This Fuji Apple Salad Recipe is loaded with fresh, crisp fuji apples, sweet dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts, then drizzled with a cinnamon honey vinegarette. If you enjoy a fresh, slightly sweet salad loaded with nuts and fruit, then you need to try this best salad recipe.

Fuji Apple Salad (Copycat Recipe) with walnuts and forks by it
  • The salad dressing is one of my favorite homemade dressings. It is made with apple juice, honey, and cinnamon, which accentuates the apples and lettuce perfectly.
  • This delicious salad will become a favorite year-round because it is quick to prepare, and the produce is easy to get year-round. 
  • If you like Panera’s fuji apple salad, this is a great copycat recipe you can easily make at home.
  • You can make the dressing the day before and then toss your salad for an easy, quick dinner.

Ingredients

  •  Romaine lettuce: Slice your own or buy a bag of precut from your grocery store to make it even easier. However, you can choose your favorite salad mix, such as baby spinach, spring mix, or baby arugula. They would each be delicious. 
  • Apple slices: I like to use Fuji apples and Granny Smith apples for color contrast and a sweet and tart flavor. If you prefer a sweeter apple flavor, skip the Granny Smith. 
  • Dried cranberries: Do not use the fresh cranberries found in your produce section. They are very tart. Dried cranberries are sweet and chewy. 
  • Onion: I like to use a sweet onion like a Vidalia. 

What is in fuji apple salad dressing?

apple juice, honey, cinnamon, vinegar and other ingredients

I created this salad dressing to taste like Panera fuji apple salad dressing. This sweet vinaigrette dressing is also great as a dressing on sandwiches or brushed on grilled chicken. Save time and double the dressing recipe for other meals later in the week. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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  • Apple juice: You can buy 100% apple juice in a plastic container or mix apple juice concentrate. 
  • White balsamic vinegar: If you don’t have any on hand, you could substitute apple cider vinegar. 
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil: Be sure to buy extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. It has the most flavored and light fruity taste, perfect when making salad dressings.
  • Onion powder: Be sure you do not use onion salt
  • Ginger: For this recipe, I use powdered ginger

⭐️ See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and measurements.

🍽 Make it a meal

This great recipe easily becomes the main meal star for lunch or dinner by adding protein such as chicken breasts. Fire up the grill for this slightly spicy, exotic flavored Thai Grilled Chicken. It will go great with the cinnamon and honey dressing. It’s easy to prep ahead, perfect for a quick night dinner or a barbecue on the patio.

One of my favorite ways to add chicken to a salad is to slice up a rotisserie chicken. I cut the meat into bite-size pieces and then season with my Homemade Seasoning Salt mixture or my Sazon Seasoning.

How to cut an apple for a salad 🍎

  1. Set the apple on a stable cutting board. Start by standing the apple up on the board with the stem face up.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut the apple in half, slicing through the core to the bottom of the apple.
  3. Lay the apple on its sides and use a melon baller to scoop the seeds and core out.

4. Place the apple on the cutting board skin side up. Cut the stem and blossom bud out, and discard. Slice diagonally down from the top to the bottom to make thin slices.

💡 Mix-in ideas

Get creative and try new combinations of flavors together by adding a few of these mix-ins to your Fuji apple salad. 

  • Red onion slices
  • Crunchy pecans
  • Feta cheese, parmesan, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese.
  • Pear slices
  • Spicy Seed Salad Topping
  • ripe tomatoes
  • avocado
  • Try tossing in some dried apple chips for a nice crunch like Panera Bread Company’s apple salad. 

Tip: Where does Panera get their apple chips?

Panera uses the crunchy apple goodness found in Seneca Original Apple Chips

How to make the salad ahead of time 

To make this copycat fuji apple chicken salad ahead of time for a party or busy day dinner, buy a bag of precut and washed romaine. Next, slice your apples and store them in an airtight container with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice mixed with one cup of water. Lemon juice will prevent them from browning. Slice onions, but keep them in separate containers or small ziplock bags. 

Mix your salad dressing in a jar with a tight lid. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 💭Tip: How to make Panera’s Fuji Apple Quinoa Grain Bowl

Start by making this basic fuji apple salad recipe. Add roasted round cut pieces of delicata squash, 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa, and mix in 1 cup of chopped kale. Toss with this copycat Panera’s Fuji apple salad dressing. On top of the salad, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of roasted pepitas. 

fuji apple salad copycat in bowl with apples, cranberries and walnuts
Panera's Fuji apple salad copycat in a bowl with fresh apples walnuts and onions on top
5 from 1 rating

Fuji Apple Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
This Fuji Apple Salad Recipe is loaded with fresh, crisp fuji apples, sweet dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts, then drizzled with a cinnamon honey vinegarette. If you enjoy a fresh, slightly sweet salad loaded with nuts and fruit, then you need to try this best salad recipe.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 apple, Fuji
  • 1 apple, Granny Smith
  • 1/4 onion, sweet
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberry
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Dressing

Instructions
 

  • Core and chop apples into slices
  • Slice onion into small bite-size pieces
  • Toss romaine, apples, onions, cranberries, and walnuts in a large bowl

Dressing

  • Combine in a jar, apple juice, white balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, onion and garlic powder, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
  • Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

Notes

Mix-ins
  Get creative and try new combinations of flavors together by adding a few of these mix-ins to your Fuji apple salad. 
  • Red onion slices
  • Crunchy pecans
  • Feta cheese, parmesan, blue cheese, or gorgonzola cheese.
  • Pear slices
  • Spicy Seed Salad Topping
  • ripe tomatoes
  • avocado
  • Try tossing in some dried apple chips for a nice crunch like Panera Bread Company’s apple salad. 
Serving: 1g, Calories: 508kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Sodium: 160mg, Potassium: 641mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 6197IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 3mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Salad
Author: Gina Dickson

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This post was originally published in September 2020. Updated information, tips, and images on July 2022.