This spicy vegan fried chicken sandwich is crispy, covered in a spicy and savory sauce, and seasoned to perfection.
I have always loved Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and when I transitioned to a plant-based diet, this was one food item I really missed.
It wasn't really about missing the chicken itself, but more about how I could rarely find a vegan option that tasted anything like the original. I decided to make it my personal mission to make the best Nashville hot chicken sandwich, vegan edition.
All of the foods, spices, and flavors used in this recipe make this one of the best vegan sandwich recipes I've ever eaten!
Vegan Chicken Patty: I used Gardein vegan chick'n fillets in this recipe because I felt like they had more substance than some other options, but feel free to use any plant based "chicken" that you like best.
If you aren't sure where to start, check out this article with different plant based chicken options.
Coleslaw: I made a homemade plant based coleslaw to go on this sandwich, all of the ingredients and instructions can be found on the recipe card below.
You can make your own or use a store-bought options.
Pickles: I opted for dill pickle chips on this sandwich to give it a true Nashville hot chicken sandwich feel. You can use bread and butter pickles if you prefer.
Nashville Hot Sauce: I made my own homemade Nashville hot sauce recipe (see recipe card below) for this sandwich with the perfect balance of spicy with a bit of sweet.
Agave Nectar: The agave nectar is a substitute for honey, which gives this a vegan hot honey chicken flavor, yum! I usually find agave nectar in the grocery store in the section near syrups.
See recipe card below for quantities.
This vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich will take you on a serious flavor journey.
Not only are we making the sandwich itself, but we are also going to have the option to make our own homemade coleslaw and our own hot vegan chicken sandwich sauce.
If you opt to make the Nashville hot chicken sauce and/or coleslaw, you'll simply combine all of the ingredients and mix them up really well. I recommend doing this first, while the air fryer or oven heats up.
This allows some time for the flavors to meld and everything will taste even better!
Technically this is a vegan chickn sandwich because we aren't using real chicken (which is why this is both a vegan and vegetarian chicken sandwich recipe).
I cooked mine in the air fryer for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and flipped it halfway through the cooking time.
You can make your vegan chicken patty in the oven or on the stovetop following the package instructions if you don't have an air fryer at home.
After cooking the plant based chicken, making the coleslaw, and the Nashville hot sauce, it's finally time to assemble our vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich.
Toss the chickn patty in your Nashville hot chicken sauce to make the vegan hot chicken.
Slice the buns in half (option to toast the buns for extra delicious texture and warmth), add a layer of coleslaw to the bottom bun followed by the vegan hot chicken, pickles, a drizzle of agave nectar, more coleslaw, and finally the top bun!
Tips and Tricks
This sandwich is best when served right away (after cooling a bit, of course). Some of my recipes are great for meal prepping, but this one is better when eaten fresh.
If you do need to store this sandwich for later, remove the chick'n patty and store that separately so that reheating can be done in a pinch.
If you enjoyed this veggie chicken recipe, be sure to try these delicious plant based recipes next:
Spicy Vegan Chicken Sandwich
- Air Fryer -If you don't have an air fryer you can cook the chicken in the oven or on the stovetop.
- 2 cups cabbage shredded
- ½ cup vegan mayo
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pickles finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Nashville Hot Sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter melted
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 buns
- 2 vegan chick'n patties or fillets
- ¼ cup pickles
- ½ cup coleslaw
- ½ cup Nashville hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- Mix all ingredients (except the cabbage) together in a bowl until well combined.
- Toss the cabbage in the sauce until fully coated, then set aside.
Homemade Nashville Hot Sauce
- Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
- If you are using an air fryer (see notes below if you do not have an air fryer) preheat it at 400 degrees for several minutes. Cook the patty for about 10 minutes or until crispy, flipping halfway through the cooking process.
- Slice the buns in half and add a layer of the homemade coleslaw on the bun.
- Next, toss the cooked patty in the sauce and add to the bun.
- Add the pickles, a drizzle of agave nectar, and more coleslaw before placing the top of the bun on the sandwich.