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All Of Popeyes’ Dipping Sauces (Tasted On Cajun Fries And Tenders), Ranked

This week serves as the tip-off to the NBA Playoffs. And if you’re planning on spending a bunch of time glued to the TV, you’re going to need food to help get you through it. Good news, sports fans — nothing pairs with hoops (watching) quite like fried chicken, it’s the ultimate finger food.

One of the top fried chicken purveyors in the game is Popeyes — home of the stone cold best fast food chicken sandwich. And this year the brand is celebrating the NBA Playoffs by teaming up with Uber Eats for what they’re calling the “Most Dunkable Meal.” The order consists of a 5-piece order of chicken tenders with a side of your choice (cajun fries, always cajun fries), a biscuit, and five dipping sauces of your choice. From now until April 17th, if you order the Most Dunkable meal you’ll be able to pick it up for 50% off.

This promo begs the question: What is Popeyes’ best dipping sauce? We decided to find out by trying all five sauces and ranking them from worst to best. You only have five sauce slots, you can be a total nerd and order all five or you can just quintuple down on the best sauce and make your meal delicious from the first bite to last.

*Honorable Mention *— Honey

Tasting Notes:

Let’s not forget about one of the best pairings at Popeyes, honey packets, which are totally free. You can load up on more honey than any other sauce at Popeyes. Sure it isn’t real honey, it’s mostly high fructose corn syrup, but that combination of earthy sweetness with the saltiness of fried chicken is a classic flavor pairing that will never get old.

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

Tenders. But we’ll take it on fries too!

The Bottom Line:

Most of the sauces on this ranking taste like variations on this OG flavor pairing. It may not be dippable, but honey walked so the rest of these dipping sauces could run.

5. BoldBQ

Popeyes Sauce
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

Vinegar-heavy on the nose with a tomato paste brightness that obliterates any smokey qualities that might exist in this BBQ blend. It leans way too heavily on the sweet side and tastes mostly like a more interesting ketchup.

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

Fries, easily. It’s not that BBQ sauce and chicken tenders don’t go together, they do, but BBQ sauce often tastes better when it is baked straight onto the chicken. This dipping shit just doesn’t hit the same.

The Bottom Line:

Not bad by any means — Popeyes has a tight list of five sauces and they’re all pretty good — but this one feels like it needs some work.

4. Wild Honey Mustard

Popeyes Sauce
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

A really pronounced mustard flavor that attacks the taste buds. While the overall aftertaste is sweet, this mustard blend keeps the earthy notes at the forefront, offering a lot of complex flavors that don’t need to hide behind loads of sugar like a lot of fast food mustards.

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

It’s better on the chicken. There is some sort of magic that happens when this pungent vinegar forward sauce combines with the garlicky qualities of Popeyes’ chicken breading. For best results, grab a spicy tender.

The Bottom Line:

A flavorful balance of sweet and spicy qualities that elevate the flavors of Popeyes’ fried breading.

3. Mardi Gras Mustard

Popeyes Sauce
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

So much more interesting than Popeyes’ Wild Honey Mustard. The Mardi Gras has a distinct and complex character with a hint of horseradish and cracked pepper and a subtly spicy aftertaste that gently burns on the palate.

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

Both! The lack of sweetness in the Mardi Gras Mustard makes it a better pair for the cajun fries than the other mustard blend, and both compliment the garlic and black pepper seasoning of Popeyes’ chicken batter.

The Bottom Line:

Popeyes has two different mustard options and neither tastes remotely similar. Expect a spicier flavor here with a complex bitter aftertaste.

2. Sweet Heat

Popeyes Sauce
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

A more apt name could not be given to a sauce. Popeyes’ Sweet Heat greets you with an intense sweetness, very similar to sweet and sour, before finishing off with a spikey pepper flavor that burns your tongue without actually tasting hot. It’s an interesting sensation as if the sauce is capable of alerting your taste buds to absorb more flavor. On its own, it can be overwhelming, but once dipped in it’s hard to find something on the menu that isn’t complemented by this sauce, including the biscuits!

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

Tenders. It’s still good on fries but when that sweet chili heat meets the crispy crunchy texture and buttery flavor of Popeyes tenders (assuming you ordered mild, if you ordered spicy sub ‘buttery’ for ‘cayenne-forward’) it elevates the experience tenfold.

The Bottom Line:

So close to being number one that I considered ending this ranking in a tie. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, you can’t go wrong.

1. Blackened Ranch

Popeyes Sauce
Dane Rivera

Tasting Notes:

I’m not a ranch fan. It’s too creamy, buttery, and sour to ever really appeal to me so I’m actually shocked that I’ve ranked the Blackened Ranch as the best but, this is without a doubt in my mind Popeye’s best dipping sauce. It’s creamy, a medley of butter, garlic, and onion flavors that are reigned in by a pronounced black-pepper aftertaste that adds some much-needed earthiness into the flavor of ranch.

Better On Fries Or Tenders?

It makes both better, and we can’t honestly say that about any of the other sauces on this ranking. If you’re having a hard time deciding, just order both sauces and mix them up, who knows what you’ll get.

The Bottom Line:

Popeyes’ best dipping sauce. I’ll admit It isn’t that much better than our number two choice (though it’s certainly more interesting), but because it works so well with both the fries and chicken, we have to give it the top spot.

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