Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches — Popeyes blackened chicken sandwiches changed the fast food game with a quality you don’t usually see from a drive-thru.
Unsurprisingly, they’d want to introduce a greater variety of sandwiches, and their follow-up blackened chicken version was an entirely different, but every bit as delicious, take on things.
This chicken is marinated and coated in a generous amount of blackening spice without breading. It’s a flavor-packed and spicy alternative to other restaurants’ usual “healthy” grilled chicken sandwich offerings.
I make my version in the air fryer to create a crispy exterior as all that blackening spice browns. Speaking of the blackening spice, you can reduce the prep by buying it from your grocery store’s spice aisle or using my recipe below to combine the spices yourself.
What Is Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen offered a Blackened Chicken Sandwich on their menu.
The Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich typically featured a boneless chicken breast seasoned with blackened spices, including paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, and other seasonings. The chicken breast was then cooked until it was blackened and flavorful. It was served on a soft bun and often accompanied by mayonnaise, pickles, and lettuce to create a flavorful and satisfying sandwich.
Why You Will Love This Recipe!
You will love making Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches for several reasons:
- Healthier Option: Air frying creates a crispy and delicious texture without the need for excessive oil, making this sandwich a healthier alternative to deep-fried versions.
- Bold and Spicy Flavor: The blackened seasoning on the chicken breast brings a robust and spicy flavor profile that’s both satisfying and savory.
- Customizable: You can easily adjust the level of spiciness in the blackened seasoning to suit your taste preferences. Add more or less cayenne pepper and paprika as desired.
- Convenience: Cooking in the air fryer is quick and convenient. It allows you to enjoy a crispy chicken sandwich without the mess and hassle of traditional deep-frying.
- Moist and Tender Chicken: The air fryer helps maintain the moisture and tenderness of the chicken breast while still achieving a crispy exterior, resulting in a perfectly balanced sandwich.
- Less Cleanup: Air frying produces less mess than traditional frying methods, making cleanup a breeze.
- Customizable Toppings: You can customize your sandwich with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, pickles, mayonnaise, or even a slice of cheese for an extra layer of flavor.
- Saves Time: Cooking in the air fryer is generally faster than using a conventional oven or stovetop to have a satisfying meal on the table in no time.
- Restaurant-Quality at Home: You can enjoy the taste of a popular restaurant-style sandwich from Popeyes in the comfort of your home.
- Family-Friendly: These sandwiches are likely to be a hit with both kids and adults, making it a great option for family meals.
Overall, the Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches recipe combines the convenience and health benefits of air frying with the bold flavors Popeyes is known for, making it a delicious and enjoyable meal option for anyone who loves spicy, crispy chicken sandwiches.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches
We are introducing the irresistible Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches! This recipe captures all the fiery flavor and crispy goodness of Popeyes’ iconic sandwich, with a healthier twist thanks to the air fryer. Here’s a list of the essential ingredients to recreate this spicy sensation at home.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Boneless Chicken Breasts: High-quality boneless chicken breasts are the star of this sandwich, providing a lean and protein-packed base.
- Blackened Seasoning: A blend of spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and more, this seasoning infuses the chicken with bold and spicy flavors.
- Flour: All-purpose flour coats the seasoned chicken, ensuring a crispy texture when air-fried.
- Egg: Whisked eggs act as the binding agent, helping the flour and seasoning adhere to the chicken.
- Bread or Buns: Select your favorite sandwich bread or buns to serve as the foundation for your delicious creation.
- Mayonnaise: Creamy mayonnaise provides a rich and tangy base for your sandwich.
- Lettuce: Crisp leaves add a fresh and crunchy element to the sandwich.
- Pickles: Tangy pickles provide a contrasting flavor that complements the spiciness of the blackened chicken.
- Tomato (optional): Sliced tomatoes can be added for a juicy and refreshing touch to your sandwich.
- Oil (for spritzing): A light spritz on the chicken before air frying helps achieve a crispy and golden exterior.
- Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings are used to enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Cooking Spray (optional): If your air fryer basket tends to stick, a cooking spray can help prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.
These ingredients combine to create an incredibly flavorful and satisfying Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich that you can enjoy in your home.
How To Make Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches In Air Fryer
Making Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches in an air fryer is a convenient and healthier way to enjoy this spicy and flavorful sandwich. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
In a mixing bowl or food storage container, whisk together buttermilk, cornstarch (for crispier chicken), and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the blackening spice. Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture and flip to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Remove chicken from buttermilk and shake off excess buttermilk. Sprinkle generously on both sides with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of blackening spice and then spray with vegetable oil spray to promote browning. Transfer to the air fryer basket.
Air fry at 375 degrees F for 12–15 minutes, until browned on the outside, and a meat thermometer registers at least 165°F when inserted into the thickest piece.
For the best flavor, spray brioche buns with vegetable oil spray or lightly butter and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Place a few pickle slices on the bottom bun and spread mayonnaise on the top bun. Place chicken breasts on the 2 bottom buns and then place the top buns over the chicken to finish the sandwiches.
Creating the perfect Blackened Chicken Sandwich in an air fryer requires some pro tips to ensure your sandwich turns out crispy, flavorful, and delicious:
- Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the chicken. This helps achieve even cooking and a crispy texture.
- Adjust the Seasoning: Customize the level of spiciness in your blackened seasoning to suit your taste. You can increase or decrease the amount of cayenne pepper and paprika accordingly.
- Even Coating: Ensure that the blackened seasoning, flour, and egg coating are evenly applied to the chicken. This ensures a consistent flavor and texture.
- Spritz with Oil: Lightly spritz the coated chicken with oil or use a cooking spray. This helps the chicken become golden and crispy in the air fryer.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching or overlapping. Overcrowding can result in uneven cooking.
- Monitor Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
- Flip Halfway Through: Flip the chicken breasts halfway through the cooking time to ensure both sides get evenly cooked and crispy.
- Adjust Cooking Time: Cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the chicken breasts and the specific air fryer model. Keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Toast the Buns: For added flavor and texture, lightly toast the sandwich buns in the air fryer for a minute or two before assembling the sandwiches.
- Customize Toppings: Get creative with your toppings. You can add cheese, bacon, avocado, or other condiments to make your sandwich even more delicious.
- Rest Before Serving: Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before assembling the sandwich. This helps the juices redistribute, keeping the meat moist.
- Serve Fresh: Blackened Chicken Sandwiches are best enjoyed immediately after assembly to preserve their crispiness and flavor.
By following these pro tips, you’ll elevate your Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Sandwiches to restaurant-quality standards, creating a flavorful and satisfying meal.
What is Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich? Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich is a menu item that features a boneless chicken breast seasoned with a blend of blackened spices. It’s typically served on a bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickles.
Is Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich spicy? Yes, Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich is known for its spiciness due to the blackened seasoning used on the chicken. The level of spiciness can vary, but it’s generally flavorful and mildly to moderately spicy.
Is Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich deep-fried? Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich is typically deep-fried, but you can also make a healthier version using an air fryer, as mentioned in previous responses.
What is in the blackened seasoning used on the chicken? The blackened seasoning often includes a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and other seasonings. The exact recipe may vary between restaurants.
Can I customize the Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich? Yes, you can customize your sandwich with additional toppings and condiments to suit your preferences. Popular additions include cheese, bacon, avocado, and different sauces.
Is the Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich available year-round? Menu offerings at Popeyes can vary by location and over time. While the Blackened Chicken Sandwich may not be available year-round, it might be featured as a limited-time special at certain locations.
Is the Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich gluten-free? The Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich is not typically gluten-free as it involves a flour coating on the chicken. If you have dietary restrictions, you should check with the restaurant for specific information on allergens and gluten-free options.
What sides are often served with Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches? Popeyes offers a variety of sides that you can choose to accompany your Blackened Chicken Sandwich, including Cajun fries, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and biscuits.
Can I make my own Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich at home? Yes, you can make a homemade version of Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwich using an air fryer or traditional cooking methods. Recipes are available online and can be customized to suit your taste.
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Air Fryer Popeyes Blackened Chicken Sandwiches
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablepoon cornstarch, optional
- 3 tablespoons blackening spice, divided (premade or see ingredients below)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets , (6–8 ounces each)
- 2 brioche buns
- 6 sliced pickles
- 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
BLACKENING SPICE (combine all ingredients)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- In a mixing bowl or food storage container, whisk together buttermilk, cornstarch (for crispier chicken), and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the blackening spice.
- Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture and flip to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Remove chicken from buttermilk and shake off excess buttermilk. Sprinkle generously on both sides with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of blackening spice and then spray with vegetable oil spray to promote browning. Transfer to the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 375°F for 12–15 minutes, until browned on the outside and a meat thermometer registers at least 165°F when inserted into the thickest piece.
- For the best flavor, spray brioche buns with vegetable oil spray or lightly butter and brown in a skillet over medium heat.
- Place a few slices of pickle on the bottom bun and spread mayonnaise on the top bun. Place chicken breasts on the 2 bottom buns and then place the top buns over the chicken to finish the sandwiches.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional