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Apple Walnut Chicken Salad- Applebee's Copycat
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5 from 1 vote

Apple Walnut Chicken Salad- Applebee's Copycat

Marinated grilled chicken tossed with greens, apple, blue cheese, candied walnuts and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Servings 2


Chicken Marinade

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 1 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • oil
  • ground black pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups chopped red leaf lettuce
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese


  • Make chicken marinade. Combine water, salt, garlic powder, and liquid smoke in a medium bowl. Mix to dissolve salt. Place chicken in marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Make balsamic vinaigrette. Whisk together all ingredients except oil in a medium bowl. Gradually pour oil in while whisking continuously. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Make candied walnuts. Combine (in order listed) the peanut oil, honey, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium skillet over medium heat. When mixture starts to bubble, add walnuts and stir constantly until sugar begins to caramelize. Turn off heat and keep stirring walnuts so they do not burn. After 1 minute of stirring. Pour nuts onto a piece of wax paper to cool.
  • Grill chicken. Heat a gas grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Rub with oil and season with pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until done. Let cool and slice.
  • For each salad, toss together 2 cups romaine, 2 cups red leaf lettuce, half of the apple, onion, celery, and blue cheese. Mix in desired amount of dressing and top with sliced chicken and walnuts.