Much like its quick service brethren, Popeyes has hopped on the celebrity endorsement train with its new Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce.
But this isn’t just a launch it and leave it situation. Megan Thee Stallion has apparently been heavily involved in the development of the sauce, a co-branded line of merchandise, a philanthropic commitment to donate to Houston Random Acts of Kindness, and a franchise agreement with the intent to open as many as five new Popeyes restaurants. Now that’s a partnership. I hope they give her some artistic freedom to make her franchise locations road-trip worthy because I would definitely go to a Megan Thee Stallion Popeyes.
Alright, on to the sauce.
Popeyes offers the Hottie sauce on either its new(ish) chicken nuggets or its infamous chicken sandwich. I opted for the 8-piece nuggets because I wanted to be able to focus on the sauce. The order came with two dip cups, which I think is standard for an 8 piece, so that’s a strategic bonus if you’re looking to try the sauce and save one for later.
At first glance, this sauce looks an awful lot like Popeyes’ Sweet Heat sauce, a well-established sauce that’s basically diluted honey and hot sauce. Noting visual differences, the Hottie sauce is richer in color and has flakes of red pepper throughout, which made me hopeful it would live up to its “Hottie” name.
Still, there’s a lot of internet speculation going around saying that the two sauces are the same. Let me just Poindexter that one real quick by clarifying that, technically/legally they have different ingredient lines, which means that by definition they are NOT the exact same sauce. But, yeah, they are similar.
The Hottie sauce has a sweet flavor up front, reminiscent of honey or sweet and sour sauce, and then builds a bit of heat in a nice balanced “oh this has hot sauce in it” gradual manner. I really enjoy spicy things, and I think the Hottie sauce falls into the same heat realm as the Popeyes “spicy” chicken tenders. That is, this could be hotter and I wouldn’t be mad.
Maybe Megan Thee Stallion was using the word “hottie” a la hot girl summer more so than an indication that the sauce was spicy. Oh well, a heat level to appease the masses isn’t entirely surprising from a major food chain. It definitely has a bit more kick than the Sweet Heat sauce.
I also thought the consistency of the sauce was spot on. I could dip a nugget or a chicken strip into this sauce and get a hefty amount of cling with limited drippage. Technical terms.
Overall I’d say this sauce is delicious. It falls a bit short in the innovation space since it’s very similar to the Sweet Heat sauce, and with the word “hottie” in the name, I had expected it to be a touch spicier, but it’s certainly not bad. I don’t know if I’ll ask for this sauce again, but I hope to visit a Stallion franchise location someday.
Purchased Price: $4.99 for 8 Nuggets and 2 Sauce Packets
Size: 0.90 oz.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available online for the Hottie sauce.