How to Make Vegan Versions of These 9 Fast Food Favorites at Home
If you haven’t always been vegan, you probably had to say goodbye to your go-to order at your favorite fast-food chain when you made the lifestyle change. Sure, an increasing number of fast food establishments are incorporating vegan options onto their menus these days, but those choices might not hit the same as the meals you grew up with that are full of nostalgia. But thanks to the work of recipe developers and food bloggers across the internet, you can satiate your craving and keep things plant-based by making vegan versions of fast food favorites right in your home kitchen. Better still, you’ll know exactly what ingredients are going into the finished dish, so you can make things a bit healthier too.
Next time you get the urge to hit the drive-thru for a comfort meal, why not give one of these recipes a go?
1. Vegan "Big Mac"
McDonald’s Big Mac isn’t just one of the restaurant’s most popular products, it may very well be the most famous burger in the world. It also happens to be made with two beef patties. But the folks over at BOSH!, a plant-based online channel that’s also behind a series of vegan cookbooks, have a recipe for a vegan Big Mac. The recipe calls for your choice of vegan burger patties and vegan cheese plus pickles, minced white onion, and lettuce. Of course, the Big Mac wouldn’t be complete with Big Mac Sauce, and BOSH!’s recipe includes a vegan version of that tangy sauce as well.
2. Vegan Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
When it comes to chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A has made a name for itself with their simple, crispy version on a buttered bun. If you want a meat-free version, PETA (yes, that PETA) has you covered. This cruelty-free, copycat recipe involves first dredging vegan chik’n cutlets in a blend of soy milk and pickle juice, and then coating them in a breading of flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, dry mustard, and powdered sugar to get a moist, flavorful sandwich. They suggest using Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini, but the choice is yours.
3. Vegan Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell is no stranger to serving up crazy creations, and one of their all-time fan favorites is their Crunchwrap Supreme. The original Crunchwrap Supreme includes seasoned beef and nacho cheese sauce, but the vegan version on the Pinch of Yum blog swaps in spicy sofritas tofu and cashew queso instead. A fun blend of crunchy and chewy, this recipe also includes helpful instructions and accompanying photos for getting the characteristic tortilla folds just right.
4. Vegan In-N-Out Animal-Style Fries
Founded in California, In-N-Out Burger has become famous for its trademarked “Animal Style” option, which means getting your order topped with a special, “secret” sauce plus extras like grilled onions. In-N-Out hasn’t officially disclosed what’s in their signature spread, but if you want to enjoy a version of it that you know is definitely 100% vegan, head to the Hot for Food blog by Lauren Toyota. She recreates the famous sauce by combining vegan mayonnaise, sweet relish, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, sambal oelek chili paste, onion powder, and chopped chives—and then uses it to top a mouthwatering pile of fries with extra vegan cheese sauce.
5. Vegan KFC Chicken
Hungry for some of KFC’s “world-famous fried chicken”—but actually without the chicken? The Edgy Veg blog has reinvented the dish to be entirely plant-based but still with irresistible seasoning that keeps you coming back for seconds. This spice blend combines dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, celery salt, black pepper, dry mustard powder, paprika, garlic salt, ground ginger, white pepper, and sea salt so you get a punch of flavor in every bite.
Although KFC has started testing Beyond Chicken, it's not available at every location yet, so this is a great way to bring the crispy, fried goodness home!
6. Vegan Wendy’s Frosty
Many people can’t resist adding a classic Frosty to their Wendy’s meal, but unfortunately for vegans, the cold, sweet treat isn’t dairy-free. Head to the My Natural Family blog though, and you’ll find the recipe for a vegan, copycat chocolate Frosty so you can enjoy the dessert and stick to your plant-based preferences. This easy-to-make recipe involves blending up ice cubes, banana, honey, vanilla extract, cacao powder, and coconut milk.
7. Vegan White Castle Burgers
White Castle is considered one of the first fast-food restaurants in the world, and you can’t talk White Castle without mentioning their small, square sliders. David the Tornado has veganized the recipe to make for addicting, plant-based burger bites. The key is taking Beyond Meat burger patties and shaping them into rectangles about ⅛-inch thick. Once you’ve cooked the patties, you just place them on some dinner rolls, add some mustard, pickles, onion, and cheese if you want—and voila!
8. Vegan Jack in the Box Tacos
Jack in the Box lures many people in with their deal of two tacos for less than a buck. But ask those same people what exact ingredients make up the filling in that greasy taco, and that’s not so clear. When you make vegan versions of Jack in the Box tacos at home with The Bearded Hiker’s recipe, you can say goodbye to questionable meat and hello to healthy seasoned lentils. It’s also up to you if you’d rather bake or pan fry the tacos, but either way, you may find it hard to stop with just one.
9. Vegan Dairy Queen Brownie Blizzard
When you think of Dairy Queen, chances are your mind goes to thoughts of their classic, trademarked Blizzards. But, of course, these treats are full of dairy. On the Rabbit and Wolves blog, however, there’s a recipe for a copycat brownie Blizzard that’s completely vegan and still brings the thick, creamy texture you want. To create this vegan take, you start by making some vegan chocolate ice cream and vegan brownies from scratch. Then you’ll assemble everything with some extra almond milk and vegan dark chocolate chunks. The vegan chocolate fudge is optional, but go big or go home, right?