Responding to this demand, many restaurants have lately been altering their menu to cater to their plant-based eaters’ diverse, unique dietary needs. But many still lag behind in addressing the demands of their vegan clientele.
What about Chili’s? Does Chili’s offer vegan options?
Let’s find out!
Does Chili’s Have Vegan Options?
Chili’s isn’t an ideal place to eat for vegans, but it is not the worst eating spot. The restaurant chain offers some decent vegan options. However, as with most restaurants, vegans need to spend some time scrutinizing the menu to figure out what is vegan at Chili’s.
In this article, I will provide you with a comprehensive list of vegan options at Chili’s.
To eliminate the chances of confusion and save you from mistakenly consuming non-vegan items at Chili’s, I will also list the food items that may appear vegan but are not.
Are you ready for a vegan breakdown of your favorite eatery? Let’s get to it!
What Can Vegans Eat at Chili’s? Chili’s Vegan Options
I want to take a moment to give a huge shout-out to Chili’s for highlighting vegan food items in their allergen guide. Kudos to them for saving us vegans from the trouble of having to research every single item on their menu to find out the vegan options.
Now let’s get to the main topic and take a look at the food items on Chili’s menu that meet the dietary guidelines of veganism:
- Chips with Salsa and Guacamole
- House Salad (without croutons, cheese, and dressing)
- Caribbean Salad (without meat and dressing)
- Black Beans
- Vegetable sides – Roasted Asparagus, Steamed Broccoli, Avocado Slices, Asparagus & Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Sweet Corn on the Cob
- Garlic Dill Pickles
- Fried Pickles (without ranch dressing)
- Fries (the lifesaver!)
- Mexican rice and beans
- Make your own taco, wrap, and burrito
- Dressings and sauces – Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette, BBQ sauce, House-made BBQ Sauce, Salsa, Guacamole
- Fresh fruits – pineapple, mandarin orange
Sadly, Chili’s doesn’t offer any vegan burgers or vegan meat replacements yet. But, don’t lose heart – you can still have a reasonably decent meal at the American-Mexican restaurant.
|NoteIt’s important to note that from the information available on Chili’s website, it seems that they use shared fryers for both meat and non-meat food items. Hence, there may be cross-contamination in Chili’s fried vegan items. If this bothers you, or you avoid eating foods cooked in shared pots and pans, avoid fried items when eating at Chili’s.|
Let’s briefly discuss all these Chili’s vegan options to get a clear idea about how you can eat vegan at Chili’s.
Chili’s Menu Vegan Options
When at Chili’s, you can enjoy a vegan meal by ordering any of the following items:
§ Chips with Salsa and/or Guacamole
They make their corn tostada chips daily at Chili’s, and they’re vegan-friendly (yayyy!!). You can enjoy these freshly-made corn chips with salsa and/or guacamole, both of which are also made fresh in the house every day.
P.S. If you’re someone like me who eats a whole lot of sauce with their chips, you can also order extra salsa and guacamole on the side.
While Chili’s doesn’t offer any vegan salad, the following can easily be altered to fit the vegan dietary needs:
· House Salad
It’s the standard house salad with greens, cucumbers, red onions, and tomatoes. Make sure to order it without dressing, cheese, and croutons to make it vegan-friendly.
· Caribbean Salad
If you’re a fan of sweet ‘n salty food combinations, you would love Chili’s Caribbean Salad. The salad contains juicy mandarin oranges, fresh pineapple, dried cranberries, green onions, red bell peppers, and cilantro and provides a strong burst of natural flavors.
However, when ordering vegan, make sure to order it without the honey-lime dressing and meat.
§ Black Beans
If you like black beans and add them in everything from salads to burritos, you will be glad to know that those offered at Chili’s are vegan-friendly.
They’re available as a side, so feel free to order them to make your food more delicious.
§ Vegetable Sides
Chili’s offer a good range of vegetable side options for vegans. You can make your meal more filling and nutritious by ordering any of the following vegan vegetable sides at Chili’s:
- Roasted Asparagus
- Steamed Broccoli
- Avocado Slices
- Asparagus & Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
- Corn on the Cob – Even though it is listed as vegan on their allergen/vegan guide, I recommend that you double-check before ordering this item to make sure they don’t add butter on it.
I love pickles, and I was so happy to find out that Chili’s fried pickles are vegan if you order them without the ranch dressing.
If you’re the same, go ahead and add tanginess to your meal with Chili’s fried pickles and garlic dill pickles. They both meet the vegan dietary guidelines.
§ French Fries
French fries have the reputation of a savior in the vegan community because they come to the rescue of vegans when everything else on the menu fails to meet their dietary requirements.
Chili’s also offers this option to us vegans; French fries at Chili’s are vegan-friendly.
§ Mexican Rice and Beans
Do you like Mexican food? (Who doesn’t?)
You won’t find many vegan Mexican food varieties at Chili’s, but you can definitely enjoy rice and beans.
Although Chili’s offers Mexican rice and beans as a side, there’s no one stopping you from having it as your main course. So, order more and enjoy!
§ Make Your Own Taco or Burrito
This isn’t an option on Chili’s vegan food menu. But, like any seasoned vegan, I have learned to find ways to have a decent meal when dining out at not-so-vegan-friendly restaurants.
According to Chili’s allergen/vegan guide, their Flour Tortillas and All-Natural Corn Tortillas are vegan. So, order your choice of tortilla and pair it up with black beans, veggies, pickles, rice, and vegan sauces to make your own taco or burrito. Smart, right?
§ Vegan Dressings and Sauces
Sadly, you don’t find a large variety of dressings and vegan sauces at Chili’s.
Your only vegan option for salad dressing is Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette. Vegan sauce options at Chili’s include:
- BBQ sauce
- House-Made BBQ Sauce
- Hot sauce
§ Fresh Fruits
Whether you’re a health enthusiast, a fruit lover, looking for a quick, healthy snack, or just craving something sweet at the end of your meal, you can order fresh mandarin oranges and pineapples at Chili’s.
You can also add these fruit sides to your salad if you like the sweet and salty combo.
§ Vegan Drinks at Chili’s
In addition to standard sodas, you can find the following vegan non-alcoholic beverages at Chili’s:
- Orange juice
- Apple juice
- Cranberry juice
Vegan Alcoholic Drinks at Chili’s
Chili’s also offers a good range of alcoholic drinks, most of which are vegan. Since the selection of drinks is likely to vary across various locations, I recommend that you check with your server first to know all your options.
Chili’s Menu Options That May Appear Vegan but Are Not
The following items on Chili’s menu can be mistaken by many as vegan-friendly, but they are actually non-vegan. So, make sure you stay away from them:
- Black Bean & Veggie Fajita – contains egg and milk (why would you do that, Chili’s?)
- Black Bean Patty – also contains egg and milk (Why??)
- Roasted Street Corn – According to Chili’s allergen/vegan guide, it contains egg and milk (WHAT?)
- Awesome Blossom Petals – contain milk and egg
- Southwestern Eggrolls – contain egg and milk
- Chile Garlic Toast – contains milk
- Burger Bun – Chili’s guide doesn’t specify what non-vegan item it contains, but it’s listed as vegetarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some of the most common questions vegans ask about Chili’s food and their vegan status:
§ Is Chili’s black bean burger vegan?
No, Chili’s black bean burger is not vegan. The patty contains milk and eggs and the burger bun is also listed as vegetarian on Chili’s allergen/vegan guide.
§ Is Chili’s black bean patty vegan?
As mentioned above, Chili’s black bean patty contains eggs and milk, which means it is not vegan-friendly. And vegans are clearly not happy about it. Here’s how a user expresses their disappointment on a Reddit post:
§ Are black bean and veggie fajitas at Chili’s vegan?
Sadly, no. Black bean and veggie fajitas may appear vegan-friendly, but they have milk and eggs in them.
§ Are Chili’s tortilla chips vegan?
Yes, the tortilla chips offered at Chili’s are vegan. However, as per the restaurant’s menu guide, there’s a risk of cross-contact involved in their making.
§ Does Chili’s have an Impossible burger?
No, Chili’s doesn’t offer an impossible burger at the moment.
§ Is there a Chili’s vegan burger?
As much as we wish for it, Chili’s doesn’t offer any vegan burger to date (You need to work on it, Chili’s).
§ Are there any Chili’s vegan fajitas?
No, none of the fajitas on Chili’s menu meet the dietary guidelines of veganism. They are all non-vegans.
§ Does Chili’s offer any vegan soups?
No, they don’t! All the soups that are available at Chili’s are non-vegan; they are not even vegetarian-friendly.
§ Does Chili’s offer vegan desserts
Those who have a sweet tooth and crave dessert at the end of every meal would be disappointed to know that there’s no vegan dessert option at Chili’s. All you can have to satisfy your sweet cravings at Chili’s is some fresh fruit.
Is Chili’s Vegetarian-Friendly?
Yes, Chili’s can be classified as a vegetarian-friendly restaurant. There’s a good variety of vegetarian options at Chili’s.
If anyone in your family and friends is vegetarian and wants to know their options, you can refer them to Chili’s Allergen/Vegetarian/Vegan Matrix for a full list of vegetarian options.
Need some suggestions? Here you go:
A Final Word – Is Chili’s a Good Place for Vegans?
Just like most other restaurant chains, Chili’s cannot be classified as highly vegan-friendly. But it is better than many other eateries; you won’t have to rely on salad and fries here, at least.
You can enjoy a decent American/Tex-Mex meal at Chili’s. If you still need some more guidance on how to order vegan at Chili’s, you can refer to the following video for tips and suggestions:
If you ask me, Chili’s is worth visiting just for their freshly made corn tostada chips, guacamole, and salsa. So, if you’re craving for some, go ahead and visit your nearest Chili’s branch. Order some (make your own) tacos and Mexican rice and beans to go along for a complete vegan meal.