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Spring greens get tossed with crisp apples, chicken, tomatoes, dried cranberries, crunchy pecans and feta cheese. This Panera Bread copycat Fuji apple chicken salad is a must-try! It’s fresh, flavorful, and completely irresistible.
If fruity salads are your jam, here are a few more you need to try: strawberry avocado spinach salad, broccoli apple salad, and triple berry kale salad! Adding fresh fruit to your favorite salads is a great way to make them taste even better.
Panera Bread Copycat Fuji Apple Chicken
This salad has been on my list of things to make for over a year now. I’m honestly shocked that I haven’t made it until now! It’s so delicious, light, and refreshing. When I was at the store just the other day I noticed these apple chips. I know that Panera Bread uses crisp, thin apples in their salad for a delicious and sweet crunch. Buying these apple chips makes prep that much easier and brings you an unforgettable salad in minutes. (Although if you’re up to the challenge, try making your own apple chips at home! I have recipes for making them both in the air fryer and oven.)
I love everything that is in this Fuji apple chicken salad. Fresh spring greens, crunchy pecans, tomatoes, crispy apple slices… everything comes together in this salad to make it so flavorful and with so many unique and delicious textures. The dressing on top is also incredible. It’s a golden balsamic honey Dijon dressing that makes this salad that much better. No need to stop at Panera when you can recreate this salad at home! (And make it taste even better than the real thing!)
Ingredients for Panera’s Fuji Apple Salad
Let’s dive into the magic of a homemade Panera Bread favorite: the Fuji apple chicken salad. It’s a mix of tasty ingredients like juicy chicken, fresh greens, and flavorful apple and cranberry! We’ll take a closer look at each ingredient and how they come together to make this tasty salad (and homemade dressing). Get ready to recreate that Panera goodness in your own kitchen! Note: exact measurements are in the recipe card below.
- Chicken Breasts: The main protein, making the salad more filling. Use precooked chicken for easy prep. I love this shredded chicken recipe!
- Spring Greens: Fresh, leafy mixed greens for a crunchy base.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Sliced in half, cherry tomatoes add both vibrant color and bursts of juicy sweetness.
- Red Onion: So the salad has a zesty crunch and a touch of sharpness.
- Toasted Pecan Halves: Add a toasty, nutty flavor and also give the fuji apple chicken salad a satisfying crunch.
- Apple Chips: Whether you use store-bought or homemade, apple chips infuse the salad with a delightful apple flavor and a satisfying crispiness.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta cheese brings a creamy and slightly tangy element to the mix. It’s a great contrast to the other sweet ingredients. Gorgonzola cheese is another great option.
- Dried Cranberries: For some tart fruitiness!
For the Vinaigrette:
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Smooth, mild oil for the dressing’s base.
- White Balsamic Vinegar: A slightly tangy vinegar to add some zing.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: A fruity vinegar to enhance the apple theme. You can also use apple juice concentrate.
- Garlic: You can’t go wrong with garlic! It helps to balance out the sweetness of the salad.
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard adds a hint of sharpness to the dressing and also helps bind all the ingredients together.
- Honey: For a little extra sweetness and a dressing that sticks to the greens perfectly.
How to Make Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
It comes together in just 3 simple steps! Fuji apple chicken salad is so delicious and easy to whip up, making it the perfect lunch! I know you’ll love this recipe as much as I do.
- Toss Salad Ingredients: In a large salad bowl, add the spring mix, chicken, tomatoes, red onion, toasted pecans, and apple chips. Then top with feta cheese and dried cranberries.
- Dressing Mixture: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, and honey.
- Combine: Pour the dressing over the salad and then gently toss to coat the salad ingredients.
Tips and Variations
Homemade salads are so easy to customize! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Chicken for Easy Prep: If you’re short on time, you can use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken. Just shred or dice it and then toss it into the salad.
- Use Fresh Apples: Don’t have apple chips or just want them fresh? Slice up a Fuji apple for a crunchy, natural twist.
- Nut Options: Not a fan of pecans? Try walnuts or almonds for a different nutty flavor.
- Different Greens: Experiment with different greens like spinach, arugula, or a mix for unique flavors and textures.
- Adjust Your Dressing: Adjust the dressing’s sweetness by adding more or less honey, depending on your taste preference.
Fuji apple chicken salad will last in the fridge for about 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. If possible, I recommend storing your greens, mix-ins, and dressing separately. This way, the dressing doesn’t make the salad soggy or wilted.
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Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat)
- In a large salad bowl, add the spring greens, chicken, tomatoes, red onion, toasted pecans, and apple chips. Top with feta cheese and dried cranberries.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, and honey.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat the salad ingredients.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.