Copycat Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Recipe

Whether it's a matter of ordering a standard menu item or requesting a unique combination of vegetables, sauces, and toppings, fast food franchises like Subway offer enough variety and flexibility to please just about anyone. Take their Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich and wrap, for example. Packed with flavor and texture (thanks also to those fresh, crunchy vegetables), there's a good reason this sweet and tangy menu item is one of Subway's most popular meals.

But as popular as Subway is, let's be honest about some of the difficulties here. From bad weather to late-night munchies, there are times when going out to one of its locations is not a convenient option. So, recipe developer Angela Latimer has created a copycat version of Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki wrap that anyone can make from their own home. With just 5 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cook time, you too can enjoy a Subway-style wrap practically whenever you want.

Gather your ingredients

To make this copycat version of one of Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki wrap you'll need sugar, cold water, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, cornstarch, mustard powder, celery salt, poppy seeds, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and sesame oil. 

No sweet onion wrap is complete without the onions, of course. In this case, you'll be using dried minced onions, which you can grind to a finer consistency if you want. You will also need onion juice that you can squeeze yourself using a garlic press.  Finely pureed, diced, white onions will also work here if you can't or don't want to source onion juice.

Finally, you'll need one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, some baby spinach, one sliced green bell pepper, slices of tomato, and of course, the wraps. This recipe will make four wraps total.  Although Subway uses a tomato basil wrap for this menu item, Latimer recommends choosing whatever flavor wrap you enjoy whether it's tomato, spinach, veggie, or something else.

In addition, you may want shredded lettuce to complete your wrap. You can also season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper while cooking.

Assemble your teriyaki sauce

Before we even get to the chicken part of this chicken wrap, we need to prepare that tangy, tasty, irresistible teriyaki sauce. Whisk together the sugar, water, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, onion juice, cornstarch, dried minced onion, mustard powder, celery salt, poppy seed, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and sesame oil in a small saucepan.

Remember, this is a copycat recipe, so if you change or leave out any of these ingredients, you will wind up with something that will probably taste different from the famous Subway wrap. However, if you do want or need to make some changes, we will have some final tips for you at the end of this recipe.

Cook and stir the sauce

To make sure your teriyaki sauce really matches Subway's version, you'll want to stir it occasionally while bringing it to medium-high heat. Once a boil is reached, however, you'll need to stir it constantly.  Turn the burner to low heat and let your sauce simmer until it has thickened and become fragrant, which should take about 5 minutes.

If you're unsure if your teriyaki sauce is thick enough for the final wrap, Latimer recommends a simple test to make sure. When the sauce drips rather than runs off your spatula or spoon, it's ready. If you're there, remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside.

Prepare the chicken for the wrap

Once your sauce is done, it's time to get the oh so tasty protein in this wrap ready: the chicken.  Grill or pan-sear the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the chicken breast) or until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.  If you like, you can also season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  To help things move along relatively quickly, be sure to use chicken breast pieces that are roughly 3/4-inch in thickness. Any thicker, and you would potentially have to finish pieces in the oven, adding to your cook time.

Remove chicken from heat and cut into strips

To keep your chicken from getting dry when cooking, Latimer recommends opting for higher temperatures, so you can sear the chicken quickly. "Always remove [the chicken] from heat and allow your chicken breast to 'rest' so that the juices don't spill out onto your cutting board rather than staying in your chicken meat."

Once you have removed the chicken from the heat and allowed it to rest for 5 minutes, it's time to start cutting it up into Subway-style strips. Simply slice the chicken into bite-size pieces or strips and transfer them into a small or medium bowl.

Combine the chicken with sauce

It's time to turn your simple grilled chicken into that savory teriyaki chicken that you see at the counter in any Subway. Just add the sauce to the chicken pieces and stir to combines. Once that's done, portion out the dressed chicken in a strip down the center of your wraps. This should make enough for four wraps total.

As Latimer explains, there should be 1/4 pound per serving for this recipe. Since chicken strips can vary in size, she recommends weighing each portion of chicken with a handy kitchen scale rather than using a specific number of strips per wrap. 

Time for the toppings

No copycat Subway recipe would be complete without some crispy and flavorful vegetables to top everything off. To make your wrap complete, simply place the baby leaf spinach, tomato slices, and green bell pepper slices on top of the chicken strips. You can also add some shredded lettuce if you want that to further mimic that Subway experience.

Fold the wrap sides in over your filling, then tuck your first end in around the filling and roll it tightly, as you would for a burrito. After all, you don't want any of that savory chicken or teriyaki sauce to leak out, do you? Place the wrap on a plate or serving dish seam side down and slice it in half to serve.

There's one more important thing to remember before you chow down. Since this is a sauce-based wrap filling, you'll want to dig in and enjoy it sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you could end up with a soggy wrap. But, given how simple this is to make, you'll have no problem assembling and serving these wraps fresh each time.

How to customize your copycat Subway wrap

If you want to experiment and come up with your own unique spin on the copycat version of Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Signature Wrap, we've got you covered with some additional tips. If you or someone you're cooking for is watching their sugar, Latimer says, " [sugar substitutes] like Swerve can be used in a 1:1 ratio in recipes and maintain the same (or very similar) consistency and texture."

Also, while sesame oil has a distinct flavor that really adds to the teriyaki sauce, Latimer notes that you can replace it. In its place, olive and peanut oil "will both impart some flavor to the sauce," she says. You're also free to experiment with the flavor of the wrap itself. Perhaps, instead of a plain wrap, you'd like to try a tomato or spinach version for some extra flavor and color.

Copycat Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki wrap is one of the chain's most beloved menu items. Here's how to make an at-home version for yourself whenever you want.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
wraps
Close up of a copycat version of Subway's Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Signature Wrap
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh onion juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¾ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¾ teaspoon poppy seed
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 wraps
  • 8 slices tomato
  • 1 cup baby leaf spinach
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Optional Ingredients
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Shredded lettuce
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, water, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, onion juice, cornstarch, dried minced onion, mustard powder, celery salt, poppy seed, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, ground black pepper, and sesame oil.
  2. Stir the sauce occasionally while bringing it to medium-high heat. Stir constantly once a boil is reached. Then reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thickened and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Grill or pan-sear the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side or until an internal temperature of 165° F is reached. Season both sides with salt and pepper if desired.
  4. Remove the chicken from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Once rested, slice chicken into bite-size strips and transfer it into a small or medium bowl.
  6. Add the sauce to the chicken pieces and stir to combine, then portion in a strip down the center of your wraps. Top with baby leaf spinach, tomato slices, green bell pepper slices, and any other toppings you desire.
  7. Fold the wrap sides in on the ends of your filling, then tuck your first end in and roll tightly. Slice in half to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 471
Total Fat 7.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 82.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 69.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 41.2 g
Sodium 492.1 mg
Protein 31.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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