How To Order Vegan At KFC

How To Order Vegan At KFC

From the distinctive red and white striped buckets to the questionably titled “Colonel” caricature, Kentucky Fried Chicken (aka KFC) has been known for many years for their homestyle fried food and crowd-pleasing, tangy coleslaw. If this type of takeout was a top choice for you growing up, you’re going to be tickled pink with our vegan KFC guide.

In the past, when a home-cooked feast was not a quick and easy option, many people took advantage of ordering from this familiar, fast food eatery. Now that we’re firmly planted in the “future” and searching for an animal-free option, KFC seems to be out of our reach. But, is it?

Although you can’t quite get the mouthwatering meal of your dreams with creamy, vegan mashed potatoes, cool and crispy coleslaw, or flaky, butter-free biscuits, you might be able to procure some plant-based chicken pretty soon. Want to know more? Keep reading!

How to Navigate the Menu at KFC

Simply glancing at the name of this restaurant chain may have you wondering, “Will there be any vegan options at all?” We hear you. To be sure, it’s not usually the first thing you think of when you’re considering a delicious meal. But, for those of you who grew up on this Southern comfort fast food fare, it’s nice to know that you can go back and have a nostalgic treat once in a while. 

Here’s what we suggest:

  • Select as many vegan-friendly sides as you wish (better yet, get them all!)
  • Supplement with a house side salad and light Italian dressing (or ask for a lemon juice packet for a fresher option)
  • Add a dessert of applesauce (if you’re searching for a healthy option) or apple turnover (if you want a little treat)
  • Buy a beverage 
  • Choose the best condiments to go with your meal. (We’ve always had a weakness for BBQ sauce and grape jelly!)

What’s Vegan at KFC?

Plant-Based Menu Item Coming Soon!

  • Beyond Meat Chicken Strips (KFC has been working with Beyond Meat on this product for three years and we’re counting the days until it materializes on the menu!)

Homestyle Sides:

  • Baked Beans
  • Corn on the Cob (make sure they do not add butter)
  • Green Beans
  • Secret Recipe Fries
  • Sweet Kernel Corn


  • House Side Salad (no croutons) with Marzetti Light Italian Dressing

Dipping Sauces and Condiments:

  • BBQ Dipping Sauce
  • Grape Jelly Packet
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon Juice Packet
  • Strawberry Jam Packet


  • Apple Turnover
  • Musselman’s Applesauce

Vegan-Friendly Beverages:

  • Capri Sun Fruit Punch
  • Pepsi Fountain Drinks
  • Lipton Brisk Teas
  • Sobe Lifewater
  • Strawbe
  • Tropicana Beverages (lemonade, fruit punch, and Twister)

NOT Vegan at KFC:

  • Cornbread, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese (contain both milk and eggs)
  • Coleslaw, potato salad, and macaroni salad (contains eggs)
  • Croutons and all dressings (besides the light Italian) contain milk and cheese
  • Colonel’s Buttery Spread (contains milk and is not a vegetable-based margarine) 
  • KFC sauce (contains eggs)

NOTE: At some locations, Cinnabon dessert biscuits are offered, but they also contain milk. 

Historic Moments in Vegan KFC History

  • June 2019 – In the UK, “Imposter” vegan chicken sandwiches were given a try with great success. They sold out of all of the sandwiches within 4 days. 
  • August 2019 – For a single day, Beyond Meat and KFC introduced a vegan fried chicken option only in Atlanta, GA. KFC offered nuggets and boneless wings (with dipping sauce) and they both sold out within 5 hours.
  • November 2019 – Partnered with Lightlife to make a plant-based fried chicken sandwich and popcorn chicken for testing in Canada. They sold a month’s worth of vegan chicken in one day and added the sandwich to all locations in August 2020.
  • January 2020 – All 900 UK KFC’s added a Vegan Burger to their menus using Quorn patties. At the end of the month, they had sold one million plant-based chicken burgers.
  • February 2020 – KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken expanded to North Carolina and Tennessee for three weeks.
  • September 2021 – KFC announces that they are close to launching their plant-based chicken strips. In collaboration with Beyond Meat, this fried chicken company is concentrating on the both the flavor and texture of the tender to make it as authentic as possible. KFC is hoping for a nationwide release in the near future.

Helpful Hints When Ordering Vegan at KFC

  • Browse the KFC menu before ordering.
  • If ordering KFC online or through a delivery service, make sure you clearly specify any substitutions you would like. Especially concerning meat and butter. If you’re worried that your request may not be honored (or seen by the server at KFC), it might be a better idea to go there directly to order.
  • Check out their Full Nutrition Guide, Nutrition Calculator, and Food Allergies and Sensitivities pages to make sure that you are purchasing a vegan-friendly item. The menu items offered at KFC do change and the informational charts seem to be updated regularly.
  • Be careful when new and exciting seasonal products are offered at KFC. Double check the allergens and ingredients  to make sure the item is vegan before purchasing.

Fascinating Facts About KFC

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken was originally named Sanders Court and Café and was located in Corbin, Kentucky.
  • The people of Japan love to enjoy KFC on Christmas Eve.
  • Signature red & white buckets were not introduced until 27 years after the first KFC was created in 1930.
  • The secret spice recipe is literally locked in a vault in Louisville, KY. Though the spices are speculated to be a mixture of a special type of pepper, MSG, flour, salt, and sage, nothing has ever been proven successfully. (Strangely enough, you can buy an almost identical blend by Marion-Kay Spices called 99-X.)
  • Though Harland Sanders did serve in the army, he never attainted the rank of Colonel. 

Creating a Kinder and More Accessible KFC

We’re all hoping that this popular Kentucky fried-chicken-and-coleslaw conglomerate will offer a lot more plant-based choices in the future. Once their vegan-friendly chicken strips are off and running, we can only hope that veggie gravy, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and other comfort food options will soon follow. In the meantime, we can always write to, call, or contact the managers of any location to make our requests.

What are your favorite items on the KFC menu? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Vegan Fast Food Guide—How To Order Vegan At The Most Common Chain Restaurants

How to Order Vegan at Other Fast Food Chains:

We have a whole series of vegan fast food guides to help you find the best options at each location. Take a peek if you’re in need of a quick vegan meal on a road trip or with fast food-loving friends! 

Have you found any other options to be veganizable? Did you find something amazing that we missed? Let us know by tagging #worldofvegan and sharing your favorite vegan-at-KFC creations with all of us!

This article is not sponsored and we are in no way affiliated with KFC. At the time of this article, the foods mentioned above are vegan. Since restaurants constantly update their menus and add or take away items, please keep this in mind when ordering your food. There may be new items that are vegan at KFC and not listed or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check.

Article written by Gina House and edited by Michelle Cehn and Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means shopping through them really helps to support World of Vegan!  

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