Thursday, April 2, 2015

Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches

Make your own copycat Chick-fil-A sandwich, baked not fried, gluten free recipe options included. - recipe by
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 version of the 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 as easy as can be.

I tried a few different 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.

Another point in this recipe's favor is that these 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.

Did I mention they are easily 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! 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.

COOK'S NOTE: 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.

Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches ~ gluten free and traditional recipes
recipe inspired and adapted from here, here, here, here, and here
Yield: 4 servings
(printable recipe)

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
2/3 cup brown rice flour *
1/3 cup tapioca starch *
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
sliced dill pickles
Optional: sliced cheese of your choice, I use provolone and pepper jack
* If you aren't in need of a gluten free recipe, simply substitute a total of 1 cup all purpose flour for the items marked with an *

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 flours, 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!

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

ONE YEAR AGO: Garlic Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
TWO YEARS AGO: Chicken with Mushrooms
THREE YEARS AGO: Homemade Barbecue Sauce


  1. I think my children would love it. good idea! :)

  2. They look delicious and I'm surprised at being able to get such a nice coating from the oven.

  3. I am so hungry now looking at these pictures. Pickle juice you say? I would NEVER have guessed that. YUM!

  4. OK. Making this ASAP but in nugget's the ONLY way I can get any kind of protein into Wes these days!

  5. Mary I cannot wait to make these!! I have a weakness for Chick-Fil-A!!

  6. Oh my word, I love everything about these!

  7. Pinned. Gotta make this for Trevor.

  8. Chick-fil-a has never used Pickle juice on their sandwiches or nuggets. They have only EVER used pickle juice on their chicken strips along with a special spice packet. (source: I worked at Chick-fil-a for 4 years)

    1. That is funny, because I tried so many recipes without it (and maybe I just loved the hint of pickles flavor) but this was the only one that felt like it even came close. How neat to have an "insider" peek into the restaurant. Thanks!

    2. I just made these today. They are DE-licious. I agree that the pickle juice gives it a perfect flavor. Just a little tangy but moist chicken. I followed the instructions to the T as usual and Mary surprises me yet again with another great meal. Thanks, Mary!

  9. I made this recipe & it is spot on! Delicious!

  10. Hi! I can't wait to try this recipe. What kind of pickle juice do you use? Hamburger dill, kosher dill, bread and butter, there are so many kinds!!!! I'm especially excited because this is baked. Thanks for posting, I look forward to trying this tonight! :o)

    1. I use dill pickle juice. We love it!

  11. Nice that it's a lot less expensive, but the best thing about this recipe is that their sandwiches are soooo delicious and we have no Chick-fil-A within hundreds of miles! I definitely plan to try this recipe.

  12. What is the baking soda for? don't see it in the directions but in the ingredients list.

    1. The baking soda gets mixed in with the flours and spices. Thanks for catching that!

    2. your welcome, sorry it was quick and i was cooking so I didnt sign in haha.

  13. Hello, I made these according to the recipe and mine came out nothing like the pictures above. The breading was not orange all and it just fell off, it was a good experiment though and they were good, just not like the pictures. My question is how did you get them to look like the pictures without frying them? Thanks in advance!

    1. I make the chicken exactly as written above. I've never even tried to fry them. Without being in your kitchen with you, it's hard to guess why the breading didn't stick to the chicken. I'm glad it still tasted good for you!

      Did you dunk the chicken in the milk mixture and then thoroughly coat with the flour mixture? Did you cook them on a wire rack or directly on the baking sheet? Did you spray the floured pieces generously with oil? (If there are dry patches on the chicken that aren't sprayed, it won't brown much at all.)

    2. Spraying the chicken probably is the culprit. I ran out of spray when spraying my racks, and yes I did coat them very good with egg/milk mixture then thoroughly coated them in the flour mixture. probably my fault in the end. Like i said my girlfriend still loved them as did I :)