Loaded with sweet, tropical flavors, this delicious Luau Salad is BETTER than what you’ll get at Cheesecake Factory! Fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, celery, onions, wantons and a sweet pineapple balsamic dressing top this easy-to-make layered salad. Perfect for summer on the patio!
If you’ve been to The Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain, you’ve likely indulged in their beautiful salads and entrees. One of Kristyn’s and my favorites is their delicious Luau Salad. It’s a stacked salad loaded with tropical flavors that will make you think you’re on an island getaway in Hawaii. Well, now you don’t have to go to a restaurant, or Hawaii for that matter, to enjoy wonderful, fresh tropical flavors. I’ve recreated this delicious salad and even added a few extras to make it even better than the Cheesecake Factory favorite!
One of the ingredients that makes the Cheesecake Factory version of this salad so delightful are the large wantons, which are stacked in layers to make this salad pretty impressive. When I decided to make this salad and ventured out to get my ingredients I had a rather hard time trying to find large, sesame wantons. I also looked for wanton wrappers, however, you’ll typically find these just in specialty Asian markets. Should you find the wanton wrappers you’ll have to go to the trouble of heating up a pan of oil and frying them, which to me, doesn’t sound too appealing in the heat of the summer.
Instead of the large wantons, I substituted wanton strips, which are easily found in the salad topping section (near the croutons) of the grocery store. They have the same flavor as the original large wantons, but without all the trouble of having to fry them yourself! I still wanted to keep the idea of the stacked salad, so I did this by layering the salad ingredients on the uncut leaves of Boston lettuce, which worked beautifully!
Another goodie I added, which in addition to all of the fresh delicious flavors, adds some amazing texture are macadamia nuts! Wow – these add such a great crunch to an already delicious salad, and also add a nice tropical complementary flavor.
Here’s the easy, delicious recipe for my Better Than Cheesecake Factory Luau Salad:
- 3-4 leaves of Boston or Bib Lettuce
- ½ c. white meat chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
- 1 c. fresh, sliced pineapple
- ½ c. mandarin oranges
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- ½ c. wanton strips
- ¼ c. chopped macadamia nuts
- ½ tsp. sesame seeds
- ¼ c. pineapple juice
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- salt and pepper (a few grinds of each)
- On a dinner plate, layer a large, uncut lettuce leaf, and sprinkle with a bit of chicken, pineapple, oranges, onion, celery and wanton strips. Repeat this process 3-4 times until you've used all of your ingredients. Top the salad with the macadamia nuts and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- For dressing: In a large glass measuring cup, measure out the juice, vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine all ingredients. Pour over salad. Enjoy right away.
This recipe makes one good sized single serving salad. If you’re looking to make this salad for several people, multiple the ingredients as necessary, as set up an assembly line of plates and build your salads. It may take a bit of time, but these salads will sure to be a showstopper!
I hope you get to enjoy the tropical island flavors of summer soon! ~Erin
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out some of my other delicious salads at Delightful E Made:
Mmmm this salad looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing Erin!
For more great recipes and ideas from her, head on over to Delightful E Made!
To see some more delicious salads, check out these posts:
For all salad recipes, go HERE.
For all recipes, go HERE.
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