As much as we value home-cooked meal for our families, sometimes busy families’ dinners come from the drive-thru. Whether we’re road-tripping or coming home extra-late after practices and school events — or just giving in once in a while to the kids’ begging — my family eats fast food too.
Food bloggers, they’re just like us!
That said, I’m admittedly a bit wary about eating too much fast-food meat. Because, well, you know. But hey, there are other options!
Whether you’re on a plant-based diet and looking for vegetarian or vegan fast food options, or you’re just trying to avoid eating too much processed meat, we’ve got your back. We’ve done our research and found every meatless meal (as in, no beef, pork, or chicken) you can order at some of the top fast food chains in America.
Just note that I skipped pizza delivery for the purpose of this list, because duh…cheese pizza. Also, clearly not all of these meals are vegan, and the options below include meals made with eggs or cheese.
Yeah, not our favorite. But they’re ubiquitous and in some places, your only choice. (Plus, kids can’t resist those fries, which have 520 calories and 24 grams of fat in one large order, sigh.) If you want a meatless meal at McDonald’s, I suggest you get there for breakfast. Their lunch and dinner options are limited to a side salad. Yikes.
At breakfast, however, you can find Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, Fruit N’ Yogurt Parfait, or pancakes, but to be sure, America’s #1 fast food restaurant would not be our #1 option for finding non-meat options.
#2: Starbucks Coffee
Of course we tend to go to Starbucks for the coffee first, but there are a lot of pastry options for breakfast you can pick up that don’t include meat. (I love their scones!) But if you’re looking for something more hearty, you can try their oatmeal options, or the Spinach, Feta, and Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap.
For lunch and dinner, you can order an Egg Salad Sandwich or their certified-vegan Lentil, Veggie and Brown Rice Bowl, which looks surprisingly good for a fast food chain, and a great meal to pick up and eat in the bleachers at your kids’ ball game.
Subway is all about the lunch meat, so there’s really not much for non-meat-eaters here unless you’re sticking with cheese sandwiches. However, at breakfast you can order an Egg and Cheese Wrap, and for lunch and dinner you can get a Veggie Delite option as either a sandwich, salad or wrap.
#4: Taco Bell
There’s not much for breakfast at all at Taco Bell, unless you want tacos for breakfast. The cheesy roll-up would be your best bet. But, when it comes to lunch and dinner, there are actually lots of meatless fast food options. You can find Taco Bell’s complete vegetarian menu online for options.
I’m leaning toward the Veggie Power Menu Bowl (packed with rice, black beans, guac, and more) or the 7 Layer Burrito. My vegan husband frequents Taco Bell because he can order everything dairy-free, if you prefer. And hint: they’ll often substitute guac in place of the cheese or sour cream if you request it.
#5: Burger King
I’m not sure I’ve eaten at a Burger King since college, when we had one in our dorm building. Hello, freshman 15. So I was pleasantly surprise to see that in addition to their French Toast sticks, they offer a meatless breakfast sandwich — the Egg and Cheese Croissan’wich.
For dinner, whoa, BK has a MorningStar Veggie Burger on their menu! Unfortunately, it’s not available at every location and if yours doesn’t sell it, you’re stuck with a Garden Side Salad.
Wendy’s and Sonic are easily the least vegetarian- and vegan-friendly of all fast food restaurants on this list. Your options here: sliced apples, a Garden or Caesar Side Salad, or a Baked Potato. That’s it.
Do better, Wendy’s!
When I swing through Dunkin’ Donuts (I mean…Dunkin’) it’s generally for, wait for it…donuts. Shocking, right? But if you’re looking for something a little more hearty that’s still meatless, you can grab an Egg and Cheese Sandwich or Veggie Egg White Sandwich on an English Muffin.
Also, Dunkin’ serves oatmeal. Who knew? (We’ll, maybe you did, but I didn’t.) But if you’re looking for lunch or dinner options that are meatless, you’re out of luck. We’ll wait to see if that changes along with the new name.
#8: Panera Bread
I love there are tons of options for vegetarians at Panera. For breakfast, you have lots of sandwich choices, including their Avocado, Egg White, and Spinach Sandwich, a Spinach and Cheese Egg Souffle, a selection of oatmeal, and a Greek yogurt parfait.
For lunch or dinner, find meatless options like a Greek Salad with Quinoa, a Soba Noodle Broth Bowl with Edamame, and a Vegan Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl. That’s not all the meatless options on the Panera menu (the kids love their grilled cheese), but it’s a pretty great start.
Like Wendy’s, there are hardly any meatless options for vegetarians at Sonic. They do serve an Egg and Cheese Breakfast Slider, but other than that, you’re looking at French Toast Sticks, Cinnabon snacks, a grilled cheese sandwich, or fried cheese sticks.
Meat free, yes. Healthy, ummm…not so much.
(And, for the record, that is not what a grilled cheese from Sonic has ever looked like when it’s delivered to my car, ha.)