We Tried Popeyes' New Nuggets to See if They're Actually as Good as Its Sandwich

The chain claims the new nugs are just as good as the iconic sandwich, so we put that claim to the test.

Courtesy of Popeyes

We've tried damn near every iteration of the fast food chicken sandwich in our journalistic pursuit to find the greatest, but nothing has managed to topple Popeyes' sandwich. There's just something about the Louisiana-style chain's version that can't seem to be outdone by competitors. 

Then, earlier this month, Popeyes made an announcement that felt like it was a long time coming. The menu is getting another crispy addition: chicken nuggets—nearly two years after the sandwich's sell-out debut. Here's the real kicker, though. The new nugs are said to have the same "quality and flavor of [Popeyes'] famous Chicken Sandwich"—according to Popeyes itself.

Naturally, we had one task... put that bold claim to the test. We tried the all-new Popeyes Chicken Nuggets just to see how they would stack up against the fan-favorite sammie. 

 

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What makes the nuggets so similar to the Chicken Sandwich? 

Popeyes said it's using the exact same recipe for its nuggets as it does for its record-breaking sandwich, with a "special flour and batter system" that creates a crispy, crunchy fried chicken texture. Like the sandwich, the white meat chicken is hand-seasoned, breaded in buttermilk, and freshly fried. Basically, it's the same recipe and process just served in a different format.
 

When can I get the Popeyes Chicken Nuggets? 

The Popeyes Chicken Nuggets are officially hitting stores across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico on Thursday, July 27.

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What do they taste like? 

Popeyes hit the nail on the head with its latest creation and, hey, we're admittedly not surprised. The chicken is fried to perfection with juicy, tender white meat. It's seasoned with the tiniest hint of a kick, which you can thank that famous Louisiana-style spice blend for. Like the Popeyes chicken sandwich, these nuggets have the potential to push other fast food chains to up their game—this time with their chicken nugget offerings. At least, we hope so. A chicken nuggets arms race means we'll all benefit from better nugget options across the board.

Courtesy of Megan Schaltegger/Thrillist

How do they actually compare to the chicken sandwich? 

While the chicken nuggets boast the same quality as our beloved chicken sandwich (seasoning, crisp breading, and juicy meat!), you are getting a different experience. You're missing the layers of sauce, zesty pickles, and the brioche bun, so don't expect the exact same flavor experience. 

However, you are getting lots of sauce options because the nugs were designed to go with Popeyes' lineup of nine staple sauces, which includes Blackened Ranch, Buttermilk Ranch, Mardi Gras Mustard, Sweet Heat, and Bayou Buffalo. You can opt for one or two or take a cue from us and sample a new sauce with each nugget. Who doesn't like a little variety? 

Can you get them spicy? 

Nope. Not yet, at least. The nuggets are available in classic style only right now, but, of course, you can turn up the heat with your sauce choice. 
 

Which is better? The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich or the Chicken Nuggets? 

It's a matter of preference. With the nuggets, you're getting the same crispy, tender chicken as the sandwich, so it's just a matter of how you like it dressed: in bite-sized, dippable pieces or dressed to the nines atop a buttery brioche bun. Your call. You can't go wrong.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.