Crispy air fried chicken tenders sandwiched between two brioche buns slathered in mayonnaise and crisp, salty dill crunchy pickles. This delicious copycat recipe is one that you won't be able to get enough of. Bring fast food home by making your own homemade Popeyes chicken sandwich.
This crispy chicken sandwich recipe is a delicious weeknight meal. It also can be an excellent Friday night treat! Throwing the chicken in the air fryer instead of the deep fryer makes this recipe much more simple to make. No flour mixture, no paper towels to catch the extra grease, no oil to deal with after the fact, but you still get the same results.
This was inspired by my Grilled Vegetable Sandwich on this site, and pairs well with this Hand Cut Homemade French Fries.
All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe are simple to find and should be available at any grocery store.
- chicken breast tenders
- bread crumbs
- dill pickle chips
- potato bun
See recipe card for quantities.
To make this recipe, you follow a lot of similar steps that you would if you were frying the chicken. But that is when the air fryer comes in and makes everything just a little bit easier.
Place the chicken breast tenders on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Use a meat tenderizer to tenderize the chicken. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl and add the bread crumbs to a second bowl.
Dip one tender in the egg and then coat with bread crumb. Dip the tender back in the egg and then coat a second time with bread crumb. Complete the previous step for all of the tenders. Place the tenders in the air fryer basket.
Air fry the tenders one layer at a time at 390 degrees for 14 minutes. Flip tenders halfway through. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it might take a couple of batches because you do not want to stack tenders on top of each other or you will not get an even crisp.
Spread mayonnaise on a potato bun, add about five pickles. Place one piece of juicy chicken tender on the sandwich and enjoy!
Hint: add some pickle juice or pickle brine to the whisked egg or buttermilk before dipping the chicken in it for a little extra tang. You also can add flavor by adding some spicy to the mayonnaise before spreading it on your bun. A spicy mayo sauce is a great addition to any of your homemade Popeyes chicken sandwiches and is also an option to order at any Popeyes chicken restaurants.
- Bread Crumb - use gluten free bread crumbs to make this recipe gluten free. You can also use a mixture of flour and spices if you are frying.
- Bun - use gluten free buns instead of white bread buns to make this gluten free.
- Chicken - switch the chicken out with tofu for a vegetarian version.
- Egg - you can switch out the egg for a buttermilk mixture. If you are doing this, I suggest letting your chicken sit in the buttermilk for a few hours in an air tight container. This will give you a very juicy chicken breast.
There are a few different ways you can change up this recipe to really spice it up.
- Spicy - add hot sauce to the mayonnaise to make a spicy chicken sandwich.
- Caprese - add tomato, mozzarella and pesto to the sandwich to make a caprese chicken sandwich.
- Deluxe - add some veggies like tomato, red onions, lettuce, avocado, etc. to really load this sandwich up.
- Fried - now of course this is an air fryer recipe, but you do still have the option to deep fry. Deep frying can be a great way to add an extreme amount of crisp, but you will want to use a seasoned flour dredge for this rather than bread crumbs.
See this Caprese version of this recipe on my website!
To create this recipe, you will need an air fryer and bowls for the bread crumb and egg. If you do not have an air fryer, you can use a deep fryer, use a dutch oven filled with hot oil to fry the chicken, or you can bake it in the oven. No matter how you cook your chicken, make sure that it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
You will also need a meat tenderizer and plastic wrap to tenderize your meat. This will assure it is at a perfect thickness so you don't overcook your meat and also makes it really juicy.
Store leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days once cooked. The leftover buns should be stored in an air tight container.
These ingredients stand up well to freezing for up to 2 months in a freezer bag.
For some extra flavor and texture, toast your buttery brioche bun. Especially the top bun because that adds a ton of texture since there is little to no mayonnaise or sauce on that bun.
Some other air fryer recipes you might love
Air Fryer Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
- Air Fryer
- Meat Tenderizer
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders
- 3 cups gluten free bread crumbs use more if needed
- 3 eggs use more if needed
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise per sandwich
- 4-5 pickle chips per sandwich
- 1 brioche bun or potato bun per sandwich
- Place the chicken breast tenders on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Use a meat tenderizer to tenderize the chicken. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl and add the bread crumbs to a second bowl.
- Dip one tender in the egg and then coat with bread crumb. Dip the tender back in the egg and then coat a second time with bread crumb. Complete the previous step for all of the tenders. Place the tenders in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry the tenders one layer at a time at 390 degrees for 14 minutes. Flip tenders halfway through. Depending on the size of your air fryer, it might take a couple of batches because you do not want to stack tenders on top of each other or you will not get an even crisp.
- Spread mayonnaise on a potato bun, add about five pickles. Place one piece of juicy chicken tender on the sandwich and enjoy!
You absolutely can to add some extra flavor. Some suggestions for spices you could add would be garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cajun seasoning, etc.
I suggest either using either chicken bread, chicken breast tenders or chicken cutlet. These will give you the best results and won't overwhelm your sandwich.
You can either deep fry your chicken or you can bake it. Please note baking will not allow your chicken to get as crispy, unless you have a convection oven since that is basically the same thing as air frying.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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Can I bake this in the oven? I don’t have an air fryer
Absolutely! It would just take longer to bake than the times I provided! You could also pan fry it in a little bit of olive oil!
That looks amazing!
Thank you so much!