These Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches are so delicious. Crunchy cheese cracker breading on a baked chicken breast, drizzled with homemade hot honey sauce, and piled high with crisp pickles and lettuce atop a chewy pretzel bun.
They’re baked instead of fried, and use a fun, kid-favorite ingredient to mimic the breading–Cheez-It crackers! The crackers give the chicken an amazing crunchy texture that pairs so well with the hot honey sauce.
These chicken sandwiches are so easy to make and your family is sure to love them. You’ll be making them on repeat!
Chicken breasts: For this recipe, you will need three thawed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Each chicken breast will get sliced in half, resulting in six chicken “patties” for the sandwiches.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk is perfect for marinating chicken because it is slightly acidic, which helps to tenderize the chicken, and it is also a thicker consistency, which helps breading–or in our case, crackers–stick to the chicken better.
Pickle juice: Pickle juice is added to our buttermilk marinade and is also acidic, so it helps tenderize the chicken as well. Plus, it adds a nice hint of pickle-y flavor to the chicken.
Cheez-it crackers: Crushed Cheez-It crackers are a fun way to get that fried “crunch” without having to worry about the mess or the work of actually frying chicken. The cheesy, salty flavors pair really well with the sweetness and spice of the hot honey.
Garlic & onion powder: Garlic and onion powder are added to the crushed Cheez-Its for a little extra flavor, similar to what you would use in a traditional breading mix for fried chicken.
Hot honey: This is my favorite part of the whole sandwich. It takes it from good to GOOD. You can use store-bought, but I prefer to use my Hot Honey Recipe–it’s super easy, and in my opinion, much tastier than store-bought.
Pretzel buns: Pretzel buns make any sandwich or burger 100x better. I felt that this sandwich really deserved a pretzel bun to hold it all together. Bonus points if you toast them.
Lettuce & pickles: These crunchy toppings compliment the chicken so well. Don’t skip them!
How to Make Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- Slice and marinate the chicken. Slice each chicken breast into two thinner pieces. Place the chicken in a shallow dish with the buttermilk and pickle juice. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Coat the chicken in crushed Cheez-It mixture. Once the chicken is done marinating, use tongs to lift each piece out, letting excess buttermilk drip off, then coat both sides in the cracker mixture.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. Place the chicken onto a wire rack sitting on a sheet pan and spray the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until internal temperature reaches at least 165˚F.
- Assemble the sandwiches. Just before serving, drizzle the chicken patties with the hot honey sauce. Toast the pretzel buns in the oven for a couple minutes, then top with the chicken, lettuce, and pickles. Enjoy!
Notes & Tips
Substitutions & Additions
- Try substituting the Cheez-It crackers for:
- Panko bread crumbs with parmesan cheese
- Goldfish crackers
- Ritz crackers
- Cheddar and sour cream chips
- Cornflakes cereal
- Other toppings ideas… cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, sliced tomatoes, or pickled red onion.
- These sandwiches would be delicious transformed into a wrap, too. Try chopping chicken into smaller pieces after it’s cooked, then adding to a large tortilla with shredded lettuce, pickles, ranch dressing, and hot honey sauce.
- You can also omit the bun and have the chicken with the hot honey sauce on its own.
What to Pair with Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- Classic Wedge Salad
- Crispy Garlic Baked Potato Wedges
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Kimchi Mac and Cheese
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Ranch Seasoned Sautéed Sweet Potatoes
Storage & Reheating
These chicken sandwiches are best when eaten immediately, however, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. If you plan to store some of the chicken patties for later, I recommend holding off on adding the hot honey sauce until just before you plan to eat them.
To reheat, I strongly suggest using the oven or toaster oven at 350˚F for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and crunchy on the outside. Since the crackers can become soggy quickly, I would not recommend freezing these.
Other Recipes You Might Like…
- Hot Honey Recipe
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches
- Turkey Smash Burgers
- Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
- Baked Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tbsp pickle juice
- 3 large chicken breasts (~7 oz each)
- 3 cups crushed Cheez-It crackers
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ¼ cup hot honey*
- 6 pretzel buns
- dill pickles (for topping)
- leaf lettuce (for topping)
- Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make two thinner chicken breast halves out of each piece.
- Combine the buttermilk and pickle juice in a shallow bowl or container. Add the chicken breasts so they are mostly covered. Let this sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Make the hot honey recipe (see note below).
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Set an oven-safe wire rack over top a cookie sheet. Spray the surface well with cooking spray.
- Crush the cheez-it crackers by scooping them into a plastic freezer bag, then crushing them with your hands or a rolling pin. Transfer the crushed crackers to a shallow dish along with the garlic powder and onion powder.
- Using tongs, pull out one piece of chicken breast at a time, letting excess buttermilk drip off. Transfer the chicken breast into the cheez-it cracker mixture, coating both sides with the crackers. Carefully lay the chicken breast on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Once all of the chicken is arranged on the wire rack, spray the top sides of the chicken with cooking spray. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
- Drizzle the chicken with hot honey just before serving. Assemble the pretzel buns with the lettuce, pickles, and chicken.
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