Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich Reduced-Fat copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich Reduced-Fat

Score: 4.00. Votes: 2
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In the last few years, Carl's Jr. has become one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains in the country. In 1997, the burger joint grew from 930 restaurants in nine states to nearly 3,900 in forty-four states with its purchase of Hardee's hamburger outlets. This makes Carl's Jr. the fourth-largest burger chain in the country, behind McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.

One of the unique sandwiches that makes Carl's a popular stop for the lunch crowd is this Charbroiled Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich with the delicious spicy sauce. It's that tasty sauce that give the real thing much of its fat, so by cloning it with nonfat ingredients, we can cut the grease on this sandwich to one-fifth of the original, while keeping all of the flavor.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 sandwich
Total servings–4
Calories per serving–305 (Original–530)
Fat per serving–5.5g (Original–29g)

Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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Santa Fe Sauce
  • 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki marinade (thick style)
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 2 large canned mild green chili peppers, halved
  • 4 slices fat-free American cheese
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Carl's Jr.
    • Instructions

      1. Make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well. Cover and chill until needed.

      2. Cut each chicken breast in half across the middle, and then wrap the halves, one at a time, in plastic wrap. Pound each one with a mallet until it is about ¼ inch thick.

      3. Pour the teriyaki marinade over the chicken. Cover and chill the chicken and let it marinate for at least two hours. Marinating it overnight is even better.

      4. When the chicken is well marinated, heat up a skillet and toast the face of each of the buns. You may also toast the buns in a toaster oven.

      5. Cook the chicken on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until done.

      6. Build the sandwiches by first spreading ½ tablespoon of the Santa Fe Sauce on each tasted face of the buns.

      7. Stack the lettuce on next.

      8. Spread out a pepper half and place it on top of the lettuce on each sandwich. Depending on the size of the pepper, you may have to trim the pepper or add more. You want to have enough to fit on the sandwich without too much falling over the side.

      9. Place a piece of chicken on the pepper on each of the sandwiches.

      10. Next, place a slice of American cheese on the chicken.

      11. Finish building the sandwiches by adding the top bun.

      12. Microwave each sandwich for 15 seconds on high.

      Makes 4 sandwiches.

Average rating:

Score: 4.00. Votes: 2
Rating of votes (2)
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Lindi McKercher
Jul 4, 2018, 15:53

I love Carl’s Jr. Santa Fe Sauce so I was excited to find this recipe. When I saw that curry was an ingredient I knew that wasn’t the right flavor. Instead of curry powder I added 1/4 tsp chili powder and 1/8 tsp cumin and YOU GUYS!!! This is the sauce! It tastes JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL!

Sep 29, 2014, 22:00

The two changes I made: I substituted plain Greek yogurt with mayo for the base of the sauce, and I used reduced fat cheese rather than fat-free, which has the wrong texture and doesn't melt properly. I should also point out that I've never eaten at Carl's Jr., but this is an excellent sandwich which both my mother and I thoroughly enjoyed...

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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