Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches

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Did you know you can make the Chick-fil-A chicken recipe at home?  Crisp breading, tender juicy chicken, tangy pickles, and a buttered hamburger bun are the key players in the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich.

I’m thrilled to tell you that you can make a fabulous copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich at home, for a fraction of the cost. Best of all, for this recipe, you bake the chicken instead of frying it; making this recipe about as easy as can be.

Make your own copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich, baked not fried, gluten free recipe options included. - recipe by barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

 

 

Chick-fil-A Chicken Recipe

I tried a few different chicken sandwich recipes before I discovered that the secret to true Chick-fil-A flavor is pickle juice. Marinating the chicken in pickle juice makes it extra juicy and it brings that tangy flavor through the entire sandwich.

It does take a few hours for the chicken to marinate, but if you plan ahead, you won’t believe how quickly these baked sandwiches come together. I typically prep the chicken and marinade the night before and let it sit in the fridge over night to soak up all that good tangy pickle flavor.

Then, by lunch time the next day, the chicken is ready to get breaded and baked to crispy perfection. I serve these on buttered buns with fresh pickle slices for an authentic Chick-fil-A taste. Depending on how hungry we are, I sometimes double the recipe because my boys can easily eat two sandwiches each!

If you love Chick-fil-A, you’re going to flip your lid over these sandwiches.

Baked Chicken Sandwich

Another point in this recipe’s favor is that these Homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwiches are baked, not fried. I should probably admit that my happiness isn’t necessarily due to the fact that these sandwiches are healthier than their deep-fried fast-food cousins; it’s because baking them leaves them wonderfully crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside without any of the work or mess of frying.

Whether that thrills you for health reasons or for sheer laziness alone, the fact that I don’t have to wipe down a greasy stove or turn on the fans to fight the smell of grease makes me very happy. I have nothing against deep-frying but the ease of baking means I can make these sandwiches whenever I like without worrying about the mess.

Did I mention these copycat Chick-fil-A  chicken sandwiches are easily made gluten-free? My middle son hasn’t been able to eat a regular Chick-fil-A sandwich for years and now he can happily enjoy one!

I tasted both the gluten-free version of this baked chicken sandwich and the one with regular flour. Both were equally delicious!

Okay, maybe THAT is my favorite thing about this recipe. I’m including directions for making your own Chick-fil-A sandwiches with traditional flour or with a simple gluten-free alternative.

Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How to Make Chick-fil-A Chicken

After years of getting chicken sandwiches from the drive-thru, I’m happy to share that making copycat Chick-fil-A sandwiches is so much easier than you think. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredients list. Anyone can make these baked chicken sandwiches!

  1. The most important step for getting that authentic Chick-fil-a chicken flavor is marinating the chicken breasts in pickle juice. I pound mine to 1/2 inch thickness, season with paprika, salt and pepper then pour pickle juice over them to marinate for at least 6 hours.
  2. Whisk together the milk and egg in one bowl, and the flour, baking soda and remaining seasonings in another. Dip each chicken breast in the milk mixture then dredge through the flour mixture to coat evenly.
  3. Place the coated chicken breasts on a wire rack over a baking sheet and spray both sides lightly with olive oil. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes until the chicken is crisped and cooked through.
  4. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes. If you like cheese on your chicken sandwiches, place the cheese slices over the chicken while it rests. The heat from the chicken will soften the cheese just right.
  5. While the chicken is resting, butter the hamburger buns and toast them in the oven, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then you’re ready to assemble your chicken sandwiches!

My boys and I liked these sandwiches in the classic style with just a few pickle slices on top of the chicken. You’re welcome to dress these up however you like. Lettuce, tomato, sliced onion, ketchup, barbecue sauce . . .whatever you like on your chicken will be delicious here.

These Homemade Chick-fil-A Sandwiches were every bit as good as the ones from the restaurant. They made for an awesome lunch served with a side of Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw and would also be wonderful with just a handful of potato chips and a simple salad for a full meal.

Next time we make copycat Chick-fil-A chicken, I just might have to make these Oven Roasted Potato Wedges from Aggie’s Kitchen to serve on the side!

Kitchen Tip: I use this sheet pan, this wire rack, and this oil sprayer to make this recipe.

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Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches

3.84 from 12 votes
Recipe inspired and adapted from here, here, here, here and here
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Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 chicken breasts about 1 pound
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground paprika
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour see note below for gluten-free alternative
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • optional: 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • olive oil spray I use the Misto sprayer
  • 4 hamburger buns regular or gluten free
  • butter
  • sliced dill pickles
  • Optional: sliced cheese of your choice I use provolone and pepper jack

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breasts in half and pound them to 1/2" thickness. Sprinkle the chicken generously on both sides with paprika, salt, and pepper. Place them in a large Ziploc and pour the pickle juice over them. Press out the extra air and seal to close. Refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a wire rack over a large baking sheet. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. Whisk together the eggs and the milk. Dunk each piece of marinated chicken in the egg/milk and then dredge thoroughly in the flour mixture, making sure each side is well coated.
  • Place the coated chicken on the wire rack over a baking sheet. Spray both sides of the chicken generously with olive oil, coating the flour completely. Bake for 12 minutes, turn the chicken over, and bake another 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven, top with slices of cheese (if desired), and let rest for 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, butter each hamburger bun and place on a large baking sheet, bake for 3-4 minutes until toasted. Place 2-3 pickle slices on one half of each hamburger bun and top with a piece of chicken and the other toasted bun. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe doubles perfectly. I bake 8 chicken pieces on one large baking sheet. The cheese is optional, but our preference is a melted slice on each sandwich.
GLUTEN-FREE ALTERNATIVE: 2/3 cup brown rice flour and 1/3 cup tapioca starch may be substituted for the all-purpose flour in this recipe.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally published 4-2-2015 – recipe notes and photos updated 9-27-2019}

Hot Sandwich Recipes

Looking for some more hot sandwich recipes? We LOVE these Classic Cuban Sandwich by The Noshery and these Reuben Sandwich Sliders by Spend with Pennies for lunch or dinner.

I have a special place in my heart (and stomach) for these Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes I shared a while back. They’re so much fun to make and eat. My kids love them even more than I do.

These Grilled Cheese Roll Ups by The Baker Mama are the perfect comfort food for a rainy day, served with a hot bowl of soup.

If you like chicken sandwiches, you’re going to go crazy for my Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches. Tender chicken breasts with a slice of grilled pineapple on top? Yes, please.

Next time you’re having a party or looking for a great game day finger food, give these Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches by 365 Days of Baking a try.

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Tammy Locke says

    This recipe is great! The sandwich is delicious–the meat stays moist and has a wonderful flavor. We’ll be making this often!5 stars

  2. Michael says

    This recipe did not work at all. The breading just fell off while cooking. I was pretty disappointed, I ended with baked chicken sandwiches with no breading. I will not make this again.1 star

    • Mary says

      You can skip it, it just won’t brown the same or look as pretty. I don’t think you can dip the breaded chicken in oil though.

  3. Tara Lindow says

    OMG! My husband was in love. He said this is the best copy cat recipe we have tried. We didn’t even have this on buns. We just added some Chick Fil A sauce and pickles to it. We will be making this again! I also used almond milk and he flour, so it was a major treat for me!5 stars

  4. Jay says

    I have to admit I am always a bit wary of “copycat” recipes (especially when substituting baking in place of yummy deep frying), but was I ever blown away by this one!! I made these for the fam this week, and we were astounded by how good these were! I dare say I preferred these to “the real deal” because they aren’t fried. EXCELLENT RECIPE!5 stars

  5. Kim says

    Mine was disgusting. As the pickle juice evaporated it left behind all that salt. It was so salty I couldn’t even finish half of it. Did anybody else have this problem? Maybe it’s because I used Mrs. Wages instead of fresh pickle juice? The only fresh pickle juice for sale I could find was online, a gallon for $9 and I don’t need that much. I didn’t want to take it out of the pickle jar because I think the juice helps preserve the pickles? What did you guys use?1 star

    • Mary says

      I have no idea what Mrs. Wages is, so I highly doubt that it worked the same way as regular pickle juice. I simply use the remaining pickle juice after we finish the pickles in a jar. I’ve never tried to find pickle juice without pickles in it.5 stars

  6. Nadia says

    Ive made this five or six times and love the flavor of the marinated chicken and breading; however, I have yet to be able to get the breading to stick on both sides upon baking. I’ve tried coating chicken and rack with with nonstick spray and baking an assortment of different ways to try to find a fix but have been unsuccessful every time. I typically end up with one side of breading. Would be amazing if there were a way to keep the breading on both sides!4 stars

  7. Taylor Hastings says

    I’m in the middle of making this recipe and I’m terribly disappointed. I placed my chicken on a wire rack like shown in the directions and all of the breading came off the bottom of the chicken as the bottom coating sank into the open spaces of the rack. The breading on the top of the chicken is loose and Soggy and detached from the chicken as well. I sure hope the flavor is spot on. I wish I could upload a photo

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m so sorry it isn’t working for you, Taylor. Hopefully, it wound up tasting great. Without being in your kitchen with you, it’s hard to guess what might have gone wrong.

  8. John says

    Tried this recipe and ran into the same problems with the breading falling through and getting stuck on the wire rack. When it came time to flip the chicken the whole bottom of the breading stuck to the rack. I used a spatula to flip too per your suggestion. Disappointing to say the least. The flavoring of what was left of the breading was tasty though.1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m sorry to hear that, John! I’ve actually heard that from a couple people recently, so I’m planning to remake this recipe and double-check all the instructions. It’s a bit fussy, as seen in the video, but all of the breading should not come off the chicken.

  9. Katie says

    This was very tasty! Even my husband and 3 year old son enjoyed! Who knew that pickle juice would be such a great brine! I did have some trouble though with the breaking. It did get stuck to the wire rack. Next time I am going to coat the wire rack with cooking spray or I will use well oiled parchment paper. Thanks for sharing this recipe!4 stars

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