Vegan at Chili’s — How to Hack The Menu

This guide to ordering vegan at Chili's will help you navigate the menu to find the best vegetarian, dairy-free, plant-based options. Are the fries at Chili's vegan? Yes! Does Chili's have a vegan burger? It does now! Read on for more!
post featured image
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read my policy page.

When you’re mad about margaritas and Mexican-inspired fare, you’re bound to find yourself meeting friends at Chili’s restaurant. It’s hard to resist their upbeat and unique burger and taco temptations. But, really, what can you eat that’s vegan at Chili’s?

At first glance, you’ll easily be able to dismiss the desserts, bow out of the animal-based burgers, say no-way to the steaks, and quit the quesadillas. Now what? After all of the obvious, unhealthy choices are given the heave-ho, is there anything plant-based on the menu to munch?

Does Chili’s offer a vegan-friendly burger? How about the fries? Are they doused with dairy, too? Is this another situation where sides are superior? Keep reading, friends, and let us share the down-and-dirty details with you. 

How to order vegan at Chili's restaurant.

How to Quickly Navigate the Chili’s Menu 

While they got rid of their vegetarian fajita option, we have hack to still enjoy fajitas! Plus, there’s now a vegan burger option! If you’re looking to eat vegan or vegetarian at Chili’s for a meal, here’s what we suggest:

  • Start With A Salad – An awesome way to stimulate your appetite and add lots of vitamins, nutrients, and substance to your meal. Just be careful to choose a vegan-friendly dressing and always ask for no cheese or croutons.
  • Fill Up With Fiber – Use as many of the savory sides as you can to create the perfect protein-packed plate. Either add them to a tortilla or sprinkle onto tostada chips. Ask for rice, black beans, guacamole, and salsa, along with veggies like broccoli and asparagus.
  • Vegan Burger – Get the Oldtimer Burger and ask for the black bean patty and no cheese)
  • Vegan Fajitas – Order the chicken fajitas (they’re the cheapest) then ask for a black bean patty in place of the chicken. Make sure to also ask for no sour cream, cheese, or butter.
  • Choose Chips & Salsa  – While this is the obvious choice for making your meal more filling, think of them more as a side than the main course for a healthier option.
  • Look For Libations – If water isn’t quite quenching your thirst, you can always grab a fountain drink, lemonade, juice, or coffee/tea for refreshment. Alcoholic beverages are also on the menu.
  • Don’t Forget The Fruit – Since there aren’t any desserts free of dairy or eggs on the menu, consider finishing your meal with fruit. Choose from either pineapple or mandarin orange slices for a final sweet snack.

Everything That’s Vegan at Chili’s

Here’s the full scoop on what’s vegan at Chili’s. Luckily, they’ve expanded their options in recent years. While they don’t have a completely vegan as-is entree option on the menu, it’s now easier than ever to make a few swaps and have a filling meal!

Vegan Appetizers

  • Bottomless Tostada Chips and Salsa
  • Fresh Guacamole and Chips
  • Fried Pickles (hold the ranch dressing)
  • French Fries (woo!)

Plant-Based Salads

  • Caribbean Salad (ask for no shrimp or chicken and swap the dressing)
  • House Salad (with no cheese or croutons and add a veg-friendly dressing)
  • Sante Fe Salad (with no cheese, chicken, ranch, or Sante Fe sauce)

Vegan Entrees

Chili’s recently reworked their black bean patty to be dairy and egg-free, making it completely vegan! You can sub it on any burger (the burger buns are already vegan!). Here are our recommendations, plus a hack to get veggie fajitas:

  • Oldtimer Burger (ask for no cheese, and sub out the beef burger for the black bean patty)
  • Double Oldtimer Burger (same as the Oldtimer but you get two black bean patties)
  • Alex’s Santa Fe Burger (no cheese, no Santa Fe sauce, and ask for the black bean patty instead)
  • Fajitas (order the chicken fajitas and substitute the chicken with the black bean patty; ask for no chipotle butter, sour cream, or cheese). It comes with Mexican rice, black beans, flour tortillas, pico de gallo and salsa,

Vegetarian Sides

  • Avocado Slices
  • Black Beans
  • Corn on the Cob (ask for no butter)
  • French Fries 
  • Mexican Rice
  • Pickles (Classic or Garlic Dill)
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Tortillas (both corn and flour)

Dressings and Condiments

  • Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • House BBQ Sauce
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Sweet Chili Zing
  • Mango Habanero Sauce

Dairy-Free Desserts Options

  • Pineapple (kid’s menu)
  • Mandarin Oranges (kid’s menu)

Note: Both of these are found on the kids’ menu, but should be available to anyone who orders them.

Vegan-Friendly Drinks

  • Arnold Palmer
  • Coca-Cola Products (Coke, Sprite, IBC Root Beer, etc.)
  • Coffee
  • Dasani Water
  • Juices (apple, cranberry, orange, pineapple)
  • Minute Maid Lemonades
  • Tea

Note: They also offer vegan alcoholic beverages to-go at most locations. Check Barnivore.com to make sure the option you’re choosing is vegan-friendly.

What’s NOT Vegan at Chili’s

These are the items that are less obvious but are sadly not vegan-friendly:

  • Roasted Street Corn also contains dairy.
  • Sauteed mushrooms contain dairy

NOTE: Keep in mind that all of the fried foods at Chili’s are cooked in the same fryer as animal-based foods. You may want to skip the fries and pickles if you don’t feel comfortable with this process.

Helpful Hints When Ordering Vegan at Chili’s

  • Browse the Chili’s menu before ordering.
  • If ordering Chili’s 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 Chili’s), it might be a better idea to go there directly to order.
  • Check out their Nutrition and Allergen/Vegetarian/Vegan Matrix PDFs to make sure that you are purchasing a vegan-friendly item. The menu items offered at Chili’s do change and the informational charts seem to be updated regularly.
  • Looking for the Chili’s gluten-free menu? This Allergen Menu will help you find the best gluten-free options. 
  • Be careful when new and exciting seasonal products are offered at Chili’s. Double-check the allergens and ingredients to make sure the item is vegan before purchasing.
  • Bring your own dessert (or take a peek at our own delicious vegan dessert recipes!)

Creating a Kinder and More Accessible Chili’s Restaurant

We can only hope that Chili’s will start feeling the pressure to offer more plant-based options since there is much more competition coming to light from other dine-in restaurant chains. Adding a single plant-based burger, a veggie-full fajita option, or even a super simple sandwich would be welcomed. 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 to order at Chili’s as a vegan? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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-Chilis creations with all of us!

Top photo credit: Chili’s

Quick FAQs About Ordering Vegan at Chili’s

Are the fries at Chili’s vegan?

Yes, the Chili’s fries are vegan!

Is there a veggie burger at Chili’s that is vegan?

Yes, the black bean patty is now vegan. You can order it with the Oldtimer Burger instead of the beef patty and ask for no cheese.

Can you get vegan soup at Chili’s?

Unfortunately there are no vegan soup options at Chili’s. We hope that changes one day!

Is Chili’s Guacamole Vegan?

Yes! Chili’s guacamole is dairy-free and 100% vegan, a great option for plant-based eaters visiting the restaurant.

How to Order Vegan at Other Fast Food Chains:

We have a huge list of vegan fast food guides to help you find the best (and most satisfying) options at each restaurant location. You’ll find helpful hints and meal suggestions for when you’re craving some tasty take-out or a quick, on-the-go vegan meal. 

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

This Chili’s vegan article is not sponsored and we are in no way affiliated with Chili’s Restaurant. 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 Chili’s and not listed or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check.

newsletter offer

Enter to Win Our Monthly Giveaway!

Submit your name and email below for a chance to win a new copy of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook! You’ll also receive our free weekly e-newsletter with plant-based recipes, news, vegan coupons, and more. Come back each month for a chance to win new prizes!

Thank you for subscribing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 comments
  1. Phillip avila says:

    I need to know his you have any vegan recipes I just started be ousted I have heart problems they put 4 stents in. So now I need to watch my diet

    • Thank you for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear about your recent health concerns! We have a wide variety of delicious vegan recipes! You can find all of our recipes by going to “Cook Vegan” in the menu at the top of this page. If you’re on mobile, click the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner next to our World of Vegan logo, then select “Cook Vegan,” followed by “Recipe Index.” Hope you enjoy the recipes 🙂

Stay Inspired!

Thank you for subscribing!