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I was missing an old favorite salad from Cheesecake Factory that was removed from their menu long ago. So I made my own copycat version of their Southern Fried Chicken Salad!
Have you ever gone to one of your favorite restaurants and went to order your favorite dish only to discover that it is no longer on the menu? It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s happened to me quite a few times. I also know that it is very likely to happen again in the future.
Restaurants have several reasons for removing menu items. They could be completely revamping the menu. They’ve changed suppliers and can’t get ahold of certain ingredients anymore. It could shockingly not be a popular menu item and as much as you love it they aren’t going to keep a non-selling item just for you.
Many, many moons ago I had a favorite salad at The Cheesecake Factory. This was back when you could eat their delicious calorie-laden food in blissful ignorance because they hadn’t added the calorie count to the menu yet.
It was their Southern Fried Chicken Salad. I didn’t eat this salad for health reasons. I ate it because it was super yummy and I didn’t feel way too full when cheesecake time rolled around. It was also the combination of the crispy chicken, tangy ranch dressing, and sweet maple-glazed pecans.
I still dream of this salad. Even to this day on every Cheesecake Factory visit I secretly hope that I’ll open the menu to find it has returned to the salad section. It actually did once, sort of that is. They had changed it by removing some things and adding new items. It wasn’t the same and didn’t last on the menu. They achieved perfection the first time around. Too bad they didn’t keep it!
A few months ago I had an insane craving for this salad. I decided that it was time to try my hand at a copycat version of this Southern Fried Chicken Salad. The hardest part was trying to find a good substitute for the pecans. I decided to try the candied pecans from Trader Joe’s and they are AHH-mazing in this salad! Although not actually fried, I like to use frozen chicken tenders but feel free to pick some freshly fried ones up from the grocery store or your favorite chain.
I hope you enjoy this Southern Fried Chicken Salad as much as we do. It is so easy to throw together and adjust to the portions you need. It also makes for a special lunch or dinner any day of the week!
If you found this salad as delicious as I do, please share this post with all your friends and family. Just click on the social media icons below! Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy!
Southern Fried Chicken Salad
- ½ cup Mayo
- ½ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh chives minced
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3-4 Crispy Chicken Tenders sliced
- 4 cups Romaine Lettuce Chopped
- 1/2 cup Fresh Corn cut off the cob
- ¼ cup Red Onions Thinly Sliced
- ¼ cup Cucumbers Thinly Sliced
- 4 Tomato Wedges
- ¼ cup Candied Pecans chopped
- Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl.
- Add the onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, dill, chives, salt, and pepper and whisk together.
- Whisk in the buttermilk. Chill for a couple of hours.
- Add romaine lettuce to a mixing bowl followed by the corn, red onions, and cucumbers.
- Add the desired amount of ranch dressing and toss.
- Add the salad to a plate and top with chicken, tomato wedges, and candied pecans.