7 Exciting Ways Fast-Food Restaurants Experimented with Vegan Food in 2021

7 Exciting Ways Fast-Food Restaurants Experimented with Vegan Food in 2021

  • Hannah Bugga
  • Hannah Bugga

2021 was the year of creative vegan fast food! From McDonald’s to Wienerschnitzel, restaurants around the country are embracing plant-based innovation.

Here are seven exciting ways fast-food restaurants experimented with vegan food this year.

1. McDonald’s McPlant


Plant-based eaters rejoiced when McDonald’s finally launched a vegan burger in the United States! On November 3 in select locations, McDonald’s began trialing the new McPlant burger, which features a plant-based Beyond Meat patty, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and American cheese on a sesame seed bun. To veganize the burger, customers can omit the cheese and mayonnaise.

2. Chipotle Vegan Chorizo


This year, Chipotle added a new plant-based chorizo to its menu in select cities! Flavored with smoked peppers, oregano, and garlic, the new vegan offering adds the perfect spice to any burrito or bowl. Packed with 20 grams of protein, it’s both nutritious and delicious.

3. Panda Express Orange Chicken


After a limited test run in August 2021, Panda Express recently expanded its trial of vegan orange chicken to 70 locations in 10 U.S. states. The delicious new menu item is made with Beyond Meat’s plant-based protein and is cleverly titled “Beyond the Original Orange Chicken.” It has the same texture and flavor as the original sweet and tangy orange chicken, the chain’s best-selling menu item.

4. Beyond Chicken Tenders


This summer, Beyond Meat released its newest plant-based product—Beyond Chicken Tenders. Crafted to look and taste just like traditional chicken tenders, Beyond Chicken Tenders can easily be added to your favorite recipes or just enjoyed as a snack! The delicious vegan chicken is available at select restaurants across the country, including Bad Mutha Clucka, Epic Burger, and Next Level Burger.

5. Nathan’s Famous Vegan Hot Dog


Mercy For Animals worked with Nathan’s Famous—a prominent East Coast hot-dog company—to launch its very first vegan hot dog. The company’s gourmet hot dog features a pea-protein sausage created in collaboration with Meatless Farm and seasoned with Nathan’s signature spice blend.

6. Jamba Plant-Based Impossible Handwich


This year, Jamba Juice added its first plant-based sandwich to its permanent breakfast menu! Customers can now pick up a plant-based Impossible Handwich at Jamba’s over 700 locations nationwide. The bite-size sandwich is made with an Impossible sausage patty on a toasted sprouted-grain bun—just be sure to order it without cheese to make it vegan!

7. Wienerschnitzel Vegan Hot Dogs


Wienerschnitzel—the world’s largest hot-dog chain—added vegan Field Roast hot dogs to its menu for a limited time at select locations in California, Texas, and New Mexico.

Feeling energized by all the plant-based innovation? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date, and download our FREE veg starter guide for tips on plant-based eating.