Meatless Mondays don’t always have to mean cooking at home. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time, but finding vegetarian-friendly fast food that isn’t a large fry is definitely a struggle. It doesn’t have to be! An increase in demand for plant-based protein options in fast food chains led to an actual rise in veggie versions of our favorites. Customizing almost anything to be meatless is easy with protein swaps like beans, extra cheese and if available, plant-based patties.
The real question is, which meals are the most satisfying? Don’t sacrifice taste for time, here are 10 fast-food restaurants with great vegetarian options.
A&W is a fast-food chain famous for their root beer and beef burgers. Recently they opted out their boring veggie patty for the Beyond Meat burger patty. If you’ve never had a Beyond Meat burger, it’s so similar to actual beef that it’ll make you think twice before taking another bite.
It’s completely plant-based although it looks just like the real thing. It received such a great response that they even extended their breakfast sandwiches menu and added a plant-based sausage patty. For any vegetarians who missed breakfast on the run, A&W has got you covered.
9 Burger King
Burger King definitely evolved with the times and has come out with great alternatives to their classics. They’ve got vegetarian breakfasts down packed, offering the most diverse vegetarian-friendly breakfast menu which delivers on both sweet and savory. French toast sticks, egg and cheese croissant sandwiches, and pancakes are just some examples. The variety in their breakfast menu is sure to impress any vegetarian.
Aside from breakfast, Burger King also has a soya patty for their veggie sandwich. Not just for vegetarians, this flavourful burger doesn’t skimp out on taste or size.
8 Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. offers the Beyond Meat patty in two styles. The Beyond Famous Star with Cheese is a melty and satisfying cheeseburger with classic toppings like tomato, lettuce, and mayo. Their other style is the Beyond BBQ Cheeseburger which is smothered in barbecue sauce and pretty hard to resist.
Tired of Beyond Meat? Carl’s Jr. also has a fried zucchini alternative. Battered and fried zucchini rounds are stuffed between the bun instead of a patty for all you true vegetable lovers out there! The fried zucchini can also be bought as a side and makes for a perfect mid-day snack.
Fast food isn’t always just a burger. Chick-Fil-A has other options for a vegetarian on the go, and some of them aren’t as unhealthy as you may expect. For breakfast, their yogurt parfait is layered organic Greek Yoghurt, fresh berries and granola and is a perfect morning boost.
Their superfood side is a broccolini and kale based salad with dried sour cherries, roasted nuts, and a maple vinaigrette. It’s a balanced and nutritious option for those of you health-nuts who might have forgotten to meal prep this week.
6 Taco Bell
Taco Tuesday is a weekday staple and should be embraced by vegetarians everywhere. Taco Bell is surprisingly vegetarian-friendly and will happily replace any meat for beans in all your favorites, including their famous Crunchwrap Supreme.
Beans are actually a great source of protein, fiber, and other important vitamins and minerals. This alternative still allows for a filling and satisfying meal. Beyond Meat patties aren’t necessary for a protein-packed lunch, but in this case, beans are the perfect substitution. An honorable mention goes to their cheesy fries which is an indulgent, but still, meatless way to enjoy Taco Bell.
Subway is probably one of the only fast-food restaurants that can offer you a meal under 400 calories. Their veggie delight can be piled high with cheese, vegetables, and sauce all on the bread of your choice. It’s a guilt-free but quick solution for anyone who forgot their lunch on the counter during the morning rush.
They also offer customizable salads for a carb-less way to eat on the run. Some Subway’s offer a vegetarian patty as a protein source, but unfortunately this has not reached the majority of Subway restaurants around the world.
Chipotle is the ultimate vegetarian fast food restaurant. Everything on their menu has a meatless alternative. Their burritos and tacos offer a guacamole substitute for meat which adds tons of healthy fats to your meal. Their rice bases, as well as beans, are also vegetarian which adds protein and carbohydrates.
The bowls are completely customizable and because of their various sides such as roasted chili-corn salsa and fajita vegetables, you won’t even notice there’s meat missing. Chipotle is a great fast food restaurant for vegetarians looking for quick, cheap and balanced meals.
3 Panera Bread
Soup and Sandwiches are an undeniable match made in heaven. Who doesn’t love soup in the fall? With the weather dropping, Panera Bread can be a great option for vegetarians looking for a comforting meal. They offer 3 different soups that are all vegetarian. Their Autumn Squash, Creamy Tomato, and Ten Vegetable soups are all meatless but still delicious.
Pair your tomato soup with grilled cheese for a classic flavor combination. Their Mediterranean Veggie sandwich is also a great accompaniment to your soup. Try it with a side of Mac and Cheese for an ultra-rich lunch.
Hardee’s curly fries are classic and very delicious. While that’s not a full meal, it’s definitely a fun option. They do have an egg and cheese biscuit on their breakfast menu which is the perfect start to any day, especially paired with their hash rounds.
Hardee’s classic Thickburger is offered without the patty but still has all your favorite fixings. It might be meatless, but it’s still cheesy, saucy, and piled high with crisp veggies. A side salad or fry of your choice completes the meal while keeping it vegetarian.
KFC has been rumored to be experimenting with vegan chicken. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, KFC representatives have alluded to possible meatless versions of their classic fried chicken. Until then, KFC does offer two versions of a vegetarian sandwich, one being a regular meatless patty and an alternative spicy patty.
These burgers are only offered at select KFC locations. They do have vegetarian sides such as their corn on the cob, fries, green beans, and house salad. Their meatless menu does have variety, but we all know the vegan fried chicken is a game-changer, so everyone keep your fingers crossed that this is true in the works!