaurant version.
In just minutes you can be enjoying bite after bite of this salad with juicy grilled chicken on a bed of fresh, crunchy salad greens with sliced almonds, shredded carrots, and topped with a mouthwatering oriental dressing.
And this 5-star salad recipe comes with an easy to assemble 5 ingredient dressing. As a matter of fact, we love this dressing so much we use it on other homemade salads too.
Prior to eating gluten and dairy free, this salad was my favorite dish on Applebee’s popular menu. You could easily say I had an addiction to the delicious salad flavors and crunch.
A few years ago I was thrilled to find a similar Oriental Chicken Salad recipe here by Kristyn on her blog, “Lil’ Luna.” Needless to say it was a must to adapt our own recipe using only gluten and dairy free ingredients including the homemade wonton strips to replace the chow mein noodles.
Speaking of which– had you already noticed the gluten free wonton strips topped on this gorgeous salad? While they are an optional part of the salad, they add another delicious layer of crunch to each bite.
This homemade salad tastes even better than I remember from so many years ago.
oriental chicken salad ingredients
- rice vinegar— we use the Marukan brand in our home. Here is their allergen statement. This can be purchased online at their website or on Amazon here.
- mayonnaise— well-known gluten and dairy free brands are the Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise for purchase here, Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise available to purchase here.
- Dijon mustard— we use Annie’s Dijon mustard
- sesame oil— this oil is naturally gluten free. However there can be concerns about the manufacturing process of some brands. Joyce Chen Sesame Oil is manufactured in a gluten free facility.
- grilled chicken breast— baked chicken or gluten free breaded chicken works well too
- romaine lettuce
- red cabbage
- napa cabbage
- shredded carrots— we cheat and keep a big bag of pre-shredded carrots in our refrigerator. You can also use 3 hand washed and shredded carrots.
- sliced almonds— omit if needed
- deep fried wontons strips (optional)– We order a prepacked Egg Roll and Wonton Wrapper kit of dry ingredients from Mom’s Place Gluten Free. Prepare the wonton strips according to the package direction for wrappers. After the dough has been rolled out to 1/16 inch thick, cut into very small rows about 1/16 inch wide and 1 1/2 inch long. Then place in a large skillet with the oil heated to 375Â° F. Fry for 1 minute on each side and remove to a paper towel. Top salad with wonton strips. This mix will make a couple hundred wonton strips. Place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze or refrigerate. Top leftover strips on stir-fry and other Asian-influenced dishes.
- side dish— serve this salad alongside warmed baguettes or garlic breadsticks. Here are our two favorite brands, Udi’s French Baguettes and MY BREAD Gluten Free Bakery Breadsticks and Dinner Rolls.
can I prepare this salad ahead of time
Yes and no. You can wash, dry, and cut the salad greens ahead of time and refrigerate. And the oriental dressing is best when made a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated.
However, it’s suggested to assemble the salad when ready to enjoy.
As a suggestion we’ll oftentimes meal prep a large batch of this salad for a week’s worth of lunches too.
To do this– meal prep the dressing and salad greens, carrots, and chicken. Store refrigerated in individual containers for freshness. Each day you’ll just need a few minutes to assemble a fresh salad to enjoy over the lunch time.
do I need to use sliced almonds
No. Feel free to omit the almonds or substitute with another desired nut.
more gluten + dairy free meals for you
- sweet and sour meatballs— you will fall in love with this family favorite meal of homemade meatballs with tender bell peppers and flavorful pineapple in a thick, gooey mouthwatering sauce
- burrito bowl— all your taco favorites in a healthy bowl without the extra calories, yet with yummy taste
- cowboy hamburger soup— this hearty soup boasts tender potato chunks, ground beef, and veggies in a filling soup everyone raves about
- lasagna soup— enjoy all the amazing flavors and textures of lasagna without the mess. This one pot meal is absolutely delicious, fresh, and loved for its tender lasagna noodles, ground beef, and Italian sausage.
dessert recipes everyone loves
- walnut brownie sundae— so chocolaty and gooey. You will enjoy this warm brownie with nuts out of the oven topped with your favorite ice cream flavor
- banana pudding— layers of goodness including a thick pudding, vanilla wafers, and a decadent whipped topping
- cookies and cream parfait— grab your go-to gluten free oreo cookies and enjoy this mesmerizing layered parfait with oreo cookie crumbs, a thick homemade chocolate pudding, and creamy whipped topping
- classic apple crisp— we enjoy this recipe year-round because it tastes so cozy and comforting with double the delicious topping
- pecan pie bars— another delicious recipe we bake often on special occasions throughout the year. These bars are addictive and always a hit.
You will love the flavors of this gorgeous Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. Not to mention it’s a great way to pack in your veggies.
This is a meal-worthy lunch or dinner for the whole family or food prep for a week’s worth of several meals.
Speaking of the whole family– did you know we have a camping food guide perfect for those family trips? And you’ll also find the best vanilla buttercream cake frosting for special family birthday moments. Pin these now.
And follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to like and comment often so you keep seeing our posts in your feed. We don’t want you to miss the best of eating gluten and dairy free.
Eat well and feel well,
Oriental Chicken Salad
- 6 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar suggestion in post
- ½ c mayonnaise
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard suggestion in post
- ¼ tsp sesame oil suggestion in post
- 6 c romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 c red cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 c napa cabbage, finely chopped
- ½ c shredded carrots
- 2 grilled chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper, cut into bite size pieces baked and gluten free breaded chicken works too
- ½ c sliced almonds, optional add more or omit if needed
- 2 grilled and chopped chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper baked chicken works too
- 1 c optional– deep fried gluten free wonton strips see notes in post
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Transfer to a mason jar and refrigerate until ready to serve. This dressing can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
Oriental Chicken Salad
- In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, red cabbage, napa cabbage, and carrots.
- Then add in the chopped chicken.
- Top with sliced almonds and wonton strips.
- Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Optional Wonton Strips
- We order a prepacked Egg Roll and Wonton Wrapper kit of dry ingredients from Mom's Place Gluten Free. Prepare the wonton strips according to the package direction for wrappers. After the dough has been rolled out to 1/16 inch thick, cut into very small rows about 1/16 inch wide and 1½ inch long. Then place in a large skillet with the oil heated to 375° F. Fry for 1 minute on each side and remove to a paper towel. This mix will make a couple hundred wonton strips. Top salad with wonton strips. Place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze or refrigerate. Top leftover strips on stir-fry and other Asian-influenced dishes.