The fast-food industry in the US is ever-expanding. However, a few names have always stood out and are the go-to places for a huge majority of fast food lovers. Wendy’s is one of them.
Known for their square hamburger patties and a delicious frozen dessert called Frosty, Wendy’s has long been one of the most popular fast-food chains in the US.
But, how considerate are they of their customers’ diverse dietary choices? Is anything at Wendy’s vegan? Let’s take a look at Wendy’s menu to find out…
Does Wendy’s Have Vegan Options?
When it comes to eating vegan outside, fast food places are generally considered the worst places for vegans. Most fast-food restaurants in the US do not offer much for their vegan customers. And no one wants to eat just French fries (that’s only what you get at many places) when everyone else around them is enjoying full, hearty meals. Today, we’re going to find out if Wendy’s is any different.
Wendy’s offer the following vegan options for their non-meat-eating customers:
- French Fries
- Plain Baked Potato
- Seasoned Potatoes
- Fresh Fruits
- Salad – customized
- Veggie Burger
These are all your vegan options at Wendy’s. Let’s discuss each of them briefly to find out what modifications they need and how you should go about ordering vegan at Wendy’s…
Wendy’s Vegan Options – How to Order Vegan at Wendy’s?
Sides and Salads
Wendy’s offers a variety of different types of French fries, baked potatoes, nuggets, and delicious chili on its sides menu. However, only a few of them are vegan. These include:
§ French Fries
These are the standard French fries – classic-cut, skin-on, and sprinkled with sea salt. They are cooked in vegetable oil and not in animal fat or lard, which means they are vegan-friendly. However, they are cooked in the same fryers that are used for non-vegan products.
If you avoid eating foods cooked in the same pots and pans as meat, you may want to skip on Wendy’s French fries.
§ Plain Baked Potato
If you’re not comfortable eating Wendy’s French fries due to being cooked in shared fryers or looking for a healthier side for your Wendy’s vegan burger, you can order a Plain Baked Potato.
Wendy’s Plain Baked Potato is just what its name suggests – a simple baked potato without any toppings; that’s what the website says. However, when ordering vegan at Wendy’s, it’s best to emphasize that you want it plain, even without butter.
If you find plain baked potato bland, you can ask for a vegan topping or sauce (listed below) to add some flavor.
§ Seasoned Potatoes
These fried potato wedges flavored with a house-prepared seasoning, consisting of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a few other spices, are scrumptious. They will make a great side to your vegan meal at Wendy’s.
While Wendy’s potato wedges are cooked in vegetable oil and the seasoning also doesn’t contain any non-vegan ingredients, they are not cooked in designated fryers. Similar to French fries, potato wedges are also cooked in shared fryers.
§ Fresh Fruits
For those craving something sweet or want to add something healthy to their meal, Wendy’s offers fresh Apple Bites and Strawberries. Nothing special about them; these are just simple, fresh fruits.
These also make good (read healthy) options for children.
Wendy’s offers a few different types of salads. But, none of them are vegan on their own; you have to get them customized according to your vegan dietary guidelines. Since they make salads fresh at Wendy’s, it’s easier to get them modified.
It’s important to note here that the salads menu at Wendy’s keeps on changing and may also vary by location. Therefore, it’s important to always check the menu to know your options. Following are the salads options available these days and how you can make these Wendy’s salads vegan:
- Summer Strawberry Salad
This colorful and delicious summer salad originally contains spring mix, romaine lettuce, strawberries, Tuscan cheese blend, grilled chicken, champagne vinaigrette, candied almonds, and Applewood smoked bacon.
When ordering Wendy’s summer salad vegan style, ask to hold the cheese, chicken, bacon, candied almonds. The modifications take away pretty much everything that gives the salad its personality, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
- Jalapeno Popper Salad
Wendy’s Jalapeno Popper Salad is a great option for those who love some heat in their food. It is made with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, spring mix, jalapeno slices, pepper jack cheese, chicken, jalapeno ranch dressing, crispy jalapeno & cheddar crouton mix and Applewood smoked bacon.
Ordering this salad vegan will make it pretty boring because you’ll have to skip chicken, bacon, cheese, ranch dressing, and jalapeno and cheddar crouton mix. You will basically be left with only a vegetable mix with no dressing. You can, however, ask for a vegan dressing to top your veggies with.
- Southwest Avocado Salad
Made with spring mix, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, two different types of cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, and grilled chicken, the salad comes topped with southwest ranch dressing. To make this Wendy’s salad vegan-friendly, you’ll have to hold the cheese, meats, and dressing. To add some flavor to your vegetable mix, you can choose a Wendy’s vegan dressing.
- Apple Pecan Salad
Do you like the combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors? If yes, then you may want to try Wendy’s Apple Pecan Salad. It contains spring mix, romaine lettuce, apple bites, dried cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, grilled chicken breast, pomegranate vinaigrette dressing, and roasted pecans.
However, when you’re ordering a vegan salad at Wendy’s, you’ll have to skip on cheese and chicken. If you also avoid honey, you’ll have to remove roasted pecans as well since they contain honey.
- Taco Salad
A salad blend of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar, topped with taco chips, Wendy’s signature salsa, and light sour cream, Wendy’s taco salad is a modified version of chips and salsa. Ask to hold the cheese, chili, and sour cream to have your customized Wendy’s vegan taco salad or nachos.
Apparently, you can also get the tortilla chips and salsa separately at Wendy’s. That’s what a Reddit user said…
Out of all these Wendy’s salads, a vegan’s best option is Apple Pecan salad. It requires the least modifications and is the most flavorful because you’re not removing its original dressing. You can also order the Taco salad to satisfy your craving for chips and salsa.
In addition to these, Wendy’s also offer Parmesan Caesar salad. But you wouldn’t want to have it when you’re ordering vegan. It’s because the alterations will leave you with only a box or bowl filled with romaine lettuce, which is surely not something anyone would want to have in the name of a salad.
§ Wendy’s Vegan Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments
Wendy’s offers a few vegan sauces, dressings, and condiments that you can order with your sides and salads for a flavor boost. Your options include:
- Honey Mustard
- Hot Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce – originally comes with Chicken Nuggets, but you can request to get it separately
- Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette
- Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing
Choose your favorite vegan dressings, sauces, or condiments to make your Wendy’s vegan meal a little more flavorful.
§ Wendy’s Vegan Beverages
Apart from a few, all the drinks that Wendy’s offers are vegan-friendly. Here is a list of all your vegan drinks options at Wendy’s:
- Coca-Cola Zero
- Diet Coke
- Dr. Pepper
- Fanta Orange
- Minute Maid Light Lemonade
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Hi-C Flashin’ Fruit Punch
- All-Natural Lemonade
- Pineapple Mango Lemonade
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Tropical Berry Lemonade
- Iced Tea
- Sweet Iced Tea
- Fresh Brewed Coffee
- Fresh Brewed Decaffeinated Coffee
- Cold brew Iced Coffee
- Simply Orange Juice
- Honest Kids Fruit Punch
- Bottled Water
What about Burger? Does Wendy’s Have a Vegan Burger?
On June 24, 2021, Wendy’s delighted its vegan customers with the announcement of the test launch of a plant-based burger named Spicy Black Bean Burger. However, the restaurant also announced that the new menu item would only be introduced in Columbus, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh for as long as supplies last.
Wendy’s plant-based burger was launched on June 28, 2021. However, apparently, it has been discontinued. If you live in any of the three cities where Wendy’s meatless burger was introduced, you can ask your local Wendy’s if it’s still available.
While Wendy’s Spicy Black Bean Burger is meatless, it comes with pepper jack cheese and chipotle sauce, which are most likely non-vegan (it doesn’t seem that Wendy’s introduced vegan cheese or vegan chipotle sauce as well).
You will have to hold these two items and perhaps also replace the bun with a hamburger bun to make Wendy’s plant-based burger vegan.
Is There Any Wendy’s Vegan Burger Available Nationally?
Wendy’s offers a whole lot of different types of burgers, ranging from hamburgers and chicken sandwiches to classics, croissants, and biscuit sandwiches.
However, none of them is vegan. Wendy’s doesn’t offer any vegan meat or veggie patty option either.
The only way you can get a vegan burger from Wendy’s is if you are willing to eat a bun with only vegetables and sauces.
While this isn’t something you would want to order, it can come to your rescue if you end up at Wendy’s with your non-vegan friends or family members and really hungry.
To order a vegan burger at Wendy’s, choose the hamburger bun with as many veggies, vegan condiments, and sauces as you want (refer to the previous section to know your options).
Does Wendy’s Offer Vegan Desserts?
Wendy’s doesn’t offer anything for its dessert-loving vegan customers. All the sweet items on their menu contain eggs and/or dairy, which makes them unfit for a vegan diet.
If you really want to have something sweet at Wendy’s, go for fresh fruits.
Wendy’s Menu Items That May Look Vegan, but Are Not
Wendy’s menu is pretty clear. You can easily figure out if a food item is vegan or not just by its name. There is only one item on Wendy’s menu that may be mistaken as vegan-friendly, but it actually contains non-vegan ingredients, and that is:
- Oatmeal Bar
These delicious and healthy oats and berries bars contain milk and eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some of the common questions people have about Wendy’s vegan menu before wrapping up the article, so the next time you find yourself at the fast-food restaurant, you know what exactly you can and cannot eat…
§ Are Wendy’s Frosties vegan?
Frosties are one of the two most popular items on Wendy’s menu (the other is hamburgers). But, sadly, they are not vegan.
§ Are Wendy’s fries vegan?
Wendy’s fries are cooked in vegetable oil and hence, are essentially vegan. However, they are cooked in the same oil (and pans) that are used for non-vegan items.
§ Is Wendy’s Plentiful Burger available in the US?
Wendy’s Plentiful Burger, made of pea protein, is only offered in Canada. It’s not available in the US.
§ Does Wendy’s offer vegan burgers?
Wendy’s does not offer any vegan burgers in the US. Refer to the burgers section above for a detailed discussion on this topic and to find out if and how you can order a vegan burger at Wendy’s.
§ Are there any Wendy’s vegan breakfast options?
Wendy’s does not offer any vegan breakfast sandwiches. All you can have for a vegan breakfast at Wendy’s is coffee, perhaps with a vegan side.
§ Does Wendy’s have vegan nuggets?
No. Wendy’s is yet to respond to the rising demands for vegan meat alternatives. At present, it does not offer vegan nuggets for its plant-eating customers.
§ Does Wendy’s have vegan cheese?
Wendy’s does not offer any vegan cheese options, so you’ll have to skip it in sides, salads, sandwiches, and burgers if you’re eating vegan or avoiding dairy for any other reason.
§ Does Wendy’s have a vegan chicken sandwich?
Despite popular demands for vegan meats at restaurants, Wendy’s does not offer any vegan meat or vegan patty option. So, you cannot modify a Wendy’s chicken sandwich into a vegan sandwich.
If you’re craving for Wendy’s chicken sandwich, you can make a vegan version of it at home. Check out the following video for the recipe…
Is Wendy’s Vegan-Friendly?
Wendy’s is a fast-food restaurant known for its hamburgers and frosties, both of which are non-vegan. Wendy’s does not offer any vegan burger patty or vegan milk options at its outlets in the US. Therefore, it cannot be regarded as a vegan-friendly fast food place.
However, you can grab a quick vegan snack or a light vegan lunch from Wendy’s. Get yourself a bag of fries or wedges with a drink and some sauces on the side.
If you’re looking to eat healthier, order a customized Wendy’s vegan salad with a plain baked potato and a coffee or unsweetened iced tea.