Craving a tasty chicken sandwich but maybe one that’s a little healthier, doesn’t require any deep frying and one without the need to make a trip through a drive-thru? This one is quick to make at home in the air fryer and can easily be gluten and dairy-free!
Do you ever crave a chicken sandwich but feel like it would be too much hassle to make it at home? So instead you wait or make a trip through a drive through instead? Well, now you don’t have to! This Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich is healthier than deep-frying and is so much easier to make than you’d think!
If you thought your air fryer was only good for heating up those frozen patties, I’ve got good news. Put that air fryer to good use and make a batch of these delicious hand-breaded and homemade chicken sandwiches this week and soon enough you’ll be craving these instead of those drive-thru versions any day.
And the best part is that you can add your own favorite toppings and make it your own.
Ingredients you’ll need…
- a large chicken breast (10-12 oz) or two smaller ones. You’ll need to pound them out thinner to go on a sandwich.
- pickle juice – from a jar of pickles. This is a must for marinating the chicken breasts and giving them a ton of flavor
- egg and milk to make the batter – you can use any diary-free milk like almond, cashews, etc. or regular milk as desired
- panko breadcrumbs – for a nice crispy coating. I like to use gluten-free, but regular is fine as well.
- potato chips – these will be crushed up finely along with the panko to make a crispy coating
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning – to give the sandwiches a flavor kick! You can use store-bought seasoning if needed.
How to make fried chicken sandwiches in an air fryer…
I’ve tried a lot of different breading options in the air fryer, and many of them that you would use in the deep fryer just don’t translate to the air fryer well.
Thankfully, there are some simple ways to get crispy breading using your air fryer! This means no deep frying and much less mess to deal with.
First we will marinate the chicken in pickle juice to give it tons of flavor and to help it stay juicy.
Next is a simple two step breading process
- Dip chicken pieces in an egg and milk mixture
- Then dip in a breadcrumb and potato chip mixture to coat with breading
That’s it! Then spray with a little avocado oil spray and air fry.
To make the breadcrumb and potato chip mixture you can either run it through a food processor or chopper to make fine crumbs or add them to a baggie and crush with a rolling pin.
Tips for air frying breaded chicken…
- use your hands to press the breading onto the chicken well
- spray carefully with oil to avoid losing any of the breading
- place carefully in basket
- Use tongs to turn the chicken and use a little of the leftover breading to fix any spots that lose breading and spray with additional oil
- It may be inevitable to loose a little breading when “frying” chicken this way, but if you are careful it should be minimal
A few more tips…
- leftover chicken can be reheated in the air fryer for about 4 minutes, flipping once
- to make 4 sandwiches double the recipe and cook in batches
- be sure chicken is not touching in the air fryer for best results
- add additional oil as needed as the chicken cooks, spray lightly
- reduce seasoning if you’d like a less spicy sandwich
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
- 1 large chicken breast 10-12 oz
- 1/2 cup pickle juice from jarred pickles
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk dairy free if desired
- 1 oz panko breadcrumbs gluten free if desired
- 1 oz potato chips
- 1 teaspoon homemade cajun seasoning
- Cut chicken breast in half and use meat mallet to pound down to an even thickness of about 1/2 – 3/4 inch
- Place chicken in pickle juice and place in fridge for at least 60 minutes to marinate
- Whisk together egg and milk in one bowl and set aside
- Crush chips, breadcrumbs and seasoning in a food processor until you have fine crumbs, set aside in second shallow bowl
- Remove chicken from brine and coat in egg mixture then breadcrumb mixture ensuring chicken is completely coated
- Spray chicken well with cooking spray and place in air fryer basket
- Cook at 380 degrees for 8 minutes, flip and continue cooking until internal temp of chicken is 165 degrees F (about 8 more minutes)
- Serve on buns topped with pickles and mayo or as desired
- nutrition is calculated for the chicken patty only. Any buns or toppings will impact the nutritional values.
- while it’s not possible to completely replicate the texture of deep fried in the air fryer, this is a great alternative. If you lose some breading while flipping feel free to press a little more into the chicken before finishing the cooking time
- you can use regular milk and panko breadcrumbs or dairy-free and/or gluten-free options if desired.