This spicy chicken sandwich is flavourful, crispy, and packed with veggies to help boost its nutritional content. You can craft a protein-filled recipe lighter on calories using boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
Using cornflakes as a coating for each chicken piece ensures you’ll have a crispy chicken sandwich every time. I love crafting this spicy chicken sandwich recipe when I’m craving comfort food, but want to avoid fast food restaurants. It’s filling and hits the spot every time!
I’ve also included a few food swaps to help lower the calories on this spicy fried chicken sandwich. Instead of including buttermilk, I’ve swapped it for yogurt. Chicken thighs are cooked without the skin, yet yield a crispy chicken texture. Plus, you get to skip the deep fryer without sacrificing crispiness. You’ll love creating these spicy chicken sandwiches, as they’re tasty and easy to make!
The yogurt marinade tenderizes the chicken so that when cooked, you get the best succulent juicy piece of chicken that is perfect for this sandwich. Plus, plain yogurt has lower fat content than buttermilk.
If you prefer a leaner cut of meat, you can also use chicken breast. However, chicken thighs will provide a juicier sandwich.
Eggs are necessary for holding the coating onto the chicken thighs in this recipe.
For the crispiest crust, cornflakes are ideal. However, you can also use breadcrumbs or panko crumbs.
Coleslaw helps break up the richness of the fried chicken. It also helps cool the fiery flavour of the sandwich.
I love including gherkins in this fried spicy chicken sandwich recipe. It adds a delicious tanginess to the sandwich.
Any lettuce will do for this spicy chicken sandwich.
You can use various options as your spicy sauce for the chicken sandwich. Select one you enjoy or use what’s already in your fridge!
Whole wheat or white burger buns are great choices for your sandwich. Craft a lower-carb version using lettuce as the bun.
Start by adding yogurt, chilli powder, smoked paprika, onion & garlic powder to a large bowl. Mix to combine and add the chicken thighs into the bowl. Stir to coat all of the thighs and cover with a lid. Pop in the fridge to marinate for 2-4 hours.
Before you start preparing the cornflake crust, preheat your air-fryer to 200°C for 5 minutes. Then start to roughly crush the cornflakes in your hand, creating varying sizes of pieces. Combine the cornflakes with around ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic and onion powder. Now that it’s time to eat, dredge the marinated chicken thighs in flour, then in egg, then into the cornflake mix.
Spray the breaded chicken with oil (around 6 sprays) and pop in the air fryer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, rotate and add a drizzle of hot sauce. Cook for another 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dry-toast your buns in a non-stick pan and make up your coleslaw mix. When the chicken is ready to remove from the air fryer, season immediately (and generously) with salt. You want to add the salt when it’s really hot to help it stick.
To the bottom bun, layer mayonnaise, lettuce, the crispy chicken burger, creamy coleslaw and the toasted top bun.
These sides are delicious choices that turn your sandwich into a whole meal.
For a healthier take, try pairing your chicken sandwich with a salad! You can keep it simple and whip up a Caesar salad or craft a pasta salad packed with veggies.
You can also boost the nutrients of your meal with pan-fried veggies, such as asparagus, courgettes or broccoli. Toss your desired veggies in the pan with oil and seasonings, then cook until tender.
Cooking potato wedges is an easy way to beef up your meal! Plus, you can throw them in the air fryer with your favourite spices and have them ready in a few minutes. Or alternatively try my Crispy Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges recipe, it’s so good and will give you the ultimate fakeaway experience when combined with this sandwich.
Other topping suggestions
Try one, or all of these toppings next time you craft a spicy chicken sandwich.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
You can make the elements ahead of time (such as the coleslaw). However, if you want to enjoy the crispiest texture, you’ll want to eat the chicken right away. If you prep the sandwiches too early, the coleslaw and sauce will cause the chicken’s crispy exterior to lose its texture. Then, your spicy crispy chicken sandwich will be soggy instead.
Can I use buttermilk instead of yogurt?
Yes! You can use buttermilk instead of yogurt, as you will get the same end result (many people prefer buttermilk). I opted for yogurt as I find it more affordable and readily available in stores. Using buttermilk will still boost protein and calcium in the hot chicken sandwich recipe. You can swap out the yogurtx for buttermilk in a 1:1 ratio.
I don’t like spice- can I make this recipe not spicy?
Yes! You can leave out the hot sauce and chilli powder to lessen the heat of the spicy chicken sandwich. Ensure that you’re adding extra seasoning to help account for the removal of the sauce and powder. You can also use a different sauce, such as honey to flavour the chicken.
What’s the best spicy sauce for a chicken sandwich?
The best sauce depends on your hot sauce preferences! I enjoy adding vinegary hot sauce, such as Dunn’s River Jamaican Style Hot Sauce (it was only 60p and the flavour is 10/10), to my chicken sandwiches. It provides the perfect amount of heat and flavour. However, you can use any hot sauce in your fridge for this dish.