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Keeping Keto @ Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen

I know this post about Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, following on the heels of my review of Bojangles’ Famous Chicken and Biscuits, is going to make it sound like I frequent nothing but southern-style chicken establishments.  Totally not true.  But I’d be lying if I said these two restaurants aren’t possibly my favorite keto fast joints.  Much like Bojangles’, the menu at Popeye’s is fairly limited.  There are actually fewer options there.  But they are delicious.

If you go to Popeyes, you must order their blackened or naked chicken tenders.  They’re the same thing, but it seems like they go by different names at different locations.  If you order one and the person is like “huh?” just say the other, and they’ll be like “sure!”  These are chicken breast tenderloins that are coated in cajun seasoning and grilled to perfection.  You can order them spicy or mild.  I’ve never had the spicy and let me tell you, I’d be kind of afraid to try them, because the mild has plenty of heat.  They come with your choice of dipping sauces, but the ranch and blackened ranch are really your only options that aren’t chock-full of carbs.

As far as sides go, they have two that appear keto-friendly at face value: the green beans and coleslaw.  However, according to their nutrition guide, the coleslaw has a whopping 17g of net carbs.  It must be truly southern-style, with sugar added in.  The green beans, on the other hand, are only 4g of net carbs – and they are really, really good.  They’re the best green beans I’ve had that aren’t my Meemaw’s, which she snaps herself and then cooks in hogjowl all day.

The above pictured meal – 5 mild naked tenders, green beans, and an unsweet tea – came up to a total of 477cal, 10g net carbs, 20g of fat, and 46g of protein.

Cons:

  • Literally everything else on the menu is breaded or has added sugar.
  • Only one potential low carb side – the green beans.
  • I always have to pull over to wait for the naked tenders to be cooked – I usually wind up sitting there for 5-10 minutes, even on a night where there are very few cars in the drive thru.
  • A little more expensive – I pay around $8-9 for a combo.

Pros:

  • Their website lists nutritional info.
  • Their naked tenders are amazing.  I much prefer their chicken to Bojangles’.
  • Their green beans are some of the best I’ve ever had, too.

Verdict:  The food at Popeye’s is really good, although the selection is limited.  I actually prefer them to Bojangles’, but it’s only worth it if I’ve got a slightly higher budget and time to sit in the drive thru and wait.

 

8 comments

  1. Do you not have Kentucky Fried Chicken? They offer grilled options and you can pick dark meat or white. They also only offer green beans. But hold the buscuit and you’re home clear.

    • Kate, I do indeed have a KFC here… three of them that I can think of offhand, lol!

      I have actually had really bad experiences with our KFC. The one that is closest to our house is always “out” of grilled chicken. I suspect they don’t keep any on hand because it’s not very popular, and they don’t want to cook any fresh. This has happened on 3 different occasions!

      Once when that happened, I called one of the other locations, and they had some. Truth be told, I actually far prefer Popeyes and Bojangles. But that is a good reminder that I should do a Keeping Keto post on them! Maybe next time my Meemaw sends me there for her dinner I’ll pick up something for myself, too… if they have any!

  2. The popeyes in my area hasnt had the naked tenders in years and I wish they’d bring them back :-(

  3. You need to know you are doing a grave disservice to those on a real Ketogenic diet. What you are doing is low carb and far from Ketogenic. I am in shock here that you are recommending anything on Popeyes menu as Ketogenic!! Not to mention the sodium content! You are going to hurt someone who truly needs to eat Ketogenic for serious health reasons. Please stop misrepresenting Keto. Where are your macros? Where is your education on carb to protein to fat to fiber ratios? You have recipes with floured items that are specifically forbidden on Keto. Once again, low carb is not Ketogenic. Please have the wherewithal to change your titles from Keto.

    • I don’t agree with you. A ketogenic diet is one in which you eat few enough carbohydrates that your body stays in ketosis. I can eat this meal at Popeye’s every day and never go out of ketosis. This meal is only 10g net carbs – 4g from the green beans, 6g from the blackened chicken strips. That is an incredibly small amount. And what does the sodium content have to do with anything? It’s actually better to consume more sodium than normal when you are in ketosis, because you drink more water and your body dumps electrolytes.

      None of my recipes are “floured” with actual flour, but I use low-carb nut flours. That is perfectly acceptable on a ketogenic diet. All of my recipes list fat, carbs, fiber, net carbs, and protein, so I don’t know what you’re complaining about there. If you don’t like my content, then don’t visit my site – simple as that. But I am definitely eating a ketogenic diet, and if I label a post as “keto” then the food is keto-friendly. I am very careful to label some of the things I eat as “lowish carb” when they’re not keto, like sweet potatoes and beans when I consume them on occasion.

  4. Sounds awesome nd fairly easy!! Difference in keto nd low carb diet? Same or not?

    • Keto is low low carb! Most ketopians try to stay beneath 20g of net carbs a day. Low carbers usually go higher, more like the 50s-60s. I fluctuate back and forth between the two.

  5. Thank you! I thought I was screwed at popeyes….on my way NOW!

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