How many carbs in a large red beans and rice from Popeyes?

Popeyes is a popular fast food chain known for its Louisiana-inspired fried chicken and side dishes like red beans and rice. Red beans and rice is a classic Creole dish made with kidney beans, onions, celery, bell peppers, and a blend of spices simmered in a savory broth. It’s a flavorful, hearty side dish that goes well with the crispy fried chicken Popeyes is famous for.

Many people enjoy indulging in fast food like Popeyes as an occasional treat but are concerned about tracking macros like carbohydrate content when doing so. Understanding the carb count of menu items can help people stay mindful of their nutrition goals when dining out. So how many net carbohydrates are in Popeyes’ large side of red beans and rice?

Nutrition Information for Popeyes Red Beans and Rice

According to the Popeyes nutrition information available online[1], here are the macronutrient stats for their large red beans and rice side:

  • Calories: 230
  • Total Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 990mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Total Sugars: 0g
  • Includes 0g added sugars
  • Protein: 7g

So a large order of Popeyes Cajun red beans and rice contains 38g of total carbohydrates.

Estimating Net Carbs

To estimate the net carbs in Popeyes red beans and rice, we need to subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate amount since fiber is indigestible.

The nutrition info shows 5g of dietary fiber per large serving. So:

Total carbs: 38g
– Dietary fiber: 5g

Net carbs: Approximately 33g per large serving

This means there are about 33 net grams of digestible carbohydrates in a Popeyes large red beans and rice.

Daily Recommended Carb Intake

To put that amount into context, the recommended daily carb intake largely depends on a person’s nutrition goals and activity level[2]:

  • Standard diet: 225-325g carbs per day
  • Lower carb diet: 130g or less per day
  • Ketogenic diet: 50g or less per day

So a large order of Popeyes red beans and rice contains about 33g net carbs. This supplies:

  • 14-15% of daily carb intake based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet (225-325g carbs)
  • 25% of daily net carbs on a lower carb diet (130g per day)
  • 66% of daily net carbs on a ketogenic diet (50g per day)

For people following a standard diet, this side dish makes a modest dent in their daily carb allowance. For low-carb and ketogenic diets, it represents a more substantial portion of the total carbohydrates permitted per day.

Glycemic Index Considerations

In addition to total carb content, the glycemic index (GI) is another metric used to evaluate the blood sugar impact of consuming different foods containing carbohydrates[3].

Foods are assigned a GI value indicating they have a low, medium or high effect on blood glucose levels. Beans are generally considered a low glycemic food, with a GI of less than 55.

Specifically, studies have found the GI values for common beans range from 31-44, depending on variety[4]. While the specific GI of red kidney beans hasn’t been tested, it’s likely in the same range as other types of beans.

This suggests that while Popeyes red beans and rice is fairly high in net carbs, the beans themselves should cause a relatively gradual rise in blood sugar compared to refined grain products or starchy sides like fries or rice alone. The fiber content also helps mitigate blood sugar spikes.

For people with prediabetes or diabetes, the glycemic index is an important factor to consider when tracking dietary carbohydrates. The beans’ low GI indicates this side dish may cause less of a spike than white rice or biscuits from Popeyes. However, portion size still matters for overall carb intake.

Carb and Calorie Comparisons to Other Popeyes Sides

How does this popular Popeyes side dish compare to other menu options in terms of carb and calorie content?

Here’s a comparison of the large serving nutrition info[1] for a few different Popeyes sides:

Side Dish Calories Net Carbs
Red Beans and Rice 230 calories 33g net carbs
Cole Slaw 180 calories 11g net carbs
Biscuit 370 calories 32g net carbs
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy 250 calories 26g net carbs
Cajun Fries 340 calories 35g net carbs

A few key takeaways:

  • Red beans & rice contain 33g net carbs, making it one of the higher carb sides on the Popeyes menu.
  • Cole slaw is the lowest carb option with just 11g net carbs per large serving.
  • Cajun fries are slightly higher in net carbs at 35g per large serving.
  • Biscuits and mashed potatoes with gravy contain a similar amount of net carbs as the red beans and rice.

So if limiting carbs, cole slaw is the best choice. Cajun fries, biscuits, and mashed potatoes have comparable carb counts to the red beans and rice. For lowest calorie options, cole slaw or mashed potatoes may be preferable.

Tips for Ordering at Popeyes on a Low Carb Diet

Here are some tips for people looking to reduce carbs when enjoying Popeyes:

  • Opt for a 2 or 3 piece chicken meal and swap out the regular side for cole slaw.
  • Choose blackened or naked tenders as the protein, which are lower carb than breaded options.
  • Add a side salad with vinaigrette instead of biscuits or fries.
  • Order sandwiches or nuggets without the bun or biscuit.
  • Ask for extra sauce or dressing on the side to limit excess sugar.
  • Drink unsweetened iced tea, diet soda, or water to avoid sugary drinks.
  • Share high carb sides family-style or only eat a portion.

With some simple modifications, you can satisfy a fried chicken craving at Popeyes while still keeping net carbs in check.


In summary, a large order of Popeyes Louisiana red beans and rice contains about 33g of net digestible carbohydrates after accounting for its fiber content.

This represents 14-66% of the total daily carbohydrate recommendations depending on your specific diet and needs. Though fairly high in net carbs, the beans have a low glycemic index which attenuates blood sugar spikes.

Compared to other Popeyes sides, red beans and rice is on the higher carb end while coleslaw is the lowest carb menu option. People limiting carbs can customize their Popeyes order by swapping out biscuits and fries for lower carb alternatives.

Considering nutrition information and modifying high carb menu items can help you strategically indulge at fast food restaurants while still meeting your health goals.



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