All 9 Popeyes Sauces, Ranked From Best to Worst

Popeyes sauces

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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Popeyes sauces
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Love Those Sauces From Popeyes

Popeyes is known for its Louisiana-style chicken, but no fast-food chicken experience is fully complete without a sauce or two for dipping. That isn't a problem at Popeyes, where you’ve got a whopping nine options to go along with your chicken.

How do they stack up? Which ones should you grab at the drive-thru? I tried all nine sauces Popeyes has to offer and ranked them based on taste. Here are the nine best Popeyes sauces.

popeyes Blackened Ranch Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Blackened Ranch Sauce

Tasting notes: creamy, peppery

Pair with: Cajun fries, chicken nuggets

Damn, this is good. I'm a huge ranch fan, and generally I don't think it can be improved upon. I don't know quite how to describe the flavor of this dip, but it's incredibly tasty. 

Ranch is the first thing you can taste, but there's so much more going on, too. I taste garlic, onion, and red pepper, and it looks like there might be chives floating around in here? Green onion? The ingredient list is no help. If you think the idea of ranch dressing mixed with a bunch of paprika sounds good, pick this sauce up immediately.

popeyes Sweet Heat Sauce
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2. Sweet Heat Sauce

Tasting notes: sweet, spicy
Pair with: spicy chicken tenders, popcorn shrimp

This is wonderful. Popeyes’ Sweet Heat is adjacent to a Thai sweet and spicy chili sauce, though a little thinner and less jelly-like. Regardless, it clings to Popeyes’ chicken like a dream. I’ll most likely get this every time I go back. 

My favorite thing here is that it’s legitimately spicy, and dipping my already-spicy chicken tenders into this sauce really brought out the heat in a beautiful way. And then paired with the sweetness from the honey? Forget about it.

popeyes BoldBQ Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

3. BoldBQ Sauce

Tasting notes: smoky, tangy
Pair with: chicken wings, chicken sandwich

Popeyes' BBQ sauce unmistakably lives up to its name. Bold is probably the first word I'd use. There is so much vinegar and Worcestershire sauce flavor in each bite, but there's also a heavy, thick smokiness to match. It almost feels like A.1.'s weird cousin. This is great barbecue sauce.

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popeyes Bayou Buffalo Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

4. Bayou Buffalo Sauce

Tasting notes: cayenne pepper, celery
Pair with: Cajun fries, coleslaw

Popeyes’ Buffalo sauce offers two sauces for the price of one, in my opinion. You’ve got classic Buffalo notes (and I swear, I can taste celery) but the base flavor here is like a classic Louisiana hot sauce. It reminds of Crystal or Red Rooster, one of those thin, red pepper-based sauces. I love it.

There is so much flavor in this sauce that, in an ultimate twist of irony, I actually advise against using it with the fried chicken. You can easily drown out all of the already-delicious flavors in the Popeyes batter. Maybe it's better for the Cajun fries, or splashed into your coleslaw. 

Related: The Best Popeyes Side Dishes, Ranked

popeyes Buttermilk Ranch Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

5. Buttermilk Ranch Sauce

Tasting notes: creamy, oniony
Pair with: chicken tenders, chicken nuggets, Cajun fries

Out of all the Popeyes sauces, this one might be the most forgettable. Not to say that Popeyes’ ranch sauce is bad; it's perfectly fine, and if Blackened Ranch didn't exist, I might even order this. But it does. So I won't.

Related: All 5 KFC Sauces, Ranked

popeyes Tartar Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

6. Tartar Sauce

Tasting notes: creamy, pungent
Pair with: popcorn shrimp, fried catfish

Tartar sauce? Over both the mustard sauces? Am I out of my mind? Perhaps I am. No matter. It’s not that I hate mustard and I’m a big fan of tartar sauce; in fact, it’s the opposite. This particular tartar sauce is more full of flavor than most I’ve had. It’s thick and loaded with a dilly relish of cucumbers and pickles. 

I’ve never really had tartar sauce with chicken tenders before, but it works better than I’d expect. This is normally meant for Popeyes’ popcorn shrimp, or when they seasonally offer fried catfish. In another world, this might have even cracked the top five, but it’s incredibly rich. After two or three bites, it’s hard to soldier on.

popeyes Wild Honey Mustard Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

7. Wild Honey Mustard Sauce

Tasting notes: rich, sweet, creamy
Pair with: Cajun fries, chicken tenders

This is a strong showing from Popeyes. Honey mustard can almost be a throwaway in a lot of other restaurants, but not here. Popeyes hasn't forgotten its roots; this is unmistakably Creole, full of eggy richness and mustard seeds. It's sweet and custardy in the best way. Tip of the cap to you on this one, Pop.

popeyes Mardi Gras Mustard Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

8. Mardis Gras Mustard Sauce

Tasting notes: bold, creamy
Pair with: spicy chicken tenders, popcorn shrimp

I feel bad sticking Mardi Gras Mustard all the way down here, because I love that Popeyes even offers it. I just want to grab it and say, “it’s not your fault” over and over. 

This is a classic, stone-ground mustard, chock-full of seeds. It's a bang-on complement to Popeyes' spicy tenders, but I have to admit I'm missing the familiar sting of horseradish. I know this is a dipping sauce meant for a large consumer pool, but if it were up to me, I'd make it just a little bit more intense.

popeyes Creole Cocktail Sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

9. Creole Cocktail Sauce

Tasting notes: robust, sweet, horseradish-style spiciness
Pair with: popcorn shrimp, fried catfish

It’s a bummer to stick this all the way down here, because Creole Cocktail Sauce is a hit. I don’t even usually like cocktail sauce, but Popeyes has swirled lots of horseradish into it, the same way I do when I eat oysters. 

Unfortunately, it never stood a chance against the rest of the chicken-based dipping sauces. Go with this if you’re getting shrimp, but it’s not necessary otherwise.