Now that the McPlant burger and other vegan offerings are slowly rolling out, McDonald’s may see an influx of plant-based patrons in the States. With Beyond Meat behind the plant-based menu items, we’re confident this fast-food behemoth will draw us back in. While we impatiently wait in the US for the McPlant’s national rollout, we’re perusing Mickey-D’s menu to see what other options are available. Here are all the vegan offerings currently at McDonald’s and the tantalizing items to come.
Of the five options listed on this hybrid breakfast/dessert menu, the Baked Apple Pie is the vegan go-to. Considering veganized pastries are a rare find at most fast-food chains, we’re fairly thrilled with this flaky, sugar-dusted hand pie.
Don’t touch those hash browns. Unlike most fast-food spuds, McDonald’s hash browns contain animal derivatives. It’s a bit odd, as the offending ingredient is beef flavoring—which is made with milk and wheat, not beef. Avoid the oatmeal, too. It’s made with light cream. The one vegan option in the a.m. is a plain English muffin. It looks like Beyond Meat has a bit of renovation to do with McDonald’s breakfast category.
Of course, there are soft drinks, but McDonald’s offers a few unique beverage options you may wish to consider. All the Minute Maid slushies are vegan (Pink Lemonade, Fruit Punch, and Blue Raspberry) as well as the Honest Kids Appley Ever After Organic Juice Drink and Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice. Black coffee is safe as well, but be prepared to drink it straight or just with sugar—non-dairy milks are not (yet) available.
Burgers and sandwiches
At the moment, there are no vegan options in this category nationwide (unless a condiment sandwich sounds appealing—the bun, ketchup, mustard, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles are vegan). However, the McPlant burger (developed by Beyond Meat) has been tested in a few international markets, and has launched in 600 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Dallas-Forthworth region. Select locations in Irving, TX; Carrollton, TX; Cedar Falls, IA; Jennings, LA; Lake Charles, LA; Manhattan Beach, CA; and El Segundo, CA were the first to test the vegan-friendly handheld stateside. To make it vegan, simply hold the cheese and mayo.
Surprise! McDonald’s fries are not vegan (at least in the US—Canadians, you’re in the clear!). Like the hash browns, they contain a beef flavoring that is made from milk. Until the McPlant menu starts to roll out, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from potato products here. However, apple products seem to be in the clear. Just as the apple pie is vegan, the apple slices on the sides menu are good to go (and likely the healthiest option on the entire menu).
Without French fries or sandwiches, we’re not quite sure what to put sauces on, but it’s always good to know what’s vegan. Along with the standard ketchup and mustard, the Tangy Barbeque and Sweet ‘N Sour dipping sauces are free from animals. Our tip to you: take these sauces home to dip your favorite vegan nuggets.