Are you, like us, still mourning the loss of Applebee’s chicken wonton tacos? Well, dry those tears because we’re sharing our Test Kitchen-approved copycat recipe for this fan-favorite menu item that was discontinued in 2020.
Tender strips of chicken marinated in a flavorful Asian-inspired sauce are hugged between crispy wonton taco shells and topped with a refreshingly crisp Asian coleslaw. Garnished with cilantro and drizzled with an irresistible sweet chili sauce, these crispy Asian “tacos” are the perfect appetizer to serve ahead of your favorite stir-fry recipe or alongside a batch of copycat The Cheesecake Factory egg rolls.
Love Applebee’s? Don’t miss these other Applebee’s copycat recipes.
Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Wonton Tacos Recipe
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon sesame oil2 garlic cloves, minced1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
For the slaw:
3 cups coleslaw mix2 green onions, thinly sliced1-1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil1-1/2 teaspoons honey16 wonton wrappersCooking spraySweet chili sauce, for garnishChopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Step 1: Make the sauce
In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce (or tamari sauce), sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
Editor’s Tip: Want to spice things up? While Applebee’s recipe is mild and crowd-pleasing, making your own wonton tacos at home means you can adjust the heat to your liking. Add a teaspoon (or two) of Sriracha, gochujang or garlic chili sauce for a little extra kick.
Step 2: Marinate
Add the chicken to the mixture and turn to coat on all sides. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Step 3: Toss the slaw
In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 4: Bake the shells
Working in batches, press the wonton wrappers over the edges of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Spritz each wonton wrapper with cooking spray, then bake until lightly browned, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have a 13×9-inch baking pan, any oven-safe baking dish at least 2-inches deep will work for this recipe. For example, you could also use (2) 8×8-inch square baking pans. The size of your pan will simply impact the number of batches it will take to cook all of the shells.
Step 5: Cook the chicken
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and stir the chicken mixture over medium-high heat until the chicken is no longer pink, 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Step 6: Assemble
Fill wonton shells with chicken mixture. Top with coleslaw, chili sauce and cilantro.
Tips for Making Applebee’s Chicken Wonton Tacos
Can you make the tacos ahead of time?
Yes! Applebee’s chicken wonton tacos can be made ahead. Prepare the slaw and wonton shells as directed in the recipe. The slaw can be refrigerated in a covered, airtight storage container for up to 2 days. For the shells, allow them to cool completely and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
For the chicken, marinate the chicken up to 24 hours ahead of time. Then cook as directed before serving and assemble with the prepared slaw and wonton shells.
How do you shape the wontons into shells?
Use a gentle hand when handling the wonton wrappers. If they’re dry, you can moisten them with a few drops of water to make them more pliable. In testing, we found that using a baking dish with a slighter wider rim resulted in shells with a better opening for stuffing with chicken and slaw. For perfectly shaped shells every time, you could also use stainless steel taco shell holders to shape and bake the wonton wrappers.
How long do you have to marinate the chicken?
We suggest marinating the chicken for at least 15 minutes. This is the minimum time needed to ensure the marinade soaks into the chicken to flavor and tenderize it. For more marinade tips, don’t miss this guide to making the best marinade.
Can you marinate the chicken for more or less time than the recipe calls for?
While we don’t recommend marinating the chicken for less than 15 minutes, you can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours if you want to make this recipe ahead to enhance the flavor. We don’t recommend marinating the chicken for more than 24 hours since the marinade can break down the muscle fibers in the chicken too much. This can cause the chicken to have a mushy, unpleasant texture.
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The post How to Make Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Wonton Tacos appeared first on Taste of Home.