Does KFC provide meatless options? Despite some limits, KFC's vegan food can be used to create a satisfying dinner.
Ordering vegan food at chain restaurants can be challenging. Numerous restaurants around the nation have meat-centric menus and insubstantial plant-based options, such as iceberg lettuce salads with tomatoes. On the other hand, they can save you from starvation if no other options are available. One of these restaurants is KFC. Currently, KFC's vegan selections are confined to sides and beverages, but perhaps shortly, the plant-based chicken will become a national menu mainstay. How to order vegan food at KFC.
Does KFC have vegan chicken?
It appears that fried chicken is the primary offering at KFC. Given the prevalence of plant-based meat on the menus of national restaurant chains, it is logical that KFC would provide a vegan version of its most popular item. As of early this year, however, this is no longer the case.
KFC used to provide plant-based fried chicken manufactured in association with Beyond Meat, a vegan meat producer that has partnered with several fast food chains, including Panda Express, McDonald's, Del Taco, and Carl's Jr.
In August of 2019, KFC began testing Beyond Meat's plant-based chicken in the form of nuggets and wings in an Atlanta store. It was a tremendous success, selling out in only five hours. In 2020, a new formula was tested in Nashville, Charlotte, and Southern California, where it was met with an outpouring of support.
Developing a chicken-like flavor and texture that would appeal to the growing number of flexitarians was a primary priority for both the CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, and the former president of KFC in the United States, Kevin Hochman.
“We are attempting to mimic a tenderloin that contains genuine muscle fibers. The texture is somewhat more appealing than what we would describe as “chewed and glued.” Hochman told Fortune in September 2021 that the technique is distinct. “Our intention is to mimic Kentucky Fried Chicken as closely as possible, certainly without the use of animals. A great deal of that depends on how the chicken tears and how it feels in the mouth. The chicken tenderloin and chicken strip are the gold standards.”
This year, KFC's Beyond Meat nuggets, produced from soy and wheat protein, debuted in over 4,000 outlets nationwide. Some customers were much in favor of the meat-free choice, while others considered it to be significantly denser and more expensive than normal chicken. As the nuggets were fried in the same oil as normal chicken, some individuals were concerned about cross-contamination. In contrast, many vegan and vegetarian consumers view this as an unavoidable consequence of purchasing a plant-based option at a large fast food business. A vegan's decision to purchase something with a risk of cross-contamination with animal products is a matter of personal preference, barring any allergies.
However, as of this writing, KFC's Beyond Chicken no longer exists. The release was intended to be a limited-time offering coinciding with the start of the new year. The KFC parent firm disclosed on YumQ1 !'s 2022 earnings call that the plant-based chicken “elevated the brand and improved relevance, resulting in more media impressions than any other product introduction in the brand's history.” Yum! did not react to VegansBay's inquiry regarding the return of the plant-based chicken or the testing of a new sort of vegan meat.
Although we should be accustomed to this by now, KFC customers outside the United States have a greater selection of plant-based alternatives. In Canada, plant-based chicken sandwiches made using Lightlife's meat-free chicken are available for purchase. In addition, every store in the United Kingdom offers a vegan chicken burger with a Quorn cutlet. Now, let's put our envy aside and look at what's genuinely vegan on the KFC US menu.
KFC offers vegan selections
Without Beyond Meat's chicken nuggets, KFC's menu contains few meaningful plant-based options. And unfortunately, the fast-food restaurant removed many vegan-friendly offerings, including corn on the cob, house salad, applesauce, and the apple turnover, its sole vegan dessert. (However, in case you were unaware, the baked apple pie at McDonald's contains no animal products!)
However, if you are hungry and do not have access to a vegan-friendly restaurant, you can construct a meal from a variety of sides.
- BBQ baked beans
These BBQ Baked Beans are a vegetarian protein option available at KFC. Made with white beans cooked in tomato paste, paprika, onion, brown sugar, and vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce, they resemble the traditional baked beans that are typically served between coleslaw and corn on the cob at a barbecue.
- Sweet kernel corn
KFC may no longer provide corn on the cob, but you can still order sweet kernel corn, which consists of nothing but corn. This dairy-free side dish can help you create a vegan supper that won't leave you feeling hungry.
- Green beans
Thankfully, KFC's option for green vegetables does not contain any animal-derived products! Onion, garlic, spices, salt, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are used to impart a flavorful and pleasing flavor to the green beans. (In the past, MSG was an additive that was frequently maligned. The bad stereotypes surrounding this flavor enhancer that provides umami and is prominent in East Asian cuisine have been disproved. The majority of MSG-containing foods contain only trace amounts of the additive.
- Secret recipe Fries
KFC replaced its popular potato wedges with a new starchy choice, the Secret Recipe Fries, a couple of years ago. These fries are seasoned with onion, carrot, and tomato powder, as well as MSG and sea salt. They provide essential carbohydrates to a vegan meal consisting of a variety of side dishes.
- Condiments & drinks
The creator of modern French cuisine, French chef Fernand Point, reportedly stated, “In the orchestra of a brilliant kitchen, the sauce chef is the soloist.” We tend to agree; after all, what is a meal without sauce? You have a variety of condiment options to pick from at this fast food restaurant. The ketchup is vegan, so consuming plain fries is not a concern. The hot sauce is also vegan-friendly.
You will not be limited to water (but there is no shade if that is what you desire). Capri Sun Fruit Punch, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sierra Mist, Lipton Brisk Teas, and Sobe Lifewater are among the vegan beverage options, along with Tropicana lemonade, Fruit punch, and Twister.