This baked Copycat Crispy Applebee's Wonton Tacos recipe is a lighter version of the delicious Applebees appetizer, with a baked crispy wonton shell, tangy garlic and ginger marinated chicken, and a quick and zesty asian slaw. Serve these mini tacos as an easy main dish or fun appetizer for your next party!JUMP TO RECIPE
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Easy Applebee's Chicken Wonton Tacos, at home!
A great appetizer or even a light meal, these Copycat Applebee's Chicken Wonton Tacos are crispy, crunchy, and bursting with flavor. Made with juicy and flavorful Asian-style marinated chicken, a zesty coleslaw mixture, fresh cilantro and sweet chili sauce- these bite sized tacos are a lightened up version of the tasty restaurant chain appetizer.
This recipe is made with baked wonton wrappers formed and shaped into taco shells, so they're crispy without the hassle and calories of a deep fried shell.
These delicious Copycat Applebee's Wonton Tacos are easy to make, and all about building the perfect "taco" with all the fixins. To make them, you'll need:
The chicken breast for these tacos gets its delicious flavor from a quick and easy marinade. To make it, you will need:
- Toasted sesame oil. This give a rich nuttiness to the chicken.
- Honey, for a bit of sweetness.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce. You could also use Coconut Aminos, if you prefer.
- 4 cloves minced garlic. For best results, use fresh, not jarred.
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root.
- 1 tablespoon plain rice vinegar.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces. These need to be nice and tiny, so they can be easily stuffed into the tiny wonton "taco" shells. I like to cut the chicken into thin strips, then cut crosswise to make small strips.
With crunchy coleslaw mix and a simple asian dressing, the slaw really amps up the flavor of these tacos. To make it, you'll need:
- Rainbow coleslaw mix, or a mixture of shredded red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrot.
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced.
- Rice vinegar.
- Toasted sesame oil.
The crispy, baked taco shells for these mini tacos are made out of store bought wonton wrappers. All you need to make them is:
- Store bought wonton wrappers, such as Nasoya.
- Canola oil or cooking spray. You'll brush or spray each wonton wrapper, and fold over a baking dish to form the shell as they bake. You can also use any neutral oil, such as peanut oil or vegetable oil.
The chicken and slaw are the main components of the tacos, but to add a bit of flair, serve them with:
- Bottled sweet chili sauce. My favorite is Mae Ploy.
- Fresh cilantro leaves. These add just the perfect herbal note and brightness.
- Lime wedges. Add a little squirt to the tacos right before eating to really bring out the flavors.
- White or black sesame seeds. These are totally optional, but add a little visual interest and crunch to the mini tacos.
How to make Copycat Applebee's Wonton Tacos
- Cut the chicken into small pieces/strips, discarding any fat/gristle. You want them very small, so they are easily stuffed into the taco shells.
- Whisk together marinade ingredients (leave canola oil for cooking only), and pour over chicken. Toss well to coat, transfer to the refrigerator, and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- While chicken marinates, make the slaw. Toss the coleslaw mixture with rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve/assemble.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees to male the wonton shells.
- Once chicken is marinated, heat canola oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the chicken. Cook until cooked through, stirring to ensure all sides done- 8-10 minutes.
- Make the wonton taco shells. Spray or brush each wonton wrapper with oil, and drape over a 9x13 baking dish (ceramic or metal) set over a sheet pan to collect any spills from the oil. Be sure to evenly drape the wonton wrappers so the taco shells are even. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes, checking periodically so they don’t burn.
- Once the wonton wrappers are baked and crispy, allow to cool briefly, and carefully remove them. Fill immediately with the chicken and slaw, and top with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges and sweet chili sauce.
- A 9"x13" baking dish, for forming/baking the wonton taco shells.
- A sheet pan, to catch any drips from the oiled wontons, and keep your oven mess-free.
- A silicone brush, for brushing the wonton wrappers with oil.
- A few small to medium mixing bowls, for the chicken and coleslaw.
- A good grater or zester and garlic press, for making the chicken marinade a breeze to make.
Tips for perfect tacos
- Pop your baking dish into the oven for about 10 minutes prior to wrapping with the oiled wonton wrappers. This pre-heats the baking dish, and ensures a crispy wonton shell.
- For best flavor, let your chicken marinate at least 30 minutes.
- Make sure you cut the chicken breast into tiny bite size pieces for easy assembly.
- Fill the taco shells while the wonton wrappers are still warm and pliable. If you leave them cool and sit, they can begin to close up, making them harder to fill.
- Make your slaw right around the time you marinate your chicken, so your slaw flavors have time to mingle and the cabbage can begin to break down a bit.
- Make sure to use the toasted variety of sesame oil for best flavor.
Additions and Substitutions
- Prefer dark meat? You can use chicken thighs instead. Use boneless skinless thighs, and be sure to adjust your cooking time to make sure they are cooked through.
- Like a little extra kick? Add some sriracha, or stir in some dice jalapeno into the slaw.
- Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Sub rice vinegar for organic apple cider vinegar.
- Try crunchy broccoli slaw instead of classic coleslaw mix.
- Use finely diced red onion or shallots in place of the green onions.
- Try using a muffin tin upside down to form little cups for the tacos, instead of making them into taco shells!
- Try this recipe with shrimp! If doing a shrimp version, use the marinade as a stir fry sauce to cook the shrimp in only- do not marinate.
You can prep the slaw for these Applebees wonton tacos up to a day in advance, and marinate the chicken for up to 4 hours.
If you like, you can also make the chicken a day or so in advance, and briefly reheat before stuffing and serving the tacos.
Where can I find wonton wrappers?
You can usually find them in the grocery store, often times in the produce section. A common available brand is Nasoya. You can also find them fresh or frozen in most Asian grocery stores.
Serving the tacos
Once stuff with chicken and slaw, serve the tacos with a bit of fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and some sweet chili sauce for dipping. If you like, you can also give them a sprinkle of sesame seeds for texture and a pretty look!
Since these are made best by filling the taco shells when they are warm and slightly pliable, and contain both hot chicken and cold slaw, they are best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftover chicken and slaw, you can store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When ready to reassemble, bake up a fresh batch of wonton taco shells.
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Copycat Crispy Applebee's Wonton Tacos Recipe
- 9"x13" ceramic or metal baking dish
- silicone brush or bristle brush
- sheet pan
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon plain rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (for cooking chicken- not for marinade)
- 4 cups rainbow coleslaw mix
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Wonton Taco Shells
- 16 wonton wrappers
- canola oil or cooking spray
- bottled sweet chili sauce
- fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
- Cut the chicken into small pieces/strips, discarding any fat/gristle. You want them very small, so they are easily stuffed into the taco shells. 2. Whisk together marinade ingredients (leave canola oil for cooking only), and pour over chicken. Toss well to coat, transfer to the refrigerator, and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 3. While chicken marinates, make the slaw. Toss the coleslaw mixture with rice vinegar, honey and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve/assemble. 4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees to male the wonton shells. 5. Once chicken is marinated, heat canola oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the chicken. Cook until cooked through, stirring to ensure all sides done- 8-10 minutes. 6. Make the wonton taco shells. Spray or brush each wonton wrapper with oil, and drape over a 9x13 baking dish (ceramic or metal) set over a sheet pan to collect any spills from the oil. Be sure to evenly drape the wonton wrappers so the taco shells are even. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes, checking periodically so they don’t burn. 7. Once the wonton wrappers are baked and crispy, allow to cool briefly, and carefully remove them. Fill immediately with the chicken and slaw, and top with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges and sweet chili sauce.
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