APPLEBEE’S | Chicken Wonton Tacos

with their Signature Coleslaw

by RRR

Applebee’s best describes their popular Chicken Wonton Taco appetizer as, “sweet, Asian chili marinated and grilled chicken stuffed into crispy wonton shells and topped with Signature coleslaw and cilantro”.  For some reason, they don’t mention the Dumpling Sauce.  Weird.

But I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to tacos.  Having traveled many times to my beloved Mexico, particularly Mexico City, I am in the camp that tacos should remain uncluttered, unfussed, and pretty much left alone.  A simple, homemade corn tortilla, some roasted pork, pickled red onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  OK, a little Cotija thrown on never hurt a soul.  And, I have been know to tear up a Tex-Mex taco, too (or six).

But Applebee’s Asian-inspired Wonton Tacos has me rethinking my firm stance on the taco issue.  As long as the flavor profiles makes sense.  And Applebee’s wonton snackers do!  The crispy wonton shell, the sweet chili marinated chicken, the dumpling sauce, the simple coleslaw…consider me converted.

And while I agree that the wonton “taco shells” are a bit of work (and mess), they make all the difference.  I understand if you think that it may not be worth it, but I encourage you to try your hand at making them at home (as opposed to store-bought corn shells).  It is not as hard or time consuming as you think and after a few tries, you’ll become an expert!  If you need help, watch my FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL below.

In my opinion, a corn shell wouldn’t hit as well with the Asian marinated chicken and Asian dumpling sauce.  Any don’t worry if they don’t come out perfectly shaped.  Perfection is unattainable and overrated!  Just like when you make a homemade pizza, the crust will never be as perfectly round as when you order one from Pizza Hut.  But that’s OK!  It shows that you made it yourself and that it was made with love.

For more delicious recipes from Applebee’s, check out their Spinach & Artichoke Dip, their Beer Cheese Dip and their French Onion Soup.  Enjoy!

Applebee's Chicken Wonton Tacos

Serves: 8-10 tacos Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 580 calories 24 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1.5 lbs. chicken thighs; boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat
  • ½ cup sweet Asian chili sauce
  • ½ TBL premium soy sauce
  • 1 TBL rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flake (depending on taste)
  • Package of Nasoya eggroll or wonton wrappers
  • Bottle of canola oil for frying
  • Cilantro and fresh lime for serving (optional, but tasty!)
  • 5 cups green cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s pref.)
  • 2 TBL rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. sugar
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 TBL white sugar
  • 1 TBL boiling water (from a kettle)
  • 2 TBL premium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chili oil
  • ¼ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. corn starch


Mix well the sweet Asian chili sauce, ½ TBL premium soy sauce, 1 TBL rice vinegar, ¼ tsp. sesame oil and  red pepper flake.  Pour over the chicken thighs, making sure to coat both sides of the chicken with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the coleslaw ingredients very well.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the white sugar in the boiling water.  Add the remaining Dumpling Sauce ingredients and mix well.  On a medium heat and in a small saucepan, reduce the dumpling sauce by half stirring constantly.  Set aside.

Once the chicken has marinated for a minimum of 2 hours, using an indoor grill pan or outside grill, grill the chicken.  On the highest heat, cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is met.  Be sure to spoon the marinade over the top and bottom of the chicken thighs, for extra chili sauce flavor.  Once cooked thoroughly, remove from heat and set aside on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes.  Cut the chicken into ½” chunks.  Once cooked, do not toss the chicken in any extra marinade to avoid cross-contamination.  Discard any unused marinade.

In a wok or very deep saucepan, add 4-5 inches of canola oil and heat to 350 degrees.  Once the oil comes to temperature, carefully drop 1 wonton wrapper into the fry oil and fry for 3 seconds until it begins to puff.  Using tongs, flip the wonton over and fry for another 3 seconds.  Using the tongs, pull one corner of the wrapper up to meet the opposite corner and fry the underside of the “taco” shell until it is brown and crispy (about 30 seconds).  Once the underside is brown and crispy, turn the shell over and cook the other side until brown and crispy.  Once the shell is completely fried, remove it from the oil and drip off any excess.  Place it on a drainage rack.

To build the tacos, drizzle the dumpling sauce in the shell.  Stuff 2-3 TBL of chili chicken, top with coleslaw and finish with fresh cilantro and squeeze lime (optional).


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1 comment

Neet and Angel June 17, 2024 - 8:01 am

I really enjoyed this recipe and loved the creative twist on traditional tacos. The combination of flavors and textures worked so well together. Definitely going to give it a try and experiment with different sauces!


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