Santa Fe Chicken Salad (Applebee's)

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Do not let the list of ingredients keep you from making this salad. Most of the ingredients are for the marinade and salsa which should be made the day before and refrigerated. The remaining ingredients are the salad and side items. It is super quick to throw together the next day and tastes awesome. The tequila-lime chicken is outstanding on its own and you may want to make extra Pico de Gallo to keep in the fridge. I have adapted this recipe from a former Applebee's employee. The recipe is scaled down for one serving, so adjust for more servings. Cooktime is marinade time.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   2 ounces pico de gallo, recipe above (ramekin at 12 o'clock)
  • add   1 small tomato
  • add   tortilla chips or corn tortilla strips (multi-colored or regular)
  • add   3-4 cups torn salad greens
  • add   1 teaspoon fajita seasoning mix
  • add   1 ounce sour cream (ramekin at 9 o'clock)
  • add   1/2 teaspoon salt
  • add   1-2 teaspoon diced jalapenos
  • add   1 boneless chicken breast, skin on or boneless skinless chicken breast
  • add   1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • add   1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • add   1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • add   1/8-1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese or cheddar cheese
  • add   3/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • add   1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • add   1/8 cup fresh cilantro (diced)
  • add   1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • add   2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • add   1 teaspoon olive oil
  • add   chopped scallions
  • add   2 tablespoons gold tequila
  • add   3 tablespoons ranch dressing (they use Naturally Fresh brand lo-fat)
  • add   1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • add   1/2 small onion
  • add   3/4 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno peppers (seeded)
  • add   1 ounce guacamole (ramekin at 3 o'clock)


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a container with lid. Add Chicken and place in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Combine Pico de Gallo ingredients in a small bowl with lid and place in refrigerator overnight with chicken.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with fajita seasoning. Grill skin-side down for about 5 minutes, turn and continue to grill for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. I use my George Forman grill with fantastic results (about 7 minutes).
  4. While the chicken is grilling combine ranch dressing with 2 Tablespoons of the Pico de Gallo. Set Aside.
  5. Prepare Garnishes.
  6. Toss salad greens with cheese and remaining Pico de Gallo (or less - to taste). Sprinkle with fried tortilla strips or lightly crushed tortilla chips.
  7. Cut chicken into strips and place on top of greens. Add Garnishes to plate.