Finding vegan options at fast-food restaurants can be a bit of a challenge, but KFC has been making strides (both forward and backward) in offering more plant-based choices.
I was particularly thrilled when KFC launched Beyond Fried Chicken nationwide in January 2022 (even though that thrill was short-lived).
Although Beyond Fried Chicken has been pulled from the menu as of March 2022, there are still other vegan-friendly options at KFC that I’d love to share with you.
Beyond Fried Chicken: A Glimpse into the Past
Before we dive into the current vegan offerings, I wanted to touch on the Beyond Fried Chicken.
Yes, KFC has tested Beyond Fried Chicken at participating locations here in the US – not just once, but twice.
I was lucky enough to try both versions, which were slightly different, but both exceeded my expectations. In my opinion, KFC did a really good job of infusing their famous “herbs and spices” into their Beyond Fried Chicken.
Unfortunately, both test runs have come and gone and there are currently no US locations with Beyond Fried Chicken on the menu. And, even more unfortunately, that severly limits the vegan options on KFC’s menu.
Homestyle Sides: More Than Just Chicken
BBQ Baked Beans
While these definitely do contain sugars, corn syrup, caramel color, and natural flavors, it’s not confirmed if they are vegan. Proceed with caution.
Corn on the Cob
A classic choice, and you can’t go wrong with it. I always like to specify NO butter when ordering just to be on the safe side.
Do note, the Green Beans contain MSG.
Secret Recipe Fries
Another option that contains MSG. Also, be sure to ask your local KFC if these share a fryer with animal products if that is a concern for you.
Sweet Kernel Corn
A safe and simple choice.
House Side Salad
Order this with no croutons and opt for Marzetti Light Italian Dressing. The salad usually comes with lettuce and tomatoes.
Desserts: A Sweet Treat
While it contains high fructose corn syrup and palm oil, it can be an option for those who are wanting to ‘treat themselves’.
Dipping Sauces and Condiments
Your best bets here are ketchup, grape jelly, strawberry jam, and lemon juice packets. The hot sauce might be vegan, but I haven’t been able to confirm that yet.
For the Little Ones: Kids Meal Applesauce
A straightforward choice that is both delicious and vegan-friendly.
While it’s disappointing that Beyond Fried Chicken was a limited-time offer, KFC still provides a reasonable (relatively speaking for a large fried chicken-based chain) range of vegan options.
From sides to salads and even a dessert, you can put together a satisfying meal. Always remember to double-check about shared fryers and ingredient lists to make sure they align with your dietary preferences.
Until KFC brings back more plant-based protein options, these are the choices we have. Here’s hoping the menu expands again in the near future.
Cheers to plant-based dining!
Did you find this guide useful? Here are a couple of my other guides on how to eat vegan at other restaurants:
Want more information on ordering vegan at KFC? I recommend checking out the following resources: