Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches are smoky and saucy and topped with an amazing grinder-style salad slaw. Perfect for grilling anytime! There is nothing more satisfying than a good ol’ grilled buffalo chicken sandwich! It’s packed with bold flavors and healthier and easier than its fried counterpart.
These grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches only take a matter of minutes to prep and then all you have to do is grill them to perfection! The marinate is a simple mix of spices and buffalo hot sauce which leaves the chicken juicy and smoky.
The grilled buffalo chicken is amazing served on a toasty brioche bun with grinder salad-style slaw, mayo, tomato, and cheese. This is a totally low effort and satisfying dinner recipe that you’ll turn to again and again!
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches: An Easy Summer Dinner
When it’s the middle of summer and it’s too hot to think, the constant refrain is “what are we making for dinner?” Grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches are my go-to easy, but satisfying dinner! The grilled saucy chicken takes a few minutes to prep and pairs perfectly with the cooling slaw. Grilling the buffalo chicken is a lot quick, healthier, and lighter than frying it making it perfect for hot summer nights.
Sometimes it’s even too hot to grill outside in which case I just use my grill pan indoors. You could even air fry these bad boys if that’s what you wanted to do! Scroll down for my section on alternative cooking methods.
We are totally sandwich people in this household and grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches check all the boxes! They’re saucy, a little bit spicy, juicy, with the perfect amount of crunch from the slaw. Plus, these are great for backyard BBQs, feeding a crowd, or your next game day. Set up a build-your-own station and your work is done!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
Easy – This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients and about 10 minutes to prep, what could be easier than that? Once you have the chicken marinated, it’s as easy as throwing it on the grill, toasting some buns, and mixing up the slaw. Easy, peasy!
Classic – Everyone loves a buffalo chicken sandwich! The flavors are totally classic and this sandwich is an incredible homage to the timeless favorite.
Makes great leftovers – We’re big leftovers people! I always make a large batch of whatever we’re having for dinner so I can spread it out through the week. Grilled buffalo chicken can give birth to a number of other dishes if you don’t want to eat the same thing over and over. Scroll down to my section on ways to use leftover buffalo chicken.
How to Make Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
You’re going to love how easily this recipe comes together. No fancy equipment and less than 30 minutes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken. I love using boneless skinless chicken breast, but you could easily swap in chicken thighs. If you’re using chicken breasts, make sure to pound them out to an even thickness so they cook evenly and stay juicy.
- Buffalo sauce. If you want, you can make your own, but I love the Frank’s brand of buffalo sauce and that’s my go-to for this recipe.
- Spices. Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne spice the chicken to perfection!
- Buns. Toasty brioche buns are always my go-to, but use your favorite here. You can also swap in gluten-free buns to make this recipe totally gluten-free.
- Grinder slaw. If you’ve been on tiktok, you’ve probably seen the viral grinder salad sandwich. This slaw draws inspiration from that! Crispy shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, pepperoncini, mayo, vinegar, and a couple of dried herbs make this slaw so, so good. It’s like a crunchy ranch salad and so perfect on the sandwich.
- Toppings. After the slaw, I really just like some juicy sliced tomato and mayo on my sandwich but you could add some favorites like more onion, sliced pickles, etc.
- Pound out the chicken. This is an important step to making sure your chicken stays juicy and cooks evenly. Using a flat meat tenderizer (not a spiked one), gently pound the chicken to an even thickness. If you’re using really large chicken breasts, you can cut them in half at this point so that they fit on the bun.
- Marinate the chicken. Whisk together the oil, spices, salt, buffalo sauce, and honey in a mixing bowl. Toss the chicken to coat, cover, and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 48 hours.
- Prep the slaw. You can get all your slaw ingredients together, but don’t toss together until right before you serve. Iceberg lettuce wilts really quickly, so for optimal crunch and freshness wait until serving to finish the slaw.
- Grill the chicken. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. If you’re grilling outdoors, make sure to clean and oil the grill grates really well. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Once you flip the chicken, brush liberally with buffalo sauce while the other side cooks. Flip it one more time and brush the other side generously. If you’re using cheese, let the cheese melt onto the chicken. Transfer to a plate.
- Assemble. Toast your buns and top with chicken, slaw, and any other desired toppings. Serve immediately!
Tips for Juicy Grilled Buffalo Chicken
There is nothing worse than a dry grilled buffalo chicken sandwich! Follow these tips and you’ll have juicy chicken every time.
- Pound out the chicken. If you’ve ever looked at a chicken breast, one side is much thicker than the other. If you don’t pound the chicken out to an even thickness, the thinner side overcooks before the thicker side can cook all the way through. By using a meat tenderizer to pound it out, the chicken is the same thickness throughout, cooks evenly, and stays juicy.
- Don’t skip the marinade. If you can, marinate the chicken for as long as possible! The salt content in the marinade helps tenderize the chicken in the same way a brine would. While you only need to marinate the chicken for 1 hour, I recommend doing it the morning you plan to make grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches.
- Don’t overcook! For some reason, people get a little nervous about cooking chicken. The trick is to not overcook it! The longer you cook chicken, the more moisture you lose leading to dry chicken. If you’re worried, use a meat thermometer and just cook the chicken until it reaches 165 F.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have juicy grilled chicken breasts every single time!
Alternative Cooking Methods
I love firing up the grill in the summer, but that’s not always feasible throughout the year. Here are some other methods for cooking up grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches.
Indoor grill pan – Even in Texas, sometime’s it’s just too hot to fire up the grill outside. That’s when I turn to an indoor grill pan to do the work. Follow the same steps for grilling the chicken outside but from the comfort of your kitchen.
Air Fryer – If you’ve got an air fryer, now’s the time to bust it out! Air frying the buffalo chicken is an easy process that gives you similar flavor to grilling. Preheat your air fryer to 400 F and then spray the basket with nonstick spray. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then brush with sauce all over, and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Oven – A combination of baking and broiling also brings this buffalo chicken to life! If you want to oven-bake the chicken, preheat your oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and brush liberally with sauce, then broil on high for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Grinder Salad-Style Slaw
If you’ve been on TikTok at all, you’ve probably seen the viral grinder salad sandwich recipe! It’s essentially an Italian hoagie topped with an iceberg lettuce slaw/salad that totally makes the sandwich.
I drew inspiration from that when making the slaw for these grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches and it is so good. Shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, and sliced pepperoncini in a simple dressing of mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, and dried dill is the perfect pairing with the chicken. It’s cool and crunchy and provides the perfect contrast.
Wait to mix your slaw together until right before you plan to serve so that the iceberg doesn’t wilt.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
To store grilled buffalo chicken: Let the chicken cool and store them in an airtight container for 4-6 days in the fridge. I don’t recommend saving the slaw since it wilts quickly. Only make as much as you will use that day!
Freezing grilled buffalo chicken: You can very easily freeze grilled buffalo chicken! Let the chicken cool to room temperature and then store in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Try to press most of the air out of the bag while sealing, this helps prevent freezer burn. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Leftover grilled buffalo chicken can be microwaved, in a covered container, until steaming.
What to Serve with Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Whether you’re enjoying grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches for dinner or serving them at a BBQ or game day, sides are EVERYTHING! I’m always a fan of serving these sandwiches with fries or crinkle cut potato chips, but here are some of my favorite sides to serve with a sandwich:
Ways to Use Leftover Grilled Buffalo Chicken
Leftover grilled buffalo chicken stores and reheats beautifully! I have zero problems enjoying the same leftovers for days in a row, but if you’re looking to mix it up with leftovers here are some ideas on how to use leftover grilled buffalo chicken:
Make a wrap – Combine sliced buffalo chicken in a large wrap with some more slaw or even caesar salad for an easy and delicious lunchtime wrap.
Top a salad – Leftover grilled buffalo chicken is so good on a bed of greens! You can spice up any old boring salad with some sliced grilled buffalo chicken.
Make buffalo chicken nachos – top some tortilla chips with melty cheese, grilled buffalo chicken, more buffalo sauce, and some blue cheese! This is an easy game day dish or a fun way to use up leftover chicken.
More Easy Sandwich Recipes to Try Now
Grilled Chicken Gyros
Instant Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches
Grilled Steak Sandwiches
Giant Italian Picnic Sandwich
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Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (like Frank's brand), plus more for brushing
- 2 tablespoons honey
- brioche buns
- 1 tomato, sliced
- cheese slices, like havarti or pepperjack
- 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
- 6 pepperoncini, sliced
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked pepper
Grilled Buffalo Chicken
- Using a flat meat tenderizer, pound the chicken out to an even thickness (about 3/4 of an inch). If your chicken breasts are really large, cut them in half so that they fit on the buns.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, salt, seasonings, buffalo sauce, and honey. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 48 hours.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If you're using an outdoor grill, make sure to clean and oil the grill grates really well. If you're using an indoor grill pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of high-heat oil. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes on the first side, flip, and brush liberally with buffalo sauce while the other side cooks for another 5 minutes. Flip again and brush the other side with sauce. Add the cheese and allow it to melt over the chicken.
- Remove the chicken from the grill after it's cooked through and transfer to a plate. Toast the brioche buns and then assemble the sandwiches with extra mayo (if desired) sliced tomato, the chicken, and slaw.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the lettuce and toss well. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Mix in the lettuce right before serving and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use right away.