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What kind of pickles does Popeyes chicken use?

Popeyes is known for its delicious fried chicken and signature sides like cajun fries and biscuits. But one often overlooked item on their menu is the pickles that come with their meals. So what kind of pickles does Popeyes use? Let’s take a closer look.

The History of Pickles at Popeyes

When Popeyes was founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana, founder Al Copeland knew he wanted to differentiate his fried chicken restaurant from competitors like KFC. One way he did this was by including a side of pickles with all meals. This complemented the Louisiana cajun seasoning used on the chicken and gave Popeyes a unique flair.

The original pickles served at Popeyes were deep-fried dill pickle chips. These tangy, crunchy chips offered a salty counterbalance to the juicy, spicy fried chicken. Frying the pickles intensified their flavor and added another layer of crunch.

Over the years, Popeyes has experimented with different pickle recipes, including bread and butter pickles, kosher dill spears, and spicy pickle chips. However, in recent years they have settled on a standard crispy dill pickle chip as their go-to option.

The Pickling Process

Popeyes sources their pickles from specialty pickle producers. These suppliers brine fresh cucumbers in a salt and vinegar solution. The exact blend of salts, vinegar, and spices used is proprietary. But it likely contains dill, garlic, and other common pickle seasonings.

The cucumbers soak in the brine for weeks, allowing them to ferment and absorb the flavors. Then they are sliced into thin chips and possibly fried before being packaged and shipped to Popeyes locations. The frying helps further preserve the pickles and gives them their signature crispy texture.

Nutritional Profile

Here is the basic nutritional information for Popeyes fried dill pickle chips:

Serving Size About 20 chips (28g)
Calories 60
Fat 4g
Sodium 270mg
Carbs 5g
Sugar 1g
Protein 1g

As you can see, a serving of Popeyes fried pickles is low in calories, fat, and carbs compared to their fried chicken. The sodium content is quite high though, so those limiting salt intake may want to avoid them.

Alternatives to Fried Pickles

While the fried dill pickle chips are Popeyes’ standard, some locations do offer fresh alternatives:

Fresh Dill Pickle Spears

Some Popeyes have whole dill pickle spears available instead of chips. These are not fried and offer a fresher, lighter pickle flavor.

Bread and Butter Pickle Chips

A few locations substitute bread and butter pickle chips for the dill version. These have a sweet and tangy flavor profile.

Spicy Pickle Chips

To appeal to pickle lovers looking for a kick of heat, spicy pickle chips made with jalapenos or habaneros are served at select Popeyes restaurants.

No Pickles

You can always request no pickles with your order if you don’t want any included.

Homemade Popeyes-Style Pickles

Want to recreate the Popeyes pickle flavor at home? Try this simple copycat recipe:


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6-8 pickling cucumbers, thinly sliced


  1. Bring water, vinegar, salt, garlic, sugar, dill, mustard seeds, and pepper flakes (if using) to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Place cucumber slices in a heatproof jar or container.
  3. Pour hot brine over cucumbers to cover. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before serving to allow flavors to develop.
  5. Store pickled cucumbers in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


Popeyes signature fried dill pickle chips add a tangy crunch to their iconic fried chicken meals. Crispy, brined cucumber slices complement the cajun seasoning and provide a counterbalance to the juicy, spicy chicken. While the exact recipe is a secret, you can get close to that Popeyes pickle flavor by quick-pickling fresh dill cucumber slices in a salt, vinegar, and spice brine. So next time you bite into that crunchy pickle at Popeyes, appreciate the tangy culinary tradition it represents.