Popeyes is an American fast-food chain. After KFC, it’s the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain, with over 3102 outlets worldwide. It was founded 48 years ago as Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in New Orleans, Louisiana. With the recent launch of their chicken sandwich, they went viral and saw a 103% increase in sales.
Popeyes specializes in serving chicken dishes, so your vegan options at Popeyes are limited. You’re pretty much out of luck besides their corn, mashed potatoes, and plain rice. Even their famous biscuits aren’t vegan.
If you’re planning to eat at Popeyes, you must be aware of their limited vegan-friendly options. Read below to know all the vegan options at Popeyes.
Table of Contents
Vegan Options at Popeyes
Vegans and vegetarians don’t usually prefer going to Popeyes, and for a good reason. Vegan options at Popeyes are severely scanty as most of their dishes contain meat, eggs, or milk. It may be a meat lover’s heaven, but it’s undoubtedly hell for vegans and vegetarians.
However, in case you end up getting dragged to Popeyes by your friends or coworkers, here are your vegan options:
- Corn on the cob (without butter)
- Mashed potatoes (without gravy)
- Po’boy (customizable)
- Grits (made with water)
- Sauces and condiments
Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob is a comfort snack for a lot of people. It primarily refers to a tender ear of fresh maize. Popeyes, however, prepares it with butter for extra flavor. So, as a vegan, you must request them not to add butter to your corn.
Another word of caution is to check if it’s prepared with milk. While some outlets use it, others don’t. Check with your preferred outlet before ordering. This snack is a good option with its high fiber content.
A Baguette is a loaf of French bread. It’s long and thin with a crisp texture. Baguettes at Popeyes are made of wheat, so people who eat gluten-free should steer clear. A baguette from Popeyes has 90 calories.
Popeyes serves delicious mashed potatoes covered in Cajun gravy. While the mashed potatoes are obviously vegetarian, the gravy is not. The gravy is made of smoked pork, ground beef, and turkey. So this gravy is a big no.
Even mashed potatoes are said to contain milk. You must confirm the same with your local outlets before placing an order. The gravy is non-vegetarian, so you can ask them not to serve any with your mashed potatoes.
No one wants to order plain mashed potatoes at a restaurant, but sadly, it’s one of Popeyes’s very few vegan options.
The good news for vegans is that their Po’boy is customizable but only in specific locations. Their Po’boy typically contains chicken tenders. It’s a sub loaded with veggies, sauces, and chicken tenders. The chicken can be swapped with fish or shrimp by non-vegans.
You can ask them to forgo any non-vegetarian protein or sauce in certain locations. You must request them to load it up with some veggies and add a layer of any vegan sauce of your choice.
Apple sauce is a delicious and moderately sweet relish made out of apples. Fresh apples are stewed and sweetened to make a thick and slightly pulpy sauce. It typically contains apple puree, lemon juice, cinnamon, and water. Sounds simple right? Yet it’s very tasty and addictive.
It’s also a favorite amongst kids. If you ever end up at Popeyes, you can always give your children this delicious applesauce. It’s definitely one of the best vegan options at Popeyes.
The grits are porridge, and it’s quite plain and simple. Grits are served at Popeyes as a part of their breakfast menu. It is typically a vegan dish if it’s prepared with water. However, there is a chance that your preferred outlet may add milk or butter.
As a vegan, you must diligently ask them about the ingredients before placing an order. Therefore, your prerogative is to be highly aware while eating at a Popeyes outlet.
If there’s nothing else, you can munch on some Jalapeños while accompanying people to Popeyes. They are vegan with no animal-based dressing or flavoring, for a change. They are usually placed on the table in little cups.
These are probably the best vegan options at Popeyes. Instead of customizing food items or staring just at other people, you can order some beverages. They are tasty and vegan. Here are the vegan drinks at Popeyes:
- Orange Juice
- Diet Coke
- Coffee (if they have vegan milk, rare)
- Black coffee
- Dr. Pepper
- Fanta strawberry
- Fanta orange
- Hawaiian punch
- Mountain Dew
- Tea (sweetened or unsweetened)
Sauces and Condiments
Popeyes naturally serves many authentic sauces with their chicken. Since even their logo has a chicken on it, it’s not surprising that the sauces are mostly non-vegan. You need to watch out for their Buffalo Bayou and other popular sauces. The vegan sauces at Popeyes are as follows:
- Cocktail sauce
- BoldBQ sauce
- Sweet Heat sauce
Is Any Rice Dish at Popeyes Vegan?
The popular food items with rice at Popeyes are Cajun rice and red beans and rice. Both of them are non-vegetarian, let alone vegan.
The Cajun rice is loaded with discarded chicken organs. The sauce is primarily meat-based, as ground chicken gizzards are the main component. The Red Beans and Rice contain many fish-derived ingredients. They might agree to serve you plain rice if you are exceptionally lucky.
Are the Cajun Fries Vegan?
One of the biggest misconceptions about Popeyes is that their Cajun fries, onion rings, and breakfast hashbrowns are vegan. It’s a disappointment that all these items contain cholesterol, which is animal-based. The onion rings also have milk and eggs.
Since these are fried items, they share the friar with many kinds of meat. Sometimes, they are fried in pig lard. Clearly, this is not vegan-friendly at all.
The Coleslaw and Green Beans Are Vegan, Right?
No, the coleslaw and even green beans are non-vegan. The coleslaw contains eggs. It shouldn’t be a shock that their green beans have milk and turkey bacon. Sadly, they don’t offer salted, fried, or boiled veggies as a side dish for vegans and vegetarians.
The Best Vegan-Friendly Fast Food Restaurants
There are many excellent vegan-friendly restaurants for you to choose from. Some of the best have been listed below:
Burger King is a great option if you love juicy burgers but without the meat. With its Impossible Whopper, salads, fries, and PB&J jamwich, you don’t need to look elsewhere.
They are consistently striving to become more vegan-friendly. You can have most of their fried items as they use vegetable oil and not animal fat.
You have a plethora of vegan pizzas to choose from at Domino’s. They’ve included vegan cheese, sauces, toppings, and side dishes in their menu to accommodate vegans. They even have vegan garlic bread.
The vegan margherita, vegan spicy veg trio, vegan avocado veg, and vegan beef and onion are great pizza options. You even have the option to build your vegan pizza by choosing your base, sauce, and toppings.
Taco Bell is very vegan-friendly, and most of its meals are customizable to cater to vegans. They even have some specifically vegan items on the menu. They feature a “make it meatless” option on their website and app. From protein to tortillas and taco shells, everything has a vegan alternative.
The crunch-wrap supreme, veggie power burrito, and customized crunchy or soft tacos are some must-have items. Taco Bell also has certified American Vegetarian Association (AVA) ingredients on the menu.
Subway has been around for a while, and its Veggie Delite sub needs no introduction. It is very vegan-friendly as most of its bread and sauces are vegan. They offer a variety of vegan proteins, so you are never out of options at Subway.
No meal is complete without dessert. Baskin-Robbins offers three dairy-free flavors of ice cream. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Extreme, and the recently added Coffee Caramel Chunk. What’s exciting is that they are planning on expanding their vegan options.
Looking at the aforementioned vegan menu items, it’s quite clear that Popeyes is not a vegan-friendly restaurant. You must explore other options if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. If you do end up there, please question them thoroughly regarding the ingredients in whatever you order.
Going vegan is not just in the environment’s interest but also highly beneficial for your body. With over 9.3 Americans going vegan, there are plenty of vegan-friendly restaurants to choose from.
It’s always best to select vegan-friendly restaurants when you’re eating out. If you’re considering going vegan, may you have a fun vegan journey ahead!