Can you eat Popeyes on the Keto Diet?

Here’s the best things to eat at Popeyes on the Keto diet.


Are you planning to go on a diet but don’t want to give up your favorite foods? It is tough to stop eating something that you love, and it may even end up weakening your resolution. What if we told you that you can go to a place like Popeyes and still maintain your diet plan? Hard to believe but true.

A keto diet is a low carb, and high fat + protein diet, and Popeye may not seem like the ideal location. But what if we told you now you can eat the yummy food at Popeye without compromising on your diet plan? Here is some info on how to get the best keto food at Popeyes.

Popeyes is a famous fast-food chain based in Louisiana, with over 2,700 restaurants in the U.S. and worldwide. They specialize in fried chicken and biscuits. It seems like the last place anyone on a low carb or keto diet would willingly go to. Popeye has some super delicious food, and if you feel tempted, it is understandable. What you can do is look at the menu choices carefully and see what will work for you.

Popeyes is famous for its breaded and fried chicken in the Southern-style of cooking, but there is also a lot of protein in the chicken. You can make it keto-friendly with a little bit of effort.

How Does Keto Diet Work?

One of the most popular and most followed diets is the Keto diet. A typical ketogenic diet consists of 70 % fat which can go up to a staggering 90 %. Protein is at around 20 %, and carbohydrates at 10 % or even less. People who have tried this diet claim to have dropped excess pounds fast. It is beneficial in other ways, such as reducing hunger, managing diabetes, helping with epilepsy, burning more calories, improving blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol. A ketogenic diet’s main aim is for the body to enter a state of ketosis through fat metabolism. With low levels of carbs, fats are converted into ketones to fuel the body. 

How To Have A Popeyes Keto Diet?

Popeyes offers some finger-licking delicacies but are they all fit for someone following a keto diet? Even if these dishes are not ideal and not possible to eat at home, what do you do? What if we told you that you can have the delicious Popeyes specials with the help of some tips and remain true to your diet plan? Well, now that you are at Popeyes, here are a few things that you can try to be able to carry on with your keto diet-

1. Pick the breading off the chicken

It sounds messy, and it is a bit messy, but if you can do this, it will reduce your carbs intake. This way, you will get the proteins from the chicken and some fat but can avoid carbs. 

2. Choose a leg, wing, or thigh

Thighs, legs, or wings tend to have more fat than chicken breasts, so ordering these pieces is better. Moreover, by removing the breading from these pieces, you will further bring the carbs down. 

3. Feel free to ask

There is no harm in asking about all the options available but also ask about options which are possible.  At some outlets, they won’t mind dropping a piece of non-breaded chicken on the grill for you. This may not happen everywhere, but no harm in asking. 

4. Bring Your Own Bun (BYOB)

When recently Popeyes ran out of buns for their sandwiches, they encouraged customers to BYOB. You can carry a low-carb and gluten-free bun or even take a lettuce wrap and eliminate buns. This way, you can have a low-carb sandwich without feeling guilty. 

5. Order fish and seafood

Fish and seafood are also breaded and fried, but because fish has more fat, you can order this to follow a keto diet. 

What Can You Order At Popeyes?

Popeyes offers chicken in many different ways, but most of them are not suitable for a person following a keto diet plan. However, there is one item that is most keto-friendly-

  • Low carb blackened chicken tenders

These blackened chicken tenders are high in protein but low in fat. You can add a lot of fat with your favorite sauces. The chicken tenders are coated in their signature blackened chicken seasoning and then deep-fried to perfection. Though these pieces are not breaded, they still have 2 to 6 grams of carbs. All the seasonings add up to this carb count. 

A 3-piece blackened tender has 170 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 26 grams of protein.

  • Low carb sides at Popeyes

Though there are not too many low-carb options at Popeyes, you can still find something keto-friendly. The best sides here are biscuits and mashed potatoes with gravy, and both these sides are a big no for the keto diet. One side dish which you can give a try is their slow-cooked green beans with turkey bacon. Among all the side dishes, this one is the best option. 

  • Sausage or Bacon biscuit

Though not very low in carbs, sausage or bacon biscuit is a good option. You can ask them to add eggs, cheese, or extra bacon to increase fat and proteins. Though these two are good choices, the best thing would be to not order biscuits at all. 

  • Drink options

When choosing a drink, you definitely want to avoid sugary drinks on a keto diet. What can you drink? 

  • Popeyes offers diet Coke and diet Pepsi 
  • Unsweetened iced tea 
  • Sauces

Popeyes is well known for its wide array of sauces. They have a separate menu for sauces which range from sweet and spicy to creamy and tangy. When choosing a keto-friendly sauce, look for low carbs, Blackened ranch and buttermilk ranch are two of the best options for sauces. 

What To Avoid At Popeyes?

Now that you have some idea about how and what to eat at Popeyes when following a low carb diet, let us also tell you about items which you should simply avoid at Popeyes.

  • Fried chicken sandwich has breading on the chicken and bread or bun on top of this breaded chicken. Beat to avoid this excess carb food. 
  • Fried chicken pieces with bread. While the wings have lower carbs, you will still eat 5-6 pieces and ingest a lot of carbs. 
  • Sides of red beans, rice, biscuits, mashed potatoes & gravy
  • Desserts and sugary sodas
  • Sauces with high carbs such as Creole cocktail, bayou buffalo, and sweet heat. 

Some Tips & Points For Ordering

Though it is not very easy to find keto-friendly food at Popeyes, if you follow these tips, you may be able to feed yourself without feeling any guilt. 

  • You may have to wait for some time for the blackened chicken to be cooked. 
  • Be bold and patient. Ask for the chicken to be cooked in the way you want. Explain clearly what you want. 
  • Tell them not to add biscuits to your order if you feel you will be tempted. 
  • Only use low-carb sauces with your meal.
  • No soft drinks which are full of sugar

Following Keto At Popeyes Is Possible

Popeyes specializes in fried chicken, and this is not a place to go out of choice for keto followers. However, if you find yourself there, you can make some good choices and selections to keep your diet plan. The naked chicken tenders and blackened chicken tenders are two such dishes that you can order at Popeyes. Enjoy the delicious food at Popeye without losing track of your keto diet plan. 

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