Does Popeyes Use Real Chicken? (All You Need To Know)

If you love delicious crunchy chicken, you must be a frequent customer at Popeyes. With the current increase in the sale of processed foods, it’s normal for you to worry about the type of chicken sold at the restaurant.

In that case, you might have questions like, does Popeyes use real chicken? I have conducted in-depth research on the matter, and here is what I found!

Does Popeyes Use Real Chicken In 2024?

Popeyes makes its chicken sandwiches with real natural chicken breast fillet marinated in a blend of Louisiana seasonings after being hand-battered, buttermilk seasoned, and frosted, as of 2024. Popeyes typically uses chicken breast to make its crunchy chicken and sources its chicken from American farms. Popeyes had set 2021 as the year to start selling antibiotic-free chicken.

For more information on what Popeyes’ chicken is made of, where Popeyes sources its chicken, if Popeyes chicken is processed, and much more, keep reading!

What Is Popeyes’ Chicken Made Out Of?

Popeyes’ crispy chicken is white chicken meat marinated with Louisiana seasonings and a buttermilk coating, crisp pickles with spicy mayonnaise, and a buttery toasted brioche bun.

Moreover, the company’s boneless wings are coated in Champagne and tossed in 24-karat gold flakes giving the chicken a gold standard for fried Popeyes chicken.

Is Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Artificial?

Popeyes chicken is naturally sourced and adequately cooked with few elements of MSG.

So, even though Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is considered an essential culinary additive, Popeyes is considering removing it from its menu.

Instead, Popeyes plans to have plant eggs as the source of its natural sandwich.

Also, the company is working around the clock to do away with artificial colors, flavors, and other preservatives that form part of the fried chicken menu items.

Moreover, the restaurant has set 2022 to remove all artificial elements in its fried chicken and to have the chicken free from MSG.

With the adoption of the red bean patty, the company makes the Creole Red Bean Sandwich, featuring Popeyes’ signature creole sauce topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and vegan brioche buns.

Does Popeyes Use Chicken Breast Or Thigh?

In most cases, Popeyes uses chicken breast instead of thigh.

As a matter of fact, chicken breast is a significant component of Popeyes’ chicken and is best served with sparingly seasoned garlic dill pickle slices.

Where Does Popeyes Source Its Chicken?

To ensure Popeyes restaurants in the US make food that tastes like home, the restaurant sources all chicken from American farms.

That said, Columbia Meat distributors are the primary source of Popeyes’ chicken, a South Carolina meat supplier that sources its meat and chicken from different local farmers.

Like other large-scale fast-food companies, Popeyes relies on many different sources to get its chicken and avoid experiencing shortages. These other sources include:

  • Pilgrim’s Pride
  • Claxton Poultry
  • Marshall Durbin
  • Fieldale Farms
  • Amick’s Poultry

What Does Popeyes Do To Its Chicken?

What Does Popeyes Do To Its Chicken?

The undeniable famous Popeyes chicken is dipped in an egg-and-flour batter giving it a crispy texture before it is fried.

After that, Popeyes chefs ensure there are no “soggy spots” to ruin your favorite meal.

Additionally, the breading on Popeyes’ chicken that sticks to the meat earns it a magical quality on the skin of the chicken.

Lastly, Popeyes’chicken is cooked using a pre-frying marinade that penetrates the entire chicken. Further, the marinade gives Popeyes’ chicken a reddish, orange color with a long-lasting flavor.

What Does Popeyes Fry Its Chicken In?

Popeyes uses palm oil to fry its chicken.

That said, the oil is directly sourced by the company and is meant for all branded food products with greater than 1% palm oil or palm kernel oil as an ingredient.

Also, the palm oil Popeyes uses is certified by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) globally.

Is Popeyes’ Chicken Processed?

Popeyes uses bonafide real chicken and not processed chicken.

Moreover, every piece of Popeyes’ chicken is freshly hand-battered and then breaded and fried up using palm oil.

Does Popeyes Have Plant-Based Chicken?

The Chicken Sandwich, which consists of homecooked crispy seitan, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a potato bun, is one of the plant-based items made at Popeyes.

Additionally, another option you can try is the spicy Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich.

Is Popeyes’ Chicken Antibiotic-Free?

Popeyes had set 2021 as the year the company wanted to have achieved its goal of serving customers chicken free from any antibiotics.

That said, this was one of the major health policies required of all food industry companies in America by the World Health Organization to achieve healthy food consumption.

Moreover, Popeyes’ chicken does not contain added steroids or hormones.

Also, Popeyes is working to enhance its chicken health by incorporating the use of various integrated animal welfare programs.

For example, such programs are based on practices set to recognize the five freedoms of animal welfare recognized globally.

Does Popeyes Have Non-Breaded Chicken?

Popeyes serves two chicken options that are not breaded: blackened and baked chicken tenders.

Moreover, non-breaded chicken is a significant source of a low-carb diet for individuals specializing in low-carb eating habits.

Does Popeyes Make Its Chicken Fresh?

Popeyes uses fresh chicken that has never been frozen. Therefore, once the restaurant receives the fresh chicken, it is hand-battered and breaded.

Why Does Popeyes Marinate Chicken For 12 Hours?

Popeyes marinates chicken for at least twelve hours to maintain the restaurant’s signature blend of Louisiana seasonings flavor.

Additionally, the length of time allows the chicken to add maximum flavor, and this practice is one of the hallmarks of all Popeyes chicken.

Does Popeyes’ Chicken Have Gluten?

All breaded Popeyes chicken contains a high level of gluten except for the two non-breaded fries/chicken.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not Popeyes serves breakfast all day, is there pork in Popeyes gravy, and does Popeyes use MSG.


Fast-food chain Popeyes offers the best all-white meat chicken breast fillet marinated in an authentic blend of Louisiana seasonings and served best when warm.

Also, Popeyes’ chicken is real and does not contain hormones and steroids. Moreover, the restaurant had set 2021 as the year to start serving antibiotic-free chicken.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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