Joshua Weissman’s Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich: But Healthy

30% less calories

All the crispy with only half the calories.

I submit this crispy oven baked chicken sandwich as a strong alternative to the fried chicken sandwiches that have been enjoying a lot of popularity in the recent years. Especially if you’re craving for those flavors but not too keen on the calories that come with it.

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The main reason for not deep frying the chicken is that we save about 133kcal from the oil that usually gets absorbed. Combine that the replacement of 50% of the mayonnaise used in the sauce with 0% fat Greek yogurt, and a lower butter content brioche bun to get something that doesn’t sacrifice too much of the flavor for the sake of being low calorie.
You could lower the calories even further if you sub the brioche buns for classic sandwich bread but that’s going a bit too far for me so I’m keeping the buns.

This recipe is based on Joshua Weissman’s Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. That was my starting point and the lower calorie percentage (30%) is in comparison to his “but better” versions, not the original Popeyes chicken sandwich. A “but healthier” version if you’d like.

At a 30% calorie difference it manages to scratch that itch without the guilt or sacrificing too much of the flavor.

I combine a technique that I saw PrajiturEla use for the chicken, with a couple of adjustments to make it match with the Popeyes flavor profile.

For the buns, these are made using Joshua Weissman’s burger buns recipe. To which I used only 50% of the butter quantity.

Check this new entry to my Low Cal Zone series and let me know what you think.

Crispy oven baked chicken sandwich

A low-cal alternative to the popular fried chicken sandwich with 30% less calories
Servings 3
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chicken marinating time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


Yogurt marinade

  • 1/2 (300g) chicken breast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 150g ½ cup Greek yogurt 0% fat

The Sauce

  • 80 g (5 tbsp) mayonnaise
  • 80 g (5 tbsp) Greek yogurt 0% fat
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or other preferred hot sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice

Crispy Chicken coating

  • 100g (¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 10 cracks black pepper
  • 100g (3.5 oz) cornflakes plain, unsweetened or salted
  • 2 eggs

Supporting Cast

  • 2 medium dill pickles
  • 2 brioche buns Use Joshua Weissman's milk brioche buns recipe
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise


Yogurt marinade

  • Start my cutting the chicken breast into strips (or larger pieces if preferred)
  • Place in a bowl all the chicken, spices and yogurt and mix until well combined and the spices are well distributed
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour – it could go all night too.

The Sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, taste it and add more hot sauce, lime juice or salt based on preference.
    Aim for a balanced taste, it shouldn't taste very sour.

Making the Crispy Chicken

  • In a shallow dish place the flour and spices, mix well
  • In a second shallow dish, place the cornflakes and crush them to get pieces about 50% smaller
  • In a third shallow dish, beat the two eggs and add a bit of salt & pepper
  • Preheat your oven at 320°F / 160°C convection mode
  • Place a piece of parchment paper in an oven tray and place it at the end of your the dredging line
  • Take the chicken piece by piece and start by coating well with the flour, pass is through the beaten eggs and then place it in the cornflakes and use your dry hand to cover it well with them.
    Place them in the oven tray
  • Repeat the last step with all the chicken pieces then place the tray in the preheated oven and cook them for 20 minutes

Sandwich Assembly

  • Firstly toast your buns using a bit of mayo
  • Start by spreading a heaping tablespoon of the sauce on the bottom bun
    Cover it with slices of dill pickles that were cut end-to-end
    Follow them with two pieces of crispy chicken
    Spread a second heaping tablespoon on the top bun and cap your sandwich
  • Enjoy!
Calories: 659kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, low-calorie, oven-baked, sandwich

Goes well with

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Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below, or tag me with @solozaurcooking on Instagram and hashtag it #solozaurcookin.

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Cooked & written with ❤️ by Alex Pricop.