Vegetarians have a challenging time finding fast food places that cater to their very specialized diets. For this reason, they often avoid the major fast-food chains, like KFC, for fear they won’t be able to find anything they can eat.
Most people now understand that nearly all fast-food restaurants like KFC offer vegetarian options. But is KFC’s gravy vegetarian-friendly? I’ve looked into it, and here’s what I discovered!
Is KFC Gravy Vegetarian In 2023?
KFC gravy is not vegetarian or vegan-friendly because it contains chicken fat and cracklings as of 2023. Additionally, because vegetarians and vegans attempt to avoid anything with animal by-products, it would not be suitable for purchase. Despite this fact, vegetarians may find a few animal-free products on KFC’s menu.
So, while KFC gravy contains chicken fat and is therefore not vegetarian-friendly, there may be other things on KFC’s menu they can eat. Read on to learn what these items are and find out more about potential KFC vegetarian options!
What Does KFC Use In Its Gravy?
Not only does KFC use chicken fat in its gravy, but it also utilizes chicken crackling, which is sourced from meat and crumb dropping culled from fryer vats.
Then, the drippings are turned into a powder and water mixture that gives the sauce a somewhat smoky flavor.
Additionally, the gravy is made with enriched wheat flour, palm oils, and 2% silicon.
So, people with gluten allergies and those who don’t want to ingest palm oil for many reasons need to steer clear of KFC gravy.
What Other Vegetarian Options Does KFC Provide?
Even though the gravy is off-limits for vegetarians, there are a few items for vegetarians on the menu. For instance, KFC officially announced the addition of Beyond Fried Chicken in 2020.
While this is relatively new to the US, KFCs in Canada and the UK have long offered plant-based chicken options and a spicy vegan burger.
However, the vegan burger is only available at certain times of the year, so be sure to call ahead to see if your local franchise has them in-store before dropping by.
Can Strict Vegetarians Or Vegans Eat KFC’s Plant-Based Products?
Strict vegans and vegetarians genuinely try to avoid any meat-related items, including oils, au jus, and fats.
For this reason, they should avoid KFC foods as KFC cannot always guarantee its food won’t become contaminated by chicken by-products.
That said, this is due primarily to the fact that KFC cooking methods may cause vegetarian products to come into contact with the oils and fats of animals.
KFC does, however, attempt to keep these foods separate when cooking.
Who Supplies KFC’s Plant-Based Meats?
KFC works in partnership with Beyond Meat to deliver alternative nuggets and fillets to vegetarian consumers.
Famous for the faux beef products, Beyond Meat recently rolled out its plant-based chicken products to the delight of numerous vegetarian customers.
Furthermore, some international KFC markets work with plant-based meat producers that are native to their home country.
Does KFC Gravy Contain Potential Food Allergens?
Yes, KFC gravy has several noted allergens such as wheat, gluten, and milk.
That said, a large serving of KFC gravy (483g) contains MSG and soy, so individuals with gluten and soy allergies or who are lactose intolerant should steer clear of KFC’s signature gravy.
Additionally, KFC gravy doesn’t contain eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, or sulfites.
So, if you have any significant food allergies, be sure to investigate KFC gravy to ensure it’s safe for you to eat.
What Is The Nutritional Information For KFC Gravy?
KFC tastes tremendous, but there are a host of unhealthy ingredients that make it unsuitable for anyone trying to lose weight or cultivate a healthy diet.
For instance, while the total fat in the gravy is a mere five grams, KFC gravy includes a whopping 20g of carbs.
Additionally, KFC gravy has 520 mg of salt in one serving (156g), 22% of the allowed daily value or intake. Therefore, anyone trying to cut salt from their diet should avoid KFC gravy at all costs.
What Other Fast-Food Places Offer Vegetarian Options?
KFC offers an excellent array of vegan options on its menu. However, it’s not the only restaurant in the game that provides vegetarian options.
That said, vegetarians seeking fast-food restaurants that provide meat alternatives include, but are not limited to:
- Taco Bell
- Burger King
- Shake Shack
- And many, many more!
While many vegetarian items are secret, meaning they have to be specifically asked for and made, some companies carry separate vegetarian items.
Further, an example of this is the portabella mushroom burger at Shake Shack, which is to die for!
Are KFC Drinks And Desserts Vegetarian?
Fortunately, a couple of side items at KFC fall under the foods that qualify for vegetarians, like the delicious apple turnover and Musselman applesauce.
Also, all KFC Pepsi product-related soft drinks, lemonades, and iced tea drinks are vegan and vegetarian friendly. Moreover, some of the other vegetarian-friendly options at KFC include:
- Side salads
- BBQ baked beans
- Green beans
- Corn on the cob
- Secret Recipe Fries
While KFC is not vegetarian or vegan friendly in the US, that may soon change. When and if it does, this particular demographic may well clamor for a vegetarian gravy option as well.
In the meantime, vegetarians can order KFC side items, drinks, and desserts when they want to indulge while out and about.
Also, vegetarians can order secret menu items without meat when dining at KFC with non-vegetarian friends and family.