The KFC Famous Bowl has become a popular comfort food item on the fast food chain's menu. Our homemade copy cat version is just as good.
This comforting mashed potato bowl mixed with sweet corn, crispy popcorn chicken, and topped with a rich gravy is a hearty and satisfying meal perfect for any time of day and it’s not complicated to make.
This recipe post contains helpful tips, tricks and answers to FAQs. Please read through to ensure you get the recipe right when you try it.
What is KFC famous bowl?
The KFC Famous Bowl also known as popcorn chicken bowl, mashed potato bowl or KFC potato bowl is a signature menu item that combines mashed potatoes, corn, crispy popcorn chicken, and gravy in one bowl.
Introduced in 2006, it has become a popular staple. The Famous Bowl features a mix of flavors and textures from creamy mashed potatoes to sweet corn and crunchy breaded chicken.
This popcorn chicken bowl is an indulgent meal with 590 to 950 calories according to their website. It is served warm as an individual meal or as part of a combo.
Why make KFC popcorn chicken bowl at home?
Here are some reasons why you may want to make the KFC famous bowl or a similar popcorn chicken bowl at home:
- Saves money - Making it yourself is cheaper than buying the pre-made bowl at a the Kentucky fried chicken restaurant. You can also control portions and ingredients to suit your budget.
- Customizable - with this homemade popcorn chicken bowl, you can tweak the recipe to your taste preferences. Add different seasonings, use alternative ingredients, or change up the ratios used in this recipe.
- Healthier Ingredients - A homemade version allows you to substitute lower fat or lower calorie ingredients like cauliflower mash instead of a high calorie mashed potatoes. You can air fry the popcorn chicken and also avoid additives used in mass food production.
- Fun Weeknight Dinner - Assembling your own KFC copycat bowl can be a fun, simple weeknight dinner activity with family or friends.
- Satisfy Cravings - When you're craving the flavors of the Famous Bowl, recreating it at home lets you satisfy the craving on your schedule. This can also serve as a great carry along to potlucks or any family gathering.
Seeing that you love comfort food, you should try this double crust chicken pot pie too! It’s super delicious.
Tools used for this recipe
- Kitchen tongs
- Pots and sauces pans: Below are my top 3 recommendations for cooking
- Stainless steel: 360 cookware
- Dutch oven: Lodge, Le cruse
- Caraway pots
- Cutting board
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
How to make KFC famous bowls aka KFC mashed potato bowls at home.
See printable recipe card at the end of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions!
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C), line a baking sheet with parchment and set side
Prepare the potatoes.
Peel cut and wash potatoes. Boil till fork tender, drain, add the garlic, salt, pepper, butter and milk. Mash potatoes with potato masher.
Bake the frozen popcorn chicken
While the potatoes are boiling, bake the popcorn chicken in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 mins.
Or in the air fryer for 10 to 12 mins or until heated through
Heat up the other toppings
Transfer gravy to a microwave safe bowl and warm in the microwave. Drain the sweet corn, transfer to microwave safe bowl and warm up as well.
Assemble the KFC bowl
Scoop about ¾ cup of mashed potatoes into a bowl, pour the hot gravy over it then about 2 spoons of sweet corn.
Top off with a few pieces of cooked popcorn chicken and some shredded cheese. Enjoy!
How to serve KFC famous bowls
The KFC Famous Bowl is tasty on its own but can also be accompanied by a few side items or drinks.
A flaky biscuit is the perfect side to soak up extra gravy. Crispy fries or mac and cheese make delicious additions.
An ice cold pomegranate lemonade, regular lemonade or some sweet tea can make a great to enjoy this rich bowl of deliciousness.
Storing and Reheating
This homemade KFC Famous Bowl tastes best fresh and hot. But leftovers can easily be stored and reheated. Allow the bowl to cool then separate the chicken from the mashed potatoes before transferring each into individual airtight container and refrigerating for up to 2 days.
If you intend to make this ahead, I recommend not assembling the meal until ready to serve. Simply keep the individual components separately in its own bowl. Reheat and assemble when you are ready.
To reheat, place the mashed potatoes in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until warmed through. Warm up the gravy in the microwave as well. Reheat the popcorn chicken in the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for 3 to 5 mins or until heated through, then assemble your mashed potato bowl.
- You can use instant mashed potatoes to save time and vs. making them from scratch. Look for low-fat versions to lighten it up.
- For a healthier version, bake the breaded chicken in the oven or air fryer like we did instead of deep frying. You can also use air fryer chicken bites with no breading. Using cauliflower mash as an alternative to mashed potatoes will also cut down on the calories.
- Drizzle each serving with additional hot gravy for more moisture and flavor.
- You can also customize each bowl with shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, ranch or hot sauce.
- To keep it warm leave the chicken in the oven or air fryer till you are ready to assemble the potato bowl.
A Famous Bowl contains 740 calories, 36 grams of fat, and 60 grams of carbs.
Yes you can. While I used a jarred gravy, you can use homemade or gravy packets. For gravy packets, follow the instructions on the package.
Most KFC locations serve the Famous Bowl all day, but availability can vary by location.
I used sweet corn from a can. Feel free to use cooked fresh corn or frozen corn. If using fresh corn remove the kernels from the Cobb.
Yes, you can substitute the popcorn chicken with air fryer chicken bites with no breading breaded and opt for mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes.
More Recipes like this
- How to cook frozen popcorn chicken
- Tyson popcorn chicken in air fryer
- Check out all our chicken recipes.
The next time you have a fried chicken and mashed potato craving, give this homemade version of a KFC famous bowl a try for a tasty meal that rivals the original at a fraction of the cost.
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KFC Famous bowl (Popcorn chicken bowl)
For the mashed potatoes:
- 5 Large Russet potatoes (peeled and cut into large cubes)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (sliced)
- ½ cup milk (more as needed to reach desired consistency)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
For the chicken bowls:
- 1.5 lb Frozen popcorn chicken (I used Tyson Any'tizers)
- 18 ounce chicken gravy (warmed)
- 15.25 ounce Sweet corn (drained and warmed)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Prepare the potatoes
- Add the peeled and cubed potatoes to large pot of water and bring to boil and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the frozen popcorn chicken in the oven or air fryer
Bake the popcorn chicken
- Arrange the frozen popcorn chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 mins or until heated through (you can refer to the package instructions of the brand you are using)
- Once cooked, turn off the oven and let it sit in there till you are ready to use. This will keep it warm.
Air fryer method
- Arrange frozen popcorn chicken in the air fryer basket no need to preheat.
- Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 10 to 12 mins or until heated through.
Prep the other toppings
- Pour the gravy into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals, stirring between intervals until warmed through.
- Drain the canned corn and pour the corn into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals stirring in between time, until fully warmed through.
Make the mashed potatoes
- Once the potatoes are fork tender, strain out the water with a colander then add the butter, milk, minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the potatoes. Mix it together until everything is well incorporated.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Feel free to add a little more milk if you want the mashed potatoes creamier.
Assemble the bowls
- Scoop about ¾ cup of mashed potatoes into a bowl, pour the hot gravy over it.
- Add a few tablespoons of corn and then top with pieces of crispy popcorn chicken.
- Garnish with shredded cheese. Enjoy!
- You can use popcorn chicken, chicken nuggets or chicken strips, you can make your own or buy frozen. For a healthier option, you can use chicken breast that isn’t breaded.
- To cut down on the carbs, try subbing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower.