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16 Best Things To Order at Applebee’s

Facade of Applebee's Restaurant

The Applebee’s menu offers a taste adventure through the flavors of the American Midwest. It’s a place where a wide variety of palates can find comfort in the food served. This neighborhood grill and bar offers a variety of food options, including sizzling steak, zesty pasta, and hearty burgers. We’ll guide you through the delicious options at Applebee’s in this article. We’ll go over the key dishes that make this restaurant a local favorite, from their mouthwatering appetizers that tantalize the taste buds to their filling main courses that are a feast for the senses. Whether you’re a regular diner or a visitor ready to experience the delights, our guide will give you information about the dishes that are worth trying.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne

Three Cheese Chicken Penne
Source: Instagram

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

Four Cheese Mac' n Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders
Source: Instagram

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

Chicken Tenders Plate
Source: Instagram

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. 

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Quesadilla Burger

Quesadilla Burger
Source: Instagram

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

Whiskey Bacon Burger
Source: Instagram

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

Oriental Chicken Salad
Source: Applebee’s

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

Classic Broccoli Chicken Alfredo
Source: Instagram

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. 

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Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip

Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip
Source: Instagram

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

Fiesta Lime Chicken
Source: Instagram

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

applebee's 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. 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

Classic Bacon Cheeseburger
Source: Instagram

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

Boneless Wings
Source: Instagram

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. 

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Chicken Fajita Roll-Up

Chicken Fajita Roll-Up
Source: Instagram

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

Double Crunch Shrimp
Source: Instagram

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

Chicken Wonton Tacos
Source: Instagram

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 

Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs 
Source: Instagram

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!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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