What Sauces Does Popeyes Have, Taste Test & Pairings

What Sauces Does Popeyes Have, Taste Test & Pairings
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Sure, we all know and love Popeyes food. They’re definitely royalty among the fast-food chains, but I especially love them for their flavorful Louisiana cuisine and the warmth and dignity of the entire culture they represent. But did you know that the little extra stardust they sprinkle on their dishes has nothing to do with the dish but with the sauce? So, what sauces does Popeyes have? 

BBQ, ranch, chili, tartar, creole cocktail, Bayou Buffalo, wild honey-mustard, sweet heat, Mardi Gras, and Blackened ranch are the sauces that Popeyes offers.

To write this article, I’ve been preparing well in advance because I never write based on online resources. So, I did a little on-site digging, had the sauces, and ate a whole lot of Popeyes, and now, before I start regretting my choices, I’ll tell you everything about Popeyes sauces and how to pair them. 

List of Popeyes Sauces & What They Taste Like

Bold BQ Sauce

This is where BBQ doesn’t stand for Barbecue but for Bold Barbecue, which is exactly what this sauce tastes like. It is smoky and tangy, balancing sweet and savory notes, creating a perfect unity of flavors.

Although you can pair it with everything on Popeye’s menu, I don’t recommend combining it with items on the seafood menu. I love it with chicken sandwiches, nuggets, and wings. 

Considering that this is one of Popeye’s signature sauces, replicating it at home probably won’t deliver the exact results, but it will be delicious, nevertheless. For a similar sauce at home, mix ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices of your choice.

Buttermilk Ranch Sauce

Homemade Popeyes Buttermilk Ranch Sauce

This creamy delight is another staple in the Popeyes assortment. Milky, tangy, rich, and creamy, this sauce has a classic ranch flavor with subtle but very noticeable hints of buttermilk, which give it a buttery dimension. 

This sauce is excellent with everything Popeyes has to offer. Its buttery note and the balance between tangy and milky make it an excellent companion to many Popeyes meals. I love it with chicken tenders, fries, seafood, and chicken sandwiches, but feel free to pair it with whatever you like best. 

I like to make this one at home — I simply mix buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs (such as dill and parsley), garlic, and onion powder. Since it is a Popeyes signature sauce, you can’t expect it to be the same, but it’s close enough, trust me.

Chili Sauce

Popeyes chili sauce is a lively and vibrant delight you will most certainly enjoy if you like spicy food. It is strong-flavored and definitely very memorable, balancing sweet and slightly hot notes, enveloping them in a spicy dimension. 

Trying it on its own, it does seem a little limiting in terms of pairing, but you will be amazed at how well it pairs with a number of Popeyes dishes. I love it with fried chicken, seafood, or as a condiment for burgers. 

This sauce is very easy to replicate at home, so you are in for a real treat. Mix chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and spices to achieve your desired heat level. The result is surprisingly similar to the real deal. 

Tartar Sauce

Homemade Popeyes Tartar With Nuggets and Fries

Even if you haven’t tried the Popeyes Tartar sauce, you probably know what it is about. It is a refreshing, zesty, and tangy sauce that you can enjoy with many of the Popeyes menu items. It has a classic tartar flavor with zesty notes of pickles and lemon. 

Although you can pair it with many Popeyes meals, I strongly recommend you have it with the seafood menu. It also goes great with tenders and nuggets, as well as fries. 

To make your own Popeyes tartar sauce, mix mayonnaise, chopped pickles, capers, lemon juice, and a dash of mustard. Since this is a classic sauce, chances are your homemade replica will be very similar to that of Popeyes.

Creole Cocktail Sauce 

Spicy and tangy, lively, vibrant, and extremely flavorful, this sauce tells an entire story in only a drop. It balances strong and sweet notes, creating a flavor that is simply out of this world. 

Due to its pronounced fresh note, the Creole cocktail sauce is commonly served with Popeyes seafood items. Still, you can choose your pairing depending on what you prefer. I like this sauce with chicken nuggets as well as fries, but it fits with other meals too. 

Mix ketchup, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to make your own version of this sauce.

If you’re curious about the consistency of this sauce, check out this video! You get some popcorn shrimp asmr as a bonus!

Bayou Buffalo Sauce 

This spicy and tangy buffalo-style sauce is a rustic enjoyment and the perfect enrichment to many of the Popeyes menu items. With just a hint of Cajun seasoning, this sauce is original and creative, balancing flavors that you wouldn’t usually pair. 

Pair this sauce with wings, nuggets, tenders, or chicken sandwiches to enjoy it to the fullest. It also does great with the Cajun fries and the red beans and rice. Still, I don’t recommend you pair it with seafood because the tastes aren’t all that compatible. 

Mix hot sauce, melted butter, garlic powder, and a bit of Cajun seasoning to make it at home. It won’t be exactly like Popeyes, but you will enjoy it. 

Wild Honey Sauce

This is a very potent yet gentle-flavored sauce and one of my favorites from Popeyes. It is a sweet and sticky honey-flavored sauce with a delightfully integrated hint of tanginess. I never thought that honey and tang could pair so well, but this sauce has changed my beliefs. 

Since it is more of a glaze than a sauce, it pairs amazingly with fried chicken, especially if you top them instead of dipping them. The a la carte biscuit is also an excellent base for this sauce/glaze. Nuggets and wings are a given, so it is needless to describe how well this sauce pairs with these delights. 

If you want to make this sauce at home, combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. The result is surprisingly similar to the original. 


What Sauces Does Wendy’s Have, Taste Test & Pairings

Sweet Heat Sauce

If you are a fan of hot sauces, but you are also a fan of sweet flavors, this is your sauce. It masterfully balances sweetness and heat with a touch of tanginess. It may not be the most popular choice, but it is definitely one worthy of every chance. 

To pair it, think the spicier, the better. It goes well with fried chicken, fries, or chicken tenders dipping sauce. If you are a fan of spicy food, add a few more spices to level it up. 

Combine honey, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a homemade version of this sauce. Based on your preference, add more hot sauce if you want to. 

Mardi Gras Mustard Sauce

Perfectly named after the holiday of Mardi Gras, which in English means “Fat Tuesday,” this sauce is a decadent experience. With its tangy and zesty mustard flavor with a hint of spice, it enriches your meal and works up your appetite, so it gets tastier and tastier the more you have.

If you plan on fasting the next day, which is what you do after Mardi Gras, the greasier the pairings, the better. Pair this sauce with fried chicken, wings, tenders, chicken sandwiches, fries, or the bacon and cheese sandwich, which is my favorite combo. 

Making it at home is a piece of cake, and you get to eat it too. Mix Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, and Cajun spices, and most importantly, enjoy your feast!

Blackened Ranch Sauce 

Like the buttermilk ranch sauce, this one is also sinfully creamy and very rich. It is a creamy ranch dressing with additional blackening spices that give it a smoky and spicy flavor and a very appealing color. This is where robust and gentle meet and dance and perfect harmony. 

 I love this sauce as a dipping sauce for chicken and fries, as well as a dressing for Popeyes coleslaw. It is also a great enrichment for the chicken sandwiches, all of them! 

To make your version of this sauce, combine ranch dressing and blackening seasoning. I like to also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick. You can peek at the video for details.

Does Popeyes Charge for Sauces?

This mostly depends on the restaurant in question. Popeyes didn’t charge for sauces before COVID, but after that, there are Popeyes restaurants with different policies. Some offer a free sauce if you complete an online survey, while others allow one sauce per order or similar. 

So, in general, you should get at least one sauce for free, but again, it highly depends on the place and time. Sometimes they have promotions and limited-time offers, so you may get lucky in situations like these.  

What Popeyes Sauces Have Been Discontinued?

Sadly, there is a sauce you can no longer find at Popeyes, and that’s the Hottie sauce. It was probably removed from circulation because of its fiery and intense heat that seemed like too much for many of Popeye’s customers. 

While people expect fiery hot at a Chinese or Mexican restaurant, a fast-food chain, such as Popeyes, is a place where people prefer balance and flavor over heat and intensity. 

Nevertheless, this was a delicious sauce, and I am sure that some were left disappointed by its discontinuation.

Which is your favorite Popeyes sauce? Or do you have a favorite combination? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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