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The Best Food at Popeyes

The Popeyes menu is full of Louisiana-flavored dishes. From their signature fried chicken to seafood to side items, you can mix and match your meal to your heart’s desire.

As one of the best fried chicken chains, Popeyes offers an easy way to indulge in delicious Southern flavors.

Popeyes’ menu is famous for its fried chicken, including nuggets, tenders, wings, and sandwiches. It also offers a variety of Cajun-flavored sides, popcorn shrimp, and desserts.

I worked my way through the best Popeyes menu items and ranked them based on taste and overall experience so you know exactly what to order on your next visit.

Let’s get into it!

15. Mashed Potatoes With Cajun Gravy

Mashed potatoes are great to pair with fried chicken, and Popeyes’ Mashed Potatoes with Cajun Gravy puts a southern twist on the classic side dish.

It’s savory and creamy, and the Cajun gravy has just the right amount of spice.

These mashed potatoes can only be ordered as a side item and are available in a regular or large size.

Nutritional Information: (Regular)

110 calories, 4g of fat, 18g of carbohydrates, and 3g of protein.

14. Cajun Fries

Popeyes’ Cajun Fries are among the best fast-food fries I’ve tasted.

With a zesty Cajun seasoning, these straight-cut potato fries are great on their own or with any meal on the Popeyes menu.

They can only be ordered as a side item and are available in a regular or large size.

Nutritional Information: (Regular)

270 calories, 14g of fat, 33g of carbohydrates, and 4g of protein.

13. Cinnamon Apple Pie

The Cinnamon Apple Pie is currently the standard dessert option at Popeyes.

It’s hot, crispy, and hits the spot when craving something sweet.

Once you take a bite, you’ll be treated to gooey cinnamon and apple-flavored filling with small apple pieces.

Following a turn-over style reminiscent of McDonald’s Apple Pie, the outer shell of this pie that holds the inner goodness is then fried to a deliciously golden crisp.

Nutritional Information:

240 calories, 16g of fat, 35g of carbohydrates, and 3g of protein.

12. Coleslaw

As the only vegetable dish on the Popeyes menu, the Coleslaw definitely stands out.

Aside from being one of the few non-fried options, I enjoy the balance of mayonnaise and vinegar in this dish.

It’s also a great way to offset the Cajun spices found in most other menu items.

This side dish is available in a regular or large size.

Nutritional Information: (Regular)

140 calories, 10g of fat, 12g of carbohydrates, and 1g of protein.

11. Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are undoubtedly one of the most popular fast-food items of all time, and Popeyes’ Chicken Nuggets don’t disappoint.

They were not included on the menu until July 2021 and are made with the same white meat chicken, buttermilk breading, and Louisiana spice blend as their Signature Chicken recipe.

Chicken Nuggets are available in various sizes suitable for kids, individuals, or groups.

Meal sizes range from 4 to 48 pieces, some of which come a la carte while others include sides.

The 4-piece and 6-piece orders are available as kids meals, including a GoGo SqueeZ apple sauce, a Minute Maid apple juice drink, and a toy.

You can pair these bite-sized morsels with your favorite Popeyes sauces and dig in!

Nutritional Information: (4-piece)

190 calories, 12g of fat, 10g of carbohydrates, and 11g of protein.

10. Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice is an authentic Louisiana dish that has earned its place on the Popeyes menu.

Although it was briefly removed in 2021 as the restaurant chain worked to clean up its menu, customer demand brought it back, and it’s stronger than ever.

Popeyes combines long-grain rice and red kidney beans to create this hearty side dish.

It’s served in a sauce made with pork fat, brown sugar, and a blend of spices, which bursts with flavor.

Nutritional Information: (Regular)

250 calories, 16g of fat, 22g of carbohydrates, and 8g of protein.

9. Strawberry Cheesecake Cup

Cheesecake fans will fall in love with the Strawberry Cheesecake Cup.

This Popeyes dessert is a featured item, so you can only try it when it’s available.

It’s shaped like a perfect little pie for one and includes strawberry puree in a creamy cheesecake atop a graham cracker crust.

8. Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders fall into that sweet spot between nuggets and fried chicken meals.

They’re larger and have more meat than traditional nuggets but are not so big that you can’t dip and eat them with one hand.

I can tell you these are one of the best fast-food chicken tenders out there!

They are made with the same white meat chicken, Louisiana spices, and buttermilk breading as their signature chicken, so you can decide which form is your favorite.

Popeyes’ chicken tenders are available in multiple combos and meals with three flavors – classic, spicy, and blackened.

Standard meal options include a 3-piece and a 5-piece order with a side and a biscuit or as a combo that also includes a drink.

Nutritional Information: (3-piece)

450 calories, 21g of fat, 29g of carbohydrates, and 38g of protein.

7. Ghost Pepper Wings

If you’re looking for more heat in your meal than the regular Cajun seasoning, you’ll love Popeyes’ Ghost Pepper Wings.

They’re a limited-time menu item though, so be sure to get some when they’re available.

Ghost peppers are known to be six to ten times hotter than habanero peppers, and these wings are breaded and marinated in a ghost pepper spice blend.

They’re also served with a dipping sauce, so you can get creative with new flavor combinations. 

6. Biscuit

As one of the longest-running items on the Popeyes menu, the Biscuit deserves recognition.

With a slightly toasted crust outside and a soft and flaky inside, this buttermilk biscuit was the first side item to join Popeyes’ Signature Chicken.

It tastes great on its own and pairs well with any menu item.

While it’s included in most combo meal options, you can also order the biscuit a la carte.

Nutritional Information:

207 calories, 13g of fat, 20g of carbohydrates, and 3g of protein.

5. Popcorn Shrimp Meal

Popeyes is best known for its chicken, but the Popcorn Shrimp Meal is an excellent choice when you’re in the mood for seafood.

These shrimp are battered in the same buttermilk and Cajun spice blend as their chicken, resulting in bite-sized pieces that are fun and delicious to eat.

Get them with a side of cocktail or tartar sauce, and each bite will simply melt in your mouth.

The popcorn shrimp meal can be ordered with a side and a biscuit or as a combo that also includes a drink.

Nutritional Information: (1/4 lb. Shrimp only)

390 calories, 25g of fat, 28g of carbohydrates, and 14g of protein.

4. Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Fried Pie

The Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Fried Pie is the best dessert at Popeyes, in my opinion.

The pie is made of a blueberry and cream cheese filling with a hint of lemon to bring out the fruity blueberry flavor.

This filling is then encased in a golden crust and fried until crispy.

Overall, it has a delicious balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

Nutritional Information:

320 calories, 19g of fat, 35g of carbohydrates, and 4g of protein.

3. Homestyle Mac & Cheese

The Homestyle Mac & Cheese is the best Popeyes side item, hands down.

Popeyes uses real butter and cream to make the delicious cheese base, then adds shredded cheddar cheese on top to create a wonderfully savory crust.

It tastes like the mac & cheese mom would serve at home.

Nutritional Information: (Regular)

280 calories, 21g of fat, 16g of carbohydrates, and 11g of protein.

2. Signature Chicken

Popeyes’ Signature Chicken is what started it all.

Before the chain became successful, it was a struggling restaurant called Chicken on the Run, serving traditional Southern-fried chicken.

It was reopened in 1972 as Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken, this time selling New Orleans-style chicken, and the rest is history.

You can order Popeyes’ Signature Chicken in several meal options.

Individual entrees include 2-piece, 3-piece, or 4-piece chicken meals.

The 2-piece and 3-piece meals give you a choice between white meat and dark meat chicken, while the 4-piece meal includes both.

Each meal comes with classic or spicy wings and can be ordered with a side and a biscuit or a combo that includes a drink.

1. Chicken Sandwich

The Chicken Sandwich is my favorite item on the Popeyes menu.

I love the classic chicken sandwich, but you can also order the spicy version.

Both sandwiches include an all-white meat chicken breast marinated in a blend of Louisiana spices and coated in buttermilk breading.

They are served on a toasted and buttered brioche bun and topped with pickle chips.

The classic sandwich includes a mayo spread, while the spicy chicken sandwich uses a spicy mayonnaise sauce instead.

Popeyes’ chicken sandwiches can be ordered a la carte, as a dinner with a side, or as a combo meal with a drink and a side.

Nutritional Information: (Classic or Spicy)

700 calories, 42g of fat, 50g of carbohydrates, and 28g of protein.


Popeyes has hooked many customers on their fried chicken, which is hands down one of the most delicious.

Over the years, the Louisiana-inspired sides added to the menu have further turned the chain into a Southern flavor powerhouse.

Although I join the masses in my love for their Chicken Sandwich, there’s something so satisfying about pairing the Homestyle Mac & Cheese with tender pieces of their Signature Chicken!

Last Updated: July 19, 2023

About the Author

Lana Kisner is a writer on the team with more than 15 years of experience in the food service industry.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, and hiking with her dog.