Grilled Chicken Sandwiches: How to Build the Perfect Sandwich

Gebs BBQ Chicken


A grilled chicken sandwich is a summertime classic. Take your sandwich game to new heights with tips for grilling juicy chicken, selecting toppings and spreads, and layering flavors between toasted buns.

Choosing the Chicken

The chicken itself sets the foundation. Consider these factors when prepping the chicken:

Cut of Chicken

Type Features
Breast Lean, quick-cooking
Thigh More fat, flavorful dark meat
Tenders Fast-cooking, aptly sized

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are classic. Thighs have more moisture and flavor. Tenders already come in sandwich-ready strips.

Pounding the Chicken

Pounding the chicken to an even 1⁄2-inch thickness helps it cook evenly. Place between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently pound.

Marinating the Chicken

Soaking chicken in a marinade adds tons of flavor. Allow at least 30 minutes for tenders, 1-2 hours for breasts and thighs. Refrigerate during marinating.

Seasoning the Chicken

Rub chicken with oil first to help seasonings stick. Spice it up with Cajun seasoning, jerk rub, or herbed garlic salt before grilling.

Grilling for Maximum Juiciness

Use these grilling methods to keep chicken moist and flavorful:

Don’t Overcook

Pull chicken at 165°F internal temperature to prevent drying out. Beware of carryover cooking.

Use Regulated Heat

Grill over medium heat, moving chicken to indirect heat if flare-ups occur.

Frequently Baste

Baste chicken with sauce glaze every few minutes during grilling to keep it juicy.

Let It Rest

Allow chicken 5-10 minutes of rest time after grilling. This allows juices to redistribute before slicing.

Choosing Buns for the Sandwich

The right buns hold the sandwich together and add texture:

Bun Type Features
Brioche Soft, buttery, rich
Potato Hearty, sturdy crumb
Pretzel Crispy exterior, chewy interior

Brioche, potato, and pretzel buns all pair deliciously with grilled chicken. Mini buns are ideal for portion control.

Toasting the Buns

Lightly toasting the buns adds crunch and enhances flavor. Butter or oil the cut sides first for extra browning and taste.

Flavorful Toppings for Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients layered on top bring excitement through contrasting textures and flavors:

Crunchy Toppings

  • Pickles
  • Sliced onions
  • Lettuce
  • Coleslaw mix

Creamy Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Cheese slices
  • Garlic mayo

Savory Toppings

  • Bacon
  • Fried egg
  • Sautéed mushrooms

Use 2-3 complementary toppings in each sandwich. Mix textures like crunch pickles and creamy cheese.

Spread and Sauce Options

Flavor-packed spreads and sauces take the sandwich up a notch:

Spread Features
BBQ sauce Sweet, tangy, smoky
Ranch Cool, herbaceous
Honey mustard Slightly sweet, a little tang

Lightly spread or drizzle sauce on bun tops or directly on the chicken. Add extra on the side for dipping.

Putting Together the Perfect Sandwich

Use this method for sandwich assembly success:

  1. Toast buns for crunch.
  2. Spread sauce on top halves of buns.
  3. Layer bottom bun with chicken, then desired toppings.
  4. Finish with top bun.
  5. Press down gently to compact.
  6. Slice in half if needed for easier eating.

Stack ingredients vertically rather than horizontally to prevent slippage while eating.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe Ideas

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Chicken, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Fried chicken, buffalo hot sauce, blue cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes

Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Chicken, Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cheese for chicken sandwiches?

Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, and blue cheese are great melted cheese choices.

Can you grill chicken from frozen?

Yes, but thawed chicken grills more evenly. Add 5-10 extra minutes to the cooking time.

Is chicken safe at room temperature for sandwiches?

Only keep cooked chicken at room temperature for up to 2 hours maximum to prevent bacteria growth.

What is carryover cooking?

The internal temperature of chicken continues rising 5-10°F after removed from heat. Factor this in to avoid overcooking.

Key Takeaways for Building the Perfect Grilled Chicken Sandwich

  • Pound chicken to even thickness and marinate for flavor.
  • Use medium, indirect heat while grilling to prevent drying out.
  • Choose buns that complement the chicken flavor.
  • Layer crunchy, creamy, and savory toppings for contrast.
  • Spread sauce for added juiciness and taste.

With juicy grilled chicken, toasted buns, flavorful toppings, and tasty spreads, you can create the ultimate chicken sandwich right in your own backyard.

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About the Author: Staff Reporter