Skip to Content

KFC Famous Bowl Recipe

Get ready to experience the ultimate comfort food with our mouthwatering copycat recipe for the iconic KFC Famous Bowl! This delicious and satisfying dish brings together layers of tender crispy chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, savory gravy, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Each spoonful is an amazing blend of flavors everyone will love.

KFC famous mashed potatoes bowl with chicken, gravy, and cheese

This dish is so easy to make at home. My homemade recipe captures all the delectable goodness of the fast-food favorite while giving you the option to bake or air fry your chicken.

What is the KFC Bowl

The KFC Famous Mashed Potato Bowl is a popular menu item offered by KFC. It is a hearty and flavorful combination of various ingredients served in a single bowl, making it a satisfying and convenient meal option.

The components of the KFC Famous Bowl include:

  • Mashed Potatoes: A bed of creamy mashed potatoes serves as the base of the bowl.
  • Crispy Chicken: Bite-sized pieces of KFC’s signature crispy fried chicken tenders are layered on top of the mashed potatoes.
  • Corn: Sweet corn kernels are added as an additional layer, providing a touch of sweetness and texture to the dish.
  • Gravy: The bowl is generously topped with KFC’s savory and rich gravy, which adds moisture and enhances the overall flavor.
  • Shredded Cheese: To finish off the dish, a sprinkle of shredded cheese is added on top, melting and creating a delightful cheesy goodness.
corn and shredded cheese in glass bowls

What Type of Chicken to Use

The best chicken to use is actual chicken tenderloins. The restaruant recipe uses chicken tenders. Tenderloins are far smaller than a chicken breast, and much thinner too. Tenderloins are half the size of a chicken breast.  The chicken tenderloin is a strip of muscle distinct from but lying alongside the inner breast of the chicken closest to the bone.

Tenders are more tender than any other part of the chicken. This is because it’s a muscle that the chicken doesn’t use very often in comparison to its breast muscle.

You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.

raw sliced chicken tenders in a glass bowl

Herbs and Spices

This is a copycat recipe so of course there’s a long list of spices you will need if you want to get the chicken to taste like KFC. If that isn’t important to you, feel free to use a store bought chicken rub or my Dry Rub for Chicken recipe blend.

KFC’s “Secret Recipe” of 11 herbs and spices has been a closely guarded trade secret that has been the cornerstone of the company’s success and iconic flavor for many decades. At some point, the listing of spices was leaked. It’s hard to know if it was an exact and accurate listing.

I have adapted it fit this recipe and it is pretty on point! Here is what you will need.

11 herbs and spices and flour in a glass bowl

When you measure out the spices it will look like a lot….honestly it may look like it’s too much! It isn’t and I actually think that’s a core component of the “secret” part of the recipe. Once combined with the flour it will coat every bite of the chicken and provide immense flavor.

Double Breaded Chicken

If you want crispy breading, I recommend preparing the chicken with double breading. Dredging or adding breading to foods can be intimidating for some. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little sticky, you will do just fine! 

Double breaded chicken refers to a cooking technique where chicken pieces are coated with breading or batter not just once but twice before cooking. This process creates an extra crispy and crunchy outer layer, making the chicken more flavorful and satisfying. I also use this technique in my Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders recipe.

buttermilk, flour, and an egg in separate glass bowls

This involves dipping the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour mixture, then buttermilk and egg, and then the seasoned flour mixture again, ensuring a thick and even coating.

The first layer of breading helps the second layer adhere better to the chicken, and as the chicken cooks, the double breading creates a golden and crispy crust that locks in the chicken’s juices, resulting in tender and moist meat.

buttermilk, egg, flour, and spices in separate glass bowls

This is a popular method for various fried chicken dishes and is often enjoyed in Southern and comfort food cuisines. The additional layer of breading adds an extra dimension of texture and flavor to the chicken, making it a delicious and satisfying treat for those who love crispy and crunchy fried chicken.

collage of 4 photos with raw chicken dredged in buttermilk and flour

How to Get Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I love to use my Southern Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes recipe for these bowls. Buttermilk is used in the breading for the chicken, so using it to make the mashed potatoes works great, because then you don’t have to worry about wasting leftover buttermilk.

cut/sliced potatoes in a glass bowl
sliced potatoes and broth in a Dutch oven

Russet potatoes are really starchy and they are fluffy. Yukon gold potatoes have smooth, waxy flesh, that is also moist. Red potatoes are similar to Yukon and are really creamy. If you want super smooth potatoes you can use Yukon gold or red potatoes.

If you want fluffy potatoes, go with russet.

broth, buttermilk, sour cream, butter, and spices in glass bowls

The recipe below shows you how to make homemade gravy to drizzle over the potatoes. I love my Homemade Gravy recipe in this dish.

How to Make KFC Famous Bowls

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Combine the flour and all of the spices in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken tenders.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken.
  3. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and egg mixture, and again in the flour mixture.
  4. Bake or air fry.
  5. Pair with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and shredded cheese.
uncooked chicken tenders in an air fryer
cooked KFC breaded chicken tender in an air fryer
melted butter, flour, and broth in a skillet to create gravy
brown gravy in a skillet

Why Buttermilk is Used

Buttermilk is used in the chicken breading and in the mashed potatoes.

Buttermilk is slightly acidic. It’s great for tenderizing chicken and it won’t toughen up the meat. It will help break down the protein of the chicken which will help produce chicken that is tender and loaded with flavor.

Because buttermilk has a thicker consistency than regular milk, and when added to mashed potatoes, it helps create a creamier and smoother texture.

mashed potatoes in a white bowl

How to Substitute Buttermilk

You can substitute/make your own buttermilk if you wish by combining milk and vinegar (or lemon). Get instructions on How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute here. You can also omit if you wish. The chicken won’t be as tender and the breading won’t turn out as thick.

Recipe Shortcuts and Ways to Save Time

This is a comfort food dish worth the additional time and effort, in my opinion. However, here are some ways you can save time and still prepare the dish to suit your taste.

  • Use your favorite chicken rub instead of the 11 herbs and spices. If you don’t care if the chicken tastes like KFC, use your favorite rub instead.
  • Use store-bought mashed potatoes.
  • Use store-bought gravy.
KFC famous mashed potatoes bowl with chicken, gravy, and cheese

Optional Add Ins and Substitutions

  • Bacon
  • Broccoli
  • Sour Cream
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Onions
  • Hot Sauce
KFC famous mashed potatoes bowl with chicken, gravy, and cheese

How to Store

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days.

How to Reheat

The best way to reheat the chicken is in the air fryer or oven at 350 degrees until crisp and warm.

You can use the microwave for the remaining ingredients or even for the chicken if you wish, but the chicken will soften.

Reheating can cause a slight loss of crispiness in the chicken, so it may not be as crispy as when freshly prepared.

KFC famous mashed potatoes bowl with chicken, gravy, and cheese

More Copycat Recipes

Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken
Breakfast Crunchwrap
Chicken Madeira Cheesecake Factory Recipe
Red Lobster Shrimp Scampi

KFC famous mashed potatoes bowl with chicken, gravy, and cheese
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

KFC Famous Bowl Recipe

Get ready to experience the ultimate comfort food with our mouthwatering copycat recipe for the iconic KFC Famous Bowl! This delicious and satisfying dish brings together layers of tender crispy chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, savory gravy, and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Each spoonful is an amazing blend of flavors everyone will love.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade KFC bowl, KFC bowl, KFC bowls at home, KFC chicken bowl, KFC famous bowl
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 808kcal

Ingredients

Chicken and Bowl Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts Sliced into chunks (Equal in size, whatever size you wish).
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cooking oil spray I use olive oil.
  • 1-2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Chicken Spices (Or you can use your favorite store-bought chicken rub.)

Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes Peeled or leave the skin on if you wish. See notes.
  • 3 cups water or broth Broth will simply add additional flavor; any type of broth.
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Gravy

Instructions

Assembling the Chicken

  • Combine the flour and all of the spices in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken tenders.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken.
  • Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and egg mixture, and again in the flour mixture. Keep a moist towel nearby. Your hands will get sticky.

Air Fryer Chicken Instructions

  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Add the breaded tenders to the basket. Spritz the tenders with cooking oil spray.
  • Air fry for 8 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Open the air fryer and flip the tenders. Be careful so that you do not lose any of the breading. Air fry for an additional 4-8 minutes at 400 degrees or until the chicken is crisp.
  • Ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This indicates the chicken is done cooking and is safe to eat. Use a meat thermometer.

Baked Chicken Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place an oven-safe baking rack on a baking sheet or a sheet pan. Lightly spray with non-stick spray. (The baking rack will produce crispy tenders and is optional. You can use just the sheet pan with parchment paper if you wish).
  • Place the breaded tenders on the rack or sheet pan. Spritz the tenders with cooking oil spray.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Flip each chicken tender, be careful so that you do not lose any of the breading. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This indicates the chicken is done cooking and is safe to eat. Use a meat

Stovetop Mashed Potatoes

  • Add the potatoes to a large pot along with cold water or broth. Use enough to completely cover 1 inch above the potatoes.
  • Place the pot on the stove on high and allow the liquid to come to a boil. When the liquid reaches boiling, reduce to medium-high. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Pierce with a fork to check.
  • Drain the excess liquid from the pot.

Instant Pot Potatoes

  • Place the potatoes in the Instant Pot with enough broth or water to completely cover the potatoes. (No need to go an inch above).
  • Cook on Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps that it is complete, quick release the steam.
  • Open the lid and drain the excess liquid from the pot.

Assemble the Mashed Potatoes

  • Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Add in the buttermilk, Greek yogurt or sour cream, butter, and spices.
  • Stir until creamy.

Homemade Gravy (Use store bought gravy if you prefer).

  • Heat a saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Add the butter.
  • When melted, add in the flour. Add it in stages and stir continuously to avoid clumping. This will create a roux, which will thicken the gravy.
  • Add 1 cup of broth and the spices. Stir until the gravy begins to thicken. If the gravy is too thick, add additional broth. Stir (and continue to add broth) until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
  • Whisk continuously (be patient) to remove any clumps.
  • Taste repeatedly and add salt and pepper to taste as needed.

Assemble the Bowls

  • Assemble the bowls with mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken, corn, and shredded cheese.

Notes

  • The recipe includes 11 different herbs and spices, just like KFC. If this is too much for you, season the chicken to suit your taste.
  • Substitute any of the herbs and spices for your favorite spices.
  • Garlic salt is a combination of garlic powder and table salt, so it contains both garlic flavor and saltiness. If you substitute garlic salt, keep this in mind.
  • If the serving size noted for items with sodium is too much for you, adjust the servings to suit your preference.
  • If you see white spots on the chicken while it cooks, spray these with oil. This also helps crisping.
  • You can use whatever type of potatoes you wish.
  • When you boil the potatoes for too long it will result in potatoes that are overcooked and absorb a lot of liquid. When you go to mash them, they will be soupy. Instead of having fluffy mashed potatoes, you will have a watery blob. If you are cooking your potatoes on the stovetop, keep a watchful eye.
  • For the potatoes, you can use milk, heavy cream, or half and half instead of buttermilk if you wish.
  • Buttermilk is used in the breading for the chicken, so using it to make the mashed potatoes works great, because then you don’t have to worry about wasting leftover buttermilk.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 808kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 23g
Tried this recipe? Mention @Stay_Snatched or tag #StaySnatched! The recipe instructions noted here are the property of Stay Snatched and subject to copyright. Please do not screenshot and share this recipe on social.
Subscribe to our YouTube ChannelCheck out our YouTube Channel!
Join our Air Fryer and Instant Pot Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Join our Keto Recipes Facebook GroupClick here to join our Facebook Group!
Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Recipe Rating




Ashley

Monday 14th of August 2023

This is so good! Everyone in the house destroyed this meal! Thanks for the recipe because yes, we have food at the house kids!

staysnatched

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

haha! Yes, love to see it.