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15 Best Appetizers to Try at Applebee’s

Applebee’s is a well-known restaurant for a relatively inexpensive meal of good quality. If you’re familiar with Applebee’s appetizers, you know how delicious they are!

From appetizers to entrees to drinks, there’s something for everyone on the Applebee’s menu. And no matter what you get for your meal, you need to try one of their appetizers.

Though not all appetizers are available at every Applebee’s location, there are many different options for diners to enjoy.

In this article, we’ve created a list of the best Applebee’s appetizers to help you decide what to order next time.

15. Breadsticks With Alfredo Sauce

Everyone loves a good breadstick, and if you’re a cheese lover, you’ll love these buttery, brown breadsticks dipped in the creamy white Alfredo sauce.

This appetizer is served with five breadsticks covered in a butter sauce made with garlic and parsley, making it perfect for sharing with others.

The Alfredo sauce, made from cream, water, salt, and parmesan cheese, is served in a small dish for dipping.

At 1570 calories, the breadsticks are a delicious option and can be customized by adding the marinara sauce.

However, they are somewhat boring compared to other appetizers on the Applebee’s menu.

14. Soup or Salad

Like many other fast-casual restaurants, Applebee’s allows adding a soup or salad as an appetizer or a side to your meal. 

Currently, you can choose between a Caesar Salad (220 Calories), a House Salad (130 Calories), a Chicken Tortilla Soup (280 Calories), a French Onion Soup (360 Calories), or a Tomato Basil Soup (210 Calories).

While each is slightly different, the Chicken Tortilla Soup and the Caesar Salad are the best.

The Chicken Tortilla Soup pairs well with any spicy food and is a great way to warm up.

The Caesar Salad is perfectly crunchy and light and will help to hold your hunger until your main course.

13. White Queso Dip And Chips

While Applebee’s doesn’t quite count as a traditional Mexican chain restaurant, they have a wide array of “Tex-Mex” style food.

Their White Queso Dip And Chips fall solidly within this category.

And for a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in Mexican food, they do make mean queso!

The chips are homemade and made fresh in-house, giving an extra crispness to them.

The queso is also very creamy and sticks to the chips like glue on paper.

However, it’s not too sticky to make a mess and is not overpoweringly cheesy.

At 920 calories, Applebee’s queso is gluten-free and made from the following:

  • Cream
  • Water
  • American Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Butter

12. Mozzarella Sticks

Ranking Mozzarella Sticks as Applebee’s 12th best appetizer will upset some people, but this isn’t to degrade Mozzarella Stick lovers – they just can’t quite top nachos!

The Mozzarella Stick appetizer is served with eight sticks for a total of 880 calories (110 calories per stick).

This makes it the perfect size to share with others.

They are also served with a small bowl of marinara sauce for dipping the fried cheese sticks in, though you can add ranch dressing if you want to make them even creamier.

11. Chicken Wonton Tacos

One of the unique items on Applebee’s menu, the Chicken Wonton Tacos are a delicious mashup of Asian and Mexican flavors to make a perfectly crunchy yet light starter.

The Wonton Tacos are made from fried wonton shells stuffed with grilled chicken marinated in sweet Asian chili.

The chicken is topped with coleslaw and cilantro.

The Wonton Tacos are served with a lime on the side to squeeze over the chicken for a slightly sour taste.

You can also rub the lime on the wonton for extra flavor.

At only 590 calories, these Wonton Tacos are worth a taste test!

10. Crispy Cheese Bites

As a smaller, ball-shaped version of the Mozzarella Sticks, the Crispy Cheese Bites are a delicious substitute with a little more flavor kick.

These cheese curds, breaded with flour, cornstarch, and salt, are deep-fried in oil to make a crunchy bite out of melted cheese.

It may sound counterintuitive, but they are so yummy!

The Cheese Bites are served with buttermilk ranch and firecracker mayo dipping sauces for an extra flavor kick.

If you like spicy mayo, the firecracker mayo will be perfect for you.

At 1550 calories, these cheese bites aren’t necessarily the healthiest but are so good they’re worth eating anyways.

9. Boneless Wings

If you go to Applebee’s to watch a game playing on TV, you might be looking to order just appetizers. If so, the boneless wings are a must-have!

The boneless wings are perfectly breaded delicious cuts of chicken, served with ranch or bleu cheese dressings.

The Applebee’s wings are also customizable and can come in one of seven different styles:

  • No Sauce
  • Honey Pepper
  • Classic Buffalo
  • Extra Hot Buffalo
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Honey BBQ
  • Sweet Asian Chili

At 640 calories, these wings will satisfy your cravings, no matter the game’s score!

8. Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes, you don’t know how hungry you are until you sit at the table waiting for your meal.

The Chicken Quesadillas are a perfect way to satisfy your hunger until your main course arrives.

At 1120 calories, these are perfect for sharing or eating as a meal yourself.

Made with grilled tortillas filled with chipotle lime chicken, pico de gallo, and melted cheddar cheeses, these quesadillas are somewhat sweet but will not have you begging for water.

Applebee’s Chicken Quesadillas are served with a side of salsa and sour cream, allowing you to customize them to your preferences.

7. Double Crunch Bone-In Wings

Imagine your classic chicken wings, but make them double as crunchy this time.

With Applebee’s Double Crunch Bone-In Wings, the crunch is the best part of the wing.

To make these wings extra crunchy, Applebee’s twice batters and fries the wings.

After they’re already fried, they batter and fry the wings again. Talk about heaven on Earth!

Like the Boneless Wings, Applebee’s Bone-In Wings come in the same seven flavors:

  • No Sauce
  • Honey Pepper
  • Classic Buffalo
  • Extra Hot Buffalo
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Honey BBQ
  • Sweet Asian Chili

At 580 calories, these wings should be tried at least once by frequent Applebee’s diners.

6. Neighborhood Nachos Chipotle Lime Chicken

As we hinted earlier, it’s hard to rank a list of menu items when two of them are nachos.

Nachos are always near the top of the list, and Applebee’s nachos are no exception.

The Neighborhood Nachos Chipotle Lime Chicken is the healthier version of the nachos available.

Though 1830 calories are no small number, the calorie count decreases when shared!

Applebee’s nachos are made with homemade tortilla chips, grilled chicken, queso, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole.

If you are sensitive to spicy foods, you can remove the jalapeno peppers, but there isn’t much customization available with these nachos.

5. Spinach And Artichoke Dip

While not everyone is a huge fan of artichokes, most love the Spinach and Artichoke dip.

Plus, unlike most items on the Applebee’s menu, this appetizer is vegetarian-friendly.

The dip is served covered in a soft layer of melted parmesan cheese and accompanied by homemade tortilla chips as well as Applebee’s homemade chipotle lime salsa.

Though not particularly large, the 980-calorie appetizer is perfect when shared among two or three people.

Even if you don’t like the artichoke dip itself, the salsa and chips that come with the dip are delicious enough to warrant ordering the dish.

4. Neighborhood Nachos Beef

The second of the two nacho options available at Applebee’s, the Neighborhood Nachos Beef, is delicious and comes in a hefty portion that will leave you with leftovers!

These nachos, served over homemade tortilla chips, are made with ground beef with taco seasoning rather than chipotle chicken.

Otherwise, the two nachos on Applebee’s appetizers menu are indistinguishable.

If you’re a fan of nachos or picky about which kind of nachos you’ll eat, you need to try these!

At 1940 calories, the appetizer should be shared; otherwise, you won’t have room for your meal.

3. Brew Pub Loaded Waffle Fries

One of the new items on Applebee’s appetizer menu, the Brew Pub Loaded Waffle Fries combine classic American staples to make a dish that resembles Canada’s famous poutine.

Made with waffle fries covered in melted Cheddar cheese, Blue Moon White Cheddar cheese, and smoked bacon, this 1520-calorie starter is a great choice for those looking for tasty comfort food.

To add to the flavor, the waffle fries are served with a side of ranch dressing.

Though you can dip the fries into the ranch dressing, we recommend eating them alone.

2. Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip

The Brew Pub Pretzels are far and away the best single item on Applebee’s appetizer menu.

The warm, perfectly salted pretzels are great to share but are small enough for one person.

Served with a creamy Blue Moon White Cheddar cheese dip, the creamy cheese pairs well with the salty bread, making a dish that will please bread and pretzel lovers alike.

The 1170-calorie dish is also served with Dijon mustard for those who like to add an extra bit of spice.

1. The Classic Combo

While the pretzels might be the best single item, they can’t top the Classic Combo!

The Applebee’s Classic Combo is a mashup of Boneless Wings, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Chicken Quesadillas, and Mozzarella Sticks.

This appetizer is the best for those in a large party who want to try several options but can’t decide what to get.

With the ability to customize the wings’ flavor, the dipping sauce for the wings, and the dipping sauce for the Mozzarella Sticks, the order can be adjusted to your party’s needs.

At 2230 calories, this hefty appetizer can’t be eaten by just one person, so e sure to share!


With many different appetizers to choose from, you will surely find something on the Applebee’s menu to fit your audience and occasion.

While you should try all of Applebee’s appetizers if you get the chance, the Classic Combo, Pub Pretzels, and the Loaded Waffle Fries are must-haves during your next visit!

For more information about Applebee’s, check out the articles below.

About the Author

Ben Parsons is a content writer who has experience in the retail food industry, including restaurant work. In his spare time, he loves reading and spending time outdoors in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


November 29, 2022