Popeyes sign

Popeyes sign (Photo by Jonathan Weiss on Shutterstock)

Dipping into Popeyes’s wide array of sauces is like stepping into a sauce-lover’s dreamland. They harbor all the classics like ketchup and barbecue but also give their own spin on fast food favorites. The best Popeyes sauces carry their own distinct personalities, and you’ll find yourself savoring every bite with anticipation, wondering which sauce will become your new obsession.

While the aroma of Popeyes’ crispy fried chicken and buttery biscuits might instantly transport you to flavortown, this beloved Louisiana kitchen’s journey deserves recognition. So, before you dive into that bucket of golden goodness and reach for the perfect dipping sauce, let’s rewind and savor a taste of Popeyes’ history and legacy.

The Popeyes story begins in 1972, not in the heart of the Bayou, but in New Orleans‘ suburbs. Alvin Copeland, a Louisiana native with a passion for good food and good times, opened the first Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. His mission? To bring the bold flavors and traditions of Cajun and Southern cooking to the world, one crispy drumstick at a time.

Copeland’s vision resonated. Popeyes quickly gained a loyal following for its juicy, flavorful chicken, seasoned with a secret blend of spices rumored to involve paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, and thyme. But the magic didn’t stop there. Popeyes became a haven for Southern hospitality, with friendly service and a lively atmosphere that felt like an extension of your own kitchen table.

Fast forward a few decades, and Popeyes is a global phenomenon. With over 3,400 restaurants in over 30 countries, it’s become synonymous with crispy chicken, fluffy biscuits, and – you guessed it – unforgettable dipping sauces. From the creamy comfort of Buttermilk Ranch to the spicy kick of Bayou Buffalo, each sauce adds a unique layer of flavor that elevates the Popeyes experience.

But here’s the kicker – it’s not just about the food. Sharing this saucy adventure with friends or family can turn a simple meal into a memorable bonding experience. The laughter, the friendly debates over which sauce reigns supreme, and the collective delight of discovering new favorites create moments you’ll cherish long after the last dip is gone. It’s the simple pleasures in life that become the best memories. This is why StudyFinds combed through 10 expert sources to craft a definitive list of the best Popeyes sauces for you to try and debate with your loved ones. Spicy and sweet or tangy and mild? Which is your favorite Popeyes dipping sauce combination? Leave a comment to let us know!

Popeyes chicken sandwich
Popeyes chicken sandwich (Photo by KDC-1 on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Popeyes Sauces, According to Experts

1. Blackened Ranch Sauce

At the top of our list of Popeyes sauces, recommended strongly by experts is Blackened Ranch sauce. Ranch sauce is great by itself, but according to this expert reviewer, it will never compare to the blackened sauce. “This sauce takes the top spot for me,” writes Dietary Habit. “As I sank my teeth into a succulent piece of Popeyes fried chicken, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle smokiness and tangy richness of the Blackened Ranch sauce that accompanied it. The creamy buttermilk base was perfectly balanced with the bold flavors of blackened seasoning, garlic, and onion powder, creating a depth of flavor that was both complex and satisfying.”

A fitness expert happens to agree with our top selection. “The best dipping sauce at Popeyes is their Blackened Ranch Dressing. Popeyes takes their traditional buttermilk ranch dressing and adds onion, garlic, and a blend of pepper and blackened seasoning to make for a perfect dipping sauce for chicken strips,” writes a reviewer from 8 Minute Fitness.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Popeyes brand was created in Louisiana which means the ingredients have an extra flavor not found anywhere else. “The classic ranch flavor is given an adventurous twist. Infused with Louisiana spices, this sauce takes the creamy ranch experience to a whole new, spicy dimension,” shares Daily DIY Life.

2. Sweet Heat Sauce

Second on our list of irresistible Popeyes dipping sauces is the notorious Sweet Heat. “I’m a big fan of eye-watering spicy foods, and this sauce brings plenty of heat tempered by a healthy ratio of golden honey,” writes Restaurant Clicks. “Cracking open into this sauce packet will unleash an intense chili aroma that might leave more sensitive palettes sweating in nervous anticipation. Still, it’s well-balanced and by no means overwhelming.”

Is Sweet Heat spicy? Yes, but it’s not as black and white as it seems. “While it’s true that Sweet Heat has some spice (it should, considering hot sauce is one of the main ingredients), you quickly discover that its bark is far worse than its bite. That’s because what starts as a peppery kick of flavor slides straight into caramelized, lip-smacking goodness that you’ll almost certainly want to pair with everything. Dark or white meat, plain or spicy, poultry or fish — no matter what, it’ll light a spark on your tongue with each and every bite,” shares Mashed.

Honestly, Sweet Heat is a confusing flavor, which may be a part of its appeal. “Popeyes’ Sweet Heat sauce has been a fan favorite since 2012, but it’s not for the faint of heart,” warns Shop Food. “Adequately named after its sweet and spicy flavors, this dipping sauce complements seafood as much as it does chicken. You can think of it as a sweet and sour sauce, but it has a spicy finish balanced by its sugary aftertaste.”

3. BoldBQ Sauce

If discovering a new favorite Popeyes sauce is your goal, you may be inclined to skip the BoldBQ because it’s just BBQ, but you would be missing out. “While staples such as garlic powder, soy sauce, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, and molasses make up the key ingredients, there’s something more going on here. We think that it’s the hearty taste that makes this dip so enticing. It’s seasoned to perfection, with a smokey essence many other barbecue sauces lack,” writes Mashed.

Old faithful flavors are still a hit with some food experts. “With just one dip into this luscious sidekick for all your grilled favorites, I have immediately swept away into a world of rich flavors,” adds Six Storeys. “The first bite coated my chicken with remarkably smooth sweetness, followed by a robust and smoky essence that nicely rounded up my taste experience. Popeyes has artfully crafted this sauce with an expert balance of flavors that perfectly complements their fried chicken tenders and nuggets while also shining as a standout choice for dipping ribs—or even mixing it up with fries!”

BBQ sauce with fries? It’s a natural combination, according to some food experts. “Fries, easily. It’s not that BBQ sauce and chicken tenders don’t go together, they do, but BBQ sauce often tastes better when it is baked straight onto the chicken. This dipping shit just doesn’t hit the same,” shares Uproxx.

4. Wild Honey Mustard Sauce

Wild Honey Mustard from Popeyes is…happiness. “This sauce is a treat with Popeyes’ chicken nuggets, offering them a sweet, tangy twist. It’s also a delicious pairing for the Cajun Fries or as a drizzle on your Chicken Po’ Boy,” says Daily DIY Life.

If napkins and utensils are essential to any meal, so is the Wild Honey Mustard dipping sauce. “The aroma of the Wild Honey Mustard Sauce is absolutely divine, with the sweetness of honey perfectly balanced with the tanginess of mustard. The texture is thick and creamy, making it perfect for dipping or spreading over your favorite dishes,” writes an expert from Dietary Habit.

The Wild Honey Mustard sauce from Popeyes will love you with a natural devotion like your mother does, if you allow it. “This Popeyes sauce made its debut in 2019 and has since gathered a strong following that keeps it popular to this day,” shares Shop Food. “It has a strong vinegar flavor at first taste, but the sweetness of the honey complements the initial tanginess perfectly. Despite ending on a sweet note, it leans more towards the mustard taste, which makes me prefer it with my chicken instead of fries.”

5. Mardi Gras Mustard Sauce

Do we really need another mustard sauce after being loved so thoughtfully by the Popeyes Wild Honey Mustard? “To my surprise, Mardi Gras Mustard was an elevated version of honey mustard. It was both zesty and sweet, and its slight kick brought out the spices of the chicken,” shares Sweety High.

I guess you get bored with loving stability after a while so cheating on your fave is a viable option. At least that is what we can glean from this Uproxx expert review. “So much more interesting than Popeyes’ Wild Honey Mustard. The Mardi Gras has a distinct and complex character with a hint of horseradish and cracked pepper and a subtly spicy aftertaste that gently burns on the palate,” adds Uproxx.

“As the sauce coated my tongue, I was hit with a wave of tanginess that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before,” shares an expert reviewer from Dietary Habit. “The mustard seeds added a subtle crunch, while the vinegar provided a slight sharpness. It was a bold and flavorful sauce, perfect for those who loved a little kick in their condiments. The sauce paired perfectly with the crispy and juicy chicken, cutting through the richness with its sharpness. The tangy flavor lingered on my tongue, leaving me wanting more. I found myself dipping my chicken into the sauce again and again, savoring every bite.”

How many minutes will it take you to drive to Popeyes from the time you read this? Leave a comment to let us know!

You might also be interested in:


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Te-Erika Patterson

Te-Erika is the Publisher of The Feisty News for Women, the only full-service news source for women. Te-Erika is also the author of How To Love a Powerful Woman, Leave Your Baby Daddy and Loving Female Led Relationships: Relationships that Empower Women. A graduate of The University of Florida, Te-Erika enjoys a thriving career as a digital content creator that has spanned more than a decade. She enjoys chocolate, wine and solitude, and she is currently living a quiet life in Montgomery, Alabama. Follow her @Te-Erika

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor