As long as you know what ingredients to avoid and how to confidently special-order low-carb meals, you can safely enjoy fast food from time to time. Chicken joints are always a safe bet for low-carb meals because chicken is a common low-carb/keto ingredient. Read on to find out how to order low-carb at Popeye’s.
Popeye’s is a good option for customers on a low-carb diet. They have items on the menu that are already low-carb, and many of the rest can be easily modified.
- Low-carb friendly: Yes.
- Low-carb entrees on the menu: Yes, the most popular of which is the Blackened Handcrafted Chicken tenders.
- Satiety of low-carb entrees: Average. You will need to eat more than one serving of your low-carb meal to fill up. But if you naturally have a small appetite, then you’d have a happy tummy with a single serving.
- Taste of low-carb entrees: Above average. Popeye’s specialty is fried chicken, and it is delicious. Their low-carb item, the Blackened Chicken Tenders, tastes amazing.
- Value for your money: Average.
- Overall customer experience: Above average. Dining and takeout experiences are pleasant, overall, with the friendly and accommodating staff despite the out-of-the-ordinary order requests. As a chicken joint, Popeye’s may want to reconsider their batter recipe to make it more keto-friendly; but their Blackened Handcrafted Chicken Tenders are worth coming back for.
Popeye’s Low-Carb Options
Popeye’s don’t have a separate breakfast menu as they have chosen to stick with what they do best. Although this also means that menu options are not as expansive as other fast food places that offer breakfast, you can be sure that what they do offer is the best they got.
Popeye’s Blackened Handcrafted Chicken Tenders
- This meal is listed under their menu’s “Live Well” section. These are definitely keto friendly and also very yummy! The flavor is exceptional, but you’ll need another serving or a second low-carb meal to feel full. It’s one of the best fast food chicken you’ll have.
- Price – $4.49
- Estimated Macros – 170 calories and 2 net carbs
Spicy Fried Chicken Thighs, Regular Green Beans, sans the Biscuit
- The fried chicken is moderately low carb; you may want to remove some or all of the batter to make it low-carb. The chicken could use a little more kick, but is delicious. The green beans are a bit spicy, with bacon bits mixed in. Ask the cashier not to include the biscuit.
- Price – $5.29, for a two-piece chicken
- Estimated Macros – 565 calories and 12 net carbs (with some of the batter removed)
Original Drumsticks, Green Beans, sans the Biscuit
- Aside from the spice, the original batter is just as good as the spicy batter. You can keep the crispy batter for its added flavor.
- Price – $5.29, for a two-piece chicken
- Estimated Macros – 375 calories and 13 net carbs
- The Blackened Handcrafted Chicken Tenders are your best keto-friendly bet, and you won’t have to go through the difficulty of removing any of the tempting crispy chicken batter. Be ready to order double if you’re feeling especially hungry.
- If you still have room in your daily carb quota, you can indulge on Popeye’s regular-sized order of Green Beans, which are a tasty side.
- They also offer low-carb dipping sauces to make your chicken more interesting.
- If you are following a strict keto diet, you may want to avoid any of their battered fried chicken, which is moderately low-carb: the drumstick has 4 net carbs, and the full chicken breast has 14 net carbs.
What You Should Not Order
On a keto/low-carb diet, you should avoid the biscuits, fries, mashed potatoes, red beans & rice, mac & cheese, and corn on the cob. Other items on the menu that you should not order include:
- Sweet Heat – 19 net carbs
- Bayou Buffalo -16 net carbs
- Bold BBQ – 10 net carbs
- Creole Cocktail – 7 net carbs
- Coleslaw – 11 net carbs
- Battered Items
- Crispy Handcrafted Tenders, Spicy or Mild – 27 net carbs for 3 pieces
- Popcorn Shrimp – 25 net carbs
- Butterfly Shrimp – 30 net carbs
- Cajun Fish Fillet – 35 net carbs
- Catfish Fillet – 26 net carbs
- Handcrafted Nuggets – 13 net carbs