Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Everything we know about McDonald’s UK’s vegan options

06/03/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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Plant-based eaters who aren’t familiar with the fast food chain’s current menu might well be asking themselves ‘is anything in McDonald’s vegan?’

But those in the know will be aware that Maccies has really stepped its game up in the last few years, dropping a selection of meat and dairy free offerings including the McPlant burger and even McPlant nuggets to satisfy growing demand.

Want the lowdown on all of McDonald’s vegan offerings? Look no further…

is anything in mcdonalds vegan mcplant nuggets

McDonald’s is for vegans too (Credit: Alamy)

READ MORE: These are the nicest McDonald’s restaurants around the world 

Is anything in McDonald’s vegan in 2023?

McDonald’s is always updating its menu in line with demand, and it should come as no surprise that, in 2023, that means vegan options sit amongst the classics.

Maccies still has a rather small vegan selection at present, but according to big bosses, they’re just at the start of their journey to introduce plant-based food to the masses.

So far, the McDonald’s vegan mains are: 

McPlant Burger

is anything in mcdonalds vegan mcplant burger

Anyone for a McPlant burger? (Credit: McDonald’s)

The McPlant was the first fully plant-based burger launched by McDonald’s, and it landed in UK stores in September 2021.

It reportedly took three years to develop, and like a cheeseburger but animal free, it promises the “same iconic taste” as the McDonald’s meaty alternatives.

Made with “a juicy plant-based patty, vegan sandwich sauce, ketchup, mustard, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and a vegan alternative to cheese in a sesame seed bun,” it’s vegan certified and also a certified banger.

Double McPlant Burger

is anything in mcdonalds vegan double mcplant

Double trouble… (Credit: McDonald’s)

This one doesn’t need much explaining. The Double McPlant is a McPlant but with two plant-based patties for good measure.

This is the newest vegan addition to the menu, with the fast food chain announcing its arrival in January 2023.

One for when a single McPlant just won’t satiate the hunger pangs…

The Spicy Veggie One

is anything in mcdonalds vegan spicy veggie one

The McDonald’s Spicy Veggie One is also vegan (Credit: McDonald’s)

The Spicy Veggie One features “tasty veggie dippers with spicy relish, crisp lettuce, red onion and tomato, all wrapped up in a soft, toasted tortilla wrap.”

This one is also vegan certified, so it isn’t just for the veggies.

Veggie Dippers

is anything in mcdonalds vegan veggie dippers

The veggie dippers are another choice (Credit: McDonald’s)

These dippers are the bad boys from the Spicy Veggie One wrap, but you can also order them on their own.

Certified as vegan, they’re filled with a “tasty blend of red pepper and sundried tomato pesto, all coated in crispy golden breadcrumbs.” Yes, please.

McDonald’s vegan sides

McDonald’s also has a selection of plant-based sides, whether you want to make a meal out of them or enjoy them alongside a McPlant.

Some of these are pretty obviously vegan, whilst others might surprise you.

These include: 

McDonald’s Hash Browns

is anything in mcdonalds vegan hash browns

Hash browns are vegan at McDonald’s, too (Credit: McDonald’s)]

McDonald’s may not have launched vegan Egg McMuffins yet, but the fast food fave does have hash browns for its vegan punters – and we all know they’re the best part of a Maccies breakfast, anyway, right?!

Some people think McDonald’s hash browns aren’t vegan because they contain natural beef flavour. However, this is only in the States.

Here in the UK, the hash browns are prepared using only plant-based ingredients and are fried in an oil that’s only shared with the veggie dippers, to ensure there’s no cross-contamination.

Cucumber Sticks

is anything in mcdonalds vegan cucumber sticks

McDonald’s cucmber sticks are vegan (duh) (Credit: McDonald’s)

It should come as no surprise that McDonald’s cucumber sticks are vegan.

Hell, we’d be much more shocked if they weren’t…

Melon Fruit Bag

is anything in mcdonalds vegan melon fruit bag

McDonald’s melon fruit bag is also available (Credit: McDonald’s)

News flash – chopped melon is also vegan.

Who’d have thought it?!

Are McDonald’s fries vegan now in the UK?

is anything at McDonald's vegan fries uk

McDonald’s fries are vegan (Credit: McDonald’s)

McDonald’s fries are vegan as they contain no animal products and are fried in their own oil to avoid cross contamination.

They’re certified vegan by the Vegetarian Society here in the UK – however, if you’re in the US, the same doesn’t apply.

Maccies fries Stateside come coated in beef flavouring, so watch out!

Are McDonald’s baked apple pies vegan?

is anything in mcdonalds vegan apple pie

The apple pie is not certified vegan (Credit: McDonald’s)

The ingredients in a McDonald’s apple pie are all plant-based (even the crispy pastry shell).

However, Maccies says they can’t officially certify the product vegan due to the oil used. The oil is the same oil used to cook chicken and fish items on the menu.

Obviously, it’s up to you if that’s a deal breaker, but it’s worth baring that in mind if you’re a plant-based customer.

READ MORE: Chef’s recipe for recreating McDonald’s hash browns goes viral

Are McDonald’s McPlant nuggets coming to the UK?

ICYMI, it was recently announced that McDonald’s McPlant nuggets were being trialled in Germany. 

The plant-based ‘nugs are made from peas, corn and wheat in a tempura batter, and come amid the ongoing success of their McPlant burger. 

Whilst still in the early stages of production, the McPlant Nuggets were rolled out to 1,400 restaurants in Germany on a limited edition basis, so bosses could see how they go down.

There’s no word on if they’ll be coming to the UK, yet, as McDonald’s will have to monitor the initial reception first.

is anything in mcdonalds vegan mcplant nuggets

McDonald’s just trialled McPlant McNuggets in Germany (Credit: McDonald’s Germany)

However, you only have to look online to see the appetite is there.

“Bring vegan nuggets to the UK,” said one person online. 

Whilst another begged: “I wish there was a vegan/vegetarian meat that tasted identical to Mcdonald’s nuggets”.

Make it happen, guys!

In response to demand, McDonald’s has said it will be assessing a wider rollout into future markets depending on how well German customers react to the product.

However, if the reception is positive, it certainly looks likely that the UK may be near the top of the list to try the ‘nugs, seeing as European countries are said to have responded particularly well to the McPlant, so far.

We’ll keep you in the loop, obvs.

READ MORE: These are the celebrity McDonald’s collabs you need to know about

Are McDonald’s buns vegan?

is anything in mcdonalds vegan burger buns

Are the McDonald’s buns vegan? (Credit: Alamy)

The McPlant is made with a vegan bun, so as long as you order yourself a plant-based burger you’re guaranteed a vegan bun.

However, elsewhere, standard buns can’t be verified vegan because they contain refined sugar (details on why that isn’t vegan here).

Besides the vegan burgers, Maccies buns are also toasted in the same spot milk and animal products are cooked.

What McDonald’s sauces are vegan?

McDonald’s also has plenty of sauces that are plant-based. 

You will need to avoid mayo and sour cream and chive dips.

is anything in mcdonalds vegan sauces

There are plenty of vegan Maccies sauces, too (Credit: Alamy)

However, you can still enjoy the following as a plant-based customer: 

  • Tomato Ketchup.
  • Spicy Tomato Salsa.
  • Sweet Chilli Sauce and Dip.
  • BBQ Dip.
  • Sweet and Sour Dip.
  • Sweet Curry Dip.

What McDonald’s drinks are vegan?

McDonald’s have a bunch of vegan drink options if you’re feeling thirst.

In fact, most of their drinks are plant-based. The exception is a black coffee, which contains traces of milk, and other hot drinks like milkshakes, hot chocolate and milk (duh).

is anything in mcdonalds vegan drinks

Plenty of McDonald’s drinks are vegan (Credit: McDonald’s)

The following drinks are all vegan at McDonald’s though: 

  • Tropicana Orange Juice
  • Fanta Orange
  • IRN-BRU
  • Bottled water
  • Robinsons Fruit Shoot
  • Sprite Zero
  • Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
  • Coca-Cola Classic
  • Diet Coke
  • Oasis

READ MORE: These are the best McDonald’s menu items from around the world – and, yes, we have FOMO

Did McDonald’s cancel the McPlant?

is anything at mcdonalds vegan mcplant

McDonald’s McPlant is a hit in the UK (Credit: Instagram/ McDonald’s)

You might have read that McDonald’s cancelled the McPlant, however, this was only in the US.

The fast food giant pulled the McPlant from American branches in August 2022, six months after it launched.

At the time, analysts reported sales were too slow, and stated vegan meat was too expensive given the lack of interest.

Here in the UK, on the other hand, the McPlant has been a huge success since it first launched.

In fact, several parts of Europe have seen a positive uptake when it comes to Maccies’ plant-based offerings, showing different markets really do want different things.

What veggie options are available at McDonald’s?

is anything at mcdonalds vegan vegetarian

McDonald’s has lots of veggie options, too (Credit: Alamy)

READ MORE: What’s the best McDonald’s restaurant in the world? Michelin chef has his say…

Maccies has loads of veggie options. For one, all the vegan options listed above are veggie, too.

If you’re vegetarian, you can also enjoy a couple more bits than your plant-based pals.

Check out the full lineup of veggie options below: 

  • McPlant Burger
  • Double McPlant burger
  • The Spicy Veggie One
  • Veggie Dippers
  • McDonald’s fries
  • McDonald’s hash browns
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Melon fruit bag
  • Pancakes
  • Porridge
  • McFlurries
  • Several McDonald’s drinks
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