KFC doesn’t carry an impressive amount of vegan-friendly dishes. Considering that KFC literally stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken, can we be surprised? While most of the menu items at the fast-food chain are animal-based, KFC vegan options are not a myth.
Life is more exciting for vegans living in the United Kingdom than those in the US. The fast-food establishment offers many more plant-based options in the UK, such as onion rings and vegan chicken. This isn’t shocking – I have noticed that the menus offered by many global fast-food chains like Jack in the box, Popeyes, Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Jimmy Johns, and Pizza Hut have more vegan options in the UK and Europe than in the States.
Is KFC Vegan Chicken Available In The USA?
Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat is a brand offering plant-based alternatives to otherwise animal-based products. And by now, every vegan has at least heard of, if not tried, their masterpieces. If you’ve been vegan for a while, you have probably heard the hype around KFC collaborating with Beyond Meat. What exactly is that about?
KFC first started testing out plant-based chicken products years ago, back in 2019 in the UK. And by now, plant-based chicken nuggets and sandwiches are available all across the UK. While in the USA, Kentucky Fried Chicken uses Beyond Meat, in the UK, Quorn is used. Getting your hands on vegan chicken in the USA is much more challenging than in the UK.
Not long ago, KFC announced that the KFC beyond fried chicken nuggets would be available at 4000 locations across the USA. And they were, but only for a limited time in January, corresponding with the annual challenge of Veganuary.
Is KFC’s Beyond Chicken Worth The Hype?
When KFC first introduced Beyond Fried Chicken Nuggets on the American market in the summer of 2019, the fast-food chain saw long lines and hours-long waiting times.
One Atlanta location sold out of their Beyond Chicken within hours from launching. People were thrilled to try out the plant-based meat, to say the least. I genuinely do not understand why KFC hasn’t made it a permanent menu item yet.
KFC did not just want to throw the first soy-based chicken alternative they found on their menu and call it a day. They were committed to making the vegan nuggets as similar to their famous chicken nuggets as possible.
They were looking for a recipe that replicates the same taste and texture as whole muscle chicken. Something that pulls apart like KFC’s traditional fried chicken breast, with their signature breading. Now, the question you might be asking – did they succeed?
Do you know that feeling when you order a vegan dish, and once you receive it, you’re worried someone messed up and gave you the non-vegan option? That is how I felt when I got my first plant-based combo meal. The vegan nuggets look dauntingly similar to the real deal – crispy and golden. They even smelled like chicken! However, the texture is slightly different.
But enough about looks. If you have tried Beyond before, you know it’s delicious. And so were the KFC beyond nuggets. However, from what I remember (it has been years), the taste wasn’t that identical to KFC’s famous chicken nuggets. But hey, if you get the chance, definitely give it a try!
Other Vegan Options At KFC
More and more vegan choices have been added to KFC’s menu in recent years. News regarding KFC’s plans to introduce a menu of vegan options beyond the classic french fries and slaw has been in circulation for a while. KFC has plans to expand its menu to include vegan options, such as vegan chicken sandwiches and plant-based nuggets, for their vegan and vegetarian customers.
Keeping in line with vegans who would prefer a lighter option on the menu, KFC also has a plentiful choice for fresh salads! Customers can choose between a Caesar salad, with of course, no chicken or cheese, made using crisp romaine lettuce tossed with vegan Caesar dressing, croutons, and other vegetable toppings, or go for a simple Garden salad that contains a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other seasonal vegetables, topped with a vegan-friendly dressing of your choice.
2. Salad Dressing
Of course, we gotta follow up salad options with the salad dressings!
The Balsamic Vinaigrette offers a sweet and tangy flavor for those who prefer that zing in their bite, the Italian dressing comes with a zesty bite to it, containing herbs and spices, and the Ranch dressing with its unique taste is made of a hundred percent plant-based ingredients!
And let’s not forget the sugar that goes along with the spice! With a quaint fruit cup that includes a healthy selection of seasonal fruits and an apple pie that transports you straight to the land of nostalgia, bearing warm and sweet memories, the dessert menu does not disappoint!
Are KFC Sauces Vegan?
If you’re popping by KFC just to grab some fries, you will be pleased to know that you will not have to eat them plain. KFC has a few sauces that are free from any animal-derived ingredients. What are those?
- Ketchup Packet (as usual, it is vegan at KFC as well)
- Summertime BBQ Sauce
- Sweet N Tangy Sauce
- Lemon Juice Packet
- Mazetti Light Italian Dressing
- Grape Jelly
- Strawberry Jam
Vegan Status Of Other Popular Options
1. KFC Vegan Nuggets
These delectable bite-sized nuggets offer a mouthwatering alternative to traditional chicken nuggets, catering to the preferences of vegans, vegetarians, and individuals seeking plant-based alternatives.
Made from a blend of plant-based ingredients, KFC Vegan Nuggets offer a guilt-free indulgence without compromising on taste. The exact recipe may vary, but common ingredients include soy protein, wheat gluten, grains, and various spices.
These elements work together to recreate the familiar crispy and tender texture of traditional nuggets. By catering to this growing demand, KFC has demonstrated its willingness to adapt and evolve, proving that plant-based options can be just as delicious and satisfying as their meat-based counterparts.
2. KFC French Fries
Kfc fries are absolutely vegan and one of the best vegan options at kfc. Fries at kfc are not fried in beef fat as other fast food chains prefer to use. Kfc makes sure that they use vegan friendly oil but since it is a chicken restaurant they use the same fryers for their other non vegan items.
Some vegans might not be comfortable about cross contamination. So if you are one of them then you should avoid the fries.
3. KFC Mashed Potatoes
KFC’s mashed potatoes are not considered vegan. While the main ingredient of mashed potatoes is indeed potatoes, KFC’s recipe for their mashed potatoes includes dairy products, typically milk and butter. we suggest that the customer inquiries the specific location’s employee. Better safe than sorry!
4. KFC Gravy
KFC’s gravy, following its traditional recipe, incorporates animal-derived components like meat drippings or broth, rendering it inappropriate for individuals adhering to a vegan diet.
It’s worth mentioning that KFC’s menu and ingredients are subject to variation based on the location and country. While certain fast-food establishments provide vegan gravy alternatives, KFC’s gravy generally includes animal-based ingredients.
5. KFC Sides of Beans and Corn
KFC’s sides of beans and corn are vegan-friendly. These sides are typically made with plant-based ingredients and do not contain any animal products.
The corn is simply cooked in a buttery spread in place of real butter, and the beans are seasoned with a vegetarian alternative to meat. However, we suggest it’s best to check as cross-contamination can occur.
Ordering Vegan At KFC
Have you ever found it challenging or overwhelming to order vegan at a fast-food place? I have some tips and tricks up my sleeve to remember next time you’re at KFC. As kfc does not have a special kfc vegan menu you’ll have to go over all the menu items that are a safe bet as no modifications are needed. We have baked beans and green beans to choose from.
And, of course, the classic option that surprises no vegan, french fries. As long as cross-contamination is not an issue for you – the secret recipe fries are fried in the same oil as animal products. And you’ll be relieved to know that all drinks at KFC are fit for vegans.
Side of corn? Whether you want to go for corn on the cob or sweet kernel corn, request them to be made without butter. When it comes to KFC’s house salad, ask for it to be made without cheese and croutons and get it with Mazetti Light Italian Dressing, as that’s the only vegan one. How often do you find a suitable dessert at a fast-food joint? Yeah, not that often. KFC offers you an apple turnover, or opt for some applesauce.
Does KFC Prevent Cross-Contamination?
There’s no one answer to this. Of course, KFC has taken measures to prevent the occurrence of cross-contamination between items that are vegetarian and those that are not. But it is difficult to give its customers a one-hundred percent assurance that cross-contamination never happens. It is possible for non-vegan products to be introduced into the cooking process through the use of shared utensils, pots, and pans.
KFC has obvious measures in place, such as employing different fryers for vegan and non-vegan dishes and enforcing strict cleaning processes, to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination.
But the case persists, there’s no absolute certainty that cross-contamination never happens. Therefore as always, proceed with caution. Enquire the staff about the processes employed in that particular location.
So, Is KFC vegan friendly?
While not shining with vegan options at KFC. They have enough to offer to have you satisfied by the time you leave. For most Americans, vegan chicken is out of reach for now. But we can fill up on fries, some sides, and finish with a dessert. Let’s be frank, for a chicken restaurant, that’s pretty good.
Hopefully (fingers crossed!), we will see KFC Beyond chicken available in every location at some point. And perhaps even more plant-based options.