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Every Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, Tasted & Ranked for 2024

In a surprising twist, the chain's newest sandwich was the best of the bunch.

August of 2019 was a historical month for fast food as Popeyes debuted its highly anticipated fried chicken sandwich. The menu item ignited fierce competition among chains big and small, with seemingly everyone launching their own fried chicken sandwich—an industry-wide phenomenon that still persists today.

Now, Popeyes offers several different versions of the beloved item, including Classic, Spicy, Blackened, Spicy Blackened, Bacon & Cheese, and the newly launched Golden BBQ. With the options proliferating, I wondered which Popeyes chicken sandwich is actually the best. Can you really beat the unbeatable classic and spicy versions that made this sandwich famous?

I set out to taste every single one of these options. I swung by my local Popeyes, rounded up the six chicken sandwiches, and tasted each one, paying close attention to flavor and texture. Here's how the sandwiches stacked up, ranked in descending order from my least favorite to the absolute best Popeyes chicken sandwich.

Blackened Chicken Sandwich

poeyes blackened chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 550
Fat: 29 g fat (Saturated Fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 1900 mg
Carbs: 41 g (Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 32 g

In May 2021, select Popeyes locations introduced the Blackened Chicken Sandwich for a limited time. This sandwich later returned to menus for another limited-time stint in November 2022 before becoming a permanent offering in May 2023. Available in classic and spicy varieties, this sandwich features a whole unbreaded chicken breast that's marinated for 12 hours, seasoned with Cajun spices, and served on a toasted brioche bun with classic or spicy mayo and barrel-cured pickles. While this sandwich wasn't listed on the Popeyes app for me, I was able to secure the menu item by ordering it in-person. This sandwich cost me $4.99.

The look: Out of all the chicken sandwiches, this one was loaded with the most mayo, with both the top and bottom of the bun given a hearty slather of the creamy condiment. As someone who isn't a huge mayo fan to begin with, I didn't find this particularly inviting. Resting atop the thick layer of the spread were two poker chip-sized pickles and the unbreaded, golden-brown fried chicken filet, which was speckled in black seasoning.

The taste: One word: salty. While the chicken itself was moist, salt was the most overpowering flavor, discouraging me from taking another bite. Additionally, I found the excessive amount of mayo to be off-putting. The tangy pickles were this sandwich's only saving grace.

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Spicy Blackened Chicken Sandwich

poeyes spicy blackened chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition information unavailable

The Spicy Blackened Chicken Sandwich sets itself apart from the Classic version by featuring spicy mayo instead of the standard condiment. Like the Classic, this sandwich cost me $4.99.

The look: This spicy sandwich contained dollops of pale yellow spicy mayo on both the bottom and top of the toasted brioche bun. However, this sandwich had far less of the spread than the regular Blackened Chicken Sandwich. Then came the two pickles and the unbreaded golden-brown chicken breast, which had some crispy bits.

The taste: While this was still noticeably salty like the Classic Blackened Chicken Sandwich, the spicy mayo did offer some additional heat to slightly distract from the saltiness. Plus, I will always opt for a spicy, flavored mayo over the plain variety. That being said, the spicy condiment wasn't enough. While this sandwich was better, its higher ranking is mostly due to the more even distribution of ingredients.

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Bacon & Cheese Chicken Sandwich

popeyes' bacon and cheese chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 830
Fat: 53 g fat (Saturated Fat: 19 g, Trans Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 1,875 mg
Carbs: 51 g (Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 36 g

When Popeyes permanently added its Blackened Chicken Sandwich to the menu in 2023, it also announced that customers can customize any of the chain's sandwiches with the addition of applewood-smoked bacon and Havarti cheese. I ordered this sandwich in the Classic variety, which included the chain's famous fried chicken breast, mayo, and pickles on a brioche bun. This sandwich cost me $7.49—three dollars more than the other five sandwiches I tried.

The look: This sandwich was fully loaded, presenting a variety of textures, from crispy breaded chicken to creamy mayo to crunchy pickles. Then, there was the pale, holey Havarti cheese, which was slightly translucent, appearing somewhat plastic-like—and not the most appetizing.

The taste: Although the bacon and cheese are intended to offer extra flavor, I found these add-ons unnecessary. The Havarti cheese was extremely mild in taste, solely providing a slightly gooey consistency to the sandwich. Meanwhile, the bacon just added unwanted saltiness and wasn't particularly crispy. (However, this could also be due to to this sandwich sitting out for a while). Take the bacon and cheese away, and you've got yourself a sandwich that is flavorful enough on its own, thanks to the fried chicken, slightly sweet brioche bun, and pickles.

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Spicy Chicken Sandwich

popeyes spicy chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 700
Fat: 42 g fat (Saturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 1,635 mg
Carbs: 50 g (Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 28 g

Like the Spicy Blackened Chicken Sandwich, this menu item features Poeyes' spicy mayo and pickles on a brioche bun. I picked up one of these sandwiches for $4.99.

The look: Out of all four sandwiches, this one had a notably larger chicken filet with multiple shades of brown that darkened with increased crispiness. The buns had small dollops of spicy mayo that resembled the pale yellow color of honey mustard. Despite its generously toasted appearance, the bun felt a bit soggy.

The taste: While this sandwich certainly packed the heat, it wasn't overpowering. But maybe this was because I expected it to be spicier. However, the heat did linger in my mouth for several minutes after I finished eating. The pickles helped temper the spice, though I wished there were just a couple more of them. While I enjoyed this sandwich and didn't have any major complaints, I'd still choose a Classic over this one.

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Classic Chicken Sandwich

popeyes classic chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 700
Fat: 42 g fat (Saturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 1.5 g)
Sodium: 1,765 mg
Carbs: 50 g (Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 28 g

Enter: the Classic. This menu item contains the same ingredients as the Spicy sandwich but swaps out the spicy mayo for the standard white condiment. I purchased this sandwich for $4.99.

The look: A bit lackluster. This sandwich was the flattest of the bunch, with mayo spilling out of the sides of the bun. However, I was still drawn in by craggly, crunchy texture of the chicken's crispy breading.

The taste: This was the first Popeyes chicken sandwich I tried—and it didn't disappoint. While the soft brioche bun was on the greasy side (which was the case with all of the sandwiches), the flavor made up for this quality, presenting the same subtle sweetness I enjoyed with the other sandwiches' buns. And, as with the other options, the pickles provided a delicious burst of sour flavor that just made me want more of them. The chicken was savory without being too salty, and while I did wish for slightly more crispiness, this Popeyes chicken sandwich was still a solid option overall. However, there was still one more sandwich I'd reach for before this one.

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Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich

popeyes' golden bbq chicken sandwich on a white plate
Brianna Ruback / Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 620
Fat: 32 g fat (Saturated Fat: 12 g, Trans Fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 1,550 mg
Carbs: 54 g (Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 12 g)
Protein: 28 g

In May, Popeyes expanded its chicken sandwich lineup with its new Golden BBQ offering. This sandwich consists of the chain's buttermilk-battered chicken breast, a sweet and tangy Golden BBQ sauce, and pickles on a toasted brioche bun. Essentially, it's the Classic with honey mustard sauce instead of mayo. I picked up one of these sandwiches for $4.99.

The look: This one looked quite similar to the Spicy fried chicken sandwich, as they both featured pale yellow condiments that resembled honey mustard. In fact, I had a difficult time telling the two sandwiches apart. Like the others, the bun had a slightly oily sheen, while the chicken filet was on the thicker side.

The taste: The golden barbecue sauce—aka honey mustard— added delicious notes of sweetness and smokiness, as well as a little bit of spice. This complemented the savory fried chicken nicely, as did the tangy pickle slices, which added some zing. While this sandwich isn't a major departure from the OG—a finding highlighted in a previous Eat This, Not That! taste test—all of the elements worked together to earn this menu item the top spot in my taste test.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna