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Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

by Karly

We’d like to submit our Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich to be considered in the Chicken Sandwich Wars currently happening between fast food restaurants. We think we have a serious contender here with a crispy, seasoned breading and a thick piece of juicy chicken. Topped with pickles and mayo, this is a major air fryer win.

Air fried chicken sandwich on a small white plate.

It took us quite a few tries (over 7, but who’s counting) to get this air fryer chicken sandwich just where we wanted it, with a crispy, craggly breading that looks like it came straight from the deep fryer.

We wanted a piece of chicken that was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and seasoned throughout. A piece of chicken that could stand up on it’s own, without the pickles, mayo, and bun. Took a bit, but we got it there!

Of course, a buttered and toasted bun, a thick slather of your favorite mayo, and a couple of dill pickle slices really push this over the top and turn this into what we think is the BEST chicken sandwich you can make at home!

We use a fair amount of ingredients for our breading in order to make it crispy and full of flavor. Don’t let that scare you away – while these do have a few steps, it’s actually really easy. Just read through the recipe to get a feel for it, and then head to the kitchen and get started!

Ingredient Notes:

Ingredients for a chicken sandwich all spread out on a countertop.

Chicken- We use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are about 6-8 ounces per breast. These will get sliced in half and pounded out to an even thickness to form 4 pieces of chicken.

Breading Ingredients– Our flavorful breading uses flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, cracked pepper, eggs, hot sauce, and buttermilk.

Serving ingredients– Buns are best served buttered and grilled, so get your buns and some butter. We serve ours with mayonnaise and dill pickles. You could consider lettuce, tomato, or cheese also.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Sandwiches:

Prepare the chicken– Slice your chicken breast in half at a diagonal. Pound the chicken just enough to make it an even thickness and about the size of your buns. Then pat the chicken dry.

Collage of the steps of breading chicken

Flour- Add flour, cornstarch, and seasonings to a small shallow dish then whisk to combine. Dredge all pieces of chicken in the flour mixture and then set them aside.

Eggs – Whisk together the eggs, hot sauce, and water until smooth.

Breading – Stir the buttermilk into the used flour mixture with a fork. It’ll form clumps of batter.

Coat – Dip your floured chicken into the egg wash and then into the clumpy flour mixture, pressing the chicken in to coat it in the breading. Don’t add a super thick breading – just enough to cover the chicken breasts.

Air Fryer the chicken-Spritz your air fryer basket with non-stick spray and arrange the chicken pieces in a basket. Take care not to let the chicken pieces touch each other. Spritz the chicken liberally with oil spray and air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. The chicken should be 165 degrees F when it is done cooking.

Four chicken breasts in an air fryer basket.

FAQ:

How do I store leftover chicken sandwiches?

Keep in an air tight container in your fridge. They will be good for 3-5 days. When it is time to reheat you will get the best results reheating in an air fryer at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes.

How can I make my chicken sandwich spicier?

You could add cayenne pepper to the flour mixture for your breading.

Recipe Tips:

When you are stirring the buttermilk into the flour mixture it should create clumps of flour mixture throughout – the mixture will not be wet like a batter.

For great results check the chicken at 8 minutes and spritz with additional oil if there are dry bits of breading on the chicken.

If you don’t think this is the best chicken sandwich, you may be like my husband. Add bacon, then it will be the best chicken sandwich!

Breaded chicken breasts in an air fryer basket.

More chicken recipes you will love:

Close up of a chicken sandwich with pickles on it.

Let us know your opinion!

We’d love to hear what you think of this recipe! Leave a comment and star rating down below! And don’t forget to pin and share!

Close up of a chicken sandwich on a white plate.

Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

We'd like to submit this Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich to be voted on in the Chicken Sandwich Wars that seem to be happening between fast food joints. It's thick and juicy and that crispy breading is packed with flavor! Took us quite a few tries to get it just right, but we can safely say this one is a favorite!

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6-8 ounces each
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, see notes
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, for serving
  • Dill pickle slices, for serving

Instructions

  1. Slice the chicken breasts in half at a slight diagonal to create two smaller pieces of chicken. Lightly pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness about the size of your sandwich buns. Pat the chicken dry.
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings to a small shallow dish and whisk well to combine. 
  3. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly. Shake off excess. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, hot sauce, and water until smooth in a second shallow dish.
  5. Add the buttermilk to the seasoned flour mixture and stir with a fork to combine. This should create clumps of flour mixture throughout - the mixture will not be wet like a batter, but very clumpy.
  6. Dip the floured chicken in the egg wash, shaking off excess, and then into the clumpy flour mixture. Be sure to press the flour onto the chicken to coat, creating clumps of breading on the chicken.
  7. Spritz an air fryer basket with non-stick spray and arrange the chicken pieces in the basket, leaving space between each for air to flow. 
  8. Spritz the chicken liberally with oil spray.
  9. Air fry at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Check the chicken at 8 minutes and spritz with additional oil if there are dry bits of breading on the chicken.
  10. To assemble sandwiches, butter the buns and toast on a skillet over medium heat. 
  11. Spread each bun with mayo and top with chicken and pickles.

Notes

The hot sauce does not make these sandwiches spicy, they just add additional flavor. For a spicy sandwich, add cayenne to the spice mixture.

Do not press a thick layer of the batter onto the chicken breasts - you just need enough to coat the chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 1676mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 31g

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