For a New Take on Barbecue, Try This Tangy White BBQ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Are you craving a different kind of sandwich?

A grilled chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce, pickles, and coleslaw is on a square white plate with an orange plaid pattern, with another sandwich and a jar of sauce in the background, against an aqua backdrop, with orange and white text.

Like many of you, I am a total sandwich lover, but I get bored with the same old sandwiches day after day. And I am the most guilty of this when it comes to grilled chicken sandwiches.

So, trust me when I tell you this: Plain old grilled chicken sandwiches are a thing of the past, my friends.

Prepare to enjoy one of the best crunchy, juicy, tangy, and peppery bites ever – this sandwich is totally going to change your life.

I know that is a weird thing to say about a sandwich, but just hang in there with me for a second while I explain.

A Mason jar of white barbecue sauce and a black and straw-colored silicone brush are on the foreground, with a piece of spice-rubbed chicken on a metal grate in the background, on a black surface against a black backdrop.

At my house, it’s easy to default to a California-style sandwich with fresh vegetables and a light spread of mayonnaise, or a traditional grilled version with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

But after a while, these flavors get a little tired, and I want something that’ll really bring me out of my typical flavor zone.

So, it’s time to get creative and whip up something truly incredible – like this easy peasy, nice and juicy, white barbecue grilled chicken sandwich.

The key to the success of this sandwich is in the tangy white barbecue sauce that you slather all over it.

Top-down shot of a sliced spice-rubbed grilled chicken breast on a white plastic cutting board with a chef's knife, toasted kaiser rolls, a glass jar of white sauce, and two small glass bowls of coleslaw and pickles, on a beige background.

This barbecue sauce is different from any other barbecue that you’ve ever tasted before. It’s made with a mayonnaise base instead of the traditional tomato or fruit bases found in the red sauces that you are probably familiar with, the ones that you would use to make popular recipes like a barbecue chicken pizza.

It’s this base that brings a rich and creamy flavor to the recipe, with an added touch of zip when it’s paired with the sauce’s other main ingredient: black pepper.

I love how peppery this sauce is, and I think you will too. The key to really getting that flavor to come through is to use freshly cracked black pepper. That’s why I keep a pepper mill in my kitchen at all times.

A woman's hand with manicured lavender nails holds a grilled chicken sandwich, on a kaiser roll with coleslaw and pickles, with an orange and white patterned square plate int he background.

If you do the same, you will be rewarded with the perfect punch of pepper in this tangy sauce, paired with juicy, grilled chicken, served on top of a toasted bun with some crunchy coleslaw and briny pickles.

You get creamy and you get crunchy. You get toasted and you get char from the grill. You get a burst of brightness complemented by just a touch of richness.

It’s a rainbow of flavors to indulge in, and it’s particularly delicious paired with a light beer like an ale or lager to balance out the flavors in the most cool and refreshing way.

If you’re cooking for a crowd, feel free to double or triple this recipe to meet your needs!

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Two chicken, pickle, and coleslaw sandwiches, on kaiser rolls, with white barbecue sauce, on square orange and white plates, next to a jar of a white liquid, with an aqua background.

The Best White Barbecue Chicken Sandwich

  • Author: Meghan Bassett
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Sandwiches 1x


If you’re looking for a whole lot of flavor, try our Alabama-style grilled chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce.



For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (approx. 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp Tangy White Barbecue Sauce, plus more for serving (about ½ cup total)

For the Sandwiches:


  1. Heat grill to high heat. Trim the chicken if necessary. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, black pepper, and cayenne for the chicken. Rub the raw chicken with the spice mixture evenly on all sides.
  2. Grill the chicken for approximately 5-6 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. In the last few minutes of cooking, lightly brush the chicken with a tablespoon of tangy white BBQ sauce.
  3. Slice the rolls in half and toast on the grill if desired.
  4. Remove chicken from the grill, and let rest under a tented piece of foil on a cutting board for about 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  5. Divide the chicken between the buns, and top with pickles and coleslaw as desired. Spread more barbecue sauce liberally on the top of each bun, and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Barbecue
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Sandwiches

Keywords: barbecue, bbq, grilled chicken, chicken sandwich

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients

If you haven’t already, make your barbecue sauce.

Cut both rolls in half. You can also choose to use other styles of bread, like crusty sourdough or old-fashioned soft and fluffy white bread.

Trim the chicken if desired.

Measure out all remaining ingredients as listed. It’s easiest to set out the ingredients in the order in which you will need them.

Top-down shot of a raw chicken breast rubbed with spices on a small black plate, surrounded by small glass dishes of pickle slices and shredded cabbage, two kaiser rolls, and a mason jar filled with a white liquid, on a beige surface.

Feel free to choose your favorite style of pickles and coleslaw. I usually make my slaw in advance at home, but a premade version from the deli will also work.

If you like, you can also make a quick homemade slaw that doesn’t require any extra time in the refrigerator with fresh coleslaw mix, mayonnaise (you can try our vegan recipe for an egg-free version), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and a pinch of cayenne.

Mix everything together, stick it in the fridge, and it will be ready to go when you’re ready to serve.

Step 2 – Grill

Heat grill to high heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then rub it with the spice mixture evenly on all sides.

A piece of chicken breast coated with spices is grilling on metal grates.

Grill the chicken for approximately 5-6 minutes on each side. In the last few minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with about a tablespoon of tangy white barbecue sauce.

A woman's hand with manicured nails uses a black plastic and silicone brush to spread white barbecue sauce on a spice-rubbed chicken breast on a metal grill grate.

If desired, lightly grill the buns on the top rack or an unused section of your grill. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, and transfer them to a serving platter as soon as they are toasted.

A spice-rubbed chicken breast is spread with white barbecue sauce, cooking on a black metal grill grate.

Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of almost 165°F, remove it to a cutting board or serving platter, and tent loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. A meat thermometer is an excellent tool to have on hand when you’re grilling.

Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes, so the juices will be reabsorbed into the meat.

Sliced grilled chicken breast rubbed with spices is in the foreground on a white plastic cutting board, with a sliced and toasted kaiser roll and a small dish of pickles, on a beige countertop.

Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the chicken into 1/2-inch-thick strips.

Step 3 – Assemble

Sliced grilled chicken coated with spices and topped with two large pickle slices is on a square white and orange plate, with the top of the roll and another sandwich in the background, on a beige particleboard surface.

To put the sandwiches together, top the bottom halves of the buns with chicken, dividing all of the meat evenly between the two.

Half of a kaiser roll is topped with sliced chicken, pickles, and slaw, on a square white and orange plate, with the other half of the bun and another sandwich in the background.

Layer pickles and coleslaw on top.

The bottom of a hamburger bun is on a square white plate with an orange and white plaid pattern, topped with sliced grilled chicken, pickle slices, coleslaw, and white barbecue sauce, with another sandwich and the top of the roll on a beige surface in the background.

Spread the tops of the buns liberally with barbecue sauce or spread it on top of the vegetables, place bun tops on the sandwiches, slice in half if desired, and serve.

Serve Up Something Different

If you’re looking for a new flavor sensation, you really owe it to yourself to try this Alabama-style take on a popular classic. You might not be able to find this version at your local sandwich shop or barbecue joint – but we think that’s as good a reason as any to try it for yourself at home.

Even without the coleslaw, you’ll love the tangy, creamy flavor of the peppery white barbecue sauce. Sometimes I even like to put an extra dollop on my plate for dipping. It makes a delicious dip for fresh sliced vegetables as well.

Two chicken, pickle, and coleslaw sandwiches, on kaiser rolls, with white barbecue sauce, on square orange and white plates, next to a jar of a white liquid, with an aqua background.

If you do opt out on the coleslaw, these sandwiches are also delicious with crisp iceberg or romaine lettuce, arugula, and a few thick slices of heirloom tomato.

More chicken recipes! Yes! Try some of our favorites:

What will you do to put your own spin on this delicious grilled meal? Share your tips with us in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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