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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    Someone ate the leftovers and the family went crazy mad!!! 😂

  2. Tried this recipe for the first time today! I used chicken thighs (boneless) instead of breasts and doubled the recipe. Overall it was a very successful attempt, however we face some issues with the crispy coating being cooked much earlier than the the chicken itself, so we fried it until golden brown, then popped the chicken into the toaster over for about 10 minutes so it could continue cooking without burning the outer coating! Hope this tip helps! They were delicious and definitely spend a little more and get brioche buns, they are heavenly!

    1. I have learned first to cut chicken breast in half horizontally,. Next I pound out the chicken to a thinner fillet, which. reduces cook time to 3-4 minutes or less on each side thus eliminating the dark coating. I use a meat tenderizer hammer to thin the breasts and tenderize them to perfection before marinade.

  3. I made it was really good we put some coleslaw too

  4. Has anyone tried this in an airfryer? wondering if it would work – how long to cook for, etc…

    1. It works very well. Make sure you spray the cage well and spray the chicken with oil. Cook at 400 for about 12 minutes. Flip. Spray. Cook again for 5 minutes. Came out perfect.

      1. Did you follow the recipe exactly as is for the air fryer?

    2. We made it tonight in the air fryer, coated the chicken in egg, then flour and then egg again. It was amazing!

  5. I made this & my bunch said “ it’s better than what you get at Popeyes “ !! Delicious…

  6. This recipe is PERFECT!!! I made this for my family and it was a hit. Will definitely be making it again. Oh and the spicy mayo… Yeeessss.!!! LOVE IT!!!

    1. i made this and my kids told me to make it everyday

  7. Delicious recipe!!! Only marinated the chicken for <2hrs; while it marinated, I prepped the breading and spicy mayo so everything came together pretty quickly just in time for lunch. Thanks so much for sharing – will definitely refer to this recipe again for future meals!

  8. This recipe turned out AMAZING! I only marinated for 2.5 hours but it still turned out very juicy. The only step I skipped was adding some of the buttermilk mixture to the breading. Instead, I added the chicken to the breading with a lot of buttermilk mixture dripping off. The sauce was delicious! It definitely set the sandwich off. This will definitely go into my recipe staple.

  9. I can’t find the temperature the oil should be at for frying. Please advise.

    1. The temperature should be 350F. It’s in step 1 of cooking the chicken. Enjoy! 🙂

  10. What kind of oil did you fry in & how much will I need? I couldn’t find in recipe.. did I miss it? Thank you- can’t wait to try this!

  11. I’m not very handy in the kitchen, but I can get by. This was so easy and delicious! It’s part of the dinner rotation now.

  12. So, my boyfriend and I are looking to triple this recipe (from four sandwiches to eight). I assume, but would nonetheless appreciate confirmation on, multiplying ingredient amount by three. My concern is regarding the chicken breast. I would love recommendations on how much to purchase, as we’re going to be “pounding and cutting” to fit the size of the buns. Hoping to serve about 12 sandwiches total.

  13. These were delicious! We made some spicy and some not so spicy and they were both hits! Definitely plan to make this again!

  14. This is an amazing recipe. Best chicken sandwich ever – better than popeyes, chick-fil-a or any other one out there for that matter. It is the most perfectly crunchy, crispy but juicy and tender perfection of a sandwich and now a bit of an obsession for me.

    1. Do you know if I can use an air fryer ? If so how much time ?? Thank you .

  15. it WAS AMAZING!! My 3 Adult boys LOVED IT!! I never eat mayo however this spicy mayo is SOO GOOD! I made it at 1 am and my son used the term BUSTIN!! THANK YOU so much for sharing this recipe!! May God bless you and may his face shine upon you! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  16. I made this today for my family and it came out perfect. Thank you!

  17. Just made this for my son definitely a keeper
    Do you know calories per sandwich by chance?

  18. My husband made these for our quarantine take out night. The were amazing! The best meal he has ever made. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  19. Could I use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts?

    1. Yes, the recipe will also work with boneless skinless thighs 🙂

  20. My chicken sandwich turned out delicious. Thanks

  21. Approximately how many calories are in one of these sandwiches?

  22. Can I use 1 percent lactose milk instead of buttermilk?

    1. It should work. To make it into buttermilk combine it with 1 tablespoon vinegar to make it into buttermilk.

  23. We don’t have a popeyes in the UK but these burgers were amazing! One of my favourites to make and I don’t even like cooking!

  24. Can I do this in a deep fryer instead of on top of the stove?

    1. of course! as deep frying in a deep fryer and a stove have almost no difference but getting chicken out of the deep fryer is much easier then fishing it out the pan. Plus thats what they use at popeyes

  25. This is so easy and great tasting. It was an instant favorite. Thank you!

  26. How would the measurements differ for a serving of 5 instead of 4 ?

    1. I would just keep everything the same as it won’t change much!

    2. Okay we loved it! We have not ever had a Popeye’s sandwich, but who needs them?! I made my own buttermilk and marinaded for about 5 hours. I made enough chicken for the next day, wrapped it in paper towels to soak up moisture in the fridge and reheated in the oven.

  27. Can you post instructions for doing these in the air fryer after you’ve tested it out? Looks amazing. I’m trying your air fryer fried bone-in fried chicken tonight!

    1. Yes! We are working on the air fryer version. In the meantime, check out our air fryer fried chicken which is similar to this!