Enjoy a tasty copycat Carl’s Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. Marinated chicken, cheese, Southwest sauce, green chile, & lettuce on a toasted bun. YUM!
Enjoy a tasty copycat Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. Marinated chicken, cheese, Southwest sauce, green chile & lettuce on a toasted bun. YUM!

Well… we’ve entered another week of “stay-at-home”, due to current coronavirus guidelines. I made my husband and I delicious chicken sandwiches for dinner last week, using a recipe I saved many years ago. The recipe is a copycat for one of Carl’s Jr. restaurants chicken sandwiches! Honestly, I’m not even sure if they still have this sandwich on their menu! All I know is… it’s GOOD, and we really enjoy these sandwiches!

I knew I had 99% of the ingredients in our kitchen, so I decided to make these sandwiches again (it’s been a while!). The recipe calls for teriyaki sauce (and that was the ONE thing I was out of)! Since we are trying NOT to go to the grocery store too much (social distancing), I used my recipe for homemade teriyaki marinade (easy) to marinate the chicken! Problem solved. HOORAY!

The sandwiches were (as always) a big hit, so I’m sharing the recipe here, so you can enjoy it, too. Here’s how to make Santa Fe Chicken Sandwiches:

First – Marinate The Chicken

The recipe (as written in printable recipe below) makes 4 sandwiches, but since I was only making them for my husband and I, my photos reflect the fixings for TWO! Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a resealable plastic bag or container (with a lid).

Add teriyaki sauce to the chicken, and turn to fully cover the chicken with the sauce. Let the chicken marinate (covered or sealed) in the refrigerator for thirty minutes, so the flavors can permeate the meat. Use the time the chicken is marinating to prepare other parts of the recipe.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are marinated in teriyaki sauce.

Prepare The Southwestern Sauce – EASY!

Making the Southwestern sauce for the sandwich is incredibly simple.  Measure the mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, and curry powder into a small bowl, and stir well, until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Set the bowl aside. This will be the sauce you put on the sandwich! See how EASY that was?

Southwest-inspired spices are mixed together with mayonnaise to make sauce.The sauce for the sandwich is mixed, and is ready to spread on.

Prepare The Canned Green Chiles- EASY!

Open and drain the green chiles. Below you can see the type of chiles I used. There should be 4 whole ones in the can. Carefully slice them open, and remove the seeds with a butter knife or spoon. Each sandwich requires one of these mild chiles.

Pat the chiles dry with a paper towel. Now you can set them aside until you’re ready to build the sandwiches.

Whole green chiles are split open and seeds are removed before adding to sandwich.

Cook The Marinated Chicken

Once the chicken breasts have marinated for 30 minutes, remove them from the container (or bag), and let the excess sauce drip off the chicken. Discard the sauce.

Grill the chicken on an outdoor grill, or in a lightly oiled pan or indoor grill on medium-high heat. I use a cast iron grill on my stove top to cook the chicken (see photo below).

When the chicken is nicely browned on the bottom after 6-7 minutes, carefully turn the chicken over, and continue grilling the other side for an additional 6-7 minutes. The time it will take to cook the chicken will vary, depending on the thickness of the chicken you use, of course. When done, the chicken should be cooked all the way through (internal temp of 165°F.), and be nicely browned on all sides.

Marinated chicken breasts are grilled for the sandwich.The marinated chicken breasts are grilled on both sides until done.

Time To Build Your Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich!

Okay… now it’s time to put the sandwiches together. Lightly toast the hamburger buns. I’ve found the easiest way is to lay them open on a lightly buttered skillet or griddle, and let them “toast” on low heat for a minute or two.

Spread the Southwestern sauce onto both sides of each of the toasted buns. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom bun, and then top it with one of the green chiles.

Southwestern sauce is spread on both top and bottom of toasted bun.Lettuce and a whole green chile is added to the toasted buns with sauce.

Now lay the warm marinated, grilled chicken breast on top of the chile. Add a slice of American cheese to the top bun, and place it on the chicken. Now your Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich is completely ready to enjoy! The heat from the toasted bun and the chicken will help to slightly melt the cheese, too!

Repeat the steps for each Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. All that is left for you to do after that is serve and enjoy these delicious, flavorful chicken sandwiches. Hope you enjoy them… we sure do!

Marinated grilled chicken and cheese are added to the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich.

A Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich is served on a plate, with sliced apples on the side.

Thank you for stopping by. The printable recipe is shown below, in case you would like to make these at home. Stay safe, and be an encouraging friend and family member to those around you who might be hurting. God bless you, and I sincerely hope you have a GREAT day. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, right?!!!

Looking For Other SANDWICH Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have several sandwich recipes there, including:

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Original recipe source: unknown (I wrote it down many years ago, and did not note original publication)

Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
Marinating Time (Inactive-included in total time)
30 mins
Total Time
49 mins
 

Enjoy a tasty copycat Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. Marinated chicken, cheese, Southwest sauce, green chile & lettuce on a toasted bun. YUM!

Category: Dinner, Lunch, Sandwich
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories Per Serving: 386 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
For Chicken:
  • 4 medium chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) (the thinner, the better!)
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce (or marinade)
For Southwest Sauce:
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 pinch salt
For Sandwich:
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 ounce canned whole green chiles (1 can should have 4 chiles)
  • 4 slices American cheese
Instructions
  1. MARINATE CHICKEN: Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts into resealable plastic bag or a container (with lid). Add teriyaki sauce; turn to fully cover chicken with sauce. Let chicken marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  2. PREP #1-MAKE SAUCE: Measure mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, and curry powder into a small bowl. Stir well, then set bowl aside. PREP #2-PREPARE CHILES: Open can; drain green chiles. Carefully slice chiles open. Remove seeds. Pat chiles dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

  3. COOK CHICKEN: After marinating 30 minutes, remove chicken breasts from bag (or container); let excess sauce drip off the chicken. Discard sauce. Cook chicken on an outdoor grill, or in a lightly oiled pan or on indoor grill pan on medium-high heat. Cook for approximately 6-7 minutes. Turn chicken over; continue grilling other side for an additional 6-7 minutes. The time it takes to cook depends on the thickness of chicken you use, of course. When done, chicken should be cooked all the way through (internal temp of 145-150°F), and be nicely browned on all sides. Remove from pan or grill. Keep chicken warm.

  4. TOAST THE BUNS: Lightly toast the hamburger buns. Easiest way is to split and lay them open on a lightly buttered skillet. Let them "toast" for 1-2 minutes on low heat, until golden brown.

  5. TO BUILD EACH SANDWICH: Spread sauce onto both sides of each toasted bun. Place lettuce leaf on bottom bun; top it with a green chile, followed by a chicken breast. Add a slice of American cheese to the top bun, and place it on the chicken. Repeat with other sandwiches, serve warm, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Caloric calculation was made using light mayonnaise and 1/4th of the marinade's total calories, as marinade is only used to flavor meat and total amount of marinade is not fully consumed.

Nutrition Facts
Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 1620mg70%
Potassium 620mg18%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 2159IU43%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 323mg32%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Enjoy a tasty copycat Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. Marinated chicken, cheese, Southwest sauce, green chile & lettuce on a toasted bun. YUM!

Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich (copycat)

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