Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad is fresh, sweet, and nutty – the perfect light bite to add to any meal. Make this delicious copycat recipe at home!
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad
I don’t get fast food often, but when I do, I always go for Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad! The way that the tangy vinaigrette contrasts the sweet fruit and savory meat is almost intoxicating.
We’re working with a lot of strong tastes here: between the apples, chicken, cheese, and vinaigrette, it’s like a burst of flavor in every bite! Balance the ingredients in the way that you like best and make this recipe totally your own.
I’ve also replicated Applebee’s delicious queso blanco dip! Creamy with a kick, this is a great game day appetizer that everyone will love. You can also check out my copycat recipe for their savory spinach artichoke dip.
And while this dish is almost a main course on its own, it’s also great served as a side. Since we have chicken in our recipe, go for a main dish without protein. I recommend my homemade ravioli – it’s easier and even tastier than you think!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Swap out the blue cheese. I know that not everyone is a fan of blue cheese, so I recommend feta, goat, or aged cheddar as a substitute. These options will have a similar sharpness and texture.
- Achieve perfectly balanced flavors. Use 100% pomegranate juice, which you can find in the refrigerated juice section of your grocery store. Don’t skip it! You need its sweetness to offset the vinegar in your dressing.
- Make ahead tip: You can prepare the dressing ahead of time. Just give it a good shake before pouring it over your Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad.
I recommend serving this dish immediately while everything is crisp and fresh. Don’t add the dressing until just before serving time!
As for your garnish, you can use fresh chives, cilantro, or basil if parsley is hard to come by.
Your homemade Wendy’s apple pecan salad will stay good in the fridge for 3 to 5 days untossed. Once tossed in the dressing, I wouldn’t save your leftovers for any longer than a day.
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FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
What is the purpose of the lemon juice in this recipe?
The lemon juice is used to coat the apples and keep them from browning. A pro-tip that you can use for any salad with apple slices in the future!
Can I use extra virgin olive oil in the vinaigrette?
Extra virgin olive oil would overpower your dressing. To keep your Wendy’s apple pecan salad light, tangy, and refreshing, use a very light olive oil or vegetable oil.
What is a good substitute for white wine vinegar?
Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and unseasoned rice vinegar are all good alternatives! But do not use regular vinegar – the flavor profiles of the two are totally different.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
MORE SALAD RECIPES
Olive Garden Salad Dressing Recipe
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad
- 6 cups diced romaine lettuce
- 3 cups spring mix/baby greens
- 1/2 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 1/2 large Braeburn apple, chopped (or other sweet red apple)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 8 ounces grilled chicken pieces
- 4 ounces candied pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
- Place the romaine and spring mix lettuces in a large salad bowl.
- Chop the apples and coat the pieces with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
- Add the apples, chicken, pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles to the lettuces and toss to combine.
- Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the lemon zest, salt, pepper, minced garlic, pomegranate and orange juices, and vinegar.
- While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle the oil into the juice mixture. Whisk continuously to emulsify the salad dressing.
- Pour the salad dressing (you may not use all of it) over the salad and toss to combine. Add more salad dressing as desired and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
- Serve immediately.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published February 2022
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