The way to Eat Vegan at McDonald’s

There was a time when you would discover a vegan-friendly burger at McDonald’s—however provided that you lived close to one of many eight check places sprinkled throughout Texas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Southern California. At its peak, the chain’s vegan-friendly burger—dubbed the McPlant—was served in 600 eating places from February to August of 2022 as a check for future markets. 

As a result of sluggish gross sales, the burger (which could possibly be made vegan by eradicating the cheese and mayo) was not greenlit for a nationwide growth plan, forcing plant-based patrons to get scrappy when it got here to ordering.   


To be completely simple, stateside, McDonald’s will not be a very vegan-friendly choice. For those who’re within the temper for quick meals (or restricted in alternative just by what’s round), there are different chains that do plant-based higher comparable to Burger King, Subway, and even Panda Specific (goodbye Past Orange Chick’n, good day Eggplant Tofu). 

Regardless, in the event you do end up at a McDonald’s, know that there are a minimum of a couple of issues you’ll be able to eat. Listed here are all of the vegan objects at McDonald’s.

What’s vegan at McDonald’s?

Whereas vegan choices at McDonald’s are restricted, outdoors of the US, the fast-food big has made important strides. 

In the UK, a totally vegan McPlant (full with plant-based mayonnaise and dairy-free cheese) is a everlasting fixture on the menu alongside different vegan choices comparable to rooster wraps, fried veggie dippers, French fries, mini carrots, and fruit sticks. The chain’s vegan providing will also be present in Australia and the Netherlands. 

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This January, McDonald’s launched the Double McPlant in all places throughout the UK and Eire. And in February, the worldwide chain unveiled plant-based McNuggets—made in collaboration with Past Meat—in Germany’s 1,400 McDonald’s places. McDonald’s US, it’s time to step up your sport. 

Vegan fast-food objects which have come and gone

America’s short-lived McPlant will not be the one plant-based menu merchandise we’ve seen cycle by a fast-food chain within the blink of an eye fixed. Burger King kicked off the momentum in 2019 when it launched the Not possible Whopper. Just like the McPlant, this sandwich could possibly be modified by eradicating the mayonnaise. This merchandise has endured, however many plant-based alternate options which have come after it failed to face as much as the check. 

Most not too long ago, Panda Specific pulled its Past Orange Rooster. The Asian-inspired chain launched the Past Meat-based merchandise in a handful of places throughout the summer time of 2021 then expanded to 2,300 US eating places in September 2022. As of this January, the limited-time providing has run its course and won’t be restocked for the foreseeable future. 

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In July 2020, El Pollo Loco rolled out its vegan Chickenless Pollo. Not like different chains, El Pollo Loco made its personal product in lieu of reaching out to a longtime plant-based meat firm. The soy-based pollo was discontinued a couple of months later. 

Kentucky Fried Rooster additionally teased us with a short-lived vegan rooster merchandise. Following a collection of in-market exams that started way back to 2019, the Past Meat-based vegan rooster rolled out to 4,000 US places in January 2022. Like different plant-based objects that have been restricted to a finite period of time, the Past Fried Rooster was eliminated quietly and with none indication of a future return. 

Vegan choices at McDonald’s

The McDonald’s menu will not be marked with any inexperienced leaves or ‘V’ icons that point out a vegan choice, however that doesn’t imply each single merchandise comprises animal merchandise. Between the unintentionally vegan objects and a few modifications, plant-based patrons gained’t stroll away hungry. Here’s what is vegan at McDonald’s.  

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1 McCafé Bakery and candy treats

Contemplating vegan pastries are a uncommon discover at most fast-food chains, we’re pretty thrilled that the flaky, sugar-dusted Baked Apple Pie is totally free from animal components. For now, it’s the one vegan choice on both the bakery and candy deal with menus.  

2 Breakfast

Don’t contact these hash browns. Not like most fast-food spuds, McDonald’s hash browns comprise animal derivatives. It’s a bit odd, because the offending ingredient is beef flavoring—which is made with milk and wheat, not beef. Keep away from the oatmeal, too. It’s made with gentle cream. The one vegan choice within the A.M. is a plain English muffin.  


3 Drinks

In fact, there are smooth drinks, however McDonald’s affords a couple of distinctive beverage choices you might want to think about. All of the frozen Fanta slushies are vegan (Blue Raspberry and Coca-Cola) in addition to the Sincere Youngsters Appley Ever After Natural Juice Drink and Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice. Black espresso is secure as properly, however be ready to drink it straight or simply with sugar—non-dairy milks are usually not (but) obtainable. Keep away from the smoothies; they’re made with dairy-based yogurt. 


4 Sides

Shock! McDonald’s fries are usually not vegan (a minimum of within the US). Just like the hash browns, they comprise beef flavoring that’s constituted of milk. A very good rule of thumb is to keep away from potato merchandise right here. Nonetheless, apple merchandise appear to be within the clear. Simply because the apple pie is vegan, the apple slices on the perimeters menu are good to go (and sure the healthiest choice on the complete menu). 

5 Burgers and sandwiches

In the intervening time, there aren’t any vegan choices on this class within the US … until a condiment sandwich sounds interesting—the bun, ketchup, mustard, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles are vegan. We’d counsel looking for a sandwich elsewhere. 

6 Sauces

With out French fries or sandwiches, we’re not fairly positive what to place sauces on, nevertheless it’s all the time good to know what’s vegan. Together with the usual ketchup and mustard, the Tangy Barbeque and Candy ‘N Bitter dipping sauces are free from animals. Our tip to you: take these sauces residence to dip your favourite vegan nuggets. 

For extra vegan fast-food, learn: