Best Popeyes Sides: Top 5 Add-On Dishes, According To Foodies

Popeyes is celebrated for its scrumptious fried chicken, but we all know that no chicken dish is complete without comforting sides. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of mouth-watering favorites at the New Orleans-based fast food chain to pair with your order. Inspired by southern cuisine, Popeyes has streamlined its sides menu, offering only six choices: biscuits, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, red beans and rice, coleslaw, and Cajun fries. We’ve ranked the top five best Popeyes sides for you. Interestingly, one side didn’t make the cut.

The “Louisiana Fast” chain’s mouthwatering side dishes complement every meal. The menu offers a delightful array of options to tantalize your taste buds. Their signature Cajun rice is a flavorful concoction of seasoned rice with the perfect blend of spices, adding a zesty kick to your meal. The buttery, creamy mashed potatoes are a comforting choice, topped with their delicious signature gravy, which provides a rich and savory flavor.

Popeyes’ iconic red beans and rice are a taste of the South, featuring tender red beans cooked to perfection and seasoned with a smoky and satisfying flair. The coleslaw, a crisp and tangy cabbage salad, offers a refreshing contrast to the savory chicken, and the warm, buttery biscuits complete the feast with their soft, flaky texture. Popeyes’ side dishes are the ideal complement to their world-famous chicken, ensuring a memorable and mouthwatering dining experience.

After canvassing many foodie websites, a consensus emerged, and we have put together a list of the top five best Popeyes sides as rated by the experts. While these are the popular choices from our research, we’d love to hear what Popeye’s side you like and which ones you don’t in the comments below.

Popeyes sign
Popeyes sign (Photo by Jonathan Weiss on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Popeyes Sides, According to Experts

1. Biscuits

You can’t visit Popeyes without indulging in their iconic biscuits. Every list we’ve checked places these biscuits at the pinnacle. Timeout describes them as “tender yet flaky, with a delightful crumble.” Just thinking about them makes my mouth salivate. “Whether you eat them plain or create your own chicken sando, you can’t go wrong.”

Shopfood agrees, “It is a delicious, warm, and flakey buttermilk biscuit, making it the perfect addition to any meal from Popeyes.” The website encourages you to try “dipping the biscuit into Cajun gravy, turning chicken tenders into a sandwich, or pairing it with Honey Sauce to get the sweet fix.”

“These flaky, buttery buns are perfectly crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside,” according to 8 Minute Fitness. “These make the perfect accompaniment to any entrée and are delicious dipped in their Mashed Potatoes. Popeyes biscuits have 20 grams of carbs and 210 calories.”

2.  Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

For many, mashed potatoes evoke memories of family gatherings, holidays, and other special occasions. You’ll create wonderful new memories with each bite of these mashed potatoes. “Oh-so-buttery. Oh-so-peppery!” exclaims Cheapism. “The Cajun gravy brings a layer of extra flavor that those creamy mashed potatoes need, and really, no other fried chicken chain should bother competing.”

Dwell by Michelle raves about the “creamy and smooth” texture and praises the gravy’s “rich” flavor. “This side dish is the perfect complement to any Popeyes meal, and it’s also great on its own.”

“Mashed Potatoes are a classic side dish to chicken, and Popeyes does them right by including a creamy Cajun gravy,” writes 8 Minute Fitness. “The potatoes come smothered in the sauce, making them extra flavorful.”

3. Cajun Fries

“A southern fast-food chain menu wouldn’t be complete without spicy fries,” writes Shopfood. “Popeyes’ Cajun Fries are seasoned to perfection. These fries are zesty and flavorful, and they pair great with any of their entrées.”

Mashed declared it would “choose their fries any day of the week.”  The website states, “Move over boring old fried potatoes, there’s something better out in Louisiana.”

If you like extra flavor, Dwell by Michelle remarks, “These fries don’t disappoint.” Michelle recommends asking for a fresh batch, as it comes out hot and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Ugh, so much better than regular potato fries!”

4. Homestyle Mac and Cheese

“Made to taste like a home-cooked dish fresh from the oven, the Homestyle Mac & Cheese on Popeyes’ sides menu does not disappoint,” according to Shopfood. “It is one of the best fast food mac and cheese out there. The chain took the classic cheesy noodle that has been a fan favorite and made it even better with natural ingredients and a bit of care.”

Cheapism dreams about this mac and cheese. “It’s thick, it’s cheesy, and none of it tastes like fake cheese sauce. This tastes exactly how soulful, Southern mac and cheese should taste.”

“Personally, I think Popeye’s Homestyle Mac & Cheese is seriously one of the best side dishes on their menu,” says Michelle at Dwell by Michelle. “This creamy and cheesy macaroni dish is a perfect complement to your chicken tenders or spicy chicken sandwich. The dish is made with a blend of delicious cheddar cheeses, mixed with cooked macaroni and and real butter. The flavors are rich and indulgent, and it’s the perfect comfort food!”

5. Red Beans and Rice

This side had it fair share of admirers, but it wasn’t a top favorite, therefore it rounds out our top five list. “There are not many fast-food sides that can compare to Popeyes’ red beans and rice,” explains Cheapism. “The stuff is true, next-level umami. You’ve got smoky red beans, Cajun rice, and soulful, rich flavors to bring them all together. I’ve been to more than a few restaurants in the city of New Orleans that didn’t even have red beans and rice this good. If you leave Popeyes without it, you’re out of your mind.”

Dwell by Michelle writes, “This is a hearty side that pairs perfectly with Popeyes’ famous fried chicken. This side dish is an awesome attempt for any fast food chain to recreate such a signature dish of Louisiana cuisine.”

ShopFood likes the simplicity of the dish and says it’s “oh-so-good and pairs perfectly with their chicken nuggets or tenders.”

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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.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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