Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad Copycat Recipe

When fast food chains first started to proliferate, they were big on cheap, tasty eats but not so big on anything even approaching a healthy meal offering. But that was then, and this is now, and these days, most fast food restaurant menus offer several healthier, lighter options for people who want a quick and easy meal but don't want something that's going to weight them down. Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad is a perfect example of a healthier fast food option, and when you make it yourself at home, it's even more cost-effective than heading to a Wendy's.

"I would call this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe a side, as it doesn't have any carbohydrates," says chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge, "but it's a very filling side. If somebody wanted to make this a meal, they could pair it with some sweet potatoes or some rice or any type of grain." Or you could prepare a large batch of this salad and serve it as a starter for a much larger dinner, and you can rest assured few if any of your guests will ever guess the inspiration for the salad was a fast food chain menu item.

Gather your ingredients for this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe

The quality and freshness of the ingredients you choose for this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe make all the difference, so shop for the good stuff. All told, you'll need a head of romaine lettuce, some mixed greens, a red apple and a green apple, toasted pecans, bleu cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, pomegranate vinaigrette dressing, chicken breast strips, vegetable oil (for frying the chicken), and salt.

And speaking of freshness, before you start the prep is a good time to point out that this salad is really best enjoyed as soon as possible. "This will keep for about one day in the fridge, as there are things like pecans and cheese that may go a bit soggy if it is kept for longer," says Olayinka.

Cook the chicken and lightly toast the nuts for this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe

Wash, pat dry, and salt the chicken strips, removing any pieces of fat or gristle with kitchen shears as you work. Now, fry the chicken strips by placing the oil in the frying pan and heating it up over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, put the chicken strips into the pan to cook. 

Cook the chicken on each side on medium heat for ten minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle (and reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, if you have one). Meanwhile, heat your oven's broiler, then place the pecans on a baking tray and broil them in the oven for 40 to 50 seconds, until they turn a deeper brown color.

Chop the lettuce and begin assembling this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe

Now it's time to put together this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe. Slice the romaine lettuce into strips, and place the chopped greens into a large mixing bowl. Then, roughly chop the mixed salad (if need be — the pieces may already be small enough), and toss it into the bowl as well.

Now cut the red apple and green apple into cubes, leaving the skin on and visible for added crunch and visual appeal. Place the fruit into the mixing bowl, followed by the crumbled bleu cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pecans (assuming they have cooled), and the pomegranate vinaigrette dressing.

Add the chicken, toss, and serve this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe

Check to be sure the chicken has fully cooled, and then place the cooked chicken strips onto a chopping board and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Now place the chopped chicken into the mixing bowl atop the other ingredients.

Mix the Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe carefully using tongs or a large fork and spoon, ensuring that the dressing is evenly distributed. Then, you can serve and enjoy! And one more idea for making this salad into a full meal: Tuck a generous portion into a flatbread or tortilla and make yourself a convenient sandwich or wrap that you can enjoy at home or on the go.

Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad Copycat Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Easily prepare a large batch of this Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe salad and serve it as a starter for a much larger dinner.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Wendy's apple pecan salad copycat recipe plated
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • ½ cup toasted pecan nuts
  • ¼ cup of bleu cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pomegranate vinaigrette dressing
  • 4 chicken breast strips
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Wash, pat dry, and salt the chicken strips.
  2. Fry the chicken strips in the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, cooking each side for about 10 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, then set aside.
  3. Place the pecans on a baking tray and broil in the oven for 40 to 50 seconds until they turn a deeper brown color, then set aside.
  4. Slice the romaine lettuce into strips and place into a mixing bowl, followed by the mixed greens.
  5. Cut the red apple and green apple into cubes and place into the mixing bowl, followed by the crumbled bleu cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and pomegranate vinaigrette dressing.
  6. Chop the cooked chicken strips into bite-sized piece, and place chicken in the mixing bowl.
  7. Toss the salad carefully and enjoy.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 683
Total Fat 46.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.2 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 119.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Total Sugars 16.7 g
Sodium 326.9 mg
Protein 41.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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