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Homemade Chick-fil-A – Now Open on Sunday!

After the ruckus I caused a few weeks ago by posting the ~100 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A sandwich on my Facebook Page and writing an article entitled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical-fil-A” about the harmful effects of those ingredients….I did some thinking about one particular comment I received regarding how someone didn’t want to give up Chick-fil-A because they had already given up so many other food vices in their life.

I wish all harmful food came with a warning sign like this

CFA Ingredients

I wanted to expose Chick-fil-A because I find it atrocious that companies can legally feed you a combination of chemicals that are known to have disastrous effects on your health. I find it even more disturbing when very smart people are easily fooled into thinking something may be a healthier option because of misleading marketing. Well I am here to tell you – You can have your Chick-fil-A and eat it too! Even on Sunday!  All without any life threatening chemicals…. You don’t have to go in life without – I really think you can have it all – especially if you have the right tools and information to navigate through the food world. As a firm believer of this statement…..I found a way to make a Chick-fil-A sandwich with the least possible harm to your body. This Chick-Fil-A sandwich won’t give you a sugar high. Or destroy your brain cells from MSG. Or give you toxin induced sluggishness after you eat it. Or more cravings for food even though you are full. Or cause you life long struggles with autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or heart disease. IMO, this recipe isn’t the best thing you can put in your body, but it won’t slowly kill you overtime either. So if you really are craving Chick-fil-A and don’t want to give it up – Make my “Open on Sunday Sandwich.” It takes a total of less than 30 mins to prepare.  It takes more time to drive to Chick-fil-A than to make this sandwich. And the best part – It tastes very close to the real thing. Pretty amazing, huh?

Food Babe's Open on Sunday Sandwich

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

Serves:  4


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 12 dill pickle slices
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 hamburger buns (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (grass fed is best)


  1. About 4 hours before or the day before – Cut chicken breasts in half making 4 similar size pieces.
  2. With a meat tenderizer or small hammer pound the chicken to ½ inch thick.
  3. Sprinkle salt, pepper and 1/3 of the paprika on both sides of chicken.
  4. Place chicken in pickle juice and let marinate for at least 4 hours to one day prior to baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  6. Place pickle slices in vinegar and let marinate while you prep the chicken.
  7. In a bowl, combine and stir flour, sugar, baking soda, the remaining paprika, dry mustard and set aside.
  8. In another bowl, whisk egg and almond milk together.
  9. Remove chicken from marinade and dredge one piece of chicken at a time in egg bath, ensuring each side is wet and dredge in flour mixture coating each sidePlace each flour coated chicken piece on a wire rack with pan on bottom.
  10. Spray each piece liberally with olive oil or coconut oil covering both sides
  11. Place tray of chicken in oven.
  12. After 12 minutes, turn each piece of chicken over mid way through baking.
  13. After about 25 – 30 minutes, chicken should be completely cooked and crispy.
  14. Take out of the oven and let rest at least 5 minutes.
  15. While chicken is resting, butter buns and place in oven for 3-5 minutes.
  16. Take buns out of oven, place 3 pickles on bottom bun and chicken on top and ENJOY!


  • Serve with a nice large cabbage salad or steamed broccoli (If you really want fries, I suggest baked sweet potato fries)
  • Try to use all organic ingredients


Start with 2 organic chicken breasts, wash with cold water and cut each one in half before pounding.
I place the chicken in a ziploc bag before pounding – This technique tenderizes the meat and allows for flavor to get in quicker
These pickles have no chemicals and are certified organic. One jar serves double duty – I used the pickle juice from this jar to marinate the chicken breasts and the pickle slices for the sandwiches.
Marinated chicken in pickle juice, ready to go in the fridge for several hours
My dredging station is ready to go! Time to dip the chicken in egg mixture then flour…..
I use a pan and wire rack like this for baking – This allows the air to circulate underneath, making the chicken crispy instead of soggy.  When you fry food, it destroys the nutrients like an atom bomb, baking is a much better option.
Dredge chicken in egg mixture first, then the flour
Place flour coated chicken on rack
So excited to see how this is going to turn out….
Spray each side of flour coated chicken with olive oil or coconut oil, coating each crevice
Place chicken in oven
Chicken cooling on rack

If you really like white flour buns – pick ones with just the minimal ingredients, no harmful additives and organic if possible.

This is my favorite type of hamburger bun – it has no flour!  The best part – They stay fresh in the freezer up to three months.
Moment of Truth….. This was my husband’s sandwich on plain flour bun made with organic flour. OMG – It tasted just like Chick-fil-A….. It really did. We were in huge disbelief. I jumped up for joy – screaming – “We can have chemical free Chick-fil-A on Sunday!!!”
We both hadn’t had Chick-fil-A in years… but who forgets the taste?! I used my favorite sprouted bread and it tasted just as good…

If you know a friend or family member who still frequents Chick-fil-A – please share this recipe with them, you could be a life saver!




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336 responses to “Homemade Chick-fil-A – Now Open on Sunday!

  1. We make our own pickles at home and use a homemade brine. That’s a great idea for pickle juice!

  2. I just tried these last night and was SO fulfilled! I used Sonoma Brinery koshers that I sliced up, Rudi’s organic WW buns and grassfed whole milk instead of almond. My one comment would be that the breading stuck to the rack when baking so I’d probably grease the rack next time (and there WILL be a next time!). Any other suggestions would be great! I bet this same chicken preparation would be great to emulate their nuggets too.

  3. These are wonderful! My whole family loves them. However, even though I spray them liberally, they still stick to the wire rack. I also tried spraying the wire rack, but all the breading comes off the one side. Any ideas?

    1. Tara,
      This happened to me tonight too! (all breading came off!) I followed the directions. It’s strange, because it didn’t happen the first time I made these. Did you figure out any tricks to make the breading stay on when you flip them?

    2. No, still have not figured out how to keep them from sticking to the wire rack. Hoping someone might figure it out. Just had a thought though….maybe wait a little longer to flip after it’s had a chance to crisp/dry up a little more. Worth trying.

  4. I made this the other night for my husband and myself. It sounded interesting. Little did I know his picky sisters would show up. Not only did they love the taste but they asked me to make it again when they come over. You can taste the pickel juice on the chicken but its not overwelming. Try this recipe. You wont be disapointed.

  5. It’s amazing that millions of people enjoy Chick fil’ A products six days a week and do just fine. You people have no idea what you are talking about when you trash every successful business venture in the USA. You make me sick.

    1. Just a guess Jerry, but maybe it’s the chik fil a making you sick? Anyway, I’m going to try this for my kids. They love chik fil a (so do I) but there’s too much garbage in it.

    2. Who cares if the company is successful or not?! If they are selling the public harmful products, people should know! That is what is wrong with this country! Why do you condone selling harmful products to people? Maybe if more people stood up and voiced their opinions on the harmful effects of chemicals used in food, products, etc than we wouldn’t have to deal with this issue of “trash[ing] every successful business”. It should not be allowed to poison people like this…not by one or even twenty items, but OVER TIME these chemicals build and depending on your own unique body, you could be killing yourself…ie. why so many people have chronic illnesses, cancer, etc. I suggest you do some thorough research on these chemicals (looking to both sides of the argument) then make your INFORMED decision…and STOP getting angry at people like Vani for trying to HELP people get healthier! She doesn’t want anyone sick with disease just like any other person. Even if some people take it to the extremes, at least THEY CARE enough to speak up!

    3. Oh, and I’m sure that after 10, 15, 20+ years of people eating fast food junk 6 days a week they WILL have some kind of illness/disease….it’s only a matter of time. And I say that for the majority. Some individuals are in optimal health and may not experience the effects such as cancer, or other disease, but to the rest of the country who thinks they are “healthy” and have no issues yet, it’s only a matter of time….

    4. Jerry, why are you such a sheep?? These companies cut corners by using carcinogenic ingredients and GMOs, just to make a fat profit!! They could use the same ingredients as above, and bake the chicken, but that would be ‘too expensive’. Because heaven forbid the CEO of the companies not be billionaires. Please.

    5. I personally like Chic Fil A but we moved to a state that doesn’t have it so hopefully, this will make my children smile until we can get close enough to one again. 🙂 To each their own of what we like in restaurants and such. We could pick apart every one of them. Thanks for posting a copy cat recipe though, I plan to make it this weekend!

    6. The chemical additives don’t kill you overnight, they just give you unexplainable symptoms and do more and more damage over time, making it hard to trace back to the chemical cocktail added to your food. Educate yourself about what you put in your body to prevent getting sick.

  6. While I love tgat you are exposing a company like Chik Fil A fir bring the poison merchants they are, I want to point out that your suggestion for using an olive oil spray for high heat cooking is a bad idea. The chemical reaction that occurs when heating olive oil causes a reaction that releases known carcinogens into the food you then consume. There are many healthier high heat alternatives that don’t come in an aerosol spray(use a brush, do we really need our oil in a can??!?!) like rice bran oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, or coconut oil. All have a clean taste and are healthier than EVOO. Just thought you should be aware…

    1. Maybe the oil isn’t in an areosol spray. They could have it in a pump sprayer. I am glad you shared about the dangers of using a areosol at high temp.

      1. Hi chuck. The danger isn’t in the aerosol, aerosol is just environmentally bad. The danger is in olive oil being burned while using it to fry at high heat. It changes the chemical structure as I stated. Just FYI. Pump “aerosols” are a great idea!

    2. thank you josh; my thoughts exactly! i was surprised food babe suggests olive oil at high temps and uses aerosol. nonetheless, i’m excited to try this recipe.

  7. I would like to try this recipe – we like to bake our chicken instead of fry anyway.
    BUT, the bit about BUTANE bothers me. I’m a chemistry teacher. Butane is a toxic gas (not nearly as toxic as ammonia or fumes from bleach; and, salt and water are toxic, too, in large enough quantities); you wouldn’t want to routinely sniff the gas from a butane lighter – but I wouldn’t call it “highly toxic.” Butane is not found in TBHQ – true, it contains a four-carbon (butyl/butane) subunit in its structure – but so do leucine and isoleucine, essential dietary amino acids found in all protein. It takes relatively a lot of TBHQ to be toxic – the low levels allowed in foods have actually been found to work as an ANTIcancer agent. It is an antioxidant – and we all know how important those are in our diets.
    I appreciate your efforts at providing healthy alternatives to fast food – keep up the good work

  8. This is definitely bummer news, but probably shouldn’t be surprised at the ingredients. I will try your recipe with GF flour! I’m surprised you use Olive Oil sprayed on before baking….doesn’t the American Cancer Society even tell you not to use Olive oil in high heat cooking/grilling/baking/sauteeing because it’s one of the several oils that become carcinogenic at high temperatures? Believe it or not, I read that when I read Cheryl Crowe had cancer….that was the advice they gave her. I pretty much use coconut oil for everything. Thanks for your recipe!!

  9. I am so proud of you Vani – what a great and thorough job you do. I always look forward to your work. Keep it up.

  10. I love what you do and respect what you have accomplished, but please keep your politics out of your kitchen. I love the fact that Chick Filet serves God and not chicken on Sunday. If you want to mock that, then please do it behind closed doors and don’t alienate those of us who are with both you and with God.

    1. After reading your comment I had to go back and read the statement before the recipe. There was not a hint of politics in it. Titling her chicken sandwich ‘open on Sunday’ was cute, not disparaging to Chick-fil-a at all (your misspelling their name was worse), just acknowledging they are closed on Sundays, which is fact. Chick-Fil-A’s 100+ ingredients are what she’s focusing on and you’re reading politics into it that are not there.

      1. Thank you for your response, Kim. Why is it that a person can no longer voice their opinion without someone else feeling the need to insult them rather than discuss an issue?? It’s a shame frankly.

    2. Ruth,

      She was just having fun with it. There was no hint of disrespect. It was cute. It’s an undeniable fact that chick fil a *IS* closed on Sunday. She never attacked the *WHY*. Plus, if she really had an issue with Chick Fil A’s morals, I doubt she’d be focusing on the Sunday thing, just saying.

  11. This is so awesome! My husband loves Chick-fil-a even though I researched the ingredients and told him it was just as bad as McDonald’s…but I also get discouraged by how difficult it is to eat out anywhere near where we live without basically poisoning yourself. I truly believe you can have it all, too—but usually only if you either live in a city, where there are healthy options, or if you make cooking your full-time job. Recipes like this are so encouraging because they aren’t time consuming and you can cook them in advance and reheat. Thanks, Vani!

  12. I love this! I feel exactly the same way with body products & cosmetics. We (consumers) buy products and foods and trust they are going to be ok for us. When I say “ok for us” I only mean we assume they won’t be outright hazardous with hidden dangers. There are so any dangerous chemicals presented in our lives everyday, from surfactants in lotions and shampoos, to pesticides in toothpaste. Education is so important! Thanks for sharing a healthy and safe alternative!

  13. Breading not sticking? After you apply the egg and flour mixture, put the chicken back in the refrigerator for 10-30 minutes. It should help the Breading to not fall off.

  14. All of you need to calm down. I’m a Christian and did not read anything into her comment about having the chicken on Sunday! We all do eat on Sundays, don’t we? And how many of us eat out on Sundays? A LOT, I’m sure. Perhaps you shouldn’t eat out on Sundays? I, for one, can think of many times when I wished I could’ve grabbed Chik-fil-la while in “autopilot mode”, only to remember, it’s Sunday & they are closed. As far as fast food goes, I won’t eat anywhere else, so this is disappointing on one level, but I applaud them for observing the Sabbath. I interpreted her statement to reference convenience ONLY, not as an attack on the company’s moral position on honoring the Sabbath. Geesh!

    That being said, a fair-minded, non judgmental Christian without blinders on should be asking what kind of company serves poisonous chemicals in food and hides it? I was under the impression this this company had higher morals in all areas, including honest advertising. I’m coming to realize that just because a company claims to be Christian does automatically means they are operating in full truth. Knowingly serving poisonous chemicals to people (unbeknownst to them, after all, they are trusting the company’s stated moral/ethical position) does not seem to align with any Christian value I’ve been taught….

    I think your attacks on Food Babe are unfounded. If you were offended by her post, then I respectfully suggest that you examine yourselves. Your interpretation of her statement was a real stretch based on a presumption that probably isn’t even true. For all you know, should could be a Christian who used to wish for that Chik-fil-A goodness every day of the week–until she discovered she’d been bamboozled by misleading marketing & manipulation, that is! Bravo to Food Babe for NOT dragging religion into her food blog! Shame on those of you who did!

  15. Looks like to me this article was from 2011. Perhaps things may be different today as companies often try to make things better and healthier. Maybe check her current perspective and the current ingredients.

  16. Thanks for this!! I get incredibly sick when I eat at Chick Fil A and someone else told me that they had MSG in their chicken sandwiches which you’ve just confirmed. THANK YOU!!!!

  17. I would consider myself a devout Christian and did not take offense to FB’s Sunday comment nor did I think it was a mockery. Drk’s post was right on the money! Read it and don’t get your panties in a wad! Yes, there are quite a few people/establishments that will and do mock and try to undermine the Christian faith on a daily basis. But in my humble opinion, I believe Food Babe is living by, and actually above and beyond, the golden rule in sharing all of this amazing information for the betterment of all of us, or those that are paying attention. I love the fact that there are so many people sharing quality input on the comment threads. I will try this recipe for sure but will use coconut oil based on the amazing input from everyone here. So hats off to the like minded, caring, people who participated in this post and I’m so glad to have accidentally stumbled into the food babe world. Great info and keep up the incredible work. For the negative responses…breath, relax, breath, relax. That’s a joke so just lighten up and take it with a grain of salt. Only if it’s sea salt!

  18. Make them last night & everyone enjoyed. I oiled the rack prior to baking & did not flip them since my first one stuck as well. They were fine without flipping over. I only had time to marinate for 3 hrs but will do overnite next time to give more flavor.

  19. LOL. I wasn’t going to, but I felt so compelled to respond to this mess. Leave it up to the internet to turn A RECIPE into A RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL DEBATE. Go on your merry way and make the damn sandwhich, or else just shut up. You are all computer-brave politicians with poor judgement on where to vocalize opinions. Why would your religious or political preference ever matter on a food blog? Good Lord.

  20. I think the pressure from websites like this one are helping force chains to clean up their act. I looked at the ingredients for CFA’s new grilled items, and while there are a bazillion ingredients, it looks like they have dropped a lot of the most offensive ones. Not perfect, but better in a pinch.

  21. To make the batter stick better: refrigerate after coating: dust a pan/plate with dry batter mixture and lay the battered chicken on top, then refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Also try replacing the milk with heavy whipping cream.

  22. Can I use honey instead of powdered sugar for this recipe? If so, can I use the same amount in the recipe?

  23. I was skeptical that this really would be like CFA, but when my husband took his first bite (without knowing this was a “copycat” recipe), he immediately said, “This tastes like Chick-Fil-A!” Later he added that this was “the most like fried” I’ve ever made. He usually doesn’t like anything “healthified,” so this is high praise! My 6-year-old liked it too; bonus! I did have trouble flipping it without ripping off the coating; I’ll try Jason’s suggestion to refrigerate next time. There was also way too much flour mixture, so I’ll reduce that to cut down on waste. I doubled the egg wash for 1.5 pounds, and I used so little that I suspect a single egg would be enough for at least 2 pounds.

    Thanks for the Chick-Fil-A sandwich that doesn’t make me feel yucky for hours after!

  24. I like what Vani is doing by informing the public of poisonous foods made by the various food chains. In addition, her article shows that we need to be on guard against food companies and food chains that appear to be honest but are not. Since being healthy is becoming trendy in a lot of big cities, companies are taking note and are lying about their ingredients, claiming their products are all natural, like Stevia In The Raw. Lastly, alternative oils to be used are olive oil, or grape seed oil.

  25. Horrible recipe tastes like bland and just not good especially compared to the sandwich of the gods the Chick-fil-A sandwich

  26. When the “fast food chains” were the smaller, mom & pop type restaurants, the ingredients and flavor were more on the natural side of cooking. The more popular the restaurant, the more the word spread on convenience and taste, the more they grew into franchises. Then prepare ahead and ship to the franchised restaurant seems to have been a business decision. I can remember when Wendy’s burgers actually tasted good, before Dave was no longer CEO. The original KFC had a much different taste in the early years, so did DQ, and even MickeyD’s. The founder of Chick-fil-A also is no longer with us.I am of an age when I remember these businesses in their early years..McDonalds’ started as a small walk up counter eatery, and so was DQ and a few others. It seems most commercial foods these days have a warning of some type or another. Unless they are bought fresh and prepared and cooked at home. So, all this to say, I appreciate having the truth about ingredients in the foods as it assists in making clear personal choices.
    P.S. Is it possible we have done this to ourselves as our modern society thrives on convenience, fast service, and low cost!

  27. Does anyone have a recipe that inculdes the unhealthy ingredients? I really want to make a chic fil a sandwich. Im very picky and wuill notice any difference in taste. Im sure this is good but I know its not going to be identical and that will bug me. Has anyone tried to replicate the actual sandwich using the full ingredient list? I know its unhealthy so if you are going to reply telling me not to make it like the real sandwich just save your breath please and me from getting my hopes up at a notification thinking it might be what im looking for lol.

  28. i worried about this. I think its almost impossible to recreate the sensation of fast food without using MSG.

  29. Great recipe. Twenty years ago thought Chic fila had a light smokey taste, think they used smoked paprika….we switched to organic,and probably ate out once or twice since then.

  30. CRAZY! Many of these same ingredients linked to obesity, etc. are in MOST CHILDHOOD VACCINES! Polysorbate 30 & 80 are said to enable chemicals tomcross the BLOOD BRAIN BARRIER, so some of the aluminum enters and REALLY causes neurological issues! Anyone seen when autism, behavioral disorders, SIDS, etc began becoming almost the norm??? Around the same time they went from 6-7 vaccines to 72 doses by the time kids reach 18, including 2 (STUpID ONES) given at birth! Welcome to the world, little
    one! Here’s a “vitamin K” shot (not even a vitamin!) and a HEP B shot, because we all know you’ll be sleeping around before you walk. See CHILDRENS HEALTH DEFENSE, Ashley Everly’s FB, Dr. Suzanne Humphries You Tube on vitamin K, Dr. James Neuenschwander, etc. YOU will LOSE your MIND.

  31. I had chick fil a one time in my life.Ordered a chicken sandwich at the Atlanta airport.It came in a bag that holds the heat but tears off the coating.Talk about rubber chicken,I took one bite and threw the rest in the garbage.The counter kid saw this and said “smart move sir.”

  32. I love what you do! When browsing your recipes
    I noticed the instructions call for “spraying” the chicken with olive or coconut oil. I just want to be sure that everyone here is aware that propellants are gases used to drive the fluid out of the can when you press down on the sprayer. A commonly used propellant is a combination of petroleum gas, propane and butane. The list could also include gases like nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and isobutene. A better option is to use is a propellant- free spray.

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