Popeyes Sweet And Spicy Wings Review: A Superlatively Saucy Addition To Any Wing Order

Popeye's wings on plate beside ranch sauces
Popeye's wings on plate beside ranch sauces - Adam Swierk/Mashed

To say we love that chicken from Popeyes here at Mashed is hardly revelatory. Our entire professional purpose revolves around espousing the various glories of the culinary world, after all -- including any fried chicken served by the Louisiana fast restaurant. Then again, we don't merely appreciate the Cajun-centric recipes and flavors offered by the orange-and-white logo'd establishment. In fact, we'd go so far as to say (for perhaps the first time ever) that Little Nicky (Adam Sandler) was right: "Popeye's chicken is *bleeping* awesome."

Now, some may conclude our admitted Popeyes fandom renders us incapable of objectively reviewing its new Sweet N' Spicy wings. But considering our journalistic integrity is sacrosanct -- because nothing is of greater importance in the world than providing wholly honest food critiques -- you can rest easy knowing we'll always provide a straightforward assessment. So, if you're wondering whether Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings are worth purchasing on your next fast food fried chicken run? We've got your back, Jack (bonus points for any readers actually named Jack!).

We can't say for certain whether or not Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings will entice each and every individual's taste buds. But after obtaining an order (thanks to an assist from Popeyes), we can provide some guidance for anyone intrigued by the restaurant's newest sauce option. Without further ado, here is our review of Popeyes Sweet N' Spicy wings.

Read more: The Best Wings In Every State

What's In Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy Wings?

Hand holding sauced Popeye's flat wing
Hand holding sauced Popeye's flat wing - Adam Swierk/Mashed

There are two basic items you'd expect to find in Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings: chicken wings and a sweet and spicy sauce of some sort. Lo and behold, you'll find each of these two broad-based ingredients in every order of the chain's latest addition -- though the underlying specifics of what's actually in Popeyes Sweet N' Spicy wings beyond chicken and sauce are a bit murky.

While Popeyes doesn't appear to offer any sort of public, thorough ingredient list for its menu items, we can still ascertain some details based on what's actually available. For starters, the poultry portion of Popeyes Sweet N' Spicy wings appears to consist of standard, plain, battered-and-bread chicken wing pieces (a combination of both drumsticks and flats).

As for the main item of interest to this review -- the Sweet N' Spicy sauce -- we can confidently say the seemingly Thai-inspired sweet chili concoction counts chili, garlic, and ginger among its ingredient list. Additionally, the Sweet N' Spicy name implies a heaping dose of added sugar is present in this menu item, as well (and we'll address how much sugar momentarily).

How Much Do Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy Wings Cost?

Popeye's wings in container with ranch sauce
Popeye's wings in container with ranch sauce - Adam Swierk/Mashed

We aren't always capable of providing a precise projection for what a new, nationally-available food item is likely to cost. Of course, while we can't guarantee you'll find Popeyes Sweet N' Spicy wings at the exact price points we'll list, there's still a decent chance you'll find this new menu item within these particular price ranges.

Since Popeyes is offering its new Sweet N' Spicy wings in several different sizes (all of which can be converted into combo meals if desired), there are a few prices to discuss. A six-piece wing order will likely cost between $12 and $14, depending on your location (it runs $12.49 at a Chelmsford, MA restaurant). A 12-piece order is apt to cost between $18 and $20 (or $18.09 in Chelmsford, MA), while a 24-piece order costs $26.99 in northeastern Massachusetts -- meaning you should prepare to pay $26 to $30 for the largest order size.

If you're unsure about trying an order of pre-sauced Sweet N' Spicy wings -- or simply want extra sauce on hand -- an a la carte "souffle cup" of the Sweet N' Spicy sauce is also available. However, since there's no such thing as a free lunch (or side of sauce, in this instance), a cup of Sweet N' Spicy sauce will cost 99 cents (or more) to interested consumers.

How Long Are Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy Wings Available And Where?

New sauce dripping from Popeye's wing
New sauce dripping from Popeye's wing - Adam Swierk/Mashed

Since the new Sweet N' Spicy wings from Popeyes were made available at participating restaurants across the U.S. as of August 22, it's not entirely clear whether you'll be able to find the newest menu item at your local Popeyes as of mid-September 2023. More than that, it's uncertain just how long Popeyes plans to keep its Sweet N' Spicy wings on menus -- although we would assume it'll at least remain on menus until early October of this year (hold that thought).

Now, we may not know precisely how long the new Sweet N' Spicy wings will be offered at participating Popeyes restaurants -- just as we can't say for sure which locations may or may not be offering the new product (or why). But considering the fast food chain's sweet heat-esque chicken wings sauce appears to be the most successful newly released product since its ridiculously popular fried chicken sandwich in 2019? We can imagine it may be earmarked for an extended-release window.

Additionally, seeing how Popeyes' newest flavor appears to have been developed, in part, as a tribute to grandmothers across the U.S. (and their corresponding sweet-yet-spicy personalities), we're confident the Sweet N' Spicy wings will likely remain available until National Grandmother's Day on October 8, 2023. In fact, we'd be nothing short of shocked if Popeyes' popular new chicken wing variety disappeared before that day.

What Is The Nutrition Info For Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy Wings?

Hand holding wing after taking bite
Hand holding wing after taking bite - Adam Swierk/Mashed

Obviously, the new Sweet N' Spicy wings from Popeye's are an order of heavily sauced, excessively sweetened deep-fried chicken wing pieces. In other words, it'll come as no surprise to learn it's more of a nutritional bomb than a shining light. Still, since information regarding the new menu item's nutritional facts are publicly available, we can at least provide a glimpse of that info (sans any sides, beverages, or dipping sauces) for interested consumers.

For starters, a six-piece order of Popeyes Sweet N' Spicy wings contains a rather substantial 790 calories (substantial for a half-dozen chicken wings, that is). Beyond the caloric total, you'll find 38 grams of fat in each six-piece order -- including 16 grams of saturated fat -- 195 mg of cholesterol, and a somewhat startling 2,980 mg of sodium.

Of course, anyone ordering fried chicken wings may expect a hefty serving of fat and sodium. But any diabetic folks may want to heed caution, as each six-piece order of Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy wings also contains a staggering 36 grams of sugar per serving (with 14 grams of sugar found in a single-serve side of the sauce to boot).

How Does It Compare To Other Popeye's Products?

Both Popeye's wings varieties in box
Both Popeye's wings varieties in box - Adam Swierk/Mashed

Considering the lack of additional chicken wing flavor options at the restaurant, we found ourselves comparing Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings solely to its previously offered Ghost Pepper wings. Before we get to any similarities, though, it's instructive to mention the new wing version differs greatly from the Ghost Pepper variety in one key aspect: it features an added sauce, while the Ghost Pepper seasoning is offered as an already-added dry wing flavor.

As for commonalities, both chicken wing varieties contain a similar mixture of drummies and flatties (our apologies for the technical jargon) in every order. Additionally, the undeniable presence of genuine heat in the Sweet N' Spicy sauce (which perfectly complements its subtly overt sweetness) means the new flavor has a bit more in common with its Ghost Pepper cousin than you may imagine at first glance.

Of course, the level of painful pleasure (or straight-up spiciness) found in the Sweet N' Spicy wings is dramatically lower than the Ghost Pepper wings. In fact, there was little-to-no lingering heat to be found upon ingesting the new wing flavor -- unlike the tremendously tingling burn, which remained prominent for several minutes after eating the Ghost Pepper wings.

Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy Wings Verdict:

Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy wings piled
Popeye's Sweet N' Spicy wings piled - Adam Swierk/Mashed

Popeyes' newest menu item has had the most successful two-week launch of any item since its monumentally famous (and superior to Chick-fil-A) fried chicken sandwich in 2019 -- meaning the bar was set precipitously high for its Sweet N' Spicy wings. Yet Popeyes not only managed to meet our sky-high expectations; it actually exceeded them in several ways, as well.

A glorious take on the many popular Thai sweet chili sauces on the market, the Sweet N' Spicy sauce deserves the lion's share of the credit for this item's utterly delectable taste. To be sure, the near-perfectly crisp (and succulent) pieces of battered and breaded chicken played a substantial hand in the joyful eating experience -- particularly the chicken's ability to stay tremendously crunchy even after being coated in sauce. But the fact that Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings were able to maintain the oft-precarious balance between diametrically opposed flavor profiles (not straying too far towards saccharine or stiflingly spicy) is a tremendous achievement -- and one worthy of our praise.

As we noted before, it's unclear how long this new chicken wing sauce and variety will remain available at Popeyes. So, if you're determined to live a life devoid of regret, we'd implore you to try Popeyes' new Sweet N' Spicy wings as soon as possible -- and ensure you avoid any missed opportunities in the process.

Read the original article on Mashed.