Our Go-To Lazy Summer Dinner: Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
In the height of summer, Chris & I get REALLY lazy at dinnertime. (Sometimes it’s just too hot to think about what to cook, y’know? 🤷🏻♀️) The lazy summer meal we turn to whenever that happens? This seriously quick & simple grilled buffalo chicken sandwich recipe.
There’s something crave-worthy about big buffalo-inspired flavor – & these sandwiches totally deliver! A few simple spices & an easy homemade buffalo sauce make the chicken super satisfying, while the grill cooks each piece to juicy & charred perfection. It practically begs to be piled on a toasty brioche bun with crispy lettuce, juicy end-of-summer tomatoes, & a big drizzle of cooling ranch yogurt!
As a bonus, though, the grilled buffalo chicken is perfect for more than just sandwiches. It’s a great all-purpose summer recipe you can use to make buffalo chicken wraps, salads, bowls, sliders, whatever! Absolutely killer & SO quick to make – zero fuss required!
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe Highlights
These buffalo chicken sandwiches are completely crave-worthy! They’re…
- A TOTAL CLASSIC. Who doesn’t love big buffalo flavor?! This buffalo chicken sandwich recipe is an absolute crowd-pleaser with minimal effort required.
- SUPER QUICK. Ready in 30 minutes or less, with next-to-no dishes & easy cooking on the grill. The perfect no-fuss dinner!
- GREAT FOR ANYTHING. These sandwiches are a great easy weeknight meal, but you can also serve the grilled buffalo chicken as more than just a sandwich. A deliciously versatile recipe for any summer scenario!
Grilled buffalo chicken never gets boring. ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!
Key Ingredients for a Killer Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
You need less than 10 ingredients to make the perfect grilled buffalo chicken sandwich, & most of them are probably in your kitchen already!
- Chicken – I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work great too. Be sure to grab thinner pieces so they cook on the grill quickly & evenly. If you can only get ahold of thicker chicken breasts, butterfly them by slicing in half lengthwise.
- Spices – A little bit of garlic powder & smoked paprika help give the chicken a little more flavor before it’s slathered in buffalo sauce.
- Buffalo sauce – Feel free to use your favorite wing sauce. I like to whip up a quick homemade buffalo sauce using Frank’s RedHot (a must for all things buffalo!) & a few other simple staples. More details below!
- Sandwich buns – You can’t go wrong with brioche buns, which are pillowy-soft but also sturdy enough to build a hearty sandwich with lots of toppings.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not grilled buffalo chicken without Frank’s RedHot! Made from aged cayenne peppers, garlic, & vinegar, this tangy-spicy hot sauce is what put buffalo chicken wings on the map in the first place!
Legend has it, the cooks at Anchor Bar & Grill in Buffalo, NY used Frank’s RedHot to create the infamous buffalo sauce we all know & love way back in 1964. It’s a simple combination of Frank’s RedHot, melted butter & paprika, & it’s been a classic ever since.
These days, the brand also sells a great prepared buffalo wing sauce, but if you’re prepping homemade buffalo sauce for this buffalo chicken sandwich recipe, I recommend using the hot sauce labeled “Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce” for best results. You can find it in the condiments aisle at most conventional grocery stores, & it’s also available online.
My Go-To Simple Homemade Buffalo Sauce
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
It’s not a buffalo chicken sandwich without iconic buffalo sauce. While you can certainly use your favorite bottled wing sauce, my go-to homemade buffalo sauce recipe comes together quickly with just a few staple ingredients. You may already know it from other PWWB buffalo-inspired dishes like grilled wings, hearty bowls, & cheesy sliders – it really couldn’t be simpler to make!
Easy homemade buffalo sauce. ⇢ Simply add Frank’s RedHot, melted butter, honey, & a little garlic powder & smoked paprika to a small bowl & whisk together. The little bit of honey is especially great for grilling – its natural sweetness caramelizes with the high heat of the grill, creating an irresistibly spicy-sweet flavor. So good!
Since this buffalo chicken sandwich recipe comes together really quickly once you begin grilling, I recommend prepping the homemade buffalo sauce beffore you throw anything on the grill. Quickly mix it up while you wait for the grill to preheat – simple!
How to Grill Buffalo Chicken
With the sauce prepped & ready to go, making these grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches is as simple as seasoning the chicken & hitting the grill. It’s really as easy as that – it takes 10 minutes, tops!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Prep the chicken. To ensure even cooking, butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing each in half lengthwise. From there, season with a little bit of garlic powder & smoked paprika. This simple seasoning adds more flavor to the chicken, rather than relying solely on the buffalo sauce.
Grill the buffalo chicken breasts. Once the grill is preheated to about 450-500 degrees F, add the seasoned chicken breasts & grill about 4-5 minutes per side.
Baste the chicken in buffalo sauce. Brush buffalo sauce all over the grilled chicken breasts, flipping to ensure each side is nicely coated. If you’d like a cheesy buffalo chicken sandwich, this is a great time to add a slice of pepper jack or white cheddar, allowing it to melt over the grilled buffalo chicken in the last couple minutes of cooking – so good!
What Goes On a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich = Whatever You Love Most!
My favorite way to serve up a buffalo chicken sandwich is to load on plenty of toppings. This is where you can have a lot of fun with this recipe! Choose your favorite toppers & build your own sandwich! As a bonus, a casual sandwich assembly line is also a great way to keep dinnertime easy.
If you need a bit of inspiration, here are a few of our favorite buffalo chicken sandwich toppings…
- Sandwich veggies – Crispy lettuce & juicy tomatoes are super delicious in the summer! For extra texture, prep our Everyday Slaw – the cilantro lime variation detailed in the blog post is amazing on a buffalo chicken sandwich!
- Herby yogurt ranch. This easy, creamy sauce is one I like to whip up any time I make a buffalo-inspired recipe! It’s like glammed-up ranch dressing, with extra goodies like fresh dill & chives. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for a full how-to.
- Other condiments you love like aioli or blue cheese dressing. Store-bought works great here for convenience!
Simple sides for sandwich night. ⇢ While grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches are great on their own, a few sides are also never a bad idea. I believe every sandwich calls for some ruffly potato chips! A simple green salad or pasta salad are great too (especially at a summer backyard gathering). Healthy Broccoli Salad, Summer Farro Salad, & Greek Pasta Salad are always crowd-pleasers!
BTW…This Grilled Buffalo Chicken is Great for More Than Sandwiches!
We love to use this grilled buffalo chicken to make sandwiches, of course, but it’s really a versatile staple you can put to use in so many different dishes. It’s honestly one of my go-to recipes during the summer months for that very reason! Grill up a double batch or use any leftovers to make something different later on.
A bit of inspiration to get you started…
- Make a grilled buffalo chicken wrap using all the same toppings, minus the bun! For a low-carb option, try leafy lettuce wraps instead.
- Build your own grilled buffalo chicken bowl using your favorite rice or grain. Add a drizzle of herby yogurt ranch, crunchy cabbage, shredded carrots, &/or celery for extra texture.
- Toss on a bed of greens for a grilled buffalo chicken salad. One of my favorite feel-good meals!
- Make grilled buffalo chicken nachos with your favorite melty cheese & a bit of extra buffalo sauce. 😍 You seriously can’t go wrong!
I can’t wait for you to try this Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich recipe! It’s super quick, but so satisfying – a total go-to here at the PWWB House, & we know you’re going to love too!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy grilling!
More Recipes Like This:
Quick & Easy Grilled Chicken Dinners
There’s something so satisfying about buffalo chicken, which is exactly why these quick & easy Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are always on regular rotation at our house during the summer months. They’re made with minimal ingredients & they come together really quickly thanks to the grill – a low-effort summer dinner dream!
Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs – whatever you love most! – but be sure to either grab thin, uniform pieces or butterfly the chicken so it cooks up quickly & evenly on the grill. Simply dust it with a few simple spices & slather it in buffalo sauce as it cooks.
You can certainly use your favorite bottled wing sauce, but the recipe detailed below is my go-to as it’s made with really simple ingredients & comes together really quickly. (The little bit of honey is the secret ingredient here – it caramelizes on the grill, creating an irresistibly spicy-sweet flavor – SO good!)
From there, just build your dream buffalo chicken sandwich – toasty buns, crispy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, blue cheese or ranch dressing! If you’re not craving sandwiches, the grilled buffalo chicken is a super versatile staple you can put to use in wraps, lettuce wraps, hearty grain bowls, fresh salads, or cheesy nachos…you really can’t go wrong! Be sure to check out the blog post, above, for more inspiration.
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 1/2 – 2 pounds total), butterflied (sliced in half lengthwise)
- 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil or high smoke point oil of choice
- 1/3 cup Franks RedHot or buffalo sauce of choice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- optional: 4 slices cheese of choice (e.g. pepper jack, white cheddar)
- 4 burger buns
- nonstick cooking spray
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: toppings of choice (e.g. lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, thinly sliced celery, etc.), herby ranch yogurt (below) or other condiments of choice (e.g. ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, aioli, etc.)
optional: herby ranch yogurt:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or 2% is best)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 3–4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives or green onions
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2–3 tablespoons water
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Preheat the grill: Prepare the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.)
- Prep the chicken & buffalo sauce for the grill: Meanwhile, as the grill preheats, prep the chicken & buffalo sauce. Place the halved chicken breasts in a large bowl or baking dish. Season with 1 heaping teaspoon each garlic powder & smoked paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Drizzle the avocado oil over top. Toss to combine, coating the chicken well. Set aside. To mix up the buffalo sauce, simply add the Frank’s RedHot Original, melted butter, honey, & the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder & smoked paprika to a small bowl & mix to combine well. Set aside.
- Optional: Prepare the herby ranch yogurt: Meanwhile, as the grill preheats, prep the ranch yogurt. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, garlic, chive or green onions, dill, & apple cider vinegar. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk to combine. If needed, thin the mixture out with 2-3 tablespoons water, just until your desired consistency is reached. Set aside for serving, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Grill the buffalo chicken: Place the chicken on the preheated grill. Close the lid & grill 4-5 minutes. Use grill tongs to flip the chicken, then generously brush the cooked side with the prepared buffalo sauce. Close the lid & grill 3-4 minutes longer. Flip the chicken one more time, brushing the opposite side with buffalo sauce. Grill 1-2 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked through. If desired, this is a great time to place the sliced cheese on each chicken breast so it melts beautifully as the chicken finishes cooking. Transfer the grilled chicken to a plate or small baking sheet. (For perfectly toasty buns, lightly spritz the inside of a burger bun with cooking spray & place on the grill about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Keep a close eye on the buns as they toast to prevent burning.)
- Serve: Build your grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches as desired. Here at the PWWB house, we like toasty brioche buns, leafy lettuce, juicy summer tomatoes, & a good drizzle of prepared buffalo sauce & herby ranch yogurt. Enjoy!
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover grilled buffalo chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheat in the microwave until warmed through & build a buffalo chicken sandwich as desired.
- 10-Minute Meal Prep: If chosen, nearly all of the active prep work for these grilled buffalo chicken sandwiches comes from prepping the herby ranch yogurt. Prep in advance to get a head start on the your buffalo chicken sandwiches & keep hands-on prep to a minimum at dinnertime. It takes 10 minutes, tops:
- Prepare the herby ranch yogurt according to Step 3 of Recipe Directions above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (<10 minutes active prep)
Keywords: buffalo chicken sandwich recipe, summer recipes, grilling recipe, grilled chicken, homemade buffalo sauce, grilled buffalo chicken sandwich
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil