You may criticize Tex-Mex foods as a rip-off of Mexican cuisine and question its authenticity, but you can’t deny that it’s delicious and incredibly versatile (read: there’s something for everyone).
If you enjoy Tex-Mex and are looking for a place other than the most popular Taco Bell, you must try Chuy’s.
The place is known for its homemade-style Tex-Mex food, local craft beers, and funky, festive atmosphere. If this sounds like your kind of place to hang out, keep reading to learn about Chuy’s vegan options.
What’s Vegan at Chuy’s?
Chuy’s doesn’t provide a vegan menu on the website. It doesn’t even offer an allergen menu. It labels the meatless items on the regular menu, but as is common knowledge, meatless doesn’t always mean vegan.
So, I had to dig deeper into Chuy’s menu and evaluate all the items individually to determine what foods are vegan at Chuy’s or can be made so with custom orders.
Your vegan (izable) options at Chuy’s include:
- Nachos – requires customization
- Chips & Salsa
- Taco Salad – requires customization
- Mexi Cobb Salad – requires customization
- Crispy Guacamole Tacos
- Bean & Cheese Burrito – requires customization
- Veggie Enchiladas
- Vegan Sides and Sauces
Keep reading to learn what each of these items contains, what customizations some of them require to meet your vegan dietary limitations, and to get answers to any of your questions about eating vegan at Chuy’s.
Chuy’s Vegan Options 2023 – A Detailed Breakdown
Here are all the Chuy’s Tex-Mex vegan options:
Chuy’s Vegan Appetizers
A Mexican meal without chips, salsa, and guac? Not happening!
Fortunately, Chuy’s tortilla chips are vegan-friendly. They are cooked in soybean oil, so you can eat your heart out.
Your vegan appetizer options at Chuy’s include:
Fresh, homemade tostada chips are topped with refried beans, lettuce, jalapenos, house-made pico de gallo, and cheese to make this everyone’s favorite Mexican appetizer.
As you can see from the list of ingredients, the dish doesn’t come standard as vegan-friendly. However, skipping the cheese won’t be a problem for them. Ask for it without cheese to enjoy vegan nachos at Chuy’s.
Chips & Salsa
Vegan nachos sound great, but you may not even want to order them at Chuy’s most of the time. Wondering why? Because the restaurant offers complimentary chips and salsa for every order.
So, why spend money when you can enjoy freshly cooked tortilla chips with delicious homemade salsa for free?
If you’re not a big fan of salsa or like guacamole a little more, you can order it separately to go with your complimentary chip and salsa.
They make their own guacamole every day at Chuy’s with fresh, ripe avocados and salsa Fresca. It’s rich and creamy with a hint of tanginess from tomatoes and lime and a little heat from jalapenos.
Chuy’s Vegan Salads
Want to add some healthy nutrients to your meal? Nothing could be better than a salad. But there are only two salad options available at Chuy’s. And both of them are non-vegan. Here’s how you can make them vegan:
- Mexi-Cobb Salad – Order it without meat and cheese to get a vegan salad at Chuy’s. You will get a healthy and delicious mix of salad greens, tomatoes, and avocados with a kick of spice of green chiles, which Chuy’s claims to be the world’s best green chiles from New Mexico.
- Taco Salad – Less healthy than the Mexi-Cobb salad, this one’s made with fresh mixed salad greens, tomatoes, house-made guacamole, crunchy tortilla strips, cheese, and your choice of meat. When ordering vegan at Chuy’s, ask for it without meat and cheese.
Chuy’s salads come with your choice of dressing from Honey Mustard Dressing, Creamy Jalapeno Dressing, and Cilantro Vinaigrette.
As clear from their names, Honey Mustard and Creamy Jalapeno are not vegan. Cilantro Vinaigrette seems vegan, but I would still recommend that you confirm its vegan status with your server before ordering.
Chuy’s Vegan Tacos and Burritos
You cannot go to a Mexican restaurant and not order tacos or a big, hearty burrito. Although there aren’t many vegan-friendly options of these at Chuy’s, you can at least eat these Mexican staples here and satisfy your cravings.
Your choices for vegan tacos and burritos at Chuy’s include:
Fresh, homemade tacos filled with rich, creamy, delicious guacamole, made on-site every day, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese served with refried beans and Mexican rice to make it a complete meal. Ask them to skip the cheese when eating vegan at Chuy’s.
Chuy’s guacamole tacos are made with flour tortillas. But if you like crispy corn tortillas for your tacos more than the soft ones, you can request them to make these as crispy guacamole tacos.
You may also order salsa on the side or request them to add pico to your vegan tacos to make them more flavorful.
Bean & Cheese Burrito
Chuy’s burritos are marketed as “Big As Yo’ Face,” so you can expect them to be big and filling. This meatless variety is the classic bean and cheese burrito made with a flour tortilla, and you will even have to order without cheese to make it vegan.
But it’s not your average bean burrito.
At Chuy’s, the burritos come topped with one of their signature sauces of your choice [find the list of vegan options below] and Mexican rice on the side.
Chuy’s Vegan Enchiladas
Enchiladas come from the same family as burritos, but they are rich and saucier.
At Chuy’s, they make their enchiladas with homemade corn tortillas and serve them with refried beans and Mexican rice on the side to make sure it fills you up well, and you won’t have to order multiple items from the menu to satisfy your hunger.
There is only one meatless enchilada option at Chuy’s, though, and even that requires a bit of modification to fit the vegan diet.
As mentioned above, Chuy’s veggie enchilada doesn’t come standard as vegan; it contains cheese. However, their menu says that their enchiladas are rolled to order, so making them vegan shouldn’t be a problem.
Ask for the veggie enchiladas without the cheese. You will get corn tortillas stuffed with spinach, zucchini, onions, red bell peppers, roasted green chiles, serrano peppers, and corn, and topped with house-made ranchero sauce. The sauce is vegan, so there is no need to skip that.
Chuy’s Vegan Sides
Chuy’s menu on the website doesn’t provide a list of sides the restaurant offers. However, I found one through some reliable third-party websites. Here are your vegan side options at Chuy’s:
- Corn Tortillas
- Blue Corn Tortillas
- Soft Flour Tortillas
- Mexican Rice
- Green Chile Rice
- Refried Beans
- Charro Beans
Chuy’s Vegan Sauces
Chuy’s offers a few different varieties of delicious Mexican sauces.
While most of them appear vegan-friendly from the descriptions given on the restaurant’s website, multiple third-party sources assert that only two of them are actually vegan [since there is no allergen menu provided on the website, I couldn’t confirm].
Vegan sauces at Chuy’s include:
- Tomatillo Sauce – Made with green tomatillos, green onions, garlic, and cilantro.
- Ranchero Sauce – This Chuy’s vegan sauce is made with fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, caramelized onions, cilantro, and a bunch of spices.
Chuy’s Vegan Menu – FAQs
- Is Chuy’s rice vegan?
Yes. Chuy’s rice is vegan-friendly.
- Are Chuy’s tortillas vegan?
Chuy’s has three different varieties of tortillas – flour tortillas, corn tortillas, and blue corn tortillas – and they are all vegan.
It’s important to note that some online sources say that Chuy’s flour tortillas are not vegan. But, they do not contain any animal ingredients and hence, are suitable for those following a vegan diet.
- Does Chuy’s use lard in their beans?
No, it doesn’t. Chuy’s beans do not contain lard or any other animal ingredient. They are vegan-friendly.
- Is Chuy’s green sauce vegan?
From the description given on the website, Chuy’s green sauce seems to be vegan-friendly. But all third-party sources label it as non-vegan. So, it’s better to avoid it, or you may confirm it with the server at your local Chuy’s.
Conclusion – Is Chuy’s Vegan-Friendly?
Chuy’s may not have the best vegan Mexican food choices, or even not as many as you may likely find at Taco Bell. But its funky atmosphere makes it a good place to hang out with friends and family.
So, when you’re looking to spend some quality time with your loved ones with good Tex-Mex food or just want to take a break from Taco Bell but still want Mexican food, head to the nearest Chuy’s. You won’t regret the decision.
Did you find this article helpful? Interested to learn about vegan options at other Mexican chain restaurants as well? Check out my article El Pollo Loco Vegan Options to find out what this popular chain in the Southwest offers for non-meat eaters.