REVIEW: Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich

Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich Whole

Before Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich became the darling of the fast food world, the chain was known for its array of dipping sauces. It seemed like there was something new for us to dip its fried food in every quarter. So it’s not surprising to see Popeyes pop out a new condiment for its Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich, which combines creamy herb buttermilk ranch with a zesty and buttery buffalo sauce.

I guess Popeyes could’ve included two different sauces with this sandwich, but that would’ve been, as they like to say in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry, inefficient. The orange Franken-flavoring is applied to both halves of a buttery brioche bun that also holds the brand’s signature hand-battered and breaded chicken and barrel cured pickles.

Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich Top

However, the combo doesn’t create a condiment that I’d consider a Buffalo ranch. Instead, it’s more like a buffalo ranch. Think of it as a less intense Buffalo sauce in terms of flavor and heat, and whatever ranch notes there are, they’re not noticeable. It’s as if the Buffalo sauce’s vinegary tang hides the ranch’s tang. It also doesn’t help that the pickles cut through the condiment’s intensity.

Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich Split

You know what you’re getting with the chicken if you’ve had any previous Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. It’s a pleasantly plump piece that has an equally pleasant crunchy coating. But, because the sauce’s flavor isn’t too bold and the poultry is thicker in the middle, it’s the reason why I didn’t notice the condiment at all when I took bites from the center of the sandwich. However, the Buffalo flavor was much more noticeable when I took bites from the sandwich’s edges.

Popeyes’ Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich is a fine evolution of the original but doesn’t surpass or equal it. Because of the solid base built with the now familiar chicken, pickles, and bun, even the addition of a slightly disappointing sauce still makes it worth a try. Although, if you’re a ranch stan, this sandwich may disappoint your taste buds.

SIDE NOTE: I’d really like to see Popeyes reach into its vast sauce vault (it’s probably called The Sault and located in Louisiana) and offer its chicken sandwich with previous sauces.

Price: $7.69*
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 634 calories, 35 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 86 milligrams of cholesterol, 1667 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 29 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did. Also, I got it delivered, so it was 70 cents more expensive in the Doordash app.

REVIEW: Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie

Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie Wrapper

What is Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie?

As the smoke finally clears from the drawn-out and bloated chicken sandwich wars that it started, Popeyes has set its sight on something many of its competitors already offer — chocolate chip cookies. Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and even KFC, all who were challenged by Popeyes’ titan of a chicken sandwich in 2019, have all offered cookies for years, and this time it’s Popeyes showing up fashionably late to the party.

How is it?

What set Popeyes’ chicken sandwich apart from the rest was its hand-breaded freshness. While I know it’s a fast food sandwich, it still felt like a step above the price point and an experience that lived up to and exceeded the hype.

Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie Top

It’s with that mindset that I was immediately let down when handed a chocolate chip cookie inside of a cellophane bag, clearly not baked on-site and far from fresh.

Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie Split

Maybe my expectations for Popeyes are too high, but this cookie tastes about as generic and nondescript as you can imagine. The base has a typical brown sugar and vanilla flavor with a less than desirable amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips throughout. It’s a bit dry and crumbly, not stale per se but a far cry from the soft and fresh texture of a place like Subway. This cookie isn’t awful, but for such a late entrant into the cookie space, it’s wholly unremarkable.

Anything else you need to know?

Popeyes Chocolate Chip Cookie Bottom

Did this cookie come from Safeway? Costco? KFC? If I didn’t walk into Popeyes and buy it with my own two hands, I would never be able to tell — it’s the definition of underwhelming and basic.


For a chain that delivers an apple pie with a legitimately crispy crunchy fried outer shell and pulled off freshly fried chocolate-filled beignets, this cookie feels like the definition of an afterthought and not one worthy of capping off a meal that starts with Popeyes’ fantastic sandwich.

Purchased Price: 79 cents
Size: One Cookie
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 190 calories, 08grams of fat, 5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Popeyes Homestyle Mac & Cheese

Popeyes Homestyle Mac  Cheese Bowl

Popeyes, widely regarded as the champion of fast food fried chicken, has a new and improved Homestyle Mac & Cheese.

Did you know it had an old and un-improved Homestyle Mac & Cheese? I sure didn’t. See, the thing is, I’ve never been able to bring myself to order anything other than the red beans and rice or the mashed potatoes with cajun gravy. And this is odd because, as a human person, I love macaroni and cheese. I even love macaroni and cheese from other fast-food chicken places. It is one of my go-to sides when I end up at KFC, where I gladly consume it despite the fact that it tastes inexplicably chlorinated.

But Popeyes nails it on chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and the aforementioned sides, so why WOULDN’T it make a magnificent mac & cheese, too?

Well, they do.

Popeyes website boasts that its new noodle dish is “made with real butter and cream and topped with shredded cheddar cheese,” and this story checks out. The noodles themselves are perfectly cooked — soft and tender but not mushy. And there is plenty of cheese — a mild, creamy cheese that lovingly coats each noodle and the sharper, chewy cheddar that hides in pockets throughout the bowl.

Popeyes Homestyle Mac  Cheese Spoon

It is a rich dish — likely owing to the real butter and cream — but not so rich that you won’t be able to eat the whole thing in like, 90 seconds and then go, “Dammit, Brandon, why did you eat the whole thing? Can’t you exercise more restraint than that?”

Despite the adulation, I do have two quibbles with this delectable side.

The first is that the texture is very one-note. And I get it, I do, this is mac & cheese, which is, by and large, a creamy, soft dish. But you know what elevates a very good mac & cheese to a great mac & cheese? A crunchy top. You know, breadcrumbs or what have you. You get a bit of textural differentiation because of the melted shredded cheddar, but it’s not enough to break up the monotony in your mouth. (Which again, I assure you, isn’t enough to keep you from wanting to consume an industrial barrel’s worth of this stuff.)

Second, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now when I get a meal and have to choose two sides. My gut says to alternate between the red beans and rice, mashed potatoes, and the new mac & cheese like a responsible adult. However, the fat kid who lives in my brain says, “GET ‘EM ALL, BUDDY. IT’S THE FUTURE. YOU CAN JUST 3D-PRINT SOME NEW ARTERIES.”

God bless technology, and god bless this macaroni and cheese.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Regular
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 22 grams of fat, 13.5 grams of saturated fat, 0.6 grams of trans fat, 609 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Popeyes Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce

Popeyes Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce Container 1

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.

Popeyes Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce Container

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.

Popeyes Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce Closeup

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.

Popeyes Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce One Sauce

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.

REVIEW: Popeyes Chicken Nuggets (2021)

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets 12 Count

Popeyes has always been in a class of its own and, since the splashy debut of its chicken sandwiches in 2019, it’s been awesome to see it get the recognition it deserves. Those chicken sandwiches also got people through the door who had never tried Popeyes before. Now, hoping to continue to entice folks to its stores, the chain is taking on another fast food chicken staple: nuggets.

It’s currently offering nugget meals for one (8 or 12 count) that include a side, biscuit, and drink or à la carte nuggets (24, 36, or 48 count) that are shareable. Despite my desire to dive headfirst into 24 of them, I opted to go with 12.

Oh, I’d just like to take a moment to praise our digital overlords for giving us apps in which we can mobile order items with ease. Popeyes’ app was easy to use, and it has recently started a rewards program.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Coating

The average Popeyes nugget is larger than Chick-fil-A’s in both amount of meat and level of breading. The crispy, crunchy coating we’ve become accustomed to with Popeyes’ other chicken is present and delicious.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Meat

What immediately puts this ahead of the tenders for me was a more preferable, almost equal ratio of breading to meat. Currently only being offered in mild, the flavor is that familiar Popeyes taste that is peppery strong, but not painfully spicy. Within the breading, the white meat chicken breast is juicy and tender, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect.

I could select two dipping sauces with my order, but honestly, I found myself mostly enjoying the nuggets on their own. That said, the Blackened Ranch was better than expected, and the BoldBQ reminded me of what Wendy’s BBQ used to be like.

If I had to offer any real negatives, it was some of the inconsistency in sizing when it came to the nuggets. Out of the 12, four were comparable to Chick-fil-A nuggets in size. Chances are it might just be a kitchen crew getting used to preparing a new item, and I think it will get more even as time goes on.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Box

I so very much enjoyed these and hope they will be successful enough to stick around for a bit. Heck, maybe we can even get a spicy version if they prove to be popular enough. While I doubt we’ll see the same fervor surrounding these as we did in 2019 with the sandwiches, they are worth the try and a tasty addition to an already stellar lineup of offerings from Popeyes.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 12 count
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 nuggets) 450 calories, 28 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 76 milligrams of cholesterol, 690 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.