Grilled Chicken Sandwich

published Jul 20, 2022
Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Why go to the fast-food joint when you can whip up juicy, homemade grilled chicken sandwiches instead?


Prep15 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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A photo of a grilled chicken sandwich on a bun with melted cheese, strips of bacon, lettuce, and a slice of tomato, with chips on the side. There is more food out of focus in the background.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

The grilled chicken sandwich is usually my go-to order at fast-food joints. They’re relatively tasty and seem less mysterious to me than burger patties and nuggets. This homemade version is an even tastier option! Seasoned grilled chicken breasts meet melty cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato in this simple and satisfying recipe that’s a crowd-pleaser any night of the week.

How to Grill Chicken Breasts

Before you even light up the grill, you’ll want to prep the chicken breasts to make sure they cook evenly and stay juicy. Here’s how.

  1. Even them out. Chicken breasts tend to be thick on one end and thin on the other. For more even cooking, gently pound them with a meat tenderizer into an even thickness.
  2. Brine them. Soak the breasts in a wet brine that’ll make the lean meat juicier. 
  3. Season generously. Chicken breasts can taste fairly bland. The brine will help with that, but you can also use a spice rub to give them a jolt of flavor.
  4. Add some fat. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts have almost no fat. To keep them from drying out, coat them with oil before grilling.
Credit: Perry Santanachote

How Long Do You Grill Chicken on the Grill?

A chicken breast pounded to 3/4-inch thick is best grilled over medium-high heat and takes about 5 minutes per side. 

What Is a Grilled Chicken Sandwich Made Of?

The great thing about making your own chicken sandwich is that you can put whatever you want on it. If you want to go with a classic sandwich, you’ll definitely need some mayo, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Don’t forget a pickle spear on the side!

Credit: Perry Santanachote

Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Why go to the fast-food joint when you can whip up juicy, homemade grilled chicken sandwiches instead?

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


For the brine:

  • 2 quarts


  • 1/3 cup

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 4 cloves


  • 1 tablespoon

    whole black peppercorns

  • 6

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total)

For the rub:

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried Italian seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

For the sandwiches:

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • 6 slices

    Colby Jack cheese

  • 6

    brioche buns

  • 1

    large beefsteak tomato

  • 6 tablespoons


  • 6

    green leaf lettuce leaves

  • 12 slices (about 12 ounces)

    cooked bacon


Brine the chicken:

  1. Place 2 quarts water, 1/3 cup kosher salt, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl or gallon-size container and whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Peel and smash 4 garlic cloves. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns to the brine.

  2. Pound 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 at a time: Place a chicken breast in between sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use the flat part of a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound until 3/4-inch thick. Place each chicken in the brine as it is pounded. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make the spice rub:

  1. Place 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Make the sandwiches:

  1. Heat an outdoor grill for direct, medium-high heat (about 400ºF). Meanwhile, let 3 tablespoons unsalted butter sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season all over with the spice rub and brush with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.

  3. When the grill is ready, scrape the grill grates clean if needed. Place the chicken on the grill in a single layer. Grill, covered, until grill marks form on the bottom and the chicken releases easily, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue to grill, covered, until the second side is browned and the chicken is cooked through and registers at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part, about 4 minutes more. About 30 seconds before the chicken is ready, place 1 slice Colby Jack cheese on top of each breast.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or baking sheet and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, split 6 brioche rolls. Spread the butter onto the cut sides. Place the bun halves cut-side down on the grill and grill uncovered until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate or the baking sheet with the chicken. Cut 1 large beefsteak tomato crosswise into 6 slices.

  5. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise on each bottom bun. Top each bottom bun with 1 green leaf lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 chicken breast, and 2 cooked bacon slices. Close wtih the top buns.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover cooked chicken breasts can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.