Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Raise your hand if you LOVE spicy chicken sandwiches?! I am definitely a fan, so I thought it’d be fun to make a healthier, lighter version at home that is PACKED with flavor (and heat!).

To make breaded chicken, I like to follow the “standard breading procedure” I learned in culinary school because it makes for a crisp, thick coating on the chicken that is reminiscent of restaurant chicken sandwiches. Here are the steps for the standard breading procedure:

  1. Fit a wire rack inside a baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray. If you don’t have a wire rack (it’s a good investment!), you can simply use just the baking sheet and flip the chicken halfway through the baking process. The wire rack lifts the chicken off the baking sheet for even cooking around the entire thing, which eliminates the step of flipping halfway through.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together flour and seasonings. This is the first layer of coating for the chicken.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and seasonings. This is the second layer of coating for the chicken.
  4. In a third bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs and seasonings. This is the third layer of coating for the chicken.
  5. Place the chicken in a plastic bag or lined on top of a piece of plastic wrap with another piece of plastic wrap on top (and on top of a cutting board). Use a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to flatten the chicken into one even piece (this helps it cook evenly).
  6. You can season the chicken with salt and pepper if you like, but we did season all three bowls – the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs. Using tongs or your hands, dip the chicken first in the flour mixture, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs and line on the wire rack/baking sheet, at least an inch apart. Repeat with each piece of chicken. (Note: some people like to repeat this process a second time for a thicker coating – you can do this, you just need to double the amount of breading ingredients in each bowl.) Coat each piece with cooking spray to help the crust become crispy and golden brown.
  7. Follow the baking instructions in the recipe and voila! You have crispy baked spicy chicken that can be eaten as-is or placed on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings.

Who needs a fried spicy chicken sammie when you can make your own?!

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Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20-25 mins
  • Total Time: 30-40 mins
  • Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baking


Spicy chicken sandwiches get a delicious and healthy makeover with this baked version.




  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup low fat buttermilk
  • ¾ cup Panko or regular breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • ¾1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1-pound boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • 4 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • 1 large tomato, cored and sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • Yellow mustard or mayonnaise (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Fit a wire rack in a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Set up 3 shallow bowls, one with flour, one with egg and buttermilk and one with breadcrumbs. Divide the salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder into each bowl. Whisk each to combine. Whisk the hot sauce into the egg mixture.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag in one layer or place them in between two pieces of plastic wrap and place on a cutting board. Use a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin and beat the chicken breasts until ½ an inch thick. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dip it into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the breadcrumb mixture and line on the prepared wire rack, 1 inch apart. Coat each with cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the outside is browned and crispy. Let slightly cool.
  4. Serve chicken on toasted buns with tomato, lettuce and mustard or mayonnaise (if using).


Cooking Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 3 tablespoons milk with 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have a wire rack, simply flip the chicken breasts halfway through the cooking time and coat that side with cooking spray.


  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Calories: 470
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 589mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 46g
  • Cholesterol: 145mg

Keywords: spicy chicken, sandwich, chicken, sandwiches, family favorites