baked spicy chicken sandwiches (wendy’s inspired)

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 in Food

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my favorite junk food. I mentioned that my favorite fast food sandwich out there was the Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. In the comments, lots of you chimed in saying that you loved it, too! And a few even requested that I make a copycat cleaned up version. Well, ask and ye shall receive.

I’m not sure a baked version will ever completely compare with the crunchy shell of a deep-fried sandwich from a fast food restaurant, but thanks to a highly-seasoned panko breading, this sandwich is pretty darn close! The panko gets nice and crunchy in the oven and the three-layer breading adds tons of spice and flavor. We are totally in love with these sandwiches.

One of my favorite things about these sandwiches is that they are a great way to stretch out chicken. So often, recipes call for one chicken breast per serving, but by pounding these out thin, you get two sandwiches per normal-sized chicken breast. Pounding out chicken is an easy way to get the most bang for your buck.

We like to think that a chicken breast is a single serving, but a regular grocery store chicken breast can be 2-3 times the three ounce serving size for chicken. By pounding them out, the chicken cooks more quickly, you get an accurate serving size and you save some cash. Awesome, right?

Baked Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons red pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Lettuce, tomato and hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a wire baking rack on a baking sheet and spray liberally with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or a glass, pound the chicken breasts until about 1/2″-3/4″ thick. Slice both chicken breasts in half to make four, sandwich-sized chicken pieces.
  3. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together red pepper sauce, milk and egg. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder.
  4. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, followed by red pepper sauce mixture, and then finally, press into breadcrumb mixture. Shake off extra and place on prepared baking rack. Repeat with remaining pieces. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is browned and crunchy.
  5. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, dijon and minced garlic in a small bowl. Spread evenly on each of four hamburger buns. Serve chicken on buns with tomato slices and lettuce leaves.
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What’s your favorite recipe that you’ve ever overhauled to be healthier?

10 Comments

  1. I love the Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s too. This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Hope you love it!

  2. Oh my gosh, these look SO GOOD. I’ve never had a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s, but I can’t wait to try your version.

  3. Oh Em Gee I love you. I have been craving these every time I hear “Chik Fil A” which is pretty darn often these days (And yes I realize Wendy’s is different than Chik Fil A but the idea of chicken sandwiches then translates to the spicy crispy chicken from Wendy’s in my head). I will definitely be giving this a try!

    • I’ve never had on from Chik Fil A, but I can’t imagine they are all that different! Hope you love it. :)

  4. Those sandwiches look great! I don’t know why I never thought of making a chicken sandwich at home…I’m definitely going to try them.
    Also, those are the most tasty wheat buns I have ever seen. All the ones I’ve tried are dry and blah. Can I ask you what brand they are or where you got them?

    • Trader Joe’s! :)

  5. I loved this recipe!!!! I made this for my family who are very picky eaters and they just loved them!!! I didn’t have all the right ingredients so I substituted a few things. I used Italian bread crumbs instead of the Panko also I used sour cream instead of Greek yogurt for the spread and spicy Dijon mustard. i was a little worried about it turning out awful but it was a hit! YUM!!! Thank you!!!

  6. I made these spicy sandwiches for my boyfriend and his brother this afternoon and they loved them! (So did I) this recipe works perfectly. Thanks for a delicious lunch!

  7. I made this a couple of weeks ago and my boyf and I both loved it! So much I used pretty much the same method to make spicy chicken nuggets this weekend… highly recommend! Just cut chicken into big nugget-shaped pieces, breaded per these instructions and cooked at 425 for about 20 minutes. Delicious!

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