Popeyes new Cajun Fish and Shrimp are here – but are they any good?

Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp

Ever wonder if you’re obsessed with fast food? Answer me these three question: Do you have a calendar that lists all the upcoming fast food releases? Do you find yourself with a restaurant’s latest menu release just hours after it’s debut? Do you hold no shame that you find yourself analayzing said dish in micro detail, taking literal notes with paper and pen? If you answered yes, well, join the club my friend, you’re in good company.

Just a day after we noted the launch of the new Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich and Cajun Shrimp – here’s the full review of the spicy new seafood additions. The basic details of the two new items are as follows:

  • Cajun Flounder Sandwich – flounder fish fillet served on a warm and toasted buttery brioche bun, with crisp barrel cured pickles and tartar sauce, $5.49
  • Cajun Crispy Shrimp – eight piece butterfly shrimp golden fried, $5.00

First up the sandwich. Frankly, in a world of chicken sandwich wars its refreshing to see any new item that’s not YACHS (yet another chicken sandwich), but hey Popeyes do already have that battle covered. That said, everyone and their dog are releasing seafood specials right now for lent – see our full recap of seafood Lent specials here. Before we dig into the tasting, here are some snaps of the sandwich:

Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich wrapper
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich wrapper
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich
Cajun Flounder Sandwich cross section
Cajun Flounder Sandwich cross section
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich top down
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich top down
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich interior close up
Popeyes Cajun Flounder Sandwich interior close up

The sandwich is pleasingly large. It’s provided in a similar foil pack to the brand’s signature Chicken Sandwich and also comes on an identical brioche bun; despite the bun’s hefty size the battered fish still manages to sneak out of the sides. This is a heartily sized sandwich.

The flounder is finished in a smooth batter – completely different to the fried chicken’s erratic-ridge quality. The batter has a bite of spice that to my taste is a rough blend of black pepper and cayenne – it hits at the back of the palate and never overpowers. Those afraid of spice should not be intimidated at all.

The fish itself is a mild, meaty white fish. When we talk fish people unfailingly always ask – “but is it fishy?”. Eye rolling aside, if you’re fine with the fishiness of an average store bought fish stick, you’ll be fine here. Flounder isn’t terribly exotic or strong, but there’s some definite fish flavor to be tasted through the fried batter and spice. Popeyes also clearly know their way around the fry basket – the finished fried fish is enjoyably flaky and juicy too.

A particular star of the show are Popeyes’ “crisp barrel cured pickles”. I’m not sure what barrel curing entails exactly, but these are bi, briny discs, thick bold slices of punchy pickle; if you’re a pickle fan you will be in heaven. Alongside the zesty tartar sauce the duo brings a really assertive and sharp counterpunch to the fried fish. It’s all rather quite fun.

Overall its a very strong package. In recent fish-sandwich-memory I can only think of Arby’s 2020 Beer Battered Fish Sandwich that comes close to matching this. If you dangled me over a ledge by the ankles, I’d give the victory to Popeyes 2021 sandwich ever so slightly. The fried finish is a little lighter, and there’s no interloping tomato (who ever needs a fast food tomato – certainly not me). If you’re in the market for a fish sandwich this lent – definitely try this one.

Next up the Cajun Shrimp – these come as an eight piece as standard. If you’re first thought is to recall 2020’s Wicked Shrimp, don’t worry, these aren’t the itty bitty guys you remember. These are bigger shrimp, and eight is plenty enough to an order. They come in the roughly the same batter as Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich as far as I can tell, though the finish isn’t as light. Here are some snaps of the product:

Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp box
Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp box
Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp box interior
Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp box interior
Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp
Popeyes Cajun Crispy Shrimp
Popeyes Cajun Shrimp interior
Popeyes Cajun Shrimp interior

There’s that signature spicy bite again, which to be honest, as mild as it is – and coupled with the breading – mostly overpowers any shrimp flavor. There’s some there for sure, but it’s scant and meekly recoils into the background shadows.

More than anything these are seafood nuggets are made for sauce dipping. If you’re a dip fanatic and need to switch out the tenders or nuggets, these aren’t offensive at all. Personally, I’d skip these and stick to that fabulous flounder sandwich.

Order the new Cajun specials

These are a limited time offer so move quick to secure some. They should be available nationwide for both dine in drive thru or delivery. You can get Popeyes delivered via Door Dash. They usually offer some great free delivery deals for new users – plus we get a referral fee when you signup and make an order too.

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Hi there, I'm Stuart, nice to meet you. I'm a food writer of more than 15+ years experience writing about food and drink in all its forms, fine dining through the to the grocery store. I've also got a secret obsession with fast food too. You can find my writing at places like Gastronomic SLC, Visit Salt Lake, The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Stories, Utah Now Online and many others.