Home >> Recipes >> Carl's Jr.® >> Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich Copycat Recipe  
Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich Copycat Recipe
Carl's Jr. Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Sandwich
Calories: 610
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Recipe Rating: 4.3 (12 reviews)
This is a simple fast food sandwich to clone, and it's one of my favorites to make at home. This sandwich has been around since March of 1991, and has been a popular choice at Carl's Jr. outlets dotting the western United States. Chicken fillets are marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled. The chicken is then stacked on a whole wheat bun along with American cheese, lettuce, mild green chili peppers and a spicy southwestern-style spread. If you're looking to fire up the barbecue for a little chicken grilling, give this sandwich a go and bring a surprise to the table.

Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

4 skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup teriyaki marinade (Lawry's is best)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch salt
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
4 iceberg lettuce leaves
One 4-ounce can mild green chili peppers, well-drained
4 slices American cheese 

1. One a time, wrap each chicken fillet in plastic wrap and flatten it with a mallet so that the thickness is uniform throughout the fillet—about 1/2-inch thick. Marinate the flattened chicken fillets in the teriyaki marinade in a shallow bowl for at least 1 hour.

2. Preheat a clean barbecue to medium grilling heat.

3. Prepare the sauce in a small bowl by mixing the mayonnaise with the paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder, and salt. 

4. Grill the chicken for 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until done.

5. Brown the faces of each bun in a hot frying pan.

6. Spread a tablespoon of sauce on the faces of each bun, top and bottom.

7. On each bottom bun place a lettuce leaf, then a green chili pepper. You want the pepper to be spread over most of the lettuce. To do this, slice the pepper down the middle and spread it open so that it covers more territory. When sliced open like this, some peppers are big enough for 2 sandwiches. 

8. Place one chicken fillet on each of the sandwiches, on top of the chili pepper.

9. Place a slice of American cheese on the chicken.

10. Top it all off with the top bun.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

Submitted on: 02/16/17
I'm with James. In fact I just used cumin, cayenne, and a bit of paprika....tastes pretty darned close...close enough to make again...:)
Missing ingredient
Submitted on: 11/10/15
I always tasted Cumin in Carl's Santa Fe Sauce so I added some to this recipe and it's much closer to the real deal now.
santa fe sauce
Submitted on: 08/30/15
I have found that the key to this sauce is to let it mellow in the fridge. it's not amazing right after you make it.... nope. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours and it's GREAT.
santa fe sauce
Submitted on: 05/26/15
This is nothing like the Carl's sauce, it was a lot lighter in color also. We use it for our fries. I was disappointed. It tasted ok but, way different.
santa fe sauce  
Submitted on: 06/04/14
I fixed this and it was Great!
Just the sante fe sauce
Submitted on: 05/18/14
Tastes nothing like the Sante Fe sauce. I was so excited because I'm not a fan of a lot of things at Carl's Jr but I looove the Sante fe sauce. I only used this recipe for the sauce and put it in a chicken wrap. It just tasted like curry powder and mayonnaise
So good
Submitted on: 07/26/13
Delicious and spot on! Thank you for bringing the Santa Fe to the E. Coast.
Sante Fe here we come
Susi Q  
Submitted on: 07/18/13
I live in Florida we have Hardie's/ Carls Jr. but they don't have the Chicken Santa Fe, this recipe is right on....Thank you.....
The Real Deal
Submitted on: 06/27/13
This was SO easy to prepare. I used chicken tenderloin instead of breast and I also substituted Organic Frontier ground Chipotle Chili Pepper for the cayenne pepper. Hubby who used to live in Colorado and LOVED this sandwich, but since moving to Georgia has missed them greatly. So when I found the recipe, I decided to surprise him and he said ... "HE LOVED ME!" lol. Seriously though, he said it was fantastic, tasted like the real deal! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Really Good!
Marty A  
Submitted on: 04/21/12
This receipe is a match to the real thing..but not expensive
Submitted on: 03/08/06
Since I moved to Missouri where you can't find a Carl's Jr, this is a life saver. Thank you!!!
Ms. Sharon  
Submitted on: 07/23/05
This was a gr-r-eat recipe to serve my Red Hatters. I just tripled the recipe. They all thought it was great!