There was a time when the idea of vegan KFC seemed far-fetched. But, not anymore! Thanks to the makers of plant-based meat and the ever-increasing demand for vegan fast food, KFC hopped on the bandwagon in 2019.
If you were a KFC fan in your pre-vegan days, you must have heard the news of KFC testing vegan chicken options and the one-day testing conducted at one of its locations in Atlanta.
Even though they only offered two KFC vegan options – vegan boneless wings and vegan nuggets – people went crazy.
KFC’s vegan fans flocked to the KFC on Cobb Parkway in Atlanta several hours before it even opened to get their hands on the vegan chicken, and they sold out within five hours only. KFC’s vegan chicken trial was inarguably a huge success. But, what happened afterwards?
Did KFC incorporate those two vegan options in its permanent menu? Did the fast-food giant expand its vegan fast food menu? Does KFC still have vegan chicken? What are other KFC vegan options available in the US?
Let’s answer all these questions and find out all that we can about vegan options at KFC…
Does KFC Still Have Vegan Chicken?
When it comes to KFC vegan options in the US, the first thing most people ask is – does KFC still have vegan chicken? If you’re also wondering (and wishing) the same, you’ll be disappointed to know that it doesn’t.
There is no official notification about the relaunch of KFC’s vegan chicken options in the US. However, news has it that KFC and Beyond Meant (the plant-based meat manufacturing company KFC partnered with for vegan chicken) are working to further improve the texture of the plant-based chicken before rolling it out on a national level.
While there are no vegan chicken options available at KFC at the moment, it will most likely come back very soon, and this time to all KFC locations nationwide.
In the meanwhile, keep an eye out for your local KFC offerings. The fast-food giant may conduct a few trials, at selected locations, before making its meatless options available across the country.
What is Vegan on KFC’s Menu, Then? 2021 Update
There aren’t many vegan options on KFC’s original menu. Like most other fast food places in the country, your options are limited to just a few sides. Even though you will not likely plan a visit to KFC knowing that there is no vegan meat option available, it is worth knowing your options in case you end up there with someone who is non-vegan. Here are all the vegan options available at KFC as of August 2021:
- House Side Salad
- BBQ Baked Beans
- Green Beans
- Corn on the Cob – with modification
- French Fries (Read below for an important consideration)
- Vegan Sauces and Dressings
This is all what vegans can eat at KFC in the US. Let’s briefly discuss each of these vegan items on KFC’s menu individually to ensure they do not contain any non-vegan ingredients and learn if they need any modifications to be made vegan.
I will also answer some frequently asked questions about the vegan status of various items on KFC’s menu to clear any doubts or misconceptions you may have. Keep reading to learn all about what’s vegan at KFC and what’s not…
KFC Vegan Options – A Detailed Breakdown
§ House Side Salad
For most people, House Salad is likely the least unexciting thing on KFC’s menu. After all, you don’t go to KFC for a salad and that too for a boring one. However, you may give it a try if you’re trying to eat your greens, especially while on the go.
KFC’s House Side Salad doesn’t contain cheese. But, the ingredients might vary across various locations, so make sure to confirm while ordering and ask to hold cheese and croutons if they add those in the House Salad at your local KFC.
Toss your salad with a vegan dressing to add some flavor [Keep reading to get the list of vegan salad dressings available at KFC].
§ BBQ Baked Beans
BBQ Baked Beans at KFC do not contain any non-vegan ingredients, so if you like beans, get yourself plenty of them when eating vegan at KFC.
§ Green Beans
While the exact ingredients used in KFC’s Green Beans may vary across various locations, they seem to be vegan-friendly everywhere.
Green Beans isn’t something you think of ordering when going to KFC (or any fast food place per se), but it can make your KFC vegan meal a little healthier and filling.
§ Corn on the Cob
If you like corns, you cannot not like KFC’s Corn on the Cob. For me, it’s a great example of simple food at its best. Also, it’s healthy and will get even healthier when you order it vegan style, i.e. without butter.
Corn on the Cob from KFC is a perfect choice when you need a quick and healthy vegan snack that also tastes good.
§ French Fries
In 2020, KFC announced that it was replacing its beloved potato wedges with Secret Recipe Fries. All KFC consumers didn’t well receive the announcement. People were furious to know that the fast-food chain had decided to discontinue wedges (they could have simply added fries to their menu without taking the wedges down).
Whether you are happy with KFC’s decision or not, there is nothing you can do about it. Your only option to satisfy your craving for a fried potato side/snack at KFC is their Secret Recipe Fries, which are thankfully made of all vegan-friendly ingredients. They are also cooked in vegetable oil.
While KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries are vegan on their own, it’s not clear whether they are cooked in separate fryers or the same ones that are used for meat products. If you’re a vegan who strictly avoids food cooked in shared equipment, confirm with the staff while placing the order.
§ Vegan Sauces and Dressings
No matter which of the aforementioned items you choose to order from KFC, don’t forget to get yourself some vegan sauces on the side (and dressing if you’re getting a salad) to make your KFC vegan food a little more exciting and a lot more flavorful. Your options for vegan sauces at KFC include:
- Sweet N Tangy Sauce
- Summertime BBQ Sauce
- Lemon Juice
- Grape Jelly
- Strawberry Jam
There is only one option for vegan salad dressing at KFC and that is:
- Mazetti Light Italian Dressing
Pair up your meal with any of the following icy-cold refreshing vegan drinks at KFC:
- Soft Drinks
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Iced Tea
Frequently Asked Questions
§ What KFC sides are vegan?
KFC vegan sides include BBQ Baked Beans, Green Beans, House Side Salad, Corn on the Cob, and Secret Recipe Fries. Read the article for a detailed discussion of what they contain and how you should order them when eating vegan at KFC.
§ Are KFC fries vegan?
KFC’s new Secret Recipe Fries are vegan on their own. However, as discussed earlier, they may be cooked in the same fryers used for meat products.
§ Does KFC have vegan nuggets?
KFC no longer offers vegan chicken nuggets in the US. They were only offered at selected locations in 2019 and 2020 as part of KFC’s vegan chicken trial campaigns for a limited time. However, we’re hopeful that they will return, and this time permanently, to KFC’s menu because the trials were a huge success.
§ Are KFC mashed potatoes vegan?
No. As anyone would expect, KFC’s mashed potatoes contain dairy, so they are not fit for a vegan diet.
§ Is KFC Beyond Fried Chicken actually vegan?
The Beyond Fried Chicken that KFC tested at various locations in the US was made with 100% vegan-friendly ingredients. However, as per the restaurant’s website, it is cooked in the same fryer that is used for real chicken products.
While plant-based chicken is no longer available at KFC, if they ever bring it back, hopefully, they will realize that many vegans avoid eating foods cooked in shared utensils and will use separate fryers for vegan chicken products.
Conclusion – Is KFC Vegan-Friendly in the US?
KFC may have to lead the trend of introducing vegan chicken options in the US fast food industry, but the fast-food giant has not been able to sustain it. Although all their trials for plant-based chicken were highly successful, the restaurant did not incorporate those options into its permanent menu, leaving vegans disappointed. At present, KFC cannot be termed vegan-friendly in the US.
But, people are quite hopeful that the scenario will change in a couple of years.
With the demand for vegan fast food options drastically increasing in the country, it’s high time that KFC also incorporates a meatless burger into its menu, just like it has in the UK. Until then, you’re better off without KFC. But, if you somehow find yourself at KFC, perhaps with friends or family, you will have to make do with KFC vegan sides and drinks.
Are you Disappointed to know that KFC still doesn’t offer meatless burgers? Make your own vegan chicken sandwich at home! Check out the following video for the detailed recipe…
Want to know if any other fast food place offers a vegan burger in the US? Check out my article Burger King Vegan Options to learn if they have listened to the demands of their vegan customers!