The Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich is a popular menu item at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants. It features a breaded and fried chicken breast filet topped with Buffalo sauce and ranch dressing on a brioche bun. With its crispy chicken and zesty Buffalo flavor, this sandwich is a favorite among Popeyes customers. However, like many indulgent fast food menu items, the Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich is high in calories and fat. So how many calories are actually in one of these sandwiches? Let’s take a detailed look at the Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich nutrition facts.
Calories in a Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich
According to the Popeyes website, a regular Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich contains the following nutrition information:
So a regular Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich contains 690 calories. This is quite high for a single sandwich.
To put this into perspective, the recommended daily calorie intake for an average adult is around 2,000 calories. So this one Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich from Popeyes contains over one-third of that amount!
Calorie Breakdown of a Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich
Where exactly are all those calories coming from in the Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich? Let’s break it down by looking at the sources of calories in each component of this menu item:
Breaded and Fried Chicken Breast Filet
The star of the show, the breaded deep fried chicken breast, packs the biggest calorie punch in this sandwich. Chicken breast meat is typically around 140 calories for a 100g uncooked serving. However, by breading and frying the chicken, the calorie count skyrockets. The oil and breading adds a significant number of calories.
A typical fried chicken breast contains around 278 calories in 114g. So the fried chicken breast filet likely accounts for 270-350 calories of the total sandwich calories.
Popeyes doesn’t provide details on how much Buffalo sauce is on each sandwich. But Buffalo sauce is generally made with hot sauce (like Frank’s RedHot) and butter or margarine. A tablespoon of hot sauce is around 20 calories, while a tablespoon of butter is 100 calories.
If we estimate around 2-3 tablespoons of Buffalo sauce per sandwich, that’s roughly 50-150 extra calories just from the sauce alone.
Again, Popeyes doesn’t list how much ranch dressing comes on the Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich. But ranch is high in calories, with around 115 calories in 2 tablespoons.
Let’s estimate there are around 2-3 tablespoons of ranch on the sandwich. So the ranch dressing likely adds 230-345 more calories to this menu item.
A standard brioche bun provides around 150 calories, depending on size. So the buttery, cakey brioche bun used for the Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich adds a significant amount of calories too.
The sandwich also contains pickles, lettuce, and tomato. But these components provide minimal calories, probably around 20-30 calories total.
How to Reduce the Calorie Count
If you want to enjoy the delicious Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich from Popeyes without consuming quite so many calories, there are some modifications you can request:
Order a Smaller Size
Popeyes offers the Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich in regular and small size options. The small sandwich contains 640 calories, shaving off 50 calories from the regular. While not a huge reduction, every bit helps if you are watching your calorie intake.
Skip the Brioche Bun
Order the fried chicken breast filet and Buffalo ranch sauce over a salad instead of on a bun. This removes the carb-heavy brioche, reducing the calories by around 150.
Easy on the Sauce
Ask for light Buffalo and ranch sauces on your sandwich. Less sauce means fewer calories.
Healthier Side Options
Opt for a side salad instead of fries or biscuits to balance the meal nutritionally and cut more calories.
Nutritional Impact of High Calorie Count
So what are the actual nutritional implications of consuming a 690 calorie Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich from Popeyes? Here are some key points:
High in Fat
With 38g total fat, including 8g saturated fat and 0.5g trans fat per sandwich, the Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich packs a huge fat punch. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat to 25-35% of total daily calories, saturated fat to less than 7% of daily calories, and avoiding trans fats completely. This single sandwich blows way past those fat intake recommendations.
High in Sodium
The Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich also contains a whopping 1,830mg of sodium. That’s nearly an entire day’s worth of sodium in one sandwich, as the recommended daily sodium intake is under 2,300mg. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke.
With only 2g of dietary fiber, the nutritional value of this sandwich is very low. The recommended daily fiber intake for adults is 25-30g. Insufficient fiber can contribute to digestive issues and increase disease risk.
On the positive side, the 28g of protein in the Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich is a decent protein boost. But with all the unhealthy fat and sodium that comes along with it, it is best consumed only occasionally.
Healthier Popeyes Menu Options
If you want to eat at Popeyes without consuming quite so many calories or fat in one sitting, here are some healthier menu options to consider:
Blackened or Mild Chicken Tenders
A 3-piece blackened tenders order with a side salad has 330 calories, 13g fat, and 710mg sodium. The mild tenders have similar nutrition stats.
Red Beans and Rice
A hearty protein and fiber boost, the red beans and rice contain 420 calories, 7g fat, and 960mg sodium. Add a side salad for a balanced lower-calorie meal.
At just 160 calories and 7g fat, a simple biscuit makes a lighter option compared to fried chicken entrees. Pair it with a side salad or red beans and rice.
While delicious, the Popeyes Buffalo Ranch chicken sandwich packs a whopping 690 calories and high amounts of fat and sodium. Occasional indulgence in this sandwich is fine, but it should not be a regular menu choice for those watching their nutrition and health. Moderation is key. To lighten up your Popeyes meal, opt for lower calorie sides and entree options, go easy on sauces, and share high-cal items if dining with others. Your waistline and heart will thank you.