Vegan fast food may not be Forks Over Knives-approved (sorry Dr. Esselstyn!), but herbivores need convenient eats, too. And sometimes, that means ordering via drive-thru speaker box.
Other than Amy’s, however, the landscape for vegan food at QSRs (quick service restaurants) has been less than impressive, with most of the major chains giving plant-based eaters the brush off.
Taco Bell, on the other hand, has just made history as the first-ever QSR to offer menu items certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA). The certified items include 13 ready-made menu items, plus 35 a la carte ingredients (26 of which are also vegan).
While most of the ready made menu items aren’t vegan, most can be made that way via customization. They include: 7-Layer Burrito, AM Grilled Taco – Egg & Cheese, Bean Burrito, Black Bean Burrito, Black Beans & Rice, Cantina Power Veggie Bowl, Cantina Power Veggie Burrito, Cheese Quesadilla, Cheese Roll-Up, Cheesy Bean & Rice, Double Tostada, Pintos ‘n Cheese, Biscuit Taco – Egg & Cheese.
As far as ingredients, the 26 vegan items are:
- Black Beans
- Border Sauce – Fire
- Border Sauce – Hot
- Border Sauce – Mild
- Border Sauce – Verde
- Cantina Salsa
- Green Chili Sauce
- Green Tomatillo Sauce
- Mexican Pizza Sauce
- Pico de Gallo
- Premium Latin Rice
- Rainforest Coffee
- Red Sauce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Salsa Del Sol
- Taco Shell
- Tostada Shell
Given that this list includes beans, tortillas, salsa, and guacamole, vegans have plenty of delicious options to make a meal with.
“We’re continuing our tradition of rolling out food-firsts as the first QSR to be certified by the American Vegetarian Association – something we’re extremely proud of,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told Latest Vegan News. “We know that our customers are more engaged and more curious about their food than ever before, and with an AVA certification – the recognized standard of vegetarian assurance – those looking for meat-free options can be confident in their choices.”
The company also notes that they sell more than 350 million vegetarian menu items each year.
So will they be rolling out more completely vegan menu items in the future? Here’s what they told LVN: “As a leader in the vegetarian space, we will continue to explore other options, just as we are for other relevant lifestyles, as we continue to innovate across our entire menu.”
We’ll keep our fingers crossed that plant-based meats (and CHEESE) are up next.