McDonald’s is one of the undisputed champions of the fast food world. With 39,000 locations in about 100 countries, its iconic golden arches are unmistakable. With such a large global footprint, it has an output of around 2.5 billion hamburgers, 2.3 billion servings of chicken nuggets, and 1 billion Happy Meals every year. That’s a lot of animals, plastic, land clearing, and emissions (more than 53 million metric tons of carbon a year). So, McDonald’s doesn’t exactly get a gold star for being vegan-friendly. That said, McDonald’s is evolving – at least in some countries. In the UK, for example, the fast food giant recently brought out its much-anticipated vegan burger, the McPlant. While in Germany, the chain released the Big Vegan, and in India, there’s the McAloo Tikki. In 2021, it began trialing the McPlant in the USA, however, the trial has ended without plans for a nationwide rollout. While this is disappointing news, at Vegan Unlocked, we’ve made it our mission to scope out the vegan options currently available. With our secret menu, editor’s picks, and full menu, you’ll still be able to eat vegan at McDonald’s – and heads-up, hopefully, you like apples!
The Vegan Unlocked Research Team trawled through all 69 items on the McDonald’s menu in the quest to find some vegan treats. This was arguably one of their toughest missions yet, but they still managed to hack one tasty secret menu item and found a few vegan-friendly sides, too.
McDonald’s scores 1.3 out of 5 stars with Little to No Vegan Options. So, for the time being, at least, there are no Beyond Meat burgers or vegan-friendly french fries, but they do offer some light bites if you’re hungry on the go.
This score is calculated based on the number of vegan offerings on the McDonald’s menu “as is” or with an easy substitution, a restaurant vegan customizability score and finally, the number of vegan options vs non-vegan options. Learn more about how Vegan Unlocked Ratings are calculated.
When it comes to eating out at a chain restaurant, some places are certainly better than others at offering vegan options. We’re sorry to say McDonald’s isn’t one of the better ones. However, while it’s currently not that great at catering to its vegan clientele, we sent in our team of researchers to see if they could rustle up something delicious for those who miss McDonald’s. And they came back with the goods, turning doubters into believers. Remember, sometimes all you need to do to veganize a meal and create something marvelous is combine two separately ordered items in a bowl.
Just looking for some on-menu items? Keep scrolling to find McDonald’s’ vegan menu items and our editors’ top picks just below this section.
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal with Baked Apple Pie Crumble
This fruity little number will give you the sugar hit you’re looking for. Order without cream to make this bowl of delights completely vegan. Then, order a side of Baked Apple Pie Crumble and crumble it over the oatmeal. When paired together, you’ll have the apple pie’s crispy, flaky, buttery pastry, tart apples, and cinnamon scattered over a sumptuous bowl of oatmeal packed with wholegrain oats, dried fruit, and fresh apple. Heavenly!
All the Vegan Options at McDonald’s
So, what else is on the vegan menu at McDonald’s? Unfortunately, it’s pretty slim pickings. Hopefully, you like fruit!
- Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without cream
- Apple slices
Sauces, Add Ons, Toppings
- Sweet & Sour
- Baked apple pie
Editor’s Picks: What Are the Top Vegan Meals at McDonald’s?
McDonald’s is rarely associated with anything resembling healthy food, however, they do offer some low-calorie, healthy options, too, that won’t leave you walking away with your stomach grumbling. The most nourishing meal at McDonald’s is the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal. Simple and packed with fruit and oats, this bowl is filling and also counts toward your five-a-day.
Sometimes you just need a little something to keep you going, and apples, with their high-fiber content, are brilliant appetite suppressants because of their high-fiber content. So, the best on-the-go snack at McDonald’s is its apple slices. And, you know what they say, an apple a day…
McDonald’s might not be the first choice for a vegan outing, but at least you can still join the cult following behind its famous apple pies. The top tasty treat for a vegan at McDonald’s is the baked apple pie.
Note: Vegan Unlocked is a tool dedicated to helping people find plant-based options. We are not an allergen resource, and want to encourage our friends with allergies to proceed with caution. We cannot control and don’t always know when cross contamination takes place. See McDonald’s’ allergen menu here. As far as cross-contamination of vegan foods with animal products, this is completely up to your comfort level as an individual. Read our stance on cross contamination.
Frequently Asked McDonald’s Questions
Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan?
Unfortunately, McDonald’s fries are not vegan because they contain natural beef flavor and milk.
Are McDonald’s Apple Pies Vegan?
Yes! Containing no milk, butter, or any other animal-derived ingredients, these delicious apple-filled parcels are 100% plant-based.
Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan?
No. As with McDonald’s fries, its Hash Browns also contain Hash natural beef flavoring and dairy.
You can find out more information on McDonald’s by visiting its website here.
Dining at McDonald’s soon?
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