DIY Chick-fil-A Sandwich

It’s a Sunday afternoon and you’re craving a Chick-fil-A sandwich for lunch. But then you realize Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays… What do you do?

Well, we have just the answer, and it’s found in a new cookbook! Food Babe Kitchen: More Than 100 Delicious, Real Food Recipes to Change Your Body and Your Life, by Vani Hari, features healthy recipes using unprocessed ingredients, including a Make-Your-Own Chick-fil-A Sandwich!

Like many of us during the past year, we’ve pulled up in the drive-thru lines (or better yet, ordered from the app) and “treated” ourselves to fast food. Sure, it’s convenient, but it’s not the best habit for our wallet or our health. When I found the Make-Your-Own Chick-fil-A Sandwich recipe, I had to try it. I did have my doubts that it would taste like a sandwich from the beloved chicken chain, but I was pleasantly surprised.

First, you marinate the chicken in pickle juice for at least four hours or overnight. Now, I have no idea if Chick-fil-A does this with their chicken, and I doubt if any employees will reveal their secrets. But you cannot skip this step! Another tasty tidbit is that powdered sugar is added to the coating, giving it a slightly sweet flavor. An unofficial poll taken among my family members is that this really does yield the flavor of a Chick-fil-A sandwich, even if the texture is that of a crispy baked — not fried — piece of breaded chicken.


  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 12 pickle slices
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup spelt flour (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • 4 sprouted whole wheat hamburger buns (I used artisan rolls, which I had on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Cut chicken breasts in half, making 4 similar-size pieces. Pound each chicken piece to 1/2-inch thick with a meat tenderizer or small hammer.
  2. Place the chicken in a glass container and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Add the pickle juice and let the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Place the pickle slices in vinegar and let them marinate while you prep the chicken.
  5. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, remaining teaspoon of paprika, and dry mustard in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Whisk together the egg and almond milk in a separate bowl.
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Dredge each piece in the egg bath, ensuring each side is wet, then dredge each in the flour mixture, coating each side completely. Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle each chicken piece liberally with olive oil, covering both sides. Bake for 25 minutes, turning each piece halfway through.
  9. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, butter the hamburger buns and place in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. To assemble, place 3 pickles on each of 4 bun halves, add the chicken, and top with the remaining bun halves.

Other recipes include Sweet Potato Waffles with Cinnamon Whipped Butter, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, Grilled Pineapple Turkey Burgers, Almond Butter Brownies and No Sugar Hot Chocolate. 

Food Babe Kitchen is available upon request by calling Whitehall Public Library at 412-882-6622 or here.

DIY Chick-fil-A
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