Monday, October 23, 2017


It's happened before and you know it. You've gone to a restaurant, eaten a full meal and walked out already planning your trip back. I can't honestly say Applebee's - yep, that Applebee's - was somewhere I thought this moment would happen for me, but man was I wrong.

In my little college town of Boone, NC restaurant options were slim, like reallllly slim. The local Applebee's was a happenin' spot and I spent 3 of my 4 college years as a full-time Applebee's employee taking orders from tourists and locals alike. Let's just say I ate there, a lot. 

I know what you're thinking and trust me, I didn't venture far from my favorites on the menu because, guys, it's Applebee's. But for some reason I just couldn't stop eating this salad.

(This is the part where I skip down to the pretty pictures and let you see it for yourself)

If you have the time, use my homemade bruschetta recipe below and throw your chicken on the grill. It really elevates the flavors and freshness. But to speed things up for a perfect in-a-pinch weeknight meal, trying using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and jarred bruschetta! I promise, either way, you'll finish your meal wanting more.

To lighten up the calories, skip out on the fried mozzarella bites and use a Lite Balsamic dressing instead of the Champagne Vinaigrette.

print recipe

Applebee's Copycat Bruschetta Chicken Salad
Fresh ingredients, light yet filling, this Applebee's inspired salad is perfect for lunch or dinner!
  • 4 cups Leafy Greens (any greens will work)
  • 1 large Chicken Breast
  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Red Onion
  • Sprinkle of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Italian Breadcrumbs
  • Flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • Light Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Balsamic Glaze
Optional Prep Steps;
1. Cut chicken in half to split into two breasts (this makes them thinner and allows them to grill faster).
2. Marinate chicken in light Italian dressing overnight before making the salad. It helps to keep the chicken from drying out on the grill.

For Bruschetta;
1. Combine diced tomatoes, diced roasted red pepper and diced red onion in a bowl.
2. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the Chicken;
1. Grill halved chicken breasts on Medium-High heat for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the thickest part.

For Mozzarella Bites;
1. Pour vegetable oil into a saucepan (use enough oil to be at least two inches deep, so your oil amount will depend on the pan you use).
2. Heat oil until it reaches about 350 degrees.
3. In separate bowls put flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
4. Cut string cheese into 4 pieces (so 8 pieces total) and dredge in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
5. Carefully drop string cheese pieces into oil and cook until golden brown.
6. Drain on paper towels.

To Plate;
1. Assemble your greens, bruschetta and sliced chicken.
2. Top with shredded mozzarella, then garnish with fried mozzarella bites and drizzle balsamic glaze over whole salad.
3. Add champagne vinaigrette as desired.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings