Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken – Gluten Free Recipe Clone

Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken

I’ve been making Applebee’s Fiesta Chicken for years! I’ve since adapted it to be Gluten Free, and tastes fantastic! My family LOVES this recipe.

I had so loved eating this meal for years and years from Applebee’s! Then Todd Wilbur of Top Secret Recipes came out with his version some time back, and our family loved his version possibly even more. 

Then for a number of years, once I switched to eating Gluten Free, I stopped making it because I couldn’t find Gluten Free Kikkoman Marinade locally where I live.

Fortunately, a few Walmart Superstores thereafter started carrying it; yet unfortunately not close by. On one occasion, I purchased several bottles. I’ll note: Amazon sells it too; considering the extra trouble and the price of gas… it’s still pricey.

Anywhoo! I went to make the recipe for when my kids came over last weekend, and I just about PANICKED when realized I’d gone through my stash of bottles! I searched high and low, in places I wouldn’t have put the extras… I just wasn’t quite sure what else I should do? At first, I figured, I’d just do a different recipe. (No, instead I decided to punt!)

Substituted: Without adding any extra water, I crossed my fingers, and substituted: 2 Tablespoons La Choy Lite soy sauce (which is wheat free) for all the marinade and hoped for the best. Otherwise, don’t omit the other key ingredients, which are wonderful!

Re: (Marinating) In the directions, it says to marinate chicken for 2 hours. However, I CHEAT with a FoodSaver vacuum sealer, taking just 15 minutes, with (two) accessory Quick 2.25 quart Marinator containers. Okay, you can get by using just one, doing the meat in batches – instead – taking 30 minutes. A real time-saver! Not only faster, also makes cuts taste juicier and more flavorful! The vacuum action expands and opens up the cells, forcing more of the marinade into the cells structure of meat, rather than merely flavoring it.

Re: (Grilling) Is your outside grill is as old and on the fritz, as mine is? By all means, cook the chicken inside too! So, it’s an all-year-round winning recipe! For grill marks, you can use either an oiled cast-iron grill pan or cast-iron grill/griddle. Otherwise, pan-fry the meat in a small amount of oil. Cook the meat just until completely done on both sides, without over-cooking.

To Serve: Plate the chicken and toppings onto the dinner plates, before placing briefly under to the oven broiler, melting the cheese, watching closely not to burn it! The Applebee’s Mexican Rice recipe and Pico De Gallo links are at end of this post.

The Results: FANTASTIC! Maybe it’s because I haven’t made it for a while, but maybe even better than with the Gluten Free Kikkoman Marinade. It sure makes the recipe a whale of a lot more affordable!!!

My girls wanted to know why I hadn’t posted my GF version yet, so they could pin it?
Aaahhh, because I haven’t taken any photos (and) they ate all the evidence this time too!
This Applebee’s pic posted online, all over the net, will have to do until I can make it again. Sorry!

Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken
– Gluten Free Recipe Clone –

Serves: 8   Print Recipe

Meat & Marinade:
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded evenly
2 cups water

2/3 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade (Gluten Free)
  Or Substitute: 2 Tbsp La Choy Lite soy sauce (wheat free)
8 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced (don’t omit)
2 fresh limes, squeezed (4 Tbsp)
4 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp liquid smoke, Mesquite flavor (don’t omit)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Fiesta Sauce:
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
4 Tbsp milk, 1% low-fat
1 fresh lime, squeezed (2 Tbsp)
1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring, Mesquite
1 tomato, diced
8 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
4 tsp onion flakes, chopped

1/4 tsp seasonings (each): salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, dill weed, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes

Broil & Serve:
Fresh Gourmet tri-color tortilla strips (Gluten Free)
2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
1 tomato, diced
Red onion, minced
Fresh cilantro, minced
Fresh lime wedges

1. Combine the meat and marinade in a zip-type bag and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Meanwhile, mix together the sauce ingredients, chill; reserve for later us.

2. Grill breasts on both sides until done, but do not over-cook. Preheat your oven to HIGH-BROIL.

3. Place each grilled breast onto individual oven-safe dinner plates, over a bed of tri-colored tortilla strips; cover each with a generous spoonful of sauce, a sprinkling of cheese, topped with tomatoes, diced red onion, and cilantro.

4. With the oven set to broil, place each plate on the highest shelf and broil for only a few minutes – watching so as to NOT burn the cheese. Serve garnished, with fresh lime wedges, and related recipes below. 

Related Recipes: 

Applebee’s Mexican Rice recipe (coming soon)
Pico De Gallo recipe

Original Source: Todd Wilbur’s Applebee’s Tequila Lime Chicken Copycat Recipe

Note: The marinade is also wonderful grilling skewers of chunked zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and sweet red peppers too.


Sharon Anne

The affiliate links below are for your convenience (if you can’t find the ingredients locally). You won’t pay more linking and buying from Amazon (through me) but I will receive small referral amounts. It helps us both.

Yes, note the tortilla strips below are Gluten Free, see this link from the manufacturer.


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