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A flavor-packed marinade and the best toppings make this the Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe. After marinating for a few hours, your chicken breasts will pick up loads of flavor. Serve it on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings for a quick weeknight dinner. This is also a great recipe to serve to groups of people!
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What’s in the Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe?
Flavor. Lots of flavor.
OK, to be more specific, here is what you’ll need to make a delicious grilled chicken sandwich.
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Salt & pepper
- Powdered ginger (Yep, unusual but trust us.)
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- Cheddar cheese slices
- Bacon, cooked and broken in half (try our No Fail Way to Cook Bacon)
- Whole wheat hamburger buns (or make your own Homemade Hamburger Buns)
- Optional toppings: BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato slices, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard
Tips for Marinating Chicken
We are big fans of marinated chicken. In fact, one of our most popular posts is a round-up of our 7 Best Chicken Marinades. It’s a great way to liven up a pretty bland piece of meat. When marinating chicken, keep in mind a few things.
1. Save a dish by mixing the marinade up in the bag/container.
The less dishes the better, am-I-right? Don’t feel like you have to mix the marinade in a bowl before you add it to the bag. Simply add the chicken and marinade ingredients directly to the bag, seal it, and give it a good shake/massage to mix it up.
2. Marinate for hours.
Made sure that chicken sits in the marinade for at least 2 hours and up to about 24 hours. But, don’t leave it too much longer than the marinade (thawed, that is). That’s because, if the marinade has an acid in it, the chicken can start to break down and get mushy.
Use our Weekly Menu Plans to help you stay on top of meal prep. You can even freeze chicken in its marinade, which will get more flavor into the meat.
3. Cut the chicken in half (lengthwise) before marinating
The more surface area the marinade can reach, the better. Since you will slice these chicken breasts in half (making thin chicken cutlets) to make a sandwich anyway, do it before marinating!
When we say slice in half lengthwise, many get confused. Look at the picture below, so you understand what we mean here. Make sure to use a sharp knife! (You can find one of our favorites here.) Place your hand firmly on top of the chicken and slice back and forth lengthwise using a sawing motion. This will create two thin chicken cutlets (and means you don’t have to pound out your chicken to be thinner…a messy endeavor!).
A Short Video on How to Make The Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches: Great for Groups of People!
Another perk of this recipe is it works well to serve to groups of people. Simply double or triple the recipe, grill or bake a large amount of chicken at once, and serve in a buffet style with the buns and all the toppings. Then, people can customize their own sandwiches.
Can I Freeze Grilled Chicken Sandwiches?
Not only are these Grilled Chicken Sandwiches great for a group, but they also work as a make ahead freezer meal or a meal to take to a friend in need. I like to pack mine up as little kit and freeze it all together. That way I have everything I need on a busy night!
Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-3 in the recipe (do not marinate in refrigerator though). Package the bacon and cheese slices separately in small freezer bags. To make a freezer meal kit, freeze the chicken in marinade alongside the bacon, cheese, and buns.
Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need the sandwich toppings on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator using one of our safe thawing methods for chicken. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 4.
How to Serve this Grilled Chicken Sandwich Recipe
If you serve as a sandwich, here are some toppings you’ll want to have on hand:
- Bacon Slices (here is how to bake bacon in the oven, FYI)
- Tomato Slices
- Dijon Mustard
- BBQ Sauce (Use our homemade BBQ Sauce recipe)
- Cheddar cheese slices
- Whole Wheat Buns or Brioche Buns (or make your own Hamburger Buns)
Another idea is to serve this chicken on top of a salad. It would be delicious on a recipe like our Cobb Salad!
What to Serve with Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
Oh man, I have so many great ideas for you! Here are a few that would go great with this recipe:
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Asparagus
- Oven-Baked Steak Fries
- Chopped Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and broken in half (try our No Fail Way to Cook Bacon)
- 6 whole wheat hamburger buns (or make your own Homemade Hamburger Buns)
- Optional toppings: BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard
*Updated ingredient on 8/3/20: This used to be 1 Tablespoon salt, but we found the marinade to be too salty.
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Make It Now:
- Make the Marinade: In a gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger and paprika. Gently shake the bag to mix. Then set aside.
- Slice the Chicken: (Note: This step is essential for even cooking.) Carefully cut the chicken breasts lengthwise through the center to create two thin halves out of each breast. If needed, pound down the thicker parts to create cutlets that are the same thickness. (See instructions about how to do this in the blog post above.)
- Marinate (or Freeze) the Chicken: Place the 6 chicken cutlets in the bag with the marinade, seal the bag, and shake to ensure the breasts are coated. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours to marinate.
- Cook the Chicken: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade using tongs and add to grill. Discard remaining marinade. Grill for about 4-5 minutes per side or until done. (Chicken is done when juices run clear or the internal temperature is 165° F.)
- Assemble the Sandwiches: On top of a bun, place 1 chicken breast, 1 slice cheese, some bacon, and optional toppings.
Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1-3 (do not marinate in refrigerator). Package the bacon and cheese slices separately in small freezer bags (or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil). To make a freezer meal kit, freeze the chicken in marinade alongside the bacon, cheese, and buns.
Prepare From Frozen: You’ll need the optional toppings on hand to complete this meal. Thaw the meal kit in the refrigerator. Follow the recipe beginning with Step 4.
We get our meat from ButcherBox*. The bacon is uncured, contains no sugar, and is absolutely delicious! The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat and have used it for years ourselves. *affiliate link
You can bake the chicken in the oven, if you don’t want to grill it. Bake at 400°F on a rimmed sheet pan or in a casserole dish for about 15 minutes, or until it reaches 165°F internally or there is no more pink inside.