Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad with Chicken

Wendy’s is known for their fresh burgers, chili, and many other great menu items. Here is my version of Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad with chicken, cranberries, and blue cheese.

bowls of copycat Wendy's apple pecan salad with chicken.

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Chicken Apple Pecan Salad

I love a great hearty salad. This is a wonderful fresh salad from Wendy’s to enjoy at home when you prepare it yourself. You can even take a couple of extra steps to make this salad taste just a little bit better when you make it in your own kitchen.

Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad is perfect for fall when apples are crisp, juicy, and in season. Both sweet and tart apples are in this salad for a great balance of flavor. It’s an extraordinary salad with crisp greens, tender chicken, fresh apple chunks, crunchy pecans, sweet cranberries, and tangy blue cheese crumbles.

Why Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad Is Perfect for Summer

When the weather warms up, this is the kind of light, refreshing meal most people crave. This dish’s combination of seared chicken, sweet and tart cranberries and apples, crunchy pecan, and pungent blue cheese over leafy greens is deliciously addictive.

Enjoy as a dinner salad and satisfy your hunger without weighing you down.

Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad Ingredients

To make this copycat chicken apple pecan salad, you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Parsley flakes
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Dried cranberries
  • Red apple
  • Green apple
  • Blue cheese
  • Roasted Pecans
Wendy's apple pecan salad ingredients.

Ingredient Notes

I like to use organic meats and vegetables when I can. Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad is the perfect salad to do this. I recommend using organic chicken and organic apples in this recipe. You can buy organic meats and fruits at many stores, heck, even Walmart sells organic items now.

For the apple pecan salad base blend, you could use packaged spring mix salad greens. Or you can save some money by buying romaine and washing it yourself, and cutting it. Romaine lettuce is very easy to work with, so it is easy to do.

How to Make Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad

To make the Apple Pecan Salad from Wendy’s:

Cook the chicken:

  1. Prepare the seasoning for the chicken by combining salt, ground black pepper, dried parsley flakes, and garlic powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Blot a skinless, boneless chicken breast dry using a paper towel.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on both sides of the chicken breast. Use your hands to press the seasoning onto the chicken gently. Set aside. 
seasoned raw chicken breast in a bowl.
  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Use cast iron to get the best sear.
  2. Add a little oil to the cooking surface.
  3. Place the chicken breast in the hot pan.
  4. Let the first side cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Remove the chicken when the center reaches 160°F. Taking the chicken off the heat when it is still a few degrees undercooked allows for carry-over cooking and prevents the chicken from drying out. 
cooked chicken breast in a cast iron skillet.
  1. Place the cooked chicken breast on a wire rack on a baking tray to cool while preparing the salad. 

To finish the salad:

  1. Rinse the lettuce and spinach in a colander, and spin dry.
  2. Divide the leafy greens between two serving bowls. 
romaine lettuce and spinach in two bowls.
  1. Dice the cooled chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Sprinkle half of the diced chicken, dried cranberries, apples, pecans, and blue cheese on top of the greens in each bowl.
  3. Drizzle the salads with the dressing of your choice.
copycat Wendy's apple pecan salad, forks, and apples.

Recipe Notes

Some ways you can enhance the salad:

  • Toast the pecans in a skillet until they become fragrant. This will really help the flavor come through and make a nice crunch.
  • Use a nice quality blue cheese to make this salad simply delicious.
  • Add some cayenne pepper and paprika to the seasoning to make spicy chicken breasts.
  • Add some sliced shallots or sweet onion.
  • Substitute the blue cheese with feta cheese.
  • You can also chill the bowls you are going to serve the salad in to add a little extra touch.

Possible Recipe Variations 

  • Switch out the regular pecans for candied pecans for extra sweetness to balance the tartness of the green apples. 
  • Use store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time.  
  • Turn the recipe into a chopped salad by cutting each ingredient into small dice and tossing them together.
  • Make the best chicken salad sandwich you have ever eaten. Finely dice the chicken breast, dried cranberries, apples, blue cheese, and pecans. Mix with just enough mayonnaise to hold the ingredients together. Serve on toasted whole-grain bread with spinach and lettuce. 

Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad Dressing

When it comes to the pomegranate salad dressing that Wendy’s serves with this salad, you can buy some Marzetti Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing.

Or make pomegranate dressing by combining 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Whisk or shake until well blended.

What To Serve With Chicken Apple Pecan Salad

The Apple Pecan Salad from Wendy’s is perfect as a light meal by itself, but a slice or two of good warm bread makes it even more filling. 

Serve the salad with either a pomegranate dressing or your favorite dressing. Homemade or store-bought balsamic vinegarette is a good choice. If you have the time, making warm bacon dressing makes this salad even more impressive.

To make bacon dressing:

  1. Combine two tablespoons of bacon drippings, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, two teaspoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard in a small bowl over medium heat.
  2. Whisk the ingredients together and bring to a simmer just until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove the dressing from heat, and let cool slightly before using. 

You could also make a quick homemade herbed vinaigrette. I make these by combining 1 part white wine vinegar, and 2 parts oil, and adding salt, pepper, and other dried herbs.

No matter what dressing you top this salad with you are going to enjoy this salad when it is made in your own kitchen.

How To Store Leftover the Copycat Apple Pecan Salad From Wendy’s 

You can cook the chicken breast in advance to save time when preparing the salad. The cooked chicken will last in the fridge for two to three days if you wrap it well in plastic. It is best to prepare the other salad components immediately before using them for the salad.

overhead view of copycat Wendy's apple pecan salad with chicken.

Love Wendy’s? Try these copycat recipes!

Best Salad Dressing Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy salad recipes and the best fast food copycat recipes.

bowls of copycat Wendy's apple pecan salad with chicken.

Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad with Chicken

You can recreate Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad at home with this recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Pecan Salad, Wendy’s recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 838kcal

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 15 ounces chicken breast

Salad

  • 16 ounces romaine lettuce
  • 6 ounces spinach
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries (or you can use Craisins)
  • 1 red apple chopped
  • 1 green apple chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • salad dressing of your choice

Instructions

Chicken

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan and let it get hot.
  • While the pan is heating, combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley flakes in a small bowl.
  • Use a paper towel to blot away excess moisture from the chicken breast.
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken into the hot skillet, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and allow the meat to rest while you make the rest of the salad.

Salad

  • Wash and dry the lettuce and spinach, and divide the greens between two bowls.
  • To each bowl add 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, 1/2 of the red apple, 1/2 of the green apple, 1 tablespoon chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup chopped blue cheese.
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Divide the meat evenly between the two bowls
  • Top the salad with the dressing of your choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 838kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 1095mg | Potassium: 2127mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 28085IU | Vitamin C: 38.4mg | Calcium: 374mg | Iron: 6.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Ann Marie

    I’ve been making this salad at home since Wendys introduced it. Only thing, we can I find the Marzetti pomegranate dressing? I’ve looked all over and can’t seem to find. Thanks.

    • Kate Meaney

      Several of my supermarkets have it, but only Shaws carries the Pomogranate. It’s in the produce section, because it has a short shelf life…no preservatives. See the date on the bottle. Now…if I could just replicate the sweet-spicy pecans they give you!

  2. Greg Winston

    Only site I’ve seen which bothers to tell you how to season the chicken to approximate the delicious flavor of the chicken in the Wendy’s salad. Which is an indispensable part of the preparation, to get the right flavor. Kudos to you for providing this piece of necessary info.

  3. Brianne

    This salad looks delicious and super easy to make! I am writing these ingredients down now to buy for my next grocery shop!

  4. Erin

    Yum! I love trying all different kinds of salads! I don’t eat chicken but I bet this would still be delicious without it 🙂 Or maybe with some beans in their place?

  5. Cynthia

    I don’t eat fast food very often, but when I do, I enjoy going to Wendy’s for a salad. I love the combination of sweet fruit and the saltiness of the blue cheese.

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