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Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwiches

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This lightened up chicken sandwich is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and has all of the flavors of one of our favorite appetizers: Fried Pickles. Set your marinade up in the morning and have perfectly seasoned sandwiches for dinner. Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwiches are a must try!

air fried pickle chicken sandwich

What is an Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwich?

My husband and I love fried pickles. Like, loooooove them. Whenever we see them on a menu at a restaurant, we order them. We can’t get enough of them.

When I make fried pickles at home, I do them in our air fryer. It gives them a crispy outside, and they are healthier than frying them in oil.

They other night I was craving fried pickles for dinner, but the rational part of my brain told me that I should probably feed my family the chicken breast I had planned instead. And that’s when I had the idea to combine my fried pickle recipe with chicken, thus creating Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwiches.

Brined in pickle juice, coated in seasoned panko bread crumbs, and air fried to perfection, then served on a soft bun with dill spread, lettuce and pickle slices, these faux fried chicken sandwiches turned out to be such a fun meal.

And, since they are “fried” in an air fryer, they are lower in fat and calories than traditional fried chicken sandwiches. Who doesn’t like that?!

What Does Pickle Juice Do To the Chicken?

Pickle juice and chicken are sort of a magical combination.

Typically when we brine chicken, we want to add moisture. When we marinate chicken, we want to add flavor to the meat. In this recipe, we actually do a bit of both.

Since chicken is a drier meat, its important to add some moisture. The salt content in the pickle juice will help the chicken retain moisture, thus keep it nice and juicy while it cooks.

The vinegar in the pickle juice actually helps break down the proteins a bit, which allows for the flavor the a marinate to seep into the chicken.

So by letting our chicken breasts soak in pickle juice for several hours prior to cooking, we are actually allowing the pickle juice to add moister AND flavor to our chicken.

Make sure that you plan ahead an do not skip this step!

Can You Put Raw Chicken in and Air Fryer?

Yes. You will first brine the raw chicken and coat it in in the breadcrumb mixture before putting it in the air fryer.

The air fryer will fully cook the chicken in just a few minutes on each side.

Looking for another delicious and easy air fryer recipe? Try my Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan.

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Air Fryer Chicken Sandwiches?

  • chicken breasts
  • dill pickle juice
  • panko bread crumbs (like these)
  • butter
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper seasoning
  • fresh dill
  • hamburger bun
  • pickle slices
  • shredded lettuce
  • creamy dill dip (try my homemade Ranch Dip or I like this one for a store bought option)
ingredients for air fried pickle chicken sandwich

How Do You Make Air Fryer Chicken Sandwiches?

Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim any access fat off of your chicken breasts. Cut the breasts in half width wise.

Place the chicken halves into a large ziploc bag and seal it. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound them thinner. This will help them cook faster and more consistently.

Open the bag and use a fork to poke several holes into each of the pieces of chicken. This will allow the pickle juice to permeate into the chicken. Be careful not to poke holes in the bag.

Pour 1/2 c of dill pickle juice into the bag and let the chicken brine for several hours. Ideally, you will want to let chicken sit in the juice for 6-12 hours or even overnight. Minimally, you will want it to marinate for at least an hour. Do not let it sit in the pickle juice for longer than 24 hours.

Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees. If your air fryer does not have a preheat function (mine doesn’t) then just let it run empty at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes to heat it up.

In a medium bowl, melt 2T of butter. Add 1T of pickle juice and mix. Set it aside.

In a shallow dish, combine 1c Panko breadcrumbs, 1/4t garlic powder, 1/2t cayenne, 1T shredded cheddar cheese and 1T fresh dill. Use a fork to stir until everything is combined. Set it aside.

Remove the flattened chicken breasts from the pickle juice and set them on a plate. One at a time, take each breast and place it in the bowl of butter. Make sure it gets completely covered on both sides.

Use a fork to transfer the buttered breast to the breadcrumb mixture. Use a spoon to help evenly coat the outside of the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Transfer back to plate.

I have a large air fryer so I am able to do all 4 pieces of chicken at a once. If you have a smaller one, just work in batches and cook two pieces at a time so that you do not over crowd your basket.

Place the breaded chicken in the basket and cook at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.

chicken going into air fryer

Open the fryer drawer and use tongs to flip the chicken to the other side. Cook the chicken an additional 5 minutes or until its cooked though.

flipping chicken in air fryer

Spread 1T dill dip on each hamburger bun. A thin ranch dressing will run all over, so make sure you use a thicker creamier dill dip like my homemade version or a store bought veggie dip like this.

Place a chicken breast on each bun. Top with shredded lettuce and pickle slices.

air fried pickle chicken sandwich

Can you Reheat a Chicken Sandwich in the Air Fryer?

Store leftover chicken in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To reheat the chicken, preheat your air fryer to 350. You want it to be a lower temperature than when you cooked it. Add the chicken to the basket and cook 4-5 minutes until chicken is warmed though.

What Can You Serve With the Sandwiches?

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air fried pickle chicken sandwich
air fried pickle chicken sandwich

Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwiches

Liz Olberding @ Up North Nosh
This lightened up chicken sandwich is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and has all of the flavors of one of our favorite appetizers: Fried Pickles. Set your marinade up in the morning and have perfectly seasoned sandwiches for dinner. Air Fryer Pickle Chicken Sandwiches are a must try!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course, sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 388 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 air fryer
  • 1 shallow dish
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 pair of tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 c dill pickle juice
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T dill pickle juice
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 T shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 T fresh dill chopped
  • 1 T dill dip like my homemade version or a store bought veggie dip like this
  • 8 pickle slices
  • 1 c shredded lettuce
  • 4 hamburger buns

Instructions
 

  • Using a pair of kitchen shears, trim any access fat off of your chicken breasts. Cut the breasts in half width wise, and place the chicken halves into a large ziploc bag. Seal it.
  • Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound them thinner. This will help them cook faster and more consistently.
  • Open the bag and use a fork to poke several holes into each of the pieces of chicken. This will allow the pickle juice to permeate into the chicken. Be careful not to poke holes in the bag.
  • Pour 1/2 c of dill pickle juice into the bag and let the chicken brine for several hours. Ideally, you will want to let chicken sit in the juice for 6-12 hours or even overnight. Minimally, you will want it to marinate for at least an hour. Do not let it sit in the pickle juice for longer than 24 hours.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees. If your air fryer does not have a preheat function (mine doesn’t) then just let it run empty at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes to heat it up.
  • In a medium bowl, melt 2T of butter. Add 1T of pickle juice and mix. Set it aside.
  • In a shallow dish, combine 1c Panko breadcrumbs, 1/4t garlic powder, 1/2t cayenne, 1T shredded cheddar cheese and 1T fresh dill. Use a fork to stir until everything is combined. Set it aside.
  • Remove the flattened chicken breasts from the pickle juice and set them on a plate. One at a time, take each breast and place it in the bowl of butter. Make sure it gets completely covered on both sides.
  • Use a fork to transfer the buttered breast to the breadcrumb mixture. Use a spoon to help evenly coat the outside of the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Transfer back to plate.
  • I have a large air fryer so I am able to do all 4 pieces of chicken at a once. If you have a smaller one, just cook two pieces at a time so that you do not over crowd your basket.
  • Place the breaded chicken in the basket and cook at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Open the fryer drawer and use tongs to flip the chicken to the other side. Cook the chicken an additional 5 minutes or until its cooked though.
  • Spread 1T dill dip on each hamburger bun. A thin ranch dressing will run all over, so make sure you use a thicker creamier dill dip like my homemade version or a store bought veggie dip like this.
  • Place a chicken breast on each bun. Top with shredded lettuce and pickle slices.

Notes

Store leftover chicken in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To reheat the chicken, preheat your air fryer to 350. You want it to be a lower temperature than when you cooked it. Add the chicken to the basket and cook 4-5 minutes until chicken is warmed though.
Serve sandwiches with these sides:

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 31gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1128mgPotassium: 558mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 477IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Air Fryer, air fryer chicken sandwich, fried pickles, pickles
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