Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

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Air Fryer Chicken Sandwiches are quick to make and they turn out super crispy and ready to top with your favorite sandwich toppings. With just a little oil, these are cooked to perfection in an air fryer!

air fryer chicken sandwich

(The recipe and instructions for this sandwich were updated on 1/5/24)

I’m going to tell you a secret. Well, two actually. There are two secret ingredients to this sandwich. They are pickle juice and cornstarch.

Marinating the chicken in pickle juice not only keeping the meat incredibly tender and moist but also gives it a delicious flavor. When you bread the chicken, you have to add cornstarch to make it perfectly crispy in the air fryer.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Although store-bought breaded chicken breasts are incredibly convenient to make in the air fryer, you can also make delicious breaded chicken yourself. It does take more time, but in my opinion it tastes better and is crispier.
  • If you’re wanting to make some pretty killer chicken sandwiches in your air fryer, you’re in for a treat with this recipe. Give it a try and you’ll see!

Ingredients You Need

  • Chicken breast – I use a thick, rounder chicken breast for these, so I can cut cut it in half to make 2 thinner patties that will fit on the bun. If you have a piece that’s really elongated, you’ll have to cut off the thinner end so it doesn’t hang over the bun.
  • Dill pickle juice – This is a great solution for brining chicken. It really helps impart a nice juicy, salty flavor. If you can’t get pickle juice, you can use 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Egg and milk – This is one part of the breading mixture that will give you a nice crispy breading that sticks well to the chicken.
  • Flour, cornstarch, baking powder – This is the other part of the breading mixture. You’ll need these ingredients to make a dredging station for the breading on your chicken.
  • Seasoning – Paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper are enough to bring out the flavor in this chicken sandwich recipe.
  • Spray cooking oil – Spray cooking oil is a must-have to get the breading crispy, so it’s not floury.
  • Brioche buns – You can use any burger buns you like, but I think brioche is definitely the way to go. It’s got a nice chew to it and enough flexibility that it doesn’t break apart while you’re eating.
  • Toppings – We use a quick cole slaw, pickles, jalapenos, and a sriracha mayo.
air fryer chicken sandwich

Equipment Information

Helpful Tips

  • You can use chicken breast or thighs for this recipe.
  • It’s always best to use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F(75°C) and doesn’t go over (you don’t want to overcook it!), and since all air fryers cook differently, it’s a good idea to check the chicken a couple of times during cooking.
  • You can change up the toppings however you like.
  • Don’t leave out the cornstarch. It’s necessary for a crispy outcome.

How to Make a Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

Step 1: Brine the chicken

Combine the water and pickle juice in a resealable bag. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes. If you have longer, you can brine it for longer.

Step 2: Bread the chicken

dredged chicken

In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk until evenly combined. In another bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pepper, paprika, and salt.

Dip the marinated chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat by dipping the chicken back into the egg mixture and then back into the flour. Set the pieces on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.

breading chicken

Spray the tops of the chicken really well with cooking spray. The flour needs to be at least lightly saturated. Flip over and spray the other side.

Step 3: Air Fry the Chicken

Place the two pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket, not touching. Air fry at 380°F(195°C) for 18 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through and spray them once more.

fried chicken

Step 4: Make the sauce and coleslaw

While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until smooth.

Add the coleslaw to a bowl along with 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Stir to combine.

Step 5: Assemble

Spread some of the sauce on each top and bottom bun. When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to the buns and top with a few pickles, jalapeno slices, and the quick slaw. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

chicken sandwich

How to Reheat Chicken in an Air Fryer

You might have made too many chicken pieces and want to store them for another meal. That’s perfectly find. You can easily reheat them in the air fryer whenever you’re ready. They will take less than half the time to re-crisp as they did the first time, so put them in the air fryer on 400° F(205°C) for about 8 minutes – 4 on each side. This will reheat them through and give them a crispy exterior.

What Side Dishes to Serve?

You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:

Here are 30 more air fryer side dishes to try

Questions About the Recipe

Can you add more spices?

Absolutely! You can add different spices to make the chicken even more delicious. You can add Italian herbs, jerk seasoning, cumin, paprika, etc., to make them spicy and flavorful.

Can you coat the chicken in breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can coat your homemade chicken in the flour, egg wash, and then add breadcrumbs on each side. Use finely ground breadcrumbs or larger Panko breadcrumbs. This will give the chicken a crunchier exterior, but it will need to be sprayed with cooking oil before cooking in order to produce that nice crispy crust that doesn’t look like dried breadcrumbs. For me, it’s just not necessary to add breadcrumbs if you double coat in flour and egg.

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chicken sandwich

Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

Air Fryer chicken sandwiches are simple to make and come out just like your favorite restaurant sandwich.
4.2 from 26 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 599 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 medium chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) cold water
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) dill pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 2 hamburger buns
  • Bread-and-butter pickles
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) shredded cabbage

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) paprika

Instructions
 

  • Combine the water and pickle juice in a resealable bag. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk the egg and milk until evenly combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, pepper, paprika, and salt.
  • Dip the marinated chicken into the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture. Repeat by dipping the chicken back into the egg mixture and then back into the flour. Set the pieces on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Spray the tops of the chicken really well with cooking spray. The flour needs to be at least lightly saturated. Flip over and spray the other side.
  • Place the two pieces of chicken in the air fryer basket, not touching.
  • Air fry at 380°F(195°C) for 18 minutes. Flip the chicken halfway through and spray them once more.
  • While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until smooth.
  • Spread some of the sauce on each top and bottom bun.
  • When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to the buns and top with a few pickles and some shredded cabbage. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Notes

  • You can use chicken breast or thighs for this recipe.
  • It’s always best to use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F(195°C) and doesn’t go over (you don’t want to overcook it!), and since all air fryers cook differently, it’s a good idea to check the chicken a couple of times during cooking.
  • You can change up the toppings however you like.
  • Maybe toast the buns before dressing, if you have an extra moment.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 599kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 39gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 298mgSodium: 874mgPotassium: 485mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 913IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich

    • Angela Morris says:

      We do! Check out this creamy and spicy chipotle coleslaw on our sister site, A Food Lover’s Kitchen: https://afoodloverskitchen.com/creamy-spicy-chipotle-coleslaw/

    • Laura Lynch says:

      There’s nothing in the recipe that would make your chicken tough. It’s likely your chicken would have been tough no matter how it was cooked. Some chicken bought at the grocery these days is just that way.

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