This delicious meal-sized salad is inspired by Panera’s fuji apple salad with fresh apple slices, gorgonzola, tomatoes, pepitas and a white balsamic vinaigrette.
Given how much I love salads, you might not be surprised to hear that I have tried pretty much every salad at popular fast casual restaurants. I basically survived off of Panera Bread‘s fuji apple salad during college and it’s still my go-to order when we happen to stumble upon a Panera!
Naturally, I set out to recreate my own version of this salad at home! I made a few changes so it’s not exactly like the Panera version, but it definitely tastes like a salad you’d get at a restaurant. And it’s the perfect salad for the beginning of fall/end of summer because it uses both apples and tomatoes.
I’m a big fan of grilled chicken breast on salads (I love my apple cider vinegar chicken), but I know that everyone doesn’t have access to a grill. If you don’t own a grill or simply don’t want to heat up your grill, you can make faux grilled chicken breasts inside on a grill pan!
Either way, you’ll want to season the raw chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper so they’re plenty flavorful. Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat, spray or coat with a little oil and place your chicken on the hot surface. Grill for 7-8 minutes, flip and cook an additional 7-8 minutes or until no pink remains and the interior temperature of chicken reaches 165ºF. Let rest a few minutes before slicing to make sure the chicken stays nice and juicy.
You can use the chicken breast on the salad right away or make the grilled chicken in advanced, let it cool and store in the fridge until you’re ready to prep the salads. I personally don’t mind cold chicken breast slices on my salads.
While this salad is super flavorful as is, there are some different ways you can customize it based on your needs:
The ingredient list for Panera’s Fuji Apple Salad is 10 lines long of tiny font… I won’t bore you with the list but there are some recognizable words (like greens blend) and some not-so-recognizable (different oils, sweeteners and preservatives). As you can tell from the homemade version, we’re using real, whole food ingredients.
Panera’s salad comes out to be 580 calories – 36 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates and just 32 grams of protein. My homemade version is just 415 calories – 20 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 42 grams of protein! I’ll take the homemade version over Panera’s any day!
If you make this fuji apple salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!