This KFC Famous Bowl recipe is my copycat version of the restaurant’s popular chicken bowl. Mountains of mashed potatoes hidden under a layer of melted, ooey-gooey cheese, with corn and the creamiest brown gravy — just like the Famous Bowl from KFC!
This meal is the perfect combo of comfort foods, all mixed together in one bowl, and with this copycat KFC™ recipe, it can be on your dinner table in a snap!!
KFC Famous Bowl
Why have one main dish and a couple of sides when you can have all of it together in one simply scrumptious dish?
That’s exactly what this copycat recipe for the KFC Bowl is all about! This meal is super filling and satisfying!
Fluffy KFC mashed potatoes with a blanket of luscious, creamy gravy is enough for a meal in itself.
Add in some tender corn, crunchy breaded fried chicken, and cheese, and homemade KFC bowls are a juicy, savory, and completely filling dinner.
But maybe you don’t want all of this at once — and that’s okay!
You can always make an air fryer chicken breast, then cook up an easy corn casserole and brown gravy separately.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chicken – I use boneless chicken breasts for my KFC bowls, but thighs are fine too.
Don’t hesitate to make things easier for yourself — you could even use frozen chicken tenders or nuggets!
- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – For a true copycat KFC Famous Bowl, make the copycat mashed potatoes and KFC gravy recipe.
Of course, you can use any family recipe or make instant potatoes if that’s easier for you.
- Corn – Use kernels that are already cooked. Canned and frozen are both a-okay! You can even use leftover roasted corn if you’d like.
- Cheddar – Everything is better with cheddar! But if it’s not your favorite, you can use Colby or any other shredded cheese instead.
- Breading – Set up a dredging station with three different bowls: seasoned flour, eggs, and panko breadcrumbs.
The spices are mixed right into the flour, so no additional seasonings are necessary! But if you want to work them into the breadcrumbs as well, feel free.
Tips for a Perfect KFC Bowl
- Fresh is best.
Make the mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn all before the chicken. All of these components can be rewarmed easily in a microwave just before assembling each KFC bowl.
However, the fried chicken should be cooked last to ensure that it is as crispy, crunchy, and juicy as possible!
- Get extra crunch with double the breading!
Don’t skip the second coating of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs!
A double coating provides extra crunch that stands out among the softer, creamier ingredients in the Famous Bowl KFC copycat.
- Monitor the temperature of the frying oil.
Finally, keep an eye on the oil temp — it should stay at a constant 350°F. Using a digital or instant-read cooking thermometer will make this easy.
The oil temp will drop after frying your first batch of chicken, so you’ll have to play around with the heat to keep the oil hot enough.
Quick Dinner Shortcut
Short on time? You can use prepared or convenient ingredients to create a dinner with the same components as this KFC bowl recipe. Here are some suggestions:
- Frozen chicken nuggets
- Mashed potato flakes or heat-and-eat refrigerated mashed potatoes
- Canned corn
- Prepared gravy, or whip up a gravy packet
Famous Bowl KFC FAQ
You bet! Not only is it faster, but you’ll save on calories too.
I still recommend seasoning the poultry for flavor — use the same spice blend in this KFC bowl recipe, but rub it into the chicken instead of mixing it into the flour.
Maybe it’s just the oil you’re concerned about? In that case, bread the nuggets the same way but spritz with oil. Then, toss them in your air fryer or oven instead!
It’s essentially the same as a regular KFC famous bowl, but the chicken is drizzled with Nashville hot sauce — the same they use on their hot chicken.
So if you want an extra kick in your homemade version, grab a bottle of your favorite hot sauce!
Storing and Reheating Leftover KFC Bowls
Any leftovers from this KFC bowl recipe can be kept for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Ideally, you should store all of the components separately. This will give you the freshest results when you build your KFC Famous Bowl the next day!
Reheat the chicken in an air fryer to get it nice and crispy again. Everything else can be warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Be sure to spread the ingredients into a thin layer so they warm evenly. If your mashed potatoes seem a bit dry, stir in a splash of water or broth.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Fabulous Copycat Chicken Recipes
KFC Famous Bowl Copycat Recipe
- 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, or boneless skinless thighs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 4 large egg whites
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 4 cups vegetable oil, or shortening, for frying (at least 4 cups)
- 2 cups KFC mashed potatoes, or desired amount
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or Colby
- 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
- 2 cups KFC gravy, or desired amount
- Dice chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Use 3 shallow bowls or rimmed plates (empty pie plates are great for this) to set up a breading station.In the first bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.In the second bowl, add the egg whites and whisk well.In the third bowl, spread the panko bread crumbs.
- Fill a heavy-bottomed stock pot, deep cast iron skillet, or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches of oil and begin heating over medium-high heat. Clip a cooking thermometer to the stock pot, to monitor the temperature of the oil. Heat the oil until it reaches precisely 350°F.
- Meanwhile, bread the chicken pieces by dipping them in the flour mixture, then in the egg whites, back into the flour mixture, once more in the egg whites, and finally, roll them in the bread crumbs.
- Drop breaded chicken pieces, a few at a time, into the hot oil. Use a slotted spoon to turn them over after about a minute. Cook for 2-3 minutes total, until the breading is a deep golden brown. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F to confirm that the chicken is properly cooked through.
- Remove from the hot oil and place on paper towels to drain off the excess oil.
- Divide the mashed potatoes between 4 small soup or cereal bowls. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over the potatoes, then top each bowl with 3 ounces of fried chicken pieces and a couple of tablespoons of corn. Drizzle desired amount of gravy over each bowl and serve while hot.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Famous bowls store best when the separate components of the dish (mashed potatoes, gravy, chicken, etc.) are stored separately and fresh bowls are assembled when needed.
- Using chicken tenders makes it quick and easy to slice the chicken into perfect, bite-sized pieces. You can certainly cut up whole chicken breasts or thighs though, if you prefer.
- We use egg whites for battering the chicken. This gives a lighter flavor and texture to the breading. You can use whole eggs (you may just need two) or a combination of eggs and milk.
- A double coating of both the flour and the egg white helps the panko bread crumbs to stick and makes a nice breading that fully covers each piece of chicken. Or, you could use a single coat of flour, followed by a dunk in the egg whites, and then a dip in the breadcrumbs.
- Monitor the oil carefully. The heat may need to be adjusted while cooking to maintain an oil temperature of 350° F. When new pieces of chicken are added, the temperature will initially drop, but then climb back up quickly as the chicken comes up to temperature.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published September 2022, updated and republished September 2023
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