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El Pollo Loco Vegan & Vegetarian Menu Options

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What’s vegan on the menu at El Pollo Loco? Below you’ll see everything you can order that’s vegetarian, plant-based, and dairy-free. Sadly, El Pollo Loco’s vegan chicken burrito and tacos were taken off the menu, so it’s no longer a very inviting fast food restaurant for vegan eaters. But you can still piece together a passable meal with meat-less, cheese-less burritos and sides. This guide will show you how!

El Pollo Loco Debuted Chickenless Vegan Burritos & Tacos in 2020 … And Then Took Them Away

Isn’t it incredibly exciting when a fast-food restaurant adds a plant-based product? In 2020 the vegan community celebrated not one, but TWO chickenless vegan options available at El Pollo Loco!

Sadly, these offerings are no longer on the menu. 

But even without the vegan chicken on the menu at El Pollo Loco, you can still satisfy your hankering hunger with a based meal made only of sides.

Picture this: a plate filled with plant-based pleasures such as crisp and crackling Tapatio fries, fiber-rich rice and beans, beautifully steamed broccoli, ample avocado, and last but not least, a sizable selection of savory salsas! And that’s not even including the toasty tortilla chips and glorious guacamole. Not so bad, right?

A Last Resort Spot for a Vegan Mexican Fast Food Meal

With more than 500 locations in the Southwestern US, El Pollo Loco offers an abundance of plant-based options on their menu. You’ll be able to grab a decent amount of food and enough to feel somewhat satisfied.

So…what can you order that’s vegan at El Pollo Loco? It’s extraordinarily easy to place your online (or in-person) order. All of the vegan-friendly foods are listed below.

Helpful Hints When Ordering Vegan at El Pollo Loco

  • Browse the restaurant’s website before ordering.
  • Be careful to choose the “chickenless” options when ordering your taco or burrito—the non-vegan listings seem very similar.
  • Add a side salad full of fresh greens (but no cheese!) to any chow choice for a more satisfying supper.

El Pollo Loco’s Vegan Options

Vegan Burritos:

  • Beans, Rice, and Cheese Burrito (without the Cheese) — aka “BRC Burrito”
  • Fajita Burrito (with avocado instead of chicken, no cheese, and no sour cream)
  • Double Chicken Burrito (with avocado instead of chicken and no cheese)

*The Vegan Chickenless Pollo and Vegan Chickenless Pollo Burrito are no longer available. 

Veggie Bowls:

  • Chicken Black Bean Bowl (with avocado instead of chicken)
  • Pollo Bowl (with avocado instead of chicken)

Vegan Salads:

  • Avocado Bacon Tostada Salad (Sub Chicken & Bacon for Avocado)

Extras:

  • Chips & Guacamole
  • Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Tortilla Chips

Sides/Snacks:

  • Avocado Salsa
  • Black Beans
  • Broccoli
  • House Salsa
  • Jalapeno Hot Sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Pico de Gallo Salsa
  • Pinto Beans
  • Rice
  • Salsa Roja
  • Side Salad (no cheese)
  • Tapatio Fries

Beverages:

  • Bottled Water
  • Fountain Sodas
  • Fuze Raspberry Iced Tea
  • Gold Peak Teas (Mango Passionfruit, Sweetened and Unsweetened)
  • Hi C Flash Fruit Punch
  • Minute Maid (Lemonade/Strawberry Lemonade)
  • Vitamin Water

NOT Vegan at El Pollo Loco

Besides the obvious meat options, be careful of these choices, which are NOT vegan:

  • Churros (includes butter)
  • Coleslaw (includes mayo)
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing (includes milk)
  • Macaroni & Cheese (includes milk and butter)
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (includes milk, butter, and beef stock)
  • Ranch Dressing (may include milk, sour cream, and mayo)

Substitution Ideas:

  • Satisfy your salad cravings by changing a couple of ingredients in the Classic Tostada: asking for no chicken, cheese, sour cream, or creamy cilantro dressing and adding any sensational salsa, amazing avocado and/or zesty citrus vinaigrette.
  • Bring out the BOWLS! You can easily eliminate a few ingredients and enjoy these big bowls to your heart’s content!
    • Chicken Black Bean Bowl (no chicken or cheese, add avocado and/or salsa) LIGHTER BOWL
    • Grande Avocado Chicken Bowl (no chicken, cheese or sour cream) LARGER BOWL
    • Original Pollo Bowl (no chicken, add avocado and/or salsa)

Let’s encourage El Pollo Loco to add back their plant-based options (and more!) by sending them an email, speaking to a manager, and commenting on their social media posts. The more people request better options, the more likely they will be to respond. Like their logo says, “Feed the Flame”—though in our case, we mean feeding the flame of veganism!

RIP, Chickenless Pollo Street Tacos 

Vegan Chickenless Pollo Street Tacos at El Pollo Loco

How to Order at Other Fast Food Restaurant Chains

Vegan Mexican Recipes That Taste Way Better Than Fast Food

Have you found any other options to be veganizable? Did you find something amazing that we missed? Send us a message and let us know and tag #worldofvegan and @vegan on Instagram to share your favorite vegan at El Pollo Loco creations with all of us!

Disclaimer: At the time of this article (last updated in 2022), all of the foods mentioned above are vegan. Since restaurants constantly update their menus, add or take away items, and reformulate menu items, please keep this in mind when ordering your food. There may be new items that are vegan and not listed above or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check. Good luck!

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