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Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

Craving a sweet and spicy treat? This irresistible Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich features perfectly seasoned chicken, coated in a luscious hot honey sauce, either homemade or store-bought, and served on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings like pickles and gooey cheese. Get the full recipe below and tips on how to keep your buns from getting soggy!

hot honey sauce drizzled over hot honey chicken sandwich with a brioche bun, pickles, and pepperjack cheese on a plate with chips
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Key Ingredients

  • Hot Honey Sauce (Storebought or Homemade recipe included)
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Buns (I use brioche)
  • Cheese (Optional)
  • Pickles (Optional)
  • Spices
smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a white bowl
pickles and grated pepper jack cheese in separate glass bowls

How it Tastes

The hot honey sauce provides a perfect balance of sweetness and heat. The honey brings a natural sweetness, while the added spices (like cayenne pepper or hot sauce) give it a pleasant kick.

Pickles provide a tangy bite that cuts through the richness of the chicken, while adding in something like coleslaw can add a creamy and slightly sweet element.

A toasted bun provides a warm, slightly crunchy exterior with a soft interior, holding all the elements together without getting soggy.

hot honey sauce in a glass bowl

What Type of Chicken to Use

You typically want to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Chicken breasts are a lot easier to work with for a sandwich because they are larger than thighs. Thighs will work, but I recommend you look for thighs that are large and even in size.

Chicken thighs. are more flavorful and juicier due to their higher fat content. They can add a richer taste to the sandwich. I use breasts because they are easier to work with.

raw seasoned chicken breasts in a glass bowl

Cook Method

You can air fry the chicken or cook it on the stove.

How to Make Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Pat the chicken dry.
  2. Combine the spices in a bowl and sprinkle the spices over the chicken and rub them in. Be sure to season both sides and the edges.
  3. Air fry or pan sear the chicken.
  4. Load the chicken onto buns with toppings and hot honey sauce.
raw seasoned chicken breasts in an air fryer
cooked and seasoned chicken breast in an air fryer

How to Tell When the Chicken is Fully Cooked

Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Ensure the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. This is when it’s safe to eat. The chicken will cook at varying speeds and times based on the size and thickness of the chicken. You should use a meat thermometer for safety.

How to Make it Less Spicy

If you make your own sauce you can directly control the amount of heat and spice. You can use less cayenne pepper or omit it completely. You can also use a mild hot sauce brand instead one with a lot of heat. It’s much easier to make this less spicy if you make your own sauce (recipe instructions provided below) as opposed to using store-bought.

hot honey chicken sandwich with a brioche bun, pickles, and pepperjack cheese on a plate with chips

How to Prevent Soggy Buns

The best way to avoid soggy buns for any sandwich is to toast your buns. This added texture will help prevent the sauce and juices from soaking into the bread.

Adding lettuce or a slice or cheese to the bottom bun before placing the chicken works well too. This helps catch any juices or sauce that might otherwise make the bun soggy.

hot honey chicken sandwich with a brioche bun, pickles, and pepperjack cheese on a plate with chips

Breaded Chicken

I opted to make this a naked chicken sandwich, as opposed to breaded. If you want breaded chicken you can add 1/4-1/2 cup of flour to the recipe. Add your spices to the flour and stir. Coat the chicken in the spices, spritz both sides with cooking oil, and air fry the chicken using similar instructions noted in the recipe.

Substitutions and Add-ins Ideas

hot honey chicken sandwich with a brioche bun, pickles, and pepperjack cheese on a plate with chips

How to Store Leftovers

Separate the chicken, buns, and any toppings. This prevents the bread from becoming soggy and helps maintain the texture of each component. Place the chicken pieces in an airtight container. You can also wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Store the container in the refrigerator. The chicken should be consumed within 3-4 days.

How to Reheat

Reheat the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees in the oven or the air fryer until heated through. Reheating on the stove with a small amount of oil also works well. Microwaving is an option but it may result in dry chicken.

Freezing

The chicken can be stored tightly covered and sealed for 2-3 months in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

hot honey chicken sandwich with a brioche bun, pickles, and pepperjack cheese on a plate with chips

Pair With These Recipes

Air Fryer French Fries
Air Fryer Onion Rings
Air Fryer Green Beans
Traeger Smoked Baked Beans
Steakhouse Creamed Spinach
Smoked Fish Dip

More Sandwich Recipes

Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
Blackened Chicken Sandwich
Crab Roll
Crab Cake Sandwich

Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich

Craving a sweet and spicy treat? This irresistible Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich features perfectly seasoned chicken, coated in a luscious hot honey sauce, either homemade or store-bought, and served on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings like pickles and gooey cheese. Get the full recipe below and tips on how to keep your buns from getting soggy!
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword hot honey chicken, hot honey chicken sandwich, hot honey sandwich
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches
Calories 846kcal

Ingredients

Homemade Hot Honey Sauce (or you can use store-bought)

  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter Measured solid. If you are cooking the chicken on the stove, you will need 1 additional teaspoon of butter.

Toppings

  • brioche buns
  • pepper jack cheese
  • pickles

Instructions

Hot Honey Sauce

  • Combine the ingredients and stir until well combined. You can use the stove top at medium heat or the microwave.

Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry.
  • Combine the spices in a bowl and sprinkle the spices over the chicken and rub them in. Be sure to season both sides and the edges.
  • I like to combine the spices before adding them to the chicken because the amount you will need will vary based on the size of the chicken you have. Add enough to fully coat both sides, add more spices if you need it.

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Air fry the chicken at 360 degrees for 10 minutes. Open the air fryer and drizzle half of the hot honey sauce over the chicken.
  • Air fry for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Load the chicken onto buns with toppings and the remaining hot honey sauce.

Stovetop Chicken Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Heat a cast iron or stainless-steel skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • When the butter has melted, add the chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken in batches if needed.
  • Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken has charred on both sides.
  • Transfer the chicken to the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes and then drizzle half of the hot honey sauce over the chicken.
  • Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Load the chicken onto buns with toppings and the remaining hot honey sauce.

Notes

  • There are several ranges listed for the ingredients in the recipe. This is so that you can customize the flavor to suit your taste.
  • If you want a thick sauce, use more honey. If you want a spicy sauce, use more cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce, etc.
  • This recipe makes a good amount of sauce, but feel free to make more of if if you like a really saucy sandwich. The same concept applies if you like less sauce on your sandwich. Don’t make as much or don’t use as much if you’re using store-bought sauce.
  • Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature of the chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Ensure the chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. This is when it’s safe to eat. The chicken will cook at varying speeds and times based on the size and thickness of the chicken. You should use a meat thermometer for safety.
     
  • (For the stovetop method) Searing the chicken helps to create a delicious crispy layer on the outside of the chicken (which is what blackened is). However, it can be difficult to get the chicken cooked all the way through without overcooking the outside. Finishing the chicken in the oven helps to ensure that the chicken is cooked through evenly and that the juices are sealed in.
  • When pan searing, the pan will need to get really hot. Cast iron usually smokes. This is normal. You can use a fan over the stove or open up a window as well.
  • If your chicken is dry it was overcooked or you didn’t allow it to rest properly. Use a meat thermometer to avoid dry chicken. After cooking, let the chicken rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier.
  • The best way to avoid soggy buns for any sandwich is to toast your buns. This added texture will help prevent the sauce and juices from soaking into the bread.
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Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 846kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 70g | Fat: 28g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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