Crispy fried chicken thighs and lots of spicy chipotle slaw are the perfect duo in this air fryer chicken sandwich. – easy to make for a crowd and just as good as traditional fried chicken!
Sometimes you just need a good crispy chicken sandwich! So naturally, we’re pulling out the air fryer today and making it happen.
This ain’t your average chicken sandwich, but let me just say that it is NEXT LEVEL good.
We’re keeping it simple with a fried chicken thigh and a little slaw action, but that’s all it really needs. Simplicity is the king here.
These crispy chicken sandwiches use the same air frying techniques we use in our keeper Nashville hot chicken recipe. If you’ve tried that recipe you know you’re in for a SUPER crispy fried chicken that tastes just as good as traditional.
Only thing left to do is pile it up with some killer slaw and call it a day.
This Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich features…
- Perfectly crispy fried chicken thighs.
- A spicy, creamy chipotle slaw.
- Made completely in the air fryer with no fancy ingredients or deep frying.
Making the Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
(scroll down to the bottom of post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Chicken thighs
- Hot sauce
- All-purpose flour
- Greek yogurt
- Green onions
- Cabbage mix
- Chipotle in adobo sauce
- Pan spray
Choosing Your Chicken
We recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. The thighs are ideal for the buttermilk marinade and they cook up incredibly juicy every time.
Can I use chicken breasts? Yes, you can! The breasts may not cook up quite as juicy as the thighs, but they will still be delicious. We recommend a longer marinade time of at least 4 hours if you choose to use breasts.
Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
- Marinate chicken – the buttermilk marinade is an essential part of what makes this chicken so juicy. We recommend marinating the chicken for at least an hour and up to 8 if you have time.
- Use cornstarch in flour coating – this makes the coating a little bit more crispy!
- Let chicken thighs rest in flour coating – this helps seal the flour coating to the chicken so during cooking it’s less likely to fall off.
- Preheat air fryer – you want the air fryer already hot when you go to add the chicken. We recommend preheating for 3 minutes.
- Air fry chicken in batches – it’s important not to overcrowd the basket, otherwise the chicken won’t crisp up as nicely and it will be harder to flip.
- Spray air fryer grate and chicken with pan spray – since we’re relying on convection from the air fryer to fry the chicken, this added bit of fat is necessary to get an even browning on the chicken.
- Flip chicken halfway through cooking – This helps ensure both sides get evenly cooked and helps the coating crisp up better.
If you do not own an air fryer, you can still make this recipe! The chicken will not be quite as crispy but it will still be delicious.
To oven fry chicken, follow all the recipe instructions for marinating chicken and coating in flour mixture.
Preheat oven to 400F and spread 1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil on a large baking sheet. Lay flour-coated chicken in a single layer at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
Bake chicken 10 minutes, then flip to opposite side and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until chicken registers 165F. Assemble sandwiches per recipe instructions.
This is one sandwich that you will not be able to get enough of. The chicken is SO perfectly juicy on the inside + crispy on the outside and piling it between a soft bun with lots of zingy chipotle slaw on top just brings everything together.
Meet your new lunch regular!
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More air fryer recipes to try next!
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Slaw
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1-2 tablespoons minced chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons minced green onion
- 2 cups slaw mix
- Salt and pepper to taste
Air Fryer Chicken
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Canola or vegetable oil spray
- Toasted buns for serving
- In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and chipotle until combined. Add green onion and slaw mix and fold until evenly coated. Season slaw with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Air Fryer Chicken
- In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, making sure chicken is fully submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate chicken at least 1 hour or up to 8.
- Remove chicken from fridge and mix beaten egg into mixture until combined. Set aside for a moment.
- In a medium shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, 1-1/2 teaspoons remaining salt, and 1/2 teaspoon remaining pepper. Drizzle two tablespoons buttermilk marinade over top and toss until combined.
- Add the chicken to the flour mixture, turning and tossing in flour mixture until evenly coated. Allow chicken to sit in flour mixture 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spray the grate on a 4-qt air fryer and preheat 3 minutes at 400F.
- Working in two batches, spray air fryer basket well with pan spray, then add two chicken thighs and spray well with additional pan spray. Place in a single layer in air fryer and fry at 400F 10-12 minutes until chicken registers 165F, flipping thighs halfway through cooking. Repeat frying process with remaining breaded chicken.
- Place fried chicken on toasted buns and top with slaw. Serve sandwiches immediately and enjoy!