These easy Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Sandwiches are perfectly juicy and ready in about 20 minutes! This air fryer recipe is easy enough for a weeknight dinner and is great for meal prepping.
Air Fryer Crispy Chicken
Making crisy fried chicken sandwiches in the air fryer is a game-changer for anyone who loves fried chicken but wants a healthier, faster, and cleaner alternative. The air fryer cooks the chicken to a perfect crispiness without all the grease of traditional deep frying methods. Plus, it’s ready in about 20 minutes, contains no weird mystery ingredients, and won’t leave splattered messes all over your oven.
This easy air fryer chicken sandwich recipe is perfect for meal preppers, too. Cook up a few batches and freeze for super simple dinners later that will be quicker (and healthier) than stopping for fast food! These breaded fillets are also amazing chopped up and tossed onto a salad or wrapped up in a tortilla, so this you’ll want to save this versatile recipe! Next time you’re craving juicy, crispy chicken, skip the drive-thru and fire up your air fryer instead!
Ingredients for the BEST Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need for this easy dinner recipe. Keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card for the exact measurements.
- Chicken Breasts – You want to start with two large breasts that are about the same size (about 8-10 ounces each). Each one will be sliced into two thin fillets, so picking two of the same size will help ensure even cooking. If you prefer dark meat, you will have to look for very large thighs or have smaller sandwiches.
- Flour – I used all-purpose flour. This helps dry the chicken and create surface area so that the breading will stick.
- Eggs – Size large. I’ve not used any egg substitute for this, but these are used as a binder to help the breading stick to the meat.
- Seasonings: Garlic powder, Seasoned salt, and Paprika – This is a great all-purpose mix that complements the chicken perfectly. Feel free to spice it up with some cayenne pepper and if you prefer! If you don’t have a seasoned salt, you can mix up a blend of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne.
- Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese – You’ll get the PERFECT crispy chicken with this combination for your breading! If you want to lower the carbs, you could replace the bread crumbs with this easy pork rind panko.
- Spray oil – The breaded chicken will get a quick spritz of these to help it crisp up and brown. You can skip this if you prefer, but your breading will not come out quite as crispy.
- Burger Buns and Toppings of choice – You may want lettuce, sliced tomato, mayonnaise, red onions, pickles, dijon mustard (or yellow mustard), hot sauce, maybe even bacon!
How to Make Chicken Sandwiches in the Air Fryer
These chicken sandwiches come together in about 20 minutes for an easy family-friendly dinner! All you need is a few shallow bowls for breading and an air fryer. Here’s a step-by-step guide for this crunchy, juicy chicken!
First, we need to slice each chicken breast in half into two thin fillets. With your knife parallel to the counter, start slicing as if you’re butterflying the chicken, but then slice all the way through to create two separate thin chicken breasts. After doing this to both large breasts, you should end up with 4 thin (4-5 ounce) fillets.
Bread chicken cutlets
Next, set up your breading station with three shallow bowls. The first bowl should have the flour. In the second bowl, add in your large eggs and beat until smooth. For the last bowl, mix together the garlic powder, seasoned salt, paprika, panko bread crumbs, and parmesan.
Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, then dip in the egg (making sure to completely coat it), and finally dredge in the breadcrumbs to coat. Lightly press the coating on the chicken to help it adhere better. I think it works best to use one hand as your “dry” hand and one as your “wet” hand.
Air fry chicken
Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for at least 3 minutes for the most even cooking. Add the chicken to the preheated air fryer and lightly spitz the outside with oil. Cook the chicken 5 minutes and flip, cook an additional 5-6 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a meat thermometer.
Assemble the crispy chicken sandwiches on fresh buns with toppings of your choice! If you’re prepping these for later, leave off any wet toppings and add them fresh later so that your buns and breading don’t get soggy.
What to Serve with Chicken Sandwiches
These easy chicken sandwiches are so delicious with a couple simple sides like Sweet Potato Fries, Homemade Potato Chips, or our favorite Apple Kale Salad! We love to add a Cucumber Salad for something light or Jalapeno Poppers when we want to go more decadent. Tater tots (or these yummy cauliflower tots) are a popular option, too! If serving for a tailgate or pool party, these Zucchini Mozzarella Wraps and some Smoked Queso are perfect sides for the grill.
More easy sides for sandwiches:
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Smashed Brussels Sprouts & Queso
- Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower
- Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
- Crispy Zucchini Chips
For the crispiest chicken, store leftover (completely cooled) chicken separately in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3-4 days. You can store sandwiches assembled, but the moisture from the buns can cause the chicken to lose some crispiness.
How to Freeze Chicken
It’s best to freeze the chicken separately, not assembled into sandwiches. First, allow your chicken to completely cool — This is key because residual heat turns into condensation and moisture, which leads to soggy chicken and freezer burn. Place your cooled chicken on a plate (single layer, not touching) and freeze for 3-4 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag. Enjoy within 3 months for the best texture. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
You’ll get the crispiest chicken by reheating these in the air fryer or the oven. The air fryer is super quick, simply preheat to 350, spray with a touch more oil, and let the chicken warm up for 3-5 minutes until it’s warm throughout. The oven is great if you are reheating several at once–Place on a rack over a baking pan, then reheat at 350 for 5-15 minutes (depending on how many fillets you’re reheating at once).
You can microwave these (50% power, 45 second increments, flipping after each blast), but you will lose the crispy texture on the breading.
If you like this quick dinner, you’ll love these air fryer chicken recipes!
- Chicken Nuggets – These crispy bite-sized pieces are so quick in the air fryer and perfect for kids! These can be made low-carb and gluten-free, too.
- Chicken Tenders – These are exactly what you want for dunking into some honey mustard, ketchup, or ranch dip! If you want a parmesan-free tender recipe, try this cornflake breading instead.
- Cajun Thighs – These are incredibly juicy and are ready in no time! This is our go-to recipe for an easy dinner with leftover or meal prepped side dishes. If you’re more of a drumstick person, here’s a great chicken leg recipe.
- Stuffed Chicken Breast – These are SO creamy, flavorful, and delicious! We love serving this to company because it looks and tastes impressive without needing a lot of time or energy. If you prefer your chicken breast unstuffed, here’s a great recipe for that.
- Chicken Taquitos – If you’ve got leftover shredded chicken, this is the perfect way to reduce waste and save money! These are one of our favorite movie night snacks, and they’re so easy to make.
Chicken Sandwich FAQs
One of the ingredients that gives those famous Chick-Fil-A sandwiches their distinct pickle juice flavor is their pickle brine! We skipped the brine and pickle flavor because we wanted a more classic taste, but you could easily use a pickle brine before you bread and place chicken in the air fryer basket.
The quick cooking of the air fryer helps keep our chicken perfectly tender without overcooking it or drying it out. If you want to make it even more tender, you could first marinate your chicken breasts in buttermilk up to 24 hours.
Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- 2 large chicken breast
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 4 Burger Buns
- Toppings of choice
- Begin by slicing the chicken breast in half. Start by slicing the chicken lengthwise as if you are butterflying it, but slice it all the way through, creating two thin chicken breasts.
- Set up the breading station in three shallow bowls:Bowl 1: add the flourBowl 2: add the large eggs, beatenBowl 3: combine the garlic powder, seasoned salt, paprika, panko, and parmesan. Mix well.
- Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, then dip in the egg (making sure to completely coat it) then dredge in the breadcrumbs to coat. Lightly press the coating on the chicken to help it adhere better.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the air fryer and lightly spitz the outside with oil. Cook the chicken 5 minutes and flip, cook an additional 5-6 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Assemble the crispy chicken sandwiches on fresh buns with toppings of your choice!