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Ever wanted to check out your local neighborhood Applebee’s and see what they have to offer? Good news; you don’t have to step foot inside without knowing what’s good for vegans on their menu. Compared to places like Texas Roadhouse or Sonic, Applebee’s is a decent place for vegans to eat.
Below, we’ll break down all of Applebee’s’ vegan menu options in detail. But before we get started, let’s do a quick overview:
|Brew Pub Pretzels
|Order without beer cheese dip or honey mustard. Add marinara.
|White Queso Dip & Chips
|Order without white queso. Add guacamole.
|Chipotle Lime Salsa
|Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette
|Substitute for meat/seafood in any salad
|Substitute for meat/seafood in any pasta
|Substitute for meat/seafood in any bowl
|Order without cheese
|Pasta Noodles with Marinara
|Order without alfredo or garlic butter. Substitute with marinara
|Order without butter or sour cream
|Black Bean Corn Salsa
|Order without butter
|Order without cheese
Applebee’s Vegan Appetizers
Let’s start off with the appetizers you can eat as a vegan at Applebee’s. Fortunately, there are two great choices available: a basket of French fries, or chips and salsa.
However, note that neither of these options is 100% vegan at all times. For example, some Applebee’s restaurants use oil made in part with animal lard. However, Applebee’s is switching as a broader company to use vegetable oils for their chips and their French fries.
What can you do? Simply call ahead and ask your local Applebee’s whether they use vegetable oil or another kind of oil for their fried foods before ordering either of these apps.
Entrees and Main Courses for Vegans at Applebee’s
There’s another good reason to check out Applebee’s if you’re a vegan; they actually offer vegan-friendly entrées or main course meals.
The first of these is the Impossible Burger, which is made with plant-based meat and which you can order without any cheese. There’s one caveat, though. Not all Applebee’s locations have the Impossible Burger at this time. Still, all Applebee’s restaurants should eventually have this burger on their menus over the next year or so.
If you’re a vegan, you can also order the southwestern chicken salad. Naturally, you need to order this without chicken, and you’ll also want to order it without cheese. You can choose from one of the many vegan-friendly dressings (more on those below) to finish the meal.
Last, you can choose the Oriental chicken salad. Once again, ask for the salad without a chicken, and be sure to select a vegan-friendly dressing from the list broken down below.
As you can see, Applebee’s has a good handful of main menu items you can choose from if you’re a vegan and don’t want to compromise your diet.
Applebee’s Vegan Sides
What about sides? Applebee’s scores pretty highly here since there are lots of vegan-friendly sides available. These sides include:
- Both regular and seasoned French fries. Remember the caveat mentioned above with the oil; ask your local Applebee’s if the fries are made in vegetable oil before ordering
- Steamed broccoli. Just order the broccoli without butter
- Apple sauce
- A baked potato. Again, order this without butter since it comes with this topping by default
- The house salad. Order it without cheese and use a vegan dressing to make it 100% vegan
- The salad greens with fruit and vegetables
- Grilled onions. These are technically not on the menu, but you can order them separately as a topping or as a side order
- Guacamole, which you can add to many of the dishes from Applebee’s to add a delicious, spicy kick to your meal
- Corn. Not all Applebee’s restaurants offer corn. But if your restaurant does, order it without butter
If your local Applebee’s doesn’t have the above-mentioned Impossible Burger, it may very well be possible for you to put together a decent vegan meal for yourself just by ordering several sides, like the salad and French fries or baked potato.
Salads and Sauces for Vegans at Applebee’s
If you’re a vegan, Applebee’s also offers a variety of vegan-friendly salad dressings and sauces. You can use these with any of the salads above. These dressings include:
- Lemon olive oil vinaigrette
- Fat-free Italian dressing
- Champagne vinaigrette
- Sweet and spicy sauce
- Balsamic glaze
- Pico de gallo
- Chimichurri sauce
- Chunky Roma pepper relish
- Black bean corn salsa
Naturally, Applebee’s also offers a variety of vegan-friendly sides like ketchup, barbecue sauce, and more. These are practically always vegan, however.
On the plus side, these salad dressings and sauces are almost always free. So they could be a great way to improve the flavor of your vegan meal at Applebee’s.
Applebee’s Vegan Menu FAQs
Unfortunately, no. That’s because all of the garlic mashed potatoes contain butter by default. While you can ask for the potatoes without garlic, Applebee’s can’t make them without butter.
No. Although Applebee’s offers several delicious kinds of pasta, none of these are vegan since they include milk, cheese, or other animal byproducts as part of their core recipes.
No. But as mentioned, Applebee’s restaurants are gradually rolling out the Impossible Burger. For now, only some Applebee’s locations in New York have this vegan-friendly meal alternative. To speed up the process, call your local Applebee’s and request that you would like the Impossible Burger to be available ASAP.
As with all French fries, Applebee’s fries are vegan normally. But some Applebee’s fry their French fries in the same fryer as their meat products or with lard-based oil. Even if your Applebee’s uses vegetable oil for frying, you’ll need to be aware of the potential for cross-contamination. Some vegans only consider vegan food to be that which never contacts animal particles or food prep surfaces.
Is Applebee’s a Good Choice for Vegans?
All in all, Applebee’s is a pretty solid choice for vegans overall compared to many other restaurants and eateries, though there are some slightly better alternatives. Still, Applebee’s is gradually rolling out more vegan-friendly menu items and sooner or later each Applebee’s restaurant will offer a vegan-friendly burger for all their diners.
In our opinion, you shouldn’t worry if you need to stop by Applebee’s for a bite to eat. However, we can also show you the vegan menu offerings for other restaurants if you want to know where you can safely eat without compromising your diet. Check out our list of vegan restaurant menu options here!