People choose the vegetarian lifestyle and look for vegetarian fast food for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a matter of ethics. For others, they simply don’t like meat. The decision can also be driven by health-related motives. That’s not to say that eating meat is unhealthy by any means, but cutting it out for a period of time can help mitigate symptoms of certain chronic illnesses or other issues.
Regardless of your reasoning, becoming a vegetarian isn’t always easy, especially if you do happen to enjoy meat. Enjoyment isn’t even the only issue, though. You must also make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients – especially protein.
Meat is always high in protein and replacing it with vegetables takes effort and attention to detail. Eating at restaurants and fast food joints can be particularly hard given the limited options. This can easily become discouraging and overwhelming, perhaps even stopping you from going out and enjoying time with friends and family.
All hope is not lost, though, because most places do offer vegetarian selections these days, it’s just a matter of finding them. It’s true that some places create vegetarian dishes in an attempt to please the masses and don’t always put enough time and effort into their quality.
Veggie burgers are often the perfect example. Just because you made a meatless patty doesn’t automatically mean it’ll taste good. Fortunately, some places get it right. Between veggie burgers, healthy snacks, and yummy sides, the following – successful – vegetarian items can be found at your favorite fast food restaurants.
Best Vegetarian Fast Food
- Wendy’s Baked Potato
- Burger King’s Impossible Whopper
- Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad
- Starbucks Blueberry Oatmeal
- Panda Express Super Greens
- Dunkin Donuts Veggie Egg White Omelet
- In-N-Out Grilled Cheese
- Jack in the Box Stuffed Jalapenos
- Five Guys Veggie Sandwich
- Shake Shack Shroom Burger
1. Wendy’s Baked Potato
Baked potatoes are great because they’re good on pretty much any occasion. They’re popular in holiday meals but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them as a side on any old regular day. They also make a great snack if you just want a nice, hot, fluffy baked potato.
Wendy’s offers their baked potatoes completely plain, and you can add butter and/or seasoning as you desire. You can also get the baked potato loaded with a variety of toppings including sour cream and chives or plain cheese. Of course, you can add butter, salt, and pepper entirely to your liking to enhance the flavor experience even more.
2. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper
Veggie burgers are always a little dicey, but Burger King has it figured out. The Impossible Whopper comes with a flame-grilled veggie patty that’s been approved by many vegetarians in the past. It does its job replicating meat without sacrificing flavor. Also included are tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, and a slice of fresh lettuce.
This quality veggie burger offers an authentic hamburger experience while keeping in line with what you want. It’s easy to pair with some fries and a drink for a good old-fashioned fast food lunch!
3. Chick-Fil-A Spicy Southwest Salad (No Chicken)
Even though Chick-Fil-A is known for their chicken, they don’t want to neglect their veggie-loving customers, either! While the spicy southwest salad generally comes with chicken, they will happily omit it. The salad features grape tomatoes, poblano chiles, red peppers, black beans, roasted corn, and a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. It’s all sitting on a fresh, crispy bed of mixed greens and topped with your choice of dressing – with salsa dressing being a popular choice.
When ordering online, “no chicken” is the first option on the list when asking for customizations, so it’s an easy accommodation for them to make. It’s a delicious salad with many different complementary flavors and plenty of nutritional value even without the chicken.
4. Starbucks Blueberry Oatmeal
Although oatmeal is traditionally thought to be breakfast food, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it at any time of day. Not only is oatmeal itself good for you, but it’s easy to add even more nutritious goodness with all the possible toppings and mix-ins out there. It’s also extremely filling which is why it’s so good for breakfast, especially for those looking to diet and/or lose weight.
Starbucks blueberry oatmeal is the perfect on-the-go choice when you want something hot, tasty, convenient, and filling. They use a blend of whole-grain and steel-cut oats topped with a generous serving of fresh blueberries. Also included is a medley of other fruit, seeds, and nuts, with a drizzle of agave syrup for a touch of extra sweetness.
5. Panda Express Super Greens
While technically only a side dish, this bowl of supers greens is about as healthy as you can get when you’re eating fast food. The dish is a simple combination of kale, cabbage, and broccoli, but it packs a punch. Kale is packed with so many nutrients and does so many amazing things for your body, it’s considered one of the healthiest foods of all time.
Cabbage is packed with vitamin C which is crucial in maintaining overall health and it’s also known to help improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels. Broccoli has an impressive protein content for a vegetable, with 2.8g of protein per 100g of broccoli. This makes it an excellent choice for those avoiding meat entirely. You can’t go wrong ordering this as a side for any meal on the menu. Or, get two and make it a super healthy all-green meal!
6. Dunkin Donuts Veggie Egg White Omelet
Dunkin Donuts is popular across all of America. It’s known for being a quick and easy place to get a coffee, snack, or meal at a great price. Their veggie egg white omelet offers the same convenience to vegetarians with its healthy, tasty ingredients.
The sandwich features egg whites, spinach, peppers, onions, aged white cheddar cheese, and olive oil nestled between two slices of multigrain thin bread. The egg whites offer protein to fill you up and give you energy while the vegetables and grains give you lots of flavor and nutrients at the same time. The choice of aged white cheddar cheese is also a unique one, giving this sandwich a special touch you won’t find elsewhere.
7. In-N-Out Grilled Cheese
In-N-Out is another great burger joint that ensures options for all customers. For meat-lovers, their “not so secret” secret menu contains the option of double, triple, or even quadruple the meat on your burger. But, they also go the other way with options like grilled cheese. It sounds basic, but this isn’t just any grilled cheese.
They use two slices of American cheese and put it together with hand-leafed lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, cooked on a freshly baked bun. Grilled cheese is a classic, timeless food that will never go out of style. That being said, there’s no reason not to have fun with it. In-N-Out does just that while providing you with a unique and delicious experience.
8. Jack in the Box Stuffed Jalapenos
Jalapenos are popular for their intense heat and unique flavor. For those that love something spicy, this is a great combination. If you like the flavor but have a lower heat tolerance, your options for enjoying these peppers is limited. You’ll struggle to eat them straight, but you can neutralize them a little by pairing them with something else.
In this case, Jack in the Box has taken the popular pepper, breaded it, and stuffed some cheese in there as well. The resulting stuffed jalapeno treat is delicious and versatile. It makes a great snack or a fantastic side for any meal on the menu. If you still find the heat to be too much, they offer a delicious buttermilk ranch dipping sauce that should help cool things down.
9. Five Guys Veggie Sandwich
While veggie burgers are becoming more commonplace at fast food places, an actual veggie-filled sandwich is still, surprisingly, harder to come by. Five Guys offers up a classic veggie sandwich with grilled onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, and green peppers layered on a soft, toasted bun.
It’s the perfect solution to a night out with your meat-loving friends. Filling and nutritious, you can’t go wrong. They also offer the option to add cheese or go the strictly cheesy route with a grilled cheese sandwich made with their signature hamburger buns. You can make this your own, too, by adding any of their available toppings to the sandwich.
10. Shake Shack Shroom Burger
Another alternative to the classic veggie patty burger is the shroom burger. This is just like any other hamburger, but instead of a meat (or meatless) patty, there’s a large slice of crisp-friend portobello mushroom.
This unique and tasty burger is topped off with melted cheddar and muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their signature shake sauce. As good as “veggie” patties can be, they’re still not everyone’s preference. Mushrooms have a different flavor and texture that some enjoy more and they offer a unique set of health benefits, including about 3g of protein per 100g of mushroom.