Were you a fan of Chick-fil-A's Asian salad and were disappointed when they discontinued it? Well, today's your day! With one bite, you can take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane with our copycat recipe. We've covered all the bases: the honey sesame dressing, the honey Thai almonds, and the brine and spice rub for the chicken breasts--it's all here.
If you're looking for other tasty Chick-fil-A recipes, make sure to try our Cobb salad and market salad.
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Chick-fil-A described this dish as grilled chicken sliced nuggets on a bed of romaine and baby greens with shredded red and green cabbage and carrots. It's topped with mandarin orange segments, and served with the optional toppings of honey Thai almonds, Chinese garlic and ginger wontons, and a drizzle of honey sesame dressing.
For our version, we've tried to keep it similar, except the wontons we used are just plain--there's no garlic or ginger on them.
- Greens: romaine lettuce and spring mix
- Vegetables: carrots, red and green cabbage
- Cheese: Monterey Jack and cheddar
- Fruit: canned mandarin oranges
- Nuts: honey Thai almonds (optional)
- Protein: grilled chicken breasts
- Crunch: wonton strips (optional)
- Dressing: honey sesame
- Vegan: Switch soy sauce to coconut amino acids, and replace the honey with agave nectar. Omit the chicken and use vegan cheese.
- Reducing Calories: Omit the optional toppings (almonds and wantons) and use 1 tablespoon of dressing.
- Allergic to lettuce? Swap out the romaine and spring mix for kale and Swiss chard.
- Keto: This salad is keto friendly. Omit the wonton strips, and don't use sugar in the spice rub or the honey Thai almonds. Cut the honey down to 2 tablespoons in the dressing and in the honey Thai almonds. To increase the fat, sprinkle on more cheese.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for the brine for the chicken: dill pickle juice and whole milk.
Whisk the dill pickle juice and the milk together.
Pound the chicken breast flat so it cooks more quickly.
Pour in the brine, close the bag, and chill in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.
Gather the ingredients for the spice rub and stir them together.
Rub in the spice rub on both sides of each breast.
In a cast iron grill pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Carefully place the chicken breast down on the grill to get the best grill marks and let it cook for 1 minute, then reduce the temperature to medium low and cook for 4 minutes.
Then flip over with tongs and cook for 4 minutes or until it reads 165 F on a meat thermometer. Repeat with the other piece of meat.
Remove the breast and place it on a clean plate and tent with foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil from the chicken and let it cool 5 more minutes, then cut into nuggets.
Pour the juices from the plate on top of the grilled chicken.
Gather all the ingredients for the honey sesame dressing.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk until combined. This recipe makes one cup. Transfer to a mason jar, secure with a lid, and place in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This dressing will separate, so shake before using.
Gather the ingredients for the honey Thai almonds. If you're vegan, swap out the honey for agave nectar. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
In a small skillet, warm up the honey over low heat for two minutes, then add the spices and stir. If you like the almonds more spicy, add more cayenne.
Spread out the almonds on the baking tray and roast for 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes and watch closely near the end of the cooking time so they don't burn.
Sprinkle on white granulated sugar while they are still warm, then allow to cool before breaking into smaller pieces with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Rinse the romaine lettuce with cold water and blot dry with paper towel. Cut off the ribs, then stack 4 leaves high and cut into bite size pieces.
Gather the ingredients for the Asian salad: greens, chicken, cheese, mandarin oranges, honey Thai almonds, wontons, cabbage, carrots, and honey sesame dressing.
Mix the romaine lettuce and the spring mix together with your hands in a large bowl.
Start with a base of greens in a shallow bowl or large plate (roughly 2 ½ cups), then sprinkle on red and green cabbage and carrots.
Add the canned mandarin orange segments, roughly 10 per plate.
Add the optional toppings of honey Thai almonds, the wontons, and the grilled chicken nuggets.
Just before serving, drizzle on the honey sesame dressing and enjoy.
For a serving size of 2 ½ cups of salad with 2 tablespoons of honey sesame dressing, the calories are 657 with 38.4g of carbs and 42.8 g of protein. This includes ½ a grilled chicken breast and 2 tablespoons each of nuts and wantons. For more nutritional information, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
If you omit the dressing, the calories are 497, and with the dressing, almonds, and wantons omitted the calories are 320. Chick-fil-A's version had 330 calories without the dressing, and the optional toppings of nuts and wontons.
Sadly, it has been discontinued, but it sold for $7.35 with chicken and $2.00 less without.
Unfortunately, no. Chick-fil-A debuted this dish on April 16, 2013 along with the Cobb and market salads, and they discontinued it on March 15, 2016 when they replaced it with the Southwest salad.
- Brine the meat 4 to 24 hours for the best flavor.
- If the chicken is sticking to the grill pan, let it cook a bit longer before flipping over.
- Adjust the dressing to taste. Add more honey, soy, or rice vinegar to satisfy your taste buds.
- To have the maximum crunch, add the nuts and wantons just before serving.
Other CFA Salads You'll Love
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Copycat Chick-fil-A Asian Salad
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powdered
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powdered
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Honey Sesame Dressing
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons raw honey, can reduce to 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seed oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Honey Thai Almonds
- 1 ½ cup blanched, slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 5 cups romaine lettuce
- 5 cups spring mix
- 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
- ½ cup carrots, julienned
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ½ cup wonton strips
- ½ cup honey Thai almonds
- 2 grilled chicken breasts
- ½ cup honey sesame dressing
- 1 cup mandarin orange segments
- Make the brine by whisking the pickle juice and milk together.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel, then place one breast into a zip-top freezer bag. Pound the chicken thin with a meat mallet, then put it on a plate and repeat with the other breast.
- Place both chicken breasts in the zip top bag and pour the brine inside. Seal shut and place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours for the meat to marinate.
- When you're ready to cook the chicken, allow it to warm up to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is warming up, stir together the powdered sugar and other seasonings to make the rub.
- Once the chicken has warmed up, pat both breasts dry with paper towels and then rub the spice mixture onto both sides of each piece.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Place one breast on the grill and cook for 1 minute to get a good sear, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165 F with a meat thermometer. Repeat with the other breast.
- Remove the meat from the pan and let it rest on a clean plate tented loosely with foil for 10 minutes. Take the foil off and allow the meat to cool another 5 minutes, then cut it into nugget-sized chunks.
- Pour the juices from the plate on top of the chicken for added color and flavor.
Honey Sesame Dressing
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. Transfer to a mason jar with a lid and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Honey Thai Almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
- Melt the honey in a small skillet over low heat, then add the slivered almonds and spices. Stir and adjust seasonings, adding more cayenne if you like more heat.
- Spread out the almonds onto the lined baking tray and roast for 15 minutes, making sure to stir them every 5 minutes as you don't want them to burn. The nuts are done when they have changed color and taste toasty.
- Remove the tray from the oven, sprinkle on some granulated sugar, and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Break them up into small chunks with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Rinse and pat dry the romaine lettuce. Cut the ribs out with a sharp chef's knife, then stack the leaves 4 high and slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss the romaine lettuce with the spring mix, then place 2 ½ cup of greens onto each plate.
- Sprinkle on the red and green cabbage and the carrots to provide color and crunch, then add the two cheeses (Monterey Jack and cheddar).
- Place the canned mandarin orange segments on top (roughly 10 per salad), then add the optional wonton strips and the honey Thai almonds if desired.
- Carefully arrange ½ breast of grilled chicken nuggets in the middle of the salad. When ready to serve, drizzle on the honey sesame dressing.
- For the best flavor, brine the meat 4 to 24 hours.
- Let it cook a bit longer before flipping over, if the chicken is sticking to the grill pan.
- Add more honey, soy, or rice vinegar to satisfy your taste buds before finalizing the dressing.
- Add the nuts and wontons just before serving to your guest to have the maximum crunch.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
The chicken is chewy and flavorful, the wontons are crispy, and the nuts are crunchy. I really enjoy the sweet crunchy, spicy flavor of the honey Thai almonds. This salad was tasty!
That's great to hear that you enjoyed this, Alex!
This salad has many crunchy components: the wontons, lettuce, cabbage, and almonds. The spicy, crispy almonds have a slightly sticky honey taste, and are sweet and nutty. The juicy oranges are quite refreshing. The whole salad is light and tasty; one wants to keep digging in!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed the salad, Beth!