If given an option, most vegans would prefer Asian restaurants over other places (unless there is a vegan restaurant option) because they know they’ll find a few vegan-friendly options and won’t have to rely on just plain fries, boring salad, and a fountain drink.
Vegans should be thankful to Asians for their love for vegetables and rice. It has made life easy for so many of us.
While you know that you won’t go hungry at an Asian restaurant, it’s always good to know your options beforehand, so you don’t take an hour to scrutinize the menu. In today’s episode of restaurant menus’ vegan breakdown, we’re going to talk about the popular Asian-themed casual dining restaurant P.F. Chang’s. Is there anything vegan on P.F. Chang’s menu?
Let’s dig in and find out all about P.F. Chang’s vegan options!
Does P.F. Chang’s Have Vegan Options?
The Asian-themed restaurant doesn’t claim any of its dishes to be vegan, so there’s no official P.F. Chang’s vegan menu. There are, however, some vegetarian food options on P.F. Chang’s menu that seem to meet the criteria of a vegan diet and can be termed vegan-friendly.
What Can Vegans Eat at P.F. Chang’s?
As always, I have compiled a list of vegan options at P.F. Chang’s for your convenience.
But, before we get onto that, it’s important to mention that this list is prepared using the allergen information given on P.F. Chang’s website and a few other reliable online sources. Since P.F. Chang’s is a restaurant chain, the ingredients or preparation methods may vary across different locations. Therefore, if you’re unsure of anything, it’s always best to confirm before ordering.
Here’s what, according to my research, P.F. Chang’s vegan options are:
- Chili-Garlic Beans
- Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
- Buddha’s Feast
- Stir-Fried Eggplant
- Ma Po Tofu
- Thai Harvest Curry
- Steamed Rice
- Steamed Vegetables – from the kids menu
- Fruit Cup
These are all the items that are marked as vegetarian on P.F. Chang’s menu. And as they stated in a Tweet, back in 2017, their vegetarian items do not contain animal ingredients, which means they are vegan-friendly.
I also found a few food items on P.F. Chang’s menu that come with a choice of different proteins. In view of the fact that P.F. Chang’s claim to make all its food fresh when ordered, I believe you can get those dishes without meat (there’s no harm in trying). The options include:
- Mandarin Crunch Salad
- Signature Lo Mein
- Spicy Miso Ramen
Unlike most other restaurants, P.F. Chang’s doesn’t provide lists of ingredients for the food items on its menu. This makes it difficult to find out all the ingredients used in a dish. So, we have to rely on the information given in the restaurant’s official allergen guide, which I find a little inaccurate at certain places.
The reason why I say that I find P.F. Chang’s allergen guide a little inaccurate is because Edamame is listed as a vegetarian dish on P.F. Chang’s menu, given on the website.
But, according to the restaurant’s allergen guide, it has eggs.
Moreover, the allergen guide states that the Vegetable Spring Rolls have eggs, milk, and shellfish in them.
While I can understand how eggs can make their way into spring rolls, what do milk and shellfish have to do in vegetable spring rolls? It’s beyond my comprehension! (We need ingredients list P.F. Chang’s!) And in case you think there’s cheese in them (which makes no sense), the food description says they are “crispy rolls with julienned veggies”.
You get my point?
Having said that, these few inconsistencies do not discredit the entire P.F. Chang’s allergen guide. It’s accurate for the most part and hence, can be relied upon. However, I would suggest confirming with your server before ordering anything to be on the safe side.
Now that we have discussed the little flaws and gaps in P.F. Chang’s website let’s get to our usual practice of digging into each vegan option on P.F. Chang’s menu to see what they contain and if they need any special instructions to be made vegan-friendly.
Since P.F. Chang’s doesn’t provide lists of ingredients on its website, I will be primarily relying on PETA’s website for them (but may refer to some other online sources, too, wherever needed). Let’s get to it without further ado!
P.F. Chang’s Vegan Options – A Detailed Breakdown
These are standard Asian-style steamed edamame beans tossed with salt. Nothing special or exciting is happening here. But, you can get a vegan sauce on the side for an extra burst of flavor.
▪ Chili-Garlic Green Beans
Tossed in red chili sauce, Sichuan preserves, and fresh garlic, this bean dish is for spice lovers. The hot and spicy flavor of Sichuan pepper and red chili sauce combines with the warmth and earthiness of fresh garlic to give these green beans pack a punch.
▪ Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps are P.F. Chang’s signature dish and, according to their website, is made using a secret family recipe. They come in chicken and vegetarian options.
When ordering vegan style, you’ll obviously choose the vegetarian version that features a mix of crispy rice sticks, tofu, water chestnuts, green onion, and mint and is served with crunchy, fresh lettuce leaves to wrap everything in. These wraps do not come with a sauce, but there’s no one stopping you from ordering some on the side for extra flavor.
These lettuce wraps taste good and are also filling, making them a good vegan option on P.F. Chang’s menu.
▪ Buddha’s Feast
You gotta love tofu if you’re a vegan and like Asian flavors. Because it’s the star of meatless Asian dishes. P.F. Chang’s Buddha’s Feast takes the humble tofu to a whole new level by flavoring it with a delicious combination of five spices. There is also a mix of vegetables to complement the star of the dish and make it a healthy, filling meal.
The five-spice tofu, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and green beans are all topped with a house-made savory sauce, making this P.F. Chang’s vegan dish all the more flavorful.
Buddha’s Feast comes in two options – steamed or stir-fried – so you can choose according to your preference. Both have the same ingredients, taste the same, and are vegan. The only difference is the cooking method for vegetables.
You can also get steamed rice on the side to make it a complete, hearty meal.
If you have a child with you or you are in the mood to try multiple vegan entrées at P.F. Chang’s, you can get Baby Buddha’s Feast from the kids’ menu. It’s exactly the same, just comes in lesser quantity, according to kids’ appetite.
▪ Stir-Fried Eggplant
If you like eggplant, you’re in luck because of PF. Chang’s offers a simple yet delicious eggplant dish made by stir-frying Chinese eggplants with garlic, green onions, and authentic Asian sweet chili soy glaze.
Have it on its own, or get steamed rice on the side for a more filling meal.
Stir-Fried Eggplant is labeled as vegetarian on P.F. Chang’s menu and categorized as vegan-friendly by numerous online sources, including PETA. While PETA is a trusted source for vegans, if you’re an extra cautious vegan like me, I would suggest confirming the vegan status of this dish at the time of ordering.
Wondering why am I saying that?
Because the soy glaze that it has might contain honey.
Many sweet chili soy glaze recipes call for honey. Is it there in P.F. Chang’s glaze? We don’t know because we don’t have a list of P.F. Chang’s sweet chili soy glaze ingredients. So, it’s better to ask than taking the risk.
▪ Ma Po Tofu
Tofu lovers believe that those who haven’t tried Ma Po Tofu are missing out big time.
Ma Po Tofu (also written as Mapo Tofu) is a very popular Chinese dish originating from the Sichuan province which is known for spicy food (this is where we get Sichuan peppers from). If you haven’t tried it yet, I am sorry because you cannot try its authentic version now as it contains minced meat (usually pork). But, don’t be disappointed!
P.F. Chang’s offers a meatless version of Ma Po Tofu for plant-eaters. Featuring crispy silken tofu tossed in spicy red chili sauce, this meatless Ma Po Tofu hits all the right notes and creates a party in your mouth. The crispy, spicy tofu is served with steamed broccoli, offering a perfect contrast of textures as well.
▪ Thai Harvest Curry
Launched in 2017, this scrumptious Thai Harvest Curry features tofu along with mushrooms, butternut squash, and a combination of fresh vegetables. The addition of Fresno peppers takes the heat level and flavor of this rich curry further up a notch. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most popular vegan-friendly dishes on P.F. Chang’s menu. But, there’s a downside to it – it’s a seasonal menu item.
If your local P.F. Chang’s is offering Thai Harvest Curry, enjoy it as much as you can (and probably store some as well) before it goes off the menu.
▪ Steamed Rice
These are simple steamed rice to compliment your vegan entrées and convert the vegetable dishes into complete meals. You can order standard white steamed rice or, if you’re a health-conscious vegan, get some brown steamed rice to go with your P.F. Chang’s vegan food.
▪ Steamed Vegetables
If the quantity of vegetables in P.F. Chang’s vegan dishes doesn’t satisfy your veggie craving (not sure if that’s even a thing) or requirement (this makes more sense), you can load up your plate with some more steamed vegetables from the kids’ menu. Your options include:
- Steamed Broccoli
- Steamed Carrots
- Steamed Snap Peas
▪ Fruit Cup
Like many other restaurants, P.F. Chang’s also offers a seasonal fruit cup for those who have a sweet tooth but prefer healthy, natural sweets over sugar-rich desserts. You can get it too to get your sugar fix after a satisfying vegan meal at P.F. Chang’s.
▪ Vegan Sauces at P.F. Chang’s
The biggest disadvantage of not having access to the ingredients list for P.F. Chang’s food items is that we are unable to figure out which of their sauces are vegan-friendly. This leaves us, vegans, with two options – inquire at our local P.F. Chang’s before ordering or go for the safe options. The safe options, i.e., the sauces that are always vegan, include:
- Chili Paste
- Hot Mustard
- Soy Sauce
- Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Pretty boring, I know. But that’s how it is!
P.F. Chang’s has an extensive beverages menu consisting of cocktails, sake, wine, beer, refreshers, and a range of non-alcoholic drinks. Interestingly, the majority of them seem to be vegan-friendly.
If you’re not living a Straight Edge Vegan lifestyle, you can perhaps enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your meal. But if you avoid alcohol or are not in the mood for it, there are quite a few non-alcoholic drinks options.
Here’s a list of all the vegan-friendly drinks options at P.F. Chang’s:
Vegan Cocktails at P.F. Chang’s
- Tokyo Mule
- Singapore Sling
- Organic Agave Margarita
- Rising Dragon
- Chang’s Mai Tai
- Japanese Old Fashioned
- Asian Pear Mojito
- Coconut Mojito
- Red Sangria
- Hitachino Nest White Ale
- Kirini Ichiban Larger
- Sapporo Larger
- Tsingtao Larger
- Lucky Buddha Larger
- Asahi Super Dry Larger
- Angry Orchard Apple Cider
- Lagunitas Ipa
- Samuel Adams Seasonal
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Blue Moon Wheat
- Regional Craft Options
- Michelob Ultra Larger
- Coors Light Larger
- Bud Light Larger
- Corona Larger
- Stella Artois Larger
- Haktutsuru Sayuri Nigori
- Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo
- Moonstone Asian Pear Infused Ginjo
- Strawberry Cucumber Limeade
- Pomegranate Lemonade
- Peach Boba Breeze
- Chang’s Coconut Cooler
- Plum Wine
- Stag;s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
- Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut
- Whispering Angel Rose
- La Marca Prosecco
- Mumm Napa Brut Prestige
- Huber Sparkling Rose
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Red Blend
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Grigio
While many alcoholic drinks are vegan, some wines are prepared using non-vegan fining agents. Chitosan is an example of it. It is a type of sugar obtained from the outer, hard skeleton of shellfish.
Here’s a useful tool to make sure the alcoholic drink you’re choosing to order is confirmed vegan.
Non-Alcoholic Vegan Drinks at P.F. Chang’s
- Diet Coke
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Pibb Xtra
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Vitamin Water Zero XXX
- San Pellegrino
- Fiji Water
- Freshly-Brewed Iced Tea
- Freshly-Brewed Mango Iced Tea
- Organic Green Tea
- Dragon Eye Oolong Tea
- Ginger Peach Tea
- Starbucks Coffee
P.F. Chang’s Dishes That May Be Made Vegan Upon Request
The above-mentioned P.F. Chang’s dishes come standard without meat, and there seems to be a consensus on their vegan status among plant-eaters. However, you may be able to get a few dishes made vegan at P.F. Chang’s upon request.
As discussed earlier, these dishes come with the option to choose from different types of proteins, so you may be able to get them without meat altogether. Let’s take a look at your options (these are some really interesting ones):
▪ Mandarin Crunch Salad
This citrusy, nutty salad gets its incredible combination of flavors and textures from fresh vegetables (we don’t know the details, but there is lettuce, carrots, and cabbage for sure), mandarin oranges, rice sticks, almond, and mandarin vinaigrette (which I am presuming is vegan-friendly).
The salad comes with the protein options of chicken and salmon. Skip the protein altogether, and you’ll have a vegan salad from P.F. Chang’s.
▪ Spicy Miso Ramen
You have to be an extremely picky eater to not like ramen. Almost everyone seems to like this Asian noodle dish. P.F. Chang’s take it further up a notch with spicy miso.
P. F Chang’s Spicy Miso Ramen is not vegan on its own, as it comes with meat and fried egg. However, the restaurant allows you to choose from pork, chicken, or shrimp. So, you can try asking them to hold the meat and egg and give you a steaming bowl of just vegetable ramen. I think it’s doable. Give it a try the next time you’re at P.F. Chang’s and in the mood for some scrumptious vegan ramen noodles.
You’ll get a bowl full of spicy miso broth (miso soups are generally vegan, so I am assuming the broth will be too, but it’s better to confirm once) with togarashi bean sprouts, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and green onion.
▪ Signature Lo Mein
These are classic Asian wok-tossed noodles with soy sauce, a mix of Asian vegetables, and your choice of protein. Interestingly, you have the option to choose from pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, vegetable, or combo. So, you don’t have to make any special requests. Just ask for a Vegetable Signature Lo Mein and you have a vegan noodle dish from P.F. Chang’s.
P.F. Chang’s Foods That May Look Vegan But Are Not
Following are some of the food items on P.F. Chang’s menu that may be mistaken as vegan by some people, but they actually contain non-vegan ingredients and hence, should be avoided by plant-eaters:
- Crispy Green Beans – They are dipped in tempura batter, which contains egg
- Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts – According to P.F. Chang’s allergen guide, they contain milk, eggs, and shellfish, which potentially come from the Kung Pao sauce. Hence, it can be presumed that P.F. Chang’s Kung Pao sauce is non-vegan.
- Singapore Street Noodles – contain chicken and shrimp
- California Rolls – Contain Kani kama, which is imitation crab meat and not vegan.
- Banana Spring Rolls – According to the allergen guide, this dessert also contains milk, eggs, and shellfish. While I can understand where the first two ingredients come from, I cannot figure out how shellfish makes its way into banana rolls (I need answers!)
The items on P.F. Chang’s menu that are most likely to be confused by vegans are the sauces because we don’t know what they are made of. As mentioned earlier, always ask before ordering or choose the safe options that you know are vegan-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions About P.F. Chang’s Vegan Menu
Let’s end the article by answering the questions that some of you may still have about the vegan status of certain food items on P.F. Chang’s menu to clear all your confusions once and for all:
▪ Is P.F. Chang’s Pad Thai vegan?
P.F. Chang’s Pad Thai noodles are not vegan. Not only do they come standard with chicken or shrimp, according to the restaurant’s allergen guide, they also contain milk and egg.
▪ Is P. F. Chang’s Fried Rice vegan?
Even though P.F. Chang’s fried rice comes in vegetable-only options, they are not vegan-friendly because they contain egg.
▪ Does P. F. Chang’s have vegan desserts?
Sadly, P.F. Chang’s also miss the mark here, like most other restaurants. There is no vegan dessert available at the Asian restaurant.
Conclusion – Is P.F. Chang’s Vegan-Friendly?
P.F. Chang’s may not have a distinctive vegan menu, but they do have a few vegetarian options that are enough to make a good, filling meal. And although the restaurant refrains from claiming any of their dishes vegan, they did say on Twitter that they do not add animal ingredients to their vegetarian foods.
Keeping in view this statement, it can be safely presumed that all of P.F. Chang’s vegetarian options are fit for vegans too.
To sum up, P.F. Chang’s may not be the best place for vegans, but it is certainly a good place for plant-eaters to dine out. You can actually enjoy some good vegan food here.
If you found this article helpful, you may also be interested in learning about vegan options on other restaurants’ menus as well. Check out my article IHOP Vegan Options to find out if it could be your go-to place for breakfast or late-night meetups.