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The 16 Best Things To Order at Applebee’s

Applebees is a popular American restaurant chain that serves a wide variety of delicious dishes. You can find almost any standard American dish at Applebees, such as burgers, salads, pasta, chicken dishes, and more. 

Facade of Applebee's Restaurant

Families and groups appreciate going to Applebees for casual dinners, work meetings, and celebratory events. Because there are so many options to choose from, everyone at the table will likely find food they enjoy. 

However, the seemingly countless options can be a bit overwhelming as well. Thus, we’ll share the absolute best Applebees menu items in this article. 

Keep in mind that most of these items include some type of meat.

If you are a vegetarian, some of the foods are still delicious when excluding meat (e.g., a salad), while others require it or have meat as the staple of the dish (e.g., boneless wings). 

If you’ve never been to Applebees or wish to try something new the next time you go, feel free to reference this list to avoid food regret! 

Three Cheese Chicken Penne

The Three Cheese Chicken Penne is a deductible dish, perfect for cheese-lovers and chicken-lovers alike. 

It combines Parmesan, White Cheddar, and Asiago cheeses for a savory, cheesy meal filled with all the gooey goodness you could ask for.

The base of the sauce is cream and Parmesan, so it’s definitely not the meal for you if you’re on a diet. 

It’s also topped with chicken, tomatoes, and basil for more flavor complexity. And, as with many comfort foods, it goes very well with soft, warm bread. 

Four Cheese Mac’ n Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders

Applebees has a Four Cheese Mac’ n Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders that is an even better choice for people who started drooling at the sound of the Three Cheese Chicken Penne but would appreciate more space and more crunch. 

The chicken on top of the dish is fried, making it crispier, juicer, and overall a more dynamic touch to the meal.

This chicken is also topped with honey pepper sauce and bacon for the ultimate trifecta flavor — sweet, spicy, and savory! 

Plus, instead of just three kinds of cheese, the pasta dish uses four different types of cheese, taking this comfort food to the next level. 

What more could you ask for?

Chicken Tenders Plate

Who said chicken tenders were just for kids’ menus? 

You can get a full-sized, heavy-duty Chicken Tenders Plate at Applebees if you’re craving this popular bar food.

It’s easier to share than some of the other Applebees dishes, so it is an excellent choice if you’re doing family-style or watching a game by the bar with your friends. 

The tenders are crispy and delightful, and the platter comes with salty french fries and some coleslaw. 

Quesadilla Burger

Move over Taco Bell. Applebees can also create an innovating Tex-Mex dish, and they proved it with their Quesadilla Burger. 

The quesadilla burger is a specialty burger that — as the name suggests — combines elements of a quesadilla and a cheeseburger into one beautiful, scrumptious meal. 

It essentially looks like a thick quesadilla and includes a lot of what you would expect to find in a quesadilla, including jack and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, and a toasted tortilla. 

However, it takes it up a notch by adding the burger-related elements of seasoned ground beef, Applewood smoked bacon, and crispy fresh lettuce.

All of this is topped with a Mexi-ranch dressing, further adding to the Tex-Mex fusion. 

Whether you’re intrigued, confused, skeptical, or salivating — you should give this one a try! 

Whiskey Bacon Burger

If you love burgers, you love bacon, and you love a nice glass of whiskey — why not combine all three?

Applebees gives you the option to do just that with its Whiskey Bacon Burger. 

This burger is creative, intriguing, and unique but also somehow just makes sense. You’ll get elements of a classic burger with an all-beef patty, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and pickles. 

Then, this burger adds Pepper Jack cheese for some spicy notes, crispy onions for some crunch, and Applewood-smoked bacon for more richness.

Finally, the burger is topped with a Whiskey-infused steak sauce to add an even more spicy, deep, rich, and complex flavor.

The whiskey used is Fireball, which goes well with the spicy notes of Pepper Jack. 

Oriental Chicken Salad

If all of the Applebee’s menu items above have sounded delicious but perhaps lack some much-needed greens, then you’re in luck. 

Applebees serves a fresh and colorful Oriental Chicken Salad that won’t bore you or leave you unsatiated like other salads might. 

It includes a big and healthy bed of Asian greens, but it also mixes in more filling items such as almonds, rice noodles, and, of course, chicken tenders. 

The Oriental vinaigrette complements all of these other flavors and pulls the salad together for a memorable, satisfying lunch or dinner. 

Applebee’s salads make eating healthy fun!

Classic Broccoli Chicken Alfredo

If you love a good Alfredo sauce, then you’d be remiss to skip out on Applebees’ Classic Broccoli Chicken Alfredo dish. 

This dish is one of the best Applebees menu items for pasta-lovers, especially those who love some vegetables on their plate. 

Broccoli and alfredo are a classic duo that you can’t really go wrong with, and this dish unites them even more famously with juicy chicken strips and salty Parmesan cheese. 

Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip

In the mood for a staple bar food, but think chicken strips may be a bit too basic? 

Applebees has delicious Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip that is a fantastic appetizer for game day — or any day. 

Combining the salty, soft, warm, crunchy, and delightfully chewy pretzels with hot sticky Cheddar cheese can make anyone’s day. 

And if you’re not the biggest cheddar fan or you want to switch up the flavor, this dish is served with honey dijon mustard as well. 

Fiesta Lime Chicken

If you’re in the mood for a highly flavorful meal that won’t disappoint your taste buds, try the Fiesta Lime Chicken.

Slightly lower in calories than other chicken dishes because it is not fried or breaded, this chicken dish uses spices, a punchy lime sauce, and a delectable ranch sauce more than oil to make it so delicious. 

Additionally, the soft and creamy sauces and cheese on top of the chicken go well with the crunchy bed of tortilla chips under it.

This dish is also served with yummy Spanish rice and a pico de gallo that Applebees makes in-house. 

Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich

The Bacon Cheddar Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a lighter sandwich option than the fried chicken sandwich options at Applebees but still provides ample flavor and taste the bacon, cheddar, and BBQ ranch included. 

applebee's bacon cheddar grilled chicken sandwich

It also includes the staple chicken sandwich items such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. 

Served on a Brioche bun with fries by its side, this is a safe, easy-to-please, go-to choice for frequent Applebees visitors. 

Classic Bacon Cheeseburger

Similar to the Bacon Grilled Chicken Sandwich above, the Classic Bacon Cheeseburger is a safe and relatively simple choice — and there’s nothing wrong with that! 

Sometimes you’re just hungry and want something you know you like and will satisfy your tastebuds.

You don’t want to regret what you ordered or have to find something else to eat in these moments. 

Thus, if you simply want a delicious, classic all-beef patty burger with the standard toppings of lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles — then some additional flavor with Applewood-smoked bacon on top — don’t hesitate to order this menu item. 

Boneless Wings

It should come as no surprise that Applebees serves Boneless Wings, as they are a pretty typical American chain and bar dish. 

These boneless wings are crispy and breaded, then tossed in the sauce you’re craving the most. 

You can choose between Honey BBQ sauce, Sweet Asian Chili sauce, or a Classic BBQ sauce. 

Of course, you’ll get some ranch and a few pieces of celery alongside your wings. 

Chicken Fajita Roll-Up

If you’ve tried the Quesadilla Burger and thought the best thing about it was the Mexi-ranch sauce, then you should try their Chicken Fajita Roll-Up that comes with the same sauce.

The sauce pairs well with the Chipotle-style chicken included in the wrap, as well as the cheddar, lettuce, and pico de gallo. 

This menu item is a more safe and lighter dish than the Quesadilla Burger as well, so if you’re not as hungry or want to quickly split a meal with someone else, this fajita roll-up is an excellent choice. 

Double Crunch Shrimp

You can’t go wrong with fried shrimp. And with Applebees’ Double Crunch Shrimp, you’ll get loads of them in one dinner dish. 

They are fried to an aesthetically pleasing golden brown color and are served with seasoned fries and Applebees’ signature coleslaw. 

Plus, you’ll get a delicious cocktail sauce to dip your crispy shrimp in for extra flavor and a more dynamic texture as well. 

Chicken Wonton Tacos

Applebees is known best for its American classics, but they also offer an Asian-Mexican fusion option with their Chicken Wonton Tacos.

It combines a sweet Asian chili sauce and a dumpling sauce into a crispy wonton shell that looks similar to a taco. 

As you can see, this item is one of their more innovative, specialty dishes that not everyone will want to order. 

But if you love Asian-inspired flavors, tangy chicken, and taco-styled eating, then you’ll most likely not regret taking a step out of the box and ordering this menu item. 

Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs 

Baby back ribs are very often a meat-lovers dinner of choice, and Applebees has a highly-rated Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs meal to satisfy this juicy craving. 

The ideal rack of ribs is slow-cooked so that the meat falls off the bone, and Applebees does a great job of meeting this mark.

These ribs are also covered in a highly flavorful and tangy BBQ sauce that is to die for. 

It’s a heavy meal, so you can get it to share or if you’re starving.

Additionally, you can eat it while dining in or choose to take them to go, so you can messily munch on these ribs in the privacy of your own home!

Applebees reached 3.95 billion dollars in sales in 2019, and their success is in no small part due to their variety of delicious, heavy, and ultra-satisfying dishes. 

Their dishes are also relatively affordable, especially for the large portion sizes of their meals. This means you can get a lot of bang for your buck if you decide to eat there. 

Some of our favorite menu items include the Four Cheese Mac’ n Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders, Boneless Wings, Fiesta Lime Chicken, and Hand-Battered Fish and Chips.

Looking to save? Check out their 2 for $20 menu to take advantage of this deal!

Or, make your favorite Applebee’s recipes at home with copycat recipes!

Now that you are aware of the best Applebees menu items, which one will you choose first?

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.