TGI Friday’s Mandarin Orange Salad With Chicken

Delight in the vibrant flavors of TGI Friday’s Mandarin Orange Salad with Chicken. A bed of fresh green lettuce mix is topped with grilled chicken and juicy mandarin oranges, creating a harmonious dance of sweet and savory on your palate. Drizzled with tangy mandarin orange dressing, every bite is a symphony of taste sensations. Make the best mandarin orange chicken salad that captures the essence of TGI Friday’s.

Copycat TGI Friday's mandarin orange salad with chicken in a white bowl.


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Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

Looking for a salad that is light yet hearty? This TGI Friday’s Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing with Chicken won’t disappoint. The nutty orange flavor of the salad dressing is perfect for any chicken salad.  TGI Friday’s is known for its inventive dishes you will love this one too!

What Makes the TGI Friday’s Mandarin Orange Sesame Salad Dressing and Salad So Good? 

This Asian-inspired salad is a delicious combination of sweet and savory, but there is no doubt that the Orange Sesame Dressing is the star. Packed with spices, seasonings, and fruit, the dressing takes lettuce and chicken to an entirely new level.

Even if you are not a “salad as an entree” type of person, one taste of this elevated chicken and mandarin salad, and you will want to make it again and again.  

Why You Should Try Making Mandarin Orange Salad at Home? 

This version of Mandarin Salad strips out all the complicated parts and sticks to the basics! That means it is a snap to make and ideal for bringing along for lunch or light supper on the go.

The cold chicken ensures the salad is filling enough to satisfy your hunger, and the dressing transforms the simple ingredients into deliciously complex flavors.

Chicken and Mandarin Salad Ingredients

For the Orange Sesame Dressing, you’ll need:

  • Orange marmalade
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground ginger
  • Garlic powder
  • White vinegar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Honey
  • Mandarin orange sections

Although you can use fresh mandarin oranges, the canned variety in water or light syrup works exceptionally well. If the canned mandarin oranges you use come in light syrup, feel free to substitute that for some or all of the honey in this recipe. 

For assembling the salad with mandarin oranges, you’ll need:

  • Salad Greens or Romaine Lettuce
  • Chicken Breast, cooked and cold
  • Orange Sesame Dressing 

Bagged mesclun mix has a slight bitterness that plays well with the sweetness of the dressing, but you can use whichever lettuce you prefer. 

Grilled or roasted chicken breasts are good choices. Keep the seasoning to a minimum to prevent them from altering the taste of the salad. 

Copycat TGI Friday's mandarin orange salad ingredients on a tray.

How to Make This Recipe For Mandarin Orange Salad

To prepare the Mandarin Orange Sesame Dressing:

  1. Chop the mandarin orange segments in half and reserve them for later. 
  2. Add all the ingredients for the salad dressing except for the mandarin oranges to the jar of a blender
  3. Pulse several times and then puree for 20 to 30 seconds until all the ingredients are well blended. 
  4. Transfer the salad dressing from the blender container to a bowl or container with a lid and add the cut mandarin oranges. Stir well and chill for at least 30 minutes before using. 
Mandarin orange salad dressing ingredients in a blender.
Mandarin orange salad dressing in a blender.
Mandarin orange salad dressing in a mixing bowl.

To assemble the salad with mandarin oranges and Asian-inspired dressing: 

  1. Rinse and dry the lettuce. Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, if necessary. Place in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add a few tablespoons of the Orange Sesame Dressing to the mixing bowl with the lettuce and toss well to coat. You may need to add more dressing. 
  3. Slice the cooked chicken and serve on top of the greens. Garnish the salad with a few chopped orange sections. 
Bowls of copycat TGI Friday's mandarin orange salad with chicken.

What to Serve This Salad With? 

Mandarin Orange Salad with chicken is a complete lunch or light supper on its own, but you can always fill out the meal to make it extra filling. Try one of these side dishes:

  • Sweet potato fries or oven-roasted wedges. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes highlights the acidity of the salad. 
  • Spring rolls. Stick to the Asian-inspired theme with a plate of mini spring rolls with duck sauce for dipping. 
  • Chow fun noodles. When dressed in a sesame-soy sauce, these noodles echo the flavor profile of the salad and provide a lot of carbs to keep you from getting hungry. 

Possible Recipe Variations 

Salads are fantastic for using up any extra vegetables hanging around the fridge, so feel free to dice any cucumbers, onions, peppers, or tomatoes and add them to the lettuce. In addition, you may want to make one or more of these changes to the recipe:

  • Swap cold salmon or good-quality jarred tuna for the chicken breast. 
  • Give it another fruity flavor with dried cranberries.
  • Garnish with wonton strips or crispy noodles for an added crunch. 
  • Cashews or pecans add more texture and protein or try hot and spicy or sweet glazed nuts for more flavor. 
  • Sprinkle on some fresh herbs for added brightness. Mint or cilantro work particularly well. 

How to Store the Leftovers 

Once you dress the salad, eat it within an hour to prevent the lettuce from wilting. However, you can make each of the salad’s components ahead of time and hold them separately in the fridge until you want to eat.

Store the Orange Sesame Dressing in an airtight container and wrap the cooked chicken in plastic. 

How Long Will They Last?

The Sesame Salad Dressing without the mandarin slices will last three or four days in the fridge, but once you add them, try to finish the dressing within 24 hours. Use the cooked chicken within three days. 

Overhead view of copycat TGI Friday's mandarin orange salad with chicken.

More Copycat TGI Friday’s Recipes

Favorite Salad and Dressing Recipes

Check out more of my delicious and easy salad recipes and the best copycat restaurant recipes on CopyKat!

What do you think about this salad dressing? Let me know in the comments below and remember to sign up for the CopyKat newsletter so you never miss a recipe. And while you are thinking about it, follow CopyKat on Facebook to join our community!

Copycat TGI Friday's mandarin orange salad with chicken in a white bowl.

TGI Friday’s Mandarin Orange Salad with Chicken

Make this hearty salad from TGI Fridays.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: TGI Friday’s Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 824kcal

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped mandarin orange segments

Salad

  • 8 cups lettuce mix
  • 4 grilled chicken breasts sliced

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except for the orange segments. Cover and blend on medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Transfer the dressing to a small bowl. Add the chopped orange segments and stir. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Serve the dressing over a bed of mixed greens topped with sliced grilled chicken breast.

Notes

  • If you don’t have chicken breasts on hand, you can also use chicken from a rotisserie chicken.  Just shred the chicken and add to the salad.
  • Are you a vegetarian? You can substitute with shrimp or tofu.
  • This is a great make-ahead dressing.  Make the dressing, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 824kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2.6mg

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. John Fuller

    4 stars
    Good Morning: Could I substitute EVOO for the vegetable oil? I realize it has a different flavour but would it be OK. I do not mind experimenting.

  2. deborah

    I made this salad dressing recipe yesterday. The salad dressing I remember eating with the Mandarin Chicken Salad entree at TGI Friday’s was a lot whiter in color and tasted differently too. I will try mixing this with mayonaise to see if that will work.

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