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by Dom Geracia / Oct 7, 2018 /

Popeyes Keto Options

Eating keto at Popeyes? Many people pass on by because a majority of the menu is relatively high in carbohydrates. It is a fried chicken joint after all! However, there are a few choices that are low carb and super delicious!

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is, without a doubt, one of my favorite fast food restaurants. It’s right up there with Five Guys and Wendy’s.

Keto Popeyes Overview

  • Unfortunately, we’re going to want to avoid the breaded chicken breasts and thighs. You can probably fit a tender or leg into your macros, but is it really worth it? Your call.
  • Take full advantage of the blackened tenders. They’re a fast food game-changer and while not always advertised or on the Popeyes menu, they are offered at most locations.
  • As far as side dishes go, the only one suitable for keto is the green beans. The cole slaw comes out to 10g net carbs, but isn’t really worth it, in my opinion.

Blackened Tenders are Keto and amazing

Though not advertised much, the blackened tenders from Popeyes fit the bill when it comes to low carb options with really great flavor. They’re coated in a Popeyes seasoning blend and fried without breading. The end result is a moist chicken tender with a crispy exterior — you’d never believe these were low carb!

Popeyes Low Carb Blackened Tenders

For a 3 piece of the blackened tenders:

  • 170 calories
  • 2g fat
  • 2g carbs
  • 26g protein

For a 5 piece of the blackened tenders:

  • 283 calories
  • 3g fat
  • 3g carbs
  • 43g protein

For a 10 piece of the blackened tenders:

  • 566 calories
  • 6g fat
  • 6g carbs
  • 86g protein

You won’t be disappointed with the blackened tenders. Add some green beans and blackened ranch and you’ve got a delicious keto meal!


Popeyes Sauces: Choose wisely

Be careful with the sauce selections at Popeyes — not all of them are low carb. You’re going to want to avoid the Bayou Buffalo, BoldBQ, Sweet Heat, Creole Cocktail and tartar sauce.

The following sauces come in 1oz servings.

The Blackened Ranch is delicious and for one container is:

  • 118 calories
  • 13g fat
  • 2g carbs
  • 1g protein

Another option is the Buttermilk Ranch:

  • 150 calories
  • 15g fat
  • 3g carbs
  • 0g protein

The Mardi Gras Mustard comes out to:

  • 75 calories
  • 9g fat
  • 5g carbs
  • 1g fiber
  • 4g net carbs
  • 1g protein

Green Beans are the only and best keto side

While most of the sides taste great, they aren’t low carb. You’re going to want to avoid almost all side dishes including the mashed potatoes and red beans with rice. The only low carb Popeyes side is the green beans (and they’re totally yummy!).

For a regular side of green beans:

  • 55 calories
  • 2g fat
  • 7g carbs
  • 2g fiber
  • 5g net carbs
  • 3g protein

For a large side of green beans:

  • 167 calories
  • 6g fat
  • 22g carbs
  • 6g fiber
  • 16g net carbs
  • 8g protein

The green beans are juicy and cooked with smokey ham or bacon. They’re addicting. I’ll even add some additional butter if I need to up my fat.

Be conscious of the carb count on the large green beans — the carbs can add up quickly! I find that splitting the order with my partner or family works out for the best.

Keto Popeyes Meal: Blackened Tenders

Popeyes Tips & Ordering

  • Depending on how busy the restaurant is, you may have to wait for 5-10 minutes while they cook the Blackened Tenders. I believe the reason for this is that they don’t get ordered too frequently and the hold time on them isn’t as long as traditional breaded chicken.
  • Despite being fried, the Blackened Tenders have very small amounts of fat. I like to pair mine with the Blackened Ranch.
  • If you’re fortunate enough to own an air fryer, these reheat extremely well. I love getting extra chicken and having it for a yummy meal the next day.
  • Still feeling like chicken but want something different? Check out my Chick-fil-A or KFC nutrition guides.

See more:


  1. Avatar Melissa on June 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Top notch recommendation! Loved the blackened chicken and green beans. Thanks

    • Avatar Heidi on January 4, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      They no longer have green beans unfortunately 🙁

      • Dom Geracia Dom Geracia on January 6, 2021 at 12:37 pm

        Awww, that’s unfortunate! I hope they bring in some other low carb options.

  2. Avatar Carly on May 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    You rock!!! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you.

    • Dom Geracia Dom Geracia on May 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      So glad this is helpful! Thank you 🙂

  3. Avatar Mary on April 22, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Wish they had this available here at the Popeye’s in Iowa – the blackened chicken I mean.
    I’d love to have that when I go there once a week

    • Avatar Jared on October 12, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      Blackened tenders are available at both the Cedar Rapids and Coralville locations.

  4. Avatar Nikki on March 15, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Are these available in Canada?

    • Dominic Geracia Dominic Geracia on March 17, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      I know that at one time they didn’t, not sure if that is still the case unfortunately.

  5. Avatar Dave on October 27, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Love the blackened tenders! I would get them even if I wasn’t trying to go low carb.

  6. Avatar Brandy Kuebbing on October 9, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Thanks for this information!

  7. Avatar Dawn R on October 7, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    At my Popeye’s you can also ask for blackened chicken pieces, but there is a wait because, like you previously stated, they’re not ordered often. I have been known to call ahead so that it’s ready when I arrive.

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Dom Geracia is a long time Keto diet follower who is passionate about simplifying the low carb lifestyle for beginners. When he's not posting yummy food pics on Instagram, you can likely find him cuddling the nearest cat or guzzling down (yet another) iced coffee.


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