Fried chicken lovers all over the country have long had a special place in their hearts and appetites for Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. Deeply rooted in Louisianan cuisine and known for its spicy and bold dishes, the restaurant’s menu is a veritable gold mine of delectable options just waiting to be discovered. In this piece, we extend an invitation to take a culinary voyage through the opulent realm of Popeye’s, uncovering the flavorful mysteries, tantalizing staples, and delightful surprises that adorn the menu. Popeye’s tantalizes the taste buds like no other, from its legendary spicy chicken, which is renowned for its crispy perfection and rich, flavorful seasoning, to an array of delicious sides like creamy mashed potatoes, buttery biscuits, and uniquely spiced red beans and rice.
Occasionally a food item will be accompanied by such hype that it will cause long lineups and sell-outs. Such was the case with Popeyes famous Chicken Sandwich. Of course with all the fuss, I had to try one for myself. I wouldn’t say Popeyes Chicken Sandwich is necessarily worthy of mass hysteria, but it is a pretty darn good chicken sandwich. A tender and juicy all-white chicken breast marinated in a blend of Louisiana spices, breaded in a crispy buttermilk coating, on a buttery toasted brioche bun, with tangy pickles and choice of classic or spicy mayonnaise– sounds pretty good to me. It stays nice and hot served in a foil takeout bag. I think it just might be the chicken sandwich that other chicken sandwiches strive to be. Available as a combo or à la carte (650 Cals), the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich continues to be a best-seller for franchises around the world. Read our review of the chicken sandwich here!
I love mashed potatoes. It’s also a nice change from fries. So when it comes to authentic sides, you cannot beat Popeyes Mashed Potatoes. Piping hot, creamy, butter-whipped mashed potatoes topped with a peppery Cajun gravy giving it a Southern kick. You can order mashed potatoes without the Cajun gravy, but why would you want to? A blend of bell peppers gives the gravy just the right amount of heat. I cannot resist dunking my biscuit into that tangy Cajun gravy! The ingredients in Popeyes Cajun gravy do include chicken as well as turkey stock, so hold the gravy as a vegetarian option. Available in Regular (140 Cals) and Large (310 Cals) sizes, Mashed Potatoes with Cajun Gravy is a must-have side with my Popeyes fried chicken.
Red Beans and Rice
Red beans and rice is another one of my favorite Popeyes signature sides straight from the Louisiana kitchen. A staple of Creole cooking, red kidney beans are slowly simmered with onion, garlic, bell peppers, and a blend of spices, thyme, cayenne, paprika, and served over seasoned rice. Traditionally, the addition of pork or sausage gave the dish a natural smoky flavor. Why does fast food does have to always be the same boring old thing? I enjoy discovering a food option like Popeyes red beans and rice. Something different. Popeyes popularity can be attributed to staying true to its Louisiana roots. I like how Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen recreates authentic recipes to offer sides unavailable in any other fast-food restaurant. Available in Regular (270 Cals) and Large (840 Cals) sizes, Popeyes red beans and rice is an authentic taste of Southern cooking.
When the restaurant was known as Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits back in the 1970s, biscuits were headlining. They still are. I cannot think of Popeyes chicken without the biscuits. The warm buttermilk biscuits are another signature item from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen that captures the taste of Southern cooking. The crispy, buttery crust breaks open into a moist, fluffy center. I do enjoy dipping my biscuit into Popeyes Cajun gravy for some added zing. Biscuits are included with every order of Popeyes fried chicken.
Marinated in a blend of Louisiana spices, Popeyes Chicken Tenders Meal comes in a variety of sizes for the entire family. The handcrafted, tender, juicy all-white chicken breast strips are breaded in Popeyes famous buttermilk coating and fried until crispy. I believe that Popeyes Chicken Tenders are as popular as their famous Chicken Sandwich! Chicken Tenders Meal comes with a signature side and buttermilk biscuit and is available in 3, 5, 8, 12, 16, and 20-pc combos. Popeyes goes all-in with their options for dipping sauces. Wild Honey Mustard, Bayou Buffalo, BoldBQ, Buttermilk Ranch, Sweet Heat, and my favorite, Blackened Ranch. Definitely my favorite tenders of all the fast-food restaurants!
Cinnamon Apple Pie
Is there anything more comforting than the smell of a freshly baked cinnamon apple pie? It instantly gives me that down-home feel. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen delivers that home-baked goodness with their Cinnamon Apple Pie. A crispy pie crust dusted with cinnamon opens to a warm, cinnamony apple pie filling. For only 270 calories, Popeyes Apple Cinnamon Pie is a delicious way to complete my Louisiana dining experience. Not into cinnamon? Popeyes has your sweet tooth covered by offering a Blackberry Cheese Cake Pie as well as a Strawberry Cream Cheese Fried Pie. I have tried them all. Yum!
Popcorn Shrimp Meal
If you are looking for a change of pace from Popeyes famous fried chicken, the Popcorn Shrimp Meal is a delicious alternative. Tender popcorn shrimp in Popeyes famous crispy breading seasoned with Louisiana spices, I like them with a signature side like Cajun fries and a buttery biscuit. The Popcorn Shrimp Meal also comes with a drink. The Popcorn Shrimp meal is great with the tangy cocktail sauce it comes with. It’s a blend of tomato ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and Louisiana seasonings. Keep an eye open for limited-time seafood options as well, such as Popeyes Wicked Shrimp!
Popeyes Cajun Fries are my favorite takeout fries (sorry, McDonald’s!). Hot and crispy with just the right level of Louisiana seasoning. A blend of salt, onion, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper sets Popeyes Cajun fries apart from other fast-food restaurants. I enjoy a side of Cajun fries (260 Cals) with a number of combos, whether some Popeyes fried chicken, tenders, the chicken sandwich, or a popcorn shrimp meal. Popeyes has a variety of signature dips or ask for a packet of Cajun Sparkle, a blend of Cajun spices to add to your fries.
A cross between a chicken nugget and a chicken wing, Popeyes Boneless Wings are tender pieces of chicken breast bite-sized for dipping. I love these as a snack, perfect for Sunday football! At one time a limited-edition menu item, Boneless Wings were brought back by popular demand and made it to the menu permanently. Do you remember the year of the chicken wing shortage? I do. It was rough. The Boneless Wing was to be a temporary substitute but became a huge hit. I like that Popeyes Boneless Wings come with a variety of dipping sauces to choose from, including Wild Honey Mustard, Bayou Buffalo, BoldBQ, Buttermilk Ranch, Sweet Heat, and Blackened Ranch.
Chicken Waffle Tenders
Fried chicken and waffles are part of the American South’s soul food culture. I do not understand quite how, but, the salty, crunchy chicken is somehow complemented by the buttered waffles in sweet syrup. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has managed to create the two tastes with their Chicken Waffle Tenders. Chicken Waffle Tenders are handcrafted by dipping them in a light waffle batter instead of classic buttermilk, then deep-fried. Chicken and waffles in one! Sign me up! With a side dip of sweet Honey-Maple sauce, Popeyes once again captures a Southern-style classic taste making it available as a delicious fast-food item.
Large Combo Boxes
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen features Large Combo Boxes big enough to feed the entire family. Choose either signature fried chicken or tenders in 8, 12, 16, or 20 piece combos. Depending on the size, large combo boxes come with 2-3 signature sides and 6-8 warm buttermilk biscuits. I like to select the best of both worlds by mixing signature spicy chicken and tenders in the same combo. Some locations also offer the famous Popeyes chicken sandwich as part of a large combo box. The 5 Sandwich Family Meal consists of 12 pieces of the brand’s signature chicken (mild or spicy), five chicken sandwiches (also mild or spicy), six biscuits, two large sides, and five apple pies. Also available as three or four sandwich family combo boxes.
Depending on the mood I’m in, sometimes I like to take it up a notch with Popeyes Spicy Chicken option. Popeyes signature Spicy Chicken is marinated in a blend of Louisiana spices then battered with the same crispy coating, but the crunch brings a subtle heat to warm my taste buds. The Spicy Chicken Sandwich features the same mouthwatering, hand-battered chicken breast on a brioche bun, but with a spicy mayonnaise instead of classic. I find it similar to a chipotle sauce, giving the chicken some Cajun heat that really complements the sandwich. This is great with a side of mashed potatoes and Cajun gravy!
Ghost Pepper Wings
As one of the world’s hottest chili peppers, the ghost pepper delivers the heat! Popeyes Ghost Pepper Wings are marinated for 12 hours, absorbing the flavor of a pepper said to be 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. I find Ghost Pepper wings to be flavorful hot, not overpowering. Not a regular feature on the menu, Ghost Pepper Wings are worth a taste when they are around. Try them with buttermilk ranch for dipping to help keep things cool. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen does not feature a wide range of chicken wings options on their menu– I find there are enough franchises out there focusing on just wings. However, do yourself a favor, whenever Popeyes Ghost Pepper Wings are available, they are definitely worth trying.
Louisiana and voodoo have been entwined throughout history. So it was appropriate for Popeyes to choose Halloween to introduce a spicy option from the Louisiana Kitchen. Too bad that Voodoo Tenders are a limited-time menu item. Classic Popeyes chicken tenders, hand-battered, with the crispy coating visibly covered with fried onions, garlic, and ghost peppers, drizzled with Voodoo hot sauce– I like my spice! Available as a 3pc or 5pc combo. One of my favorite Popeyes dips is the Voodoo sauce, both sweet and spicy, with a fusion of red chili peppers and pineapple. It is a nice complement to the subtle heat brought on by the ghost pepper flavor. Too bad the dip is as limited edition as the Voodoo Tenders!