DIY Popeyes Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Popeyes Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with spicy mayo is super crispy, spicy and tastes 1000x BETTER homemade!  

If you’ve been craving fried chicken sandwiches we’ve got you covered with this delicious crispy Fried chicken Sandwich. It’s super crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside and loaded with spices. It’s as close as you will get to the famous Popeyes chicken sandwich which is currently sold out everywhere but in my opinion, it’s so much BETTER and surprisingly easy to make at home! 

DIY Popeyes Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

The sandwich comes together in under 30 minutes and can be prepared overnight. The chicken is first marinated in buttermilk (DIY buttermilk below) and spices then battered in a mixture of flour, corn starch, and MORE spices. The spices give the sandwich so much flavor but more importantly, they give it a crispy crust that is out of this world.

To make Popeyes chicken sandwich at home you will need:

  • chicken breasts
  • buttermilk
  • flour
  • corn starch
  • spices
  • brioche buns

To get the perfect size fillet: pound each chicken breast down to about 1/2 inch thickness then cut in half crosswise so you end up with a chicken cutlet about the same size as your buns.

To make 5-minute Buttermilk: Using buttermilk gives the chicken the authentic southern taste and helps the crust develop all those small crinkles that make it extra crispy. If you don’t have buttermilk at home, rest assured making your own buttermilk at home is super easy and done in 5 minutes. Stir 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes until the milk begins to curdle.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps make the crust super crispy and light as opposed to just battering the chicken with just flour. I highly recommend using it for the best results but If you don’t have cornstarch at home, replace it with more flour and add 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

The Bun: Using brioche buns takes this sandwich to the next level and will replicate the flavor and texture of Popeyes chicken sandwich.

To make spicy mayo sauce:

Combine 1/2 cup of mayo with 1 teaspoon hot sauce, teaspoon paprika or taco seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and whisk. The sauce is delicious in the chicken sandwich and is used to make the spicy version of Popeyes chicken sandwich.

DIY Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

How to Make in Chicken Sandwich the Air Fryer

To make this delicious Popeyes chicken in the air fryer, simply follow the recipe above.

Before frying, spray or brush the chicken with cooking oil and place directly into the air fryer.

Air Fry at 375F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway or until crispy and cooked through.

4.78 from 170 votes

DIY Popeyes Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

Learn how to make Popeyes Buttermilk fried chicken at home. This super crispy and tender recipe tastes 1000x better homemade!
Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches


For the chicken marinade

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon EACH paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt

For Breading

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon EACH paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (for spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon EACH salt & pepper

Spicy mayo



To Marinate Chicken

  • Pound chicken breasts in between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise to make 2 small pieces of chicken about the same size as the bun (see video below). 
  • In a large bowl, buttermilk, paprika, garlic powder, salt & black pepper. Add the chicken to the mix and place in the fridge to marinate up to 24 hours or use right away. 

To Cook Chicken

  • Heat oil in a large heavy-duty skillet or pot on medium temperature or until the temperature reaches 350F.
  • In a medium shallow bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and spices. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the buttermilk batter into the flour mixture and mix it through with a fork.
    Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken the flour mixture and press flour on the top chicken to form a thick crust. Transfer chicken to hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes per side or until the outside is crispy and golden and the internal temperature reaches 165F. 

To Assemble

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan and toast buns face down until golden and crisp. Whisk all the ingredients for the mayo in a small bowl and spread a generous layer of mayo on each bun. Top with pickles and chicken. Enjoy hot! 


Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk, chicken, homemade, popeyes, sandwich
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DIY Popeyes Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich

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  1. Absolutely amazing! So glad we found this recipe!

  2. Amazing! My husband and I have made these at least 5 times now and it comes out perfect every time. Best spicy chicken sandwich we’ve ever had. Last time we had the Popeyes version it did not even compare to how good these are. I don’t even bother going there anymore. If you have left overs – you can heat the chicken up in the oven and it’s just as good! Just had one for lunch from our left over dinner last night 🙂 delish!

  3. What kind or brand of pickles are best on this?

  4. Oh my god let me tell you i just made this for my family and this was the best chicken sandwich i have ever had. This recipe is EXACTLY identical to popeyes. Never buying it from the restaurant again this was perfect thank you so much everyone absolutely loved it.

  5. The best chicken sandwich I’ve ever made. The whole family loved it.

  6. Husband and two teens said this was the best chicken I had ever made!!!!

    1. i also made this it was good aswell just a comment on the breeding but overall pretty nice. 3 for ok I feel as tho I could be better but honestly ima just rate it a 3.5-4 for good

  7. I love this recipe, but admittedly, I’m one of those annoying people that modded it. I swap out regular paprika for smoked.
    Thanks for the deliciousness!

  8. Question for the author: where did you find the buns pictured here?

    Or if anyone else has suggestions for a brioche brand similar to what Popeyes uses.

    1. St. Rosen’s Brioche toasted with butter are pretty good!

  9. Delicious!! My boyfriend said this was probably the most delicious meal I’ve made so far- he said it was 10/10

    1. your wrong your boyfriend said i was the most delicious meal he’s ever had so girlllllllll.

  10. I’ve mad these twice already! But I made them in bite sized nugget form. For a while I’ve been going through recipes trying to find the best chicken nugget recipe and I couldn’t find any that I wanted to try. This recipe is perfect. Perfectly crispy, perfect balance of spices and flavors, perfectly salted (not salty, only perfect).

    Pro tip is definitely frying twice! Fry once, let it cool for a minute or two and then fry again. It’ll make sure the coating stays on and it’s crispy. Ugh so good! Thank you for this recipe. I haven’t had fried chicken in years so I couldn’t tell you if it’s identical to Popeyes but in my opinion it’s definitely way better than any chicken nuggets that I remember eating in my life. Can definitely be made gluten and dairy free too for anyone wondering.

  11. OMG, this was amazing. My family was floored and we all loved. It even beat Popeye’s. I’ve tried some other Fried Chicken recipes that never lived up to my expectorations, but this was easy and tasted even better that I hoped. THANK YOU!!

  12. I love you for this recipe. It tastes exactly like the Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich. Well actually a lot better cause it was more tender. Thank you

  13. Made this recipe in the air fryer and it was wonderful! The sauce was delish