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Sink your teeth into this fresh and juicy Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Marvel at how easy it was to make, then high-five yourself for opting for this homemade delight over a (inferior) chicken sandwich at the drive-through.

the best baked spicy chicken sandwich

Chicken breasts bathed in a spicy buttermilk marinade, coated in seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then baked to crispy perfection and nested in your favorite bun with a creamy sriracha sauce.

A Grilled Chicken Sandwich is tasty, but when you’re craving crunch, your instincts may guide you to fast food chains for your favorite crispy chicken sandwich.

Stop right there!

I insist you give homemade spicy chicken sandwiches a go instead.

baked spicy chicken sandwich recipe on a plate

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches at Home

Making your own spicy chicken sandwich is shockingly simple! 

  • No frying is required (yay for less mess and no butter or vegetable oil).
  • The breasts for these spicy chicken sandwiches are baked.
  • No multiple dredging steps or flour mixture; just marinate the chicken then coat in panko.

Like Baked Fried Chicken and Air Fryer Fried Chicken Breast, the chicken in this sandwich tastes fried but is shockingly baked. 

The chicken breasts are incredibly juicy inside (no dry chicken allowed!), while being crispy outside.

Smothering our spicy chicken is a simple sauce that’s a healthy version of spicy mayo: a mix of nonfat Greek yogurt and sriracha.

quick and easy spicy chicken sandwich on a bun and plate

How to Make a Spicy Chicken Sandwich

The key to this spicy chicken sandwich is the baking setup.

By placing the chicken on a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet, it’s able to crisp on all sides.

Tip for Tender Chicken

For evenly baked, tender chicken, pound it first. This will tenderize the meat as well as make the breast an even thickness. For mess-free tenderizing, place the chicken in a ziptop bag, and then pound.


The Ingredients

  • Buttermilk. Marinating the chicken in seasoned buttermilk makes it oh-so tender and juicy.
  • Spices. The marinade and breadcrumbs are simply but powerfully seasoned with salt, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. This flavor is just-right spicy.
  • Breadcrumbs. Use Panko over regular plain breadcrumbs as their larger texture makes for a crispier coating.
  • Sriracha. To drive home the “spicy” in spicy chicken sandwich, it’s marinated with sriracha and served with a yogurt sriracha sauce. It gives the sandwich the perfect bite.
  • Greek Yogurt. Mixed with the sriracha, nonfat Greek yogurt makes for a creamy, healthier sauce.
  • Buns. Serve your baked spicy chicken on your favorite type of hamburger bun; I think brioche buns are divine.

The Directions

meat mallet and chicken for spicy chicken sandwich
  1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even 1/4-inch thickness.
buttermilk for healthy spicy chicken sandwich
  1. Whisk together buttermilk, sriracha, salt, and onion powder.
chicken in spices and buttermilk for spicy chicken sandwiches
  1. Marinate chicken.
breading chicken for healthy baked spicy chicken sandwiches
  1. Dredge chicken in seasoned Panko mixture.
breaded chicken on baking sheet for baked spicy chicken sandwiches
  1. Set prepared chicken on an oven-safe wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet, then mist the chicken with nonstick spray.
oven baked spicy chicken for spicy chicken sandwiches
  1. Bake the spicy chicken at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F and has crispy edges.
spicy chicken sandwich sauce in a bowl
  1. Make the sauce: combine the yogurt, sriracha, and salt in a small bowl. Serve spicy chicken on toasted buns with the sauce and toppings. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover chicken separately (rather than assembled sandwiches) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. The sauce will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat spicy chicken in an air fryer, toaster oven, or at 350 degrees F in the oven so the chicken re-crisps.
  • To Freeze. The texture of thawed and re-warmed frozen spicy chicken will not be as crispy, but you can freeze the leftover chicken for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer safe container.

Leftover Ideas

You’ll be excited to have any extra chicken fillets after serving your sandwiches. Slice and serve your leftovers over a salad for lunch the next day, or eat on its own for dinner alongside green beans and bread.

What to Serve with a Spicy Chicken Sandwich

spicy chicken sandwich with spicy sauce on a plate

Hot. Crispy. Tender. Juicy.

YES, this chicken sandwich has it going ON.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make a Chicken Sandwich with Chicken Thighs?

This sandwich would be equally great with chicken thighs or chicken breasts. A bonus with using chicken thighs would be they could nicely fit on a bun due to their smaller size.

What If I Don’t Have Any Buttermilk?

If you don’t have buttermilk, in a pinch you can make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 cup milk.

How Can I Make a Spicy Chicken Sandwich Gluten Free?

To make a crispy, spicy chicken sandwich gluten free, simply coat the chicken in gluten-free breadcrumbs and serve it without the bun or on a gluten-free bun.

What Are the Best Toppings for a Spicy Chicken Sandwich?

My vote is extra sandwich-style sliced pickles and lots of the sauce! Lettuce would add a nice crunchy addition, with tomatoes for a cooling factor.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

5 from 3 votes
This baked spicy chicken sandwich is melt-in-your mouth juicy with a crispy panko coating and creamy sauce. A better homemade Chick-fil-A!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes

Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients
  

For the Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

  • 4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.5 lb total)
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or hot sauce of choice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For Serving

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Place two pieces of the chicken in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. With rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet pound the chicken to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • In a bowl or container, stir together the buttermilk, sriracha, 1 teaspoon of the salt salt, and the onion powder. Add the chicken, toss to coat in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate to marinade for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  • When ready to make the sandwiches, place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425℉. Place an oven-safe wire rack on top a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the rack with nonstick spray.
  • In a shallow dish, combine the panko, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Working one at a time, remove a piece of chicken from the marinade, shake off the excess, and dredge it on both sides in the panko mixture, pressing as needed to coat. Set the coated chicken on the prepared wire rack. Mist the chicken with nonstick spray.
  • Bake the spicy chicken for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken reaches 165℉ on an instant-read thermometer.
  • While the chicken cooks, make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, sriracha, and salt.
  • To serve, toast the buns (if desired—this is easy to do in the oven) and spread sauce on the top and bottom. Add the lettuce to the bottom bun, followed by the tomato and chicken. Top with pickles.

Notes

  • In place of buttermilk, you can use 1 cup of whole or low-fat milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
  • The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts, it’s best to look for smaller ones (they’re also easier to fit into a sandwich)
  • You could swap in chicken thighs (the size would even work better)
 
  • TO STORE: Store leftover chicken separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. The sauce will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat spicy chicken in an air fryer, toaster oven, or at 350 degrees F in the oven so the chicken re-crisps.
  • TO FREEZE: The texture of thawed and re-warmed frozen spicy chicken will not be as crispy, but you can freeze the leftover chicken for up to 3 months in an airtight, freezer safe container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 sandwich (with bun and sauce)Calories: 552kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 61gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 152mgPotassium: 1084mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 385IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 228mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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