The Best Low-Sodium Popeyes’ Meals – For Your Diet

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Helen Foster
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Following a low-sodium diet and want to eat at Popeyes? We’ve got you. Admittedly, it’s not the chain with the most low-sodium choices out there, but, if a Popeyes chicken craving hits, here’s what to order… 

In this post, we’ll show you the absolute lowest sodium options, and, if you’re watching other things in your diet, like how much fat you eat as well, we’ll cover your best low-sodium, low-fat choices, low-sodium, low-calorie choices -and more.

So, let’s get into it with…

Illustration of fast food style buckets of fried chicken. A purple oval above them reads 'Best Low Sodium Choices at Popeyes'

The Absolute Lowest Sodium Meal In Popeyes

The absolute lowest sodium main menu item you can choose at Popeyes is the Chicken Legs, which contain 460mg of sodium – but that’s just for one, so that might not cut it so, instead, pick the 3pc Tenders – Blackened.

This is a larger portion, and it only contains 550mg of sodium. If you add a side of coleslaw, you’re looking at 740mg of sodium for a meal.

At just under a third of the 2300mg of sodium a day it’s suggested most people don’t exceed that’s not too bad – although, make sure you take into account whatever your medical team has told you to aim for. 

Other Low(er)-Sodium Choices At Popeyes

Here are the next 10 lowest sodium main menu items at Popeyes. Unfortunately, most items contain more sodium than the 767mg meal cut-off, so you’ll have to carefully balance your intake throughout the day.

DishSodium Level
3pc Tenders Blackened550mg
Wing (Each)610mg
Thigh (Each)640mg
8pc Nuggets880mg
5pc Tenders Blackened920mg
Breast (Each)1230mg
12pc Nuggets1320mg
Popcorn Shrimp1390mg
Chicken Sandwich Classic1440mg
Classic Sandwich Spicy1470mg

Low Sodium Popeyes Sides

Because the lower sodium choices at Popeye’s are quite small, chances are you’re going to want to add a side dish – so, what’s the lowest sodium choice? It’s the regular coleslaw at 190mg.

Here’s how the other best options stack up…

Coleslaw (regular)190mg
Homestyle Mac & Cheese (regular)510mg
Coleslaw (large)570mg
Cajun Fries590mg
Mashed Potatoes with Cajun Gravy590mg

4 Other Ways to Cut Salt At Popeyes

Skip the Sauce: If you’re going for a dish with a dipping sauce, then ideally skip it, or at least choose wisely. You can double the sodium count of your meal otherwise. The three ‘best’ choices are Buttermilk Ranch or Tartar which both have 230mg of sodium per serving.

Drink: Unsweetened Tea, which has just 10mg of sodium. Sweet Tea is also low in sugar, but it’s very high in sugar.

Pick Your Tenders Blackened: As we said, they are one of the lowest sodium options at Popeyes – so you might think it’s okay to pick the other tenders. Oh no, my friend, oh no! The 3-piece Classic or Spicy tenders are 1820mg of sodium – over three times the amount in the Blackened choice.

Take a Leg: If you’re sharing a Popeye’s Bucket with the family, pick the legs. They have 460mg of sodium each – but that’s less than the wings or thighs – and just under a third of the chicken breast!

The Lowest Saturated Fat, Lowest Sodium Option

The lowest sodium, lowest saturated fat main menu item at Popeyes is the 3pc Tenders Blackened. This menu item contains 550mg of sodium and 0 grams of saturated fat. 

However, on their own, three chicken tenders aren’t filling enough. Therefore, you might want to add a side – and again, your best low-fat, low-sodium option is the Regular Coleslaw. It has 190mg of sodium and just 2g of saturated fat.

Other items that contain relatively low-sodium and low-saturated fat levels include Chicken Legs (460mg of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat) and Chicken Wings (610mg of sodium and 4 grams of saturated fat).

The Lowest Calorie, Lowest Sodium Meal At Popeyes

If your main goal is to consume fewer calories, the 3pc Tenders – Blackened is, again, probably your best option, despite containing more calories than the lowest calorie option.

That’s because the lowest sodium, lowest calorie choice at Popeyes is the Chicken Legs, which contain 160 calories and 460mg of sodium. Once again, you will have to order more than one for a substantial meal, which will see your sodium quickly add up even if your calories stay low.

On the other hand, the 3pc Tenders – Blackened only contains 170 calories and is a bit more substantial.

To get your meal to the recommended 400-600 calories that a main meal should contain, add a side of Homestyle Mac & Cheese (510mg of sodium and 280 calories). This will take your order to 450 calories and 970 mg of sodium – a bit high, so just watch things the rest of the day.

The Lowest Sugar, Lowest Sodium Option In Popeyes

Popeyes does have some excellent options when it comes to low sodium and sugar. Eight out of the top 10 low-sodium dishes contain 0 grams of sugar.

The lowest sodium, lowest sugar main menu item is the Chicken Leg, which contains 0 grams of sugar and as we mentioned earlier, 460mg of sodium. 

Other main menu items that contain 0 grams of sugar and low sodium levels include the 3pc Tenders Blackened (yep, the chicken tenders again), Chicken Wings (610mg of sodium), Chicken Thighs (640mg of sodium), and the 8pc Nuggets (880mg of sodium).

The coleslaw does have 9g of sugar, but is again the lowest sodium choice – or, if you’ve got a bit more sodium to play with, pick the Cajun Fries which have no sugar and 590mg of sodium.

The Lowest Sodium Vegetarian/Vegan Option

Unfortunately, Popeyes doesn’t have any vegetarian or vegan items on the main menu.

If you have to eat there, your best choice would be to combine a Regular Red Beans & Rice (610mg of sodium) or a Regular Homestyle Mac & Cheese (510mg) and a Regular Coleslaw (190mg).

The Lowest Sodium, Gluten-free Choice

Popeyes is also lacking when it comes to low-sodium options suitable for those of you following a gluten-free diet. Again, there are no main menu items that are gluten-free.

If you’re just avoiding gluten for health reasons, rather than being coeliac, you could combine a Regular Red Beans & Rice (610mg), which is named wheat-free on the allergen information, with the Regular Coleslaw, which is also wheat-free. They do not specifically discuss gluten on the allergy-free menu.

So, there you have it. The lowest sodium Popeyes options – if your favorite isn’t mentioned, then take a look at the Popeyes nutritional information which covers all the details. Popeyes isn’t the best fast-food restaurant if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, but there are a few good options that can work.

If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

What to Read Next

You might want to check out some of our other low sodium guides – like, how to eat low sodium in McDonalds or, if you’re looking for more of a sit-down meal option we’ve also covered low sodium at Olive Garden.

Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.