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Popeyes Calories & Nutrition Guide for 2024

Popeyes may be well-known for its crispy fried chicken and bold flavors, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of options if you’re trying to watch what you eat.


  • Popeyes blackened chicken tenders are generously seasoned and grilled, creating one of the best high-protein and low-calorie fast food options.
  • Popeyes classic chicken sandwich contains 700 Calories, 42g Fat, 50g Carbs, and 28g Protein.
  • All chicken can be ordered spicy for an extra kick and no additional calories.

Sure, a place famous for its Louisiana-style cooking might not scream ‘health food,’ but the menu is more versatile than you might think. There are choices that can fit into many types of diets.

It’s not my job to tell you what’s good or bad for you. I’m just here to give you the facts so you can make the best decision for yourself.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the calorie counts and nutritional information for Popeyes’ menu items. Then, we’ll discuss which ones could be the smarter choices depending on your dietary needs.

Remember, the best pick at any restaurant is the one that fits your personal health goals. Let’s get into it and find out what those picks are at Popeyes.

Table of Contents

    Healthiest Popeyes Menu Items

    Since we all define “healthy” differently, I can’t point to a single menu item and tell you that it is the best option. However, I can break down the best menu items based on specific dietary goals…

    Highest-Protein Popeyes Menu Items

    When it comes to protein, Popeyes has some worthy contenders. That doesn’t come as much as a surprise seeing as the menu is based on chicken, but there are some impressive options.

    5 PC. Classic Tenders: 770 Calories, 33g Fat, 58g Carbs, 63g Protein

    With a substantial 63g of protein, you won’t find a more impressive option than the classic tenders. However, with 770 calories, that is on the high side, so going the “blackened” route may be more appealing…

    5PC Blackened Tenders: 290 Calories, 3g Fat, 5g Carbs, 45g Protein

    Blackened chicken offers a ton of protein with very few calories thanks to the chicken being grilled instead of fried. With 45 grams of protein and only 290 calories, you won’t find a more impressive option.

    6 PC. Wings (Without Sauce): 680 Calories, 46g Fat, 17g Carbs, 45g Protein

    These wings bring you 45g of protein at 680 calories. They’re a bit higher in fat, but for those focusing on protein, it doesn’t get much more delicious than wings.

    Macro-Balanced Popeyes Options

    For those looking for a balance of fats, carbs, and protein, the following items offer a more rounded nutritional profile.

    Blackened Chicken Sandwich: 550 Calories, 29g Fat, 41g Carbs, 32g Protein

    It’s not just about the protein. This sandwich offers a decent balance with 32g of protein, 41g of carbs, and a moderate 29g of fat at 550 calories.

    Signature Chicken Breast: 380 Calories, 20g Fat, 16g Carbs, 35g Protein

    With 35g protein, 16g carbs, and 20g fat for 380 calories, a single chicken breast offers a solid macro balance, especially when paired with the right side dish.

    3 PC. Blackened Tenders: 170 Calories, 2g Fat, 3g Carbs, 27g Protein

    Blackened tenders seem to fit every category, and for good reason: they are packed with protein and low in calories. While these tenders won’t necessarily help you hit your fat or carb goals, it’s hard to argue with the macros at just 170 calories.

    Lowest-Calorie Popeyes Options

    If you’re mindful of your calorie intake, Popeyes offers some lighter choices that can help you enjoy their flavors without the high calories.

    Signature Chicken Leg: 160 Calories, 9g Fat, 5g Carbs, 14g Protein

    With only 160 calories per piece and providing 14g of protein, a single chicken leg is a low-calorie option that doesn’t skimp on flavor or protein.

    3PC Blackened Tenders: 170 Calories, 2g Fat, 3g Carbs, 27g Protein

    These blackened tenders are a standout choice with just 170 calories and an impressive 27g of protein. While you won’t get the satisfying crunch of fried chicken, the flavor is undeniable.

    Signature Chicken Wing: 210 Calories, 14g Fat, 8g Carbs, 13g Protein

    A full signature chicken wing contains 210 calories, which is lower than many other options. It’s worth noting that this is different from an order of wings, as a 6 piece will contain wings split into drums and flats, while this is one full wing.

    Popeyes Chicken & Fish Nutrition Facts

    Popeyes Chicken Calories & Macros

    The showstopper of the Popeyes menu, of course, is the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, which has become nothing short of legendary. It’s what started the Chicken Sandwich Wars against Chick-fil-A back in 2019, and it has been highly regarded ever since.

    With any chicken items, you have the option to choose spicy or classic. The spicy chicken nutrition facts are not listed in the above graphic because they are exactly the same as the classic chicken. While there may be the slightest difference in the numbers, spicy chicken simply has more spice added to the breading, so there is no sauce contributing extra calories.

    In addition to sandwiches, Popeyes also offers signature chicken (much like a bucket of chicken from KFC), tenders, wings, and nuggets.

    A 6 piece of wings clocks in at 680 calories, but this does not include sauce. Since the sauces can vary quite a lot, you can find the breakdown of each wing sauce in the next section.

    And for those who prefer their poultry with a little less breading (and calories), the Blackened Tenders are a standout option, giving you all the zesty, Cajun flavors without the extra calories from a fryer.

    Popeyes isn’t just for chicken lovers, though. Their Flounder Fish Sandwich throws a delicious curveball into the mix, as well as the butterfly and popcorn shrimp.

    Classic Chicken vs Blackened Chicken

    Popeyes classic vs blackened chicken

    When choosing between Classic and Blackened Chicken, think of it as a choice between tradition and innovation. The Classic Tenders are your quintessential Popeyes experience—crispy, juicy, and satisfying with every bite, clocking in at 460 calories for a 3-piece serving.

    But if you’re looking to cut down on calories without skimping on flavor, the Blackened Tenders are your best bet. In fact, they may just be the best option of any fast food restaurant for those seeking high-protein.

    Blackened tenders are seasoned with a blend of spices and then grilled instead of fried, offering a robust flavor without the crunch. While you may miss that crunch, they clock in at just 170 calories, which is a huge advantage.

    The classic tenders do offer a bit more protein (11 grams, to be exact), but the nearly 300-calorie difference is impossible to ignore. If calories are a concern, there is a clear top choice.

    In the end, whether you go classic or blackened, you’re in for a treat.

    Popeyes Sides and Dipping Sauces Calories

    Popeyes sides and sauces calories

    While you can choose to enjoy Popeyes chicken on its own, it’s rare to enjoy your chicken without some kind of delicious dipping sauce.

    But of course, not all sauces are created equally. If you’re watching your calories, you’ll want to stick with a lighter option such as the cocktail sauce, BoldBQ sauce, or buffalo sauce, all containing no more than 70 calories.

    Ranch will always be one of the highest-calorie options for a dipping sauce, but it is topped by the (limited time) TRUFF mayo at 170 calories per serving.

    It’s also worth pointing out that the sauce you choose for your wings can also vary greatly. While the buffalo sauce is one of the lowest-calorie dipping sauce options, the hot wing sauce is actually the highest-calorie option for wings.

    That really surprised me, but it’s because the hot wing sauce has a base of butter, making it high in calories and fat.

    And we cannot forget about the side dishes. While mashed potatoes and coleslaw are delicious, Popeyes cajun fries are the standout here. At 270 calories, they’re not far off from other fast food fries out there, but they are easily one of the most delicious.

    Calorie-Saving Tips at Popeyes

    If you’re watching your calories, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid Popeyes and all the delicious offerings. Here are some tips to help you enjoy what Popeyes has to offer without going overboard on calories:

    1. Go for the Blackened Chicken Options: With significantly fewer calories than their classic fried counterparts, the Blackened Chicken items give you the protein and flavor without the excess calories.
    2. Choose Smaller Portions: It can be tempting to upgrade to a larger size for just a few cents more, but sticking to regular sizes can save you hundreds of calories. Those large fries might look tempting, but the regular portion should be plenty.
    3. Be Selective with Sides: Sides like fries are delicious, but they may not be the ideal pairing for every meal. Opt for mashed potatoes or coleslaw for a lighter addition to your meal.
    4. Watch the Dipping Sauces: They may seem inconsequential, but the calories in those sauces can add up quickly. If you can, use half the sauce or skip it altogether.
    5. Skip the Mayo: When ordering a sandwich, you can save a fair amount of calories by choosing no mayo. Mayo typically adds around 100 calories to a sandwich, so you can swap it out for a lower-calorie option like hot sauce or ketchup.
    6. Don’t Be Fooled by ‘Fish’: You might think the Fish Sandwich is a lighter option, but the calorie count is on par with the chicken sandwiches. Make sure you check on the macros before choosing an option that sounds lighter.

    By keeping these tips in mind, you can make more informed choices at Popeyes that won’t derail your dietary goals. Enjoying fast food responsibly is all about balance, and with a little know-how, you can have your chicken and eat it too.

    Conclusion: Is Popeyes Healthy?

    Fried chicken and “healthy” don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but Popeyes has plenty of options to cater to any diet.

    I suppose if your definition of healthy is eating vegetarian, then you might have an issue here. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to choose a Popeyes meal to fit your dietary goals.

    The standout option at Popeyes is the blackened chicken, which is a delicious way to get in lots of protein without a ton of calories. If eating high-protein is the goal, there is no better way to do it.

    With plenty of chicken options, sides, and dipping sauces, you can build your ideal meal at Popeyes while staying perfectly on track toward your goals.

    While Popeyes (and other fast food options) may not fit the traditional definition of “healthy,” you could do far worse.

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    About Matt Rosenman

    With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More