When it comes to eating out, a vegan wouldn’t want to go to a restaurant known for its chicken sandwiches and have the slogan of “Eat Mor Chikin”.
But, knowing that the majority of restaurants (now) do offer some meatless options, some vegans may want to try their luck at the famous fast food chain Chick-fil-A.
To save you from the hassle of scrutinizing Chick-fil-A’s menu upon your visit (and perhaps annoying your fellow non-vegans), I am going to do the job for you. Let’s find out if there are any Chick-fil-A vegan options available.
Does Chick-fil-A have Vegan Options?
Although Chick-fil-A has yet to catch up with the vegan meat trend, the fast food restaurant does have a few vegan items on its menu. Some of them are accidentally vegan while others require a few alterations to fit your dietary needs.
Your vegan options at Chick-fil-A include:
- English Muffin
- Fruit Cup
- Hash Browns
- Waffle Fries
- Kettle-Cooked Waffle Potato Chips
- Kale Crunch Side
- Side Salad – requires modification
- Grilled Market Salad – requires modification
- Cobb Salad – requires modification
- Spicy Southwest Salad – requires modification
- Cool Wrap – requires modification
- Vegan Sauces and Dressings
While at present, the Chick-fil-A vegan options are primarily comprised of sides and salads, news has it that the restaurant is looking to incorporate plant-based proteins into its menu. “Specifically… a vegetarian option or a vegan option is something we’re looking at”, said Amanda Norris, the executive director of Chick-fil-A’s menu, while talking to Business Insider.
However, it’s been over two years now since Norris revealed Chick-fil-A’s interest in vegan food, and we’re still waiting for the restaurant to announce the new menu item(s). Sadly, we don’t have a timeline. Let’s just hope they speed up work and bring the meatless options soon.
Chick-fil-A Vegan Options – A Detailed Breakdown
Let’s dig a little deeper into each vegan item on Chick-fil-A’s menu to take a closer look at their ingredients and figure out what modifications some of them need to fit your vegan diet…
Vegan Breakfast Options at Chick-fil-A
If you live close to a Chick-fil-A restaurant or passes by it on your way to work, you can stop there for a quick breakfast with the following vegan breakfast foods:
§ English Muffin
The good ol’ English muffin is not only vegan at Chick-fil-A, it’s also multigrain, making it a healthy breakfast option for plant eaters. Not an exciting option on its own, but you can always bring some home and make your own vegan sandwich.
Want to know what it is made of? Here’s the list of Chick-fil-A’s English muffin ingredients, as given on the restaurant’s website:
§ Hash Browns
Those looking for something more exciting and delicious than an English muffin to start their day with can get their hands on Chick-fil-A’s hash browns. The crispy fried potato deliciousness will brighten up your morning without ruining your plant-based diet.
In case you’re new to veganism and didn’t already know, hash browns are almost always vegan. What can potentially make them non-vegan is the oil they are cooked in. Thankfully, they use vegetable oil at Chick-fil-A to cook these tiny scrumptious potato patties. Here’s the complete list of Chick-fil-A hash browns ingredients:
§ Fruit Cup
Health conscious vegans can begin their day with Chick-fil-A’s nutritious cup of fresh fruits, consisting of green and red apples, strawberries, blueberries, and mandarin oranges. What could be better than getting your daily fruit supply just at the start of the day?
Chick-fil-A Vegan Sides and Salads
Sides and salads are great for when you’re looking for a snack or quick lunch. Here are your options for vegan sides and salads at Chick-fil-A:
§ Waffle Fries
Chick-fil-A may be known for its chicken sandwiches primarily, but your meal isn’t complete without their delicious waffle fries.
Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries are a huge hit. And rightly so! Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, these waffle fries take your standard French fries to a whole new level. A good news for vegans is that these unique shaped fries are cooked to golden brown perfection in vegetable oil.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a large pack of Chick-fil-A waffle fries to relieve all your woes for not getting a meatless sandwich at the fast food restaurant.
§ Kettle-Cooked Waffle Potato Chips
Chick-fil-A’s kettle-cooked waffle cut potato chips were once only available on their catering menu. However, the restaurant left the fans screaming with joy when they added the chips to their regular menu in 2018. These waffle cut potato chips are a great alternative to their traditional waffle fries and a perfect choice for those untimely potato chips cravings. They are not only vegan, but also gluten-free.
If you’re a potato chips lover like me, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to stock your pantry with these vegan waffle potato chips from Chick-fil-A.
§ Kale Crunch Side
Kale Crunch Side is a newer item on Chick-fil-A’s menu, introduced in January 2020. Made with a healthy combination of kale and green cabbage topped with salted, roasted almonds and a tangy Dijon mustard and apple cider vinaigrette, the vegan side replaced the beloved Superfood Side.
With only 120 calories, a kale side is a great option for health enthusiasts and those watching their calorie intake. Unlike many other healthy foods, the Kale Crunch Side is not bland, so you’ll also be treating your taste buds along with feeding your body some healthy nutrients.
Here’s the complete list of Chick-fil-A’s Kale Crunch Side ingredients for your reference:
Chick-fil-A offers a few salad options. While all of them are non-vegan, they can be made vegan with a few alterations. Here’s a list of Chick-fil-A salad options with a quick reference guide for how to order a vegan salad at Chick-fil-A:
- Side Salad
Chick-fil-A’s side salad is a healthy mix of romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green cabbage, grape tomatoes, red bell peppers, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, and the restaurant’s special seasoning. It can be ordered vegan style simply by asking them to hold the cheese. Concerned about seasoning? Don’t worry; it doesn’t have any non-vegan ingredient.
It does have natural and artificial flavors though. If that is something you prefer to avoid, you may want to skip the salad seasoning as well.
Don’t know what’s the deal with natural and artificial flavors? I delved into the topic in my article Are Sour Patch Kids Vegan. Refer to the article to find out why some vegans are concerned about the consumption of natural and artificial flavors.
- Market Salad
Chick-fil-A’s Market Salad offers a strong punch of contrasting flavors and textures. It’s soft, crunchy, sweet, savory, and also offers a slight hint of tanginess.
The delicious salad is made fresh everyday with romaine lettuce, green cabbage, green and red leaf lettuce, red bell pepper, strawberries, blueberries, glycated cranberries, green and red apples, granola, raisins, almonds, walnuts, pecans, blue cheese, and chicken. It comes with the zesty apple cider vinaigrette.
Chick-fil-A offers various options to customize Market Salad according to your taste and dietary preferences…
Unfortunately, there is no option to make it vegan. But, you can place a custom order for a vegan Chick-fil-A Market Salad. You need to hold the cheese, chicken, and granola (it has honey). You can still have that crunch with roasted almonds.
It’s important to note here that the Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette that this salad comes with can easily be mistaken as vegan-friendly. However, it contains honey, which most vegans avoid.
- Spicy Southwest Salad
Like a hint of spice in your food? You’ll love the Spicy Southwest Salad from Chick-fil-A. It doesn’t come in a vegan option, so you will have to get it customized on your own.
To order Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Southwest Salad vegan, ask them to hold the chicken, both types of cheese (it has Monterey Jack and Cheddar), and seasoning. You will also have to get the Cream Salsa Dressing replaced with a vegan salad dressing and let go of the Seasoned Tortilla Strips that come with it. According to the restaurant’s allergen guide, they contain dairy.
While most online sources tell you to only skip on cheese and chicken while ordering this salad, a closer look at the ingredients list will tell you that the seasoning they use in the Spicy Southwest Salad contains lactose.
The salad also contains artificial colors, which some vegans prefer to avoid. If you’re one of them, you may want to avoid Chick-fil-A’s Southwest Salad altogether.
Getting the Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Southwest Salad customized according to a vegan diet may seem like a lot of hassle, but it’s worth it. The salad is simply delicious, even after so many alterations. With black beans, it’s also a lot more filling than other salads.
Chick-fil-A’s vegan Southwest Salad will be a mix of romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, green cabbage, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, grape tomatoes, roasted corn, and black beans. You will also get a pack of Chili Lime Pepitas to add more flavor and a little crunch to your salad mix.
- Cobb Salad
Chick-fil-A’s Cobb Salad generally catch people by surprise with a hard-boiled egg. You don’t typically expect a boiled egg in a salad, do you?
Technically, you can get this non-vegan salad made completely plant-based, but it will require a lot more instructions than the other three discussed above. If you don’t mind giving such detailed instructions (and your server is willing to note them down), go ahead and get the salad customized for yourself. Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to skip when ordering Chick-fil-A’s Cobb Salad vegan style:
- Chicken nuggets
- Cheese – contains Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
- Boiled egg
- Avocado lime ranch dressing
Wondering what you’ll be left with? A mix of romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green cabbage, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, roasted corn, and seasoning. It’s more or less the same as a side salad, except this one has corns.
You can also top the Cobb Salad with crispy bell peppers that come with it for some extra crunch. But, you won’t get any dressing with the Cobb Salad when you order it vegan style; you will have to get a vegan dressing separately.
Chick-fil-A Vegan Entrées
As mentioned earlier, Chick-fil-A has yet to catch up with the vegan meat trend. The fast-food restaurant doesn’t offer any vegan chicken sandwiches as yet. There is only one entrée option that can be customized for a vegan diet: the Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap.
§ Cool Wrap
Chick-fil-A Cool Wrap features grilled chicken slices over a bed of green leaf lettuce topped with cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, rolled in a flatbread made with flaxseed flour. It is certainly a healthier option on Chick-fil-A’s menu and can technically be made vegan, but would you want to eat a wrap with just lettuce mix? You definitely won’t.
Chick-fil-A’s Cool Wrap was quite popular among vegans some time back because it then had a wholesome filling made with lettuce, red cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, corns, and black beans. But, it is no longer the case.
A hack to make this Cool Wrap a little more flavorful is to get veggie sandwich toppings added to it. Still not the best vegan option, but you can make do with it if you end up at Chick-fil-A starving.
§ Chick-fil-A Vegan Sauces and Dressings
Spice up your vegan salads and sides with the following Chick-fil-A vegan dressings and sauces:
- Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Light Italian Dressing
- Barbeque Sauce
- Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Sauce
- Polynesian Sauce
If you were hoping (and wishing) to find Chick-fil-A’s special sauce in the list, I am sorry to tell you that it’s not vegan. Chick-fil-A’s signature sauce is delicious, but it contains egg and hence, is not suitable for vegans.
§ Vegan Drinks at Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A is not known for its drinks, so you don’t expect to find an extensive and diverse drinks menu anyways. When it comes to vegan drinks, your options include the following:
- Dr. Pepper
- Simply Orange – Orange Juice
- Honest Kids – Apple Juice
- Freshly-Brewed Iced Tea – Sweetened
- Freshly-Brewed Iced Tea – Unsweetened
- Diet Lemonade
- Sunjoy ½ Sweet Tea, ½ Lemonade
- Sunjoy ½ Sweet Tea, ½ Diet Lemonade
- Sunjoy ½ Unsweetened Tea, ½ Lemonade
- Sunjoy ½ Unsweetened Tea, ½ Diet Lemonade
- Black Coffee
- Bottled Water
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some of the common questions people ask about Chick-fil-A’s vegan menu before wrapping up this article, so the next time you visit the fast food restaurant, you have a clear idea of what you can and cannot eat there…
§ Does Chick-fil-A Offer Vegan Desserts?
Sadly, Chick-fil-A doesn’t offer any vegan sweet treats. If you really need something sweet after your meal, you can have their fresh fruit cup to get your sugar fix.
§ Are Chick-fil-A fries vegan?
According to the Chick-fil-A’s website, their fries are cooked in vegetable oil. This means you can enjoy the famous waffle fries from Chick-fil-A while on the vegan diet.
§ Does Chick-fil-A offer vegan milkshake?
No. Chick-fil-A neither have any vegan milkshake on its menu nor allow vegan consumers to get their regular milkshakes customized. They do not offer any vegan milk option.
§ Is Chick-fil-A special sauce vegan?
Everyone loves Chick-fil-A’s special sauce. But, sadly, it’s not vegan; it contains egg.
Conclusion – Is Chick-fil-A Vegan Friendly?
Sadly, most fast food places in the United States still do not offer exclusive vegan menus for their plant-eating consumers, which means vegans have to maneuver their ways around the non-vegan menu to get some plant-based food on the table. Chick-fil-A is no exception.
The leading American fast food restaurant doesn’t offer any vegan sandwiches or even salad. Similar to most other fast food places, there are only a few accidentally vegan sides for plant-eaters at Chick-fil-A.
As mentioned earlier, the executive director of Chick-fil-A’s menu told Business Insider in 2019 that they are working on adding a vegan option (most probably a vegan sandwich) to the restaurant’s menu. But it’s been over two years now, and we haven’t seen any vegan addition to Chick-fil-A’s menu. Hopefully, they have not given up on the idea, and we’ll see a vegan item on Chick-fil-A’s menu soon.
Until then, keep doing what you’re used to doing at fast food restaurants; rely on sides and drinks. Or make your own vegan chicken sandwich at home. Check out the following video for Chick-fil-A style vegan chicken sandwich recipe…
Did you find this article helpful? Interested in getting a similar vegan breakdown of other major fast-food chain menus too? Check out my article Pizza Hut Vegan Options to find out if the global pizza brand has ventured into the world of vegan food yet!