Every Vegan Option At Applebee’s (Updated: 2022)

Are you planning to visit Applebee’s in the near future to accommodate non-vegan friends? If so, allow me to say that while you can find some vegan options, it’s not exactly a haven for vegans who’re seeking a delightful gastronomic experience.

If you want a fast-food chain with some interesting vegan options, then restaurants like PF Chang’s, Chilli’s, or even Panera Bread might actually fit your requirements.

Still, Applebee’s isn’t so bad that you can’t find some food to get by on infrequent occasions.

According to information obtained from Applebee’s website, you can still find some vegan appetizers, side dishes, and salad dressings. That said, as a customer, you can also be more creative and specific with your requests, even if you can’t find actual vegan dishes on the menu. You can convert a vegetarian-dish into a vegan dish, or create a vegan dish from different sides or appetizers.

The key is to never settle for the options on the menu and learn how to communicate to ensure you get the best bang for your buck while filling your stomach.

What to Eat At Applebee’s

Other than the appetizers and sides, it’s hard to say whether Applebee’s has any vegan options.

In fact, here is what they had to say in an email:

“At this time, we do not have any items that are entirely free of animal products. Applebee’s does not claim it’s products to be either vegetarian or vegan nor that they meet the requirements for any special dietary regimen. Trace amounts of meat or animal products may be present as a result of preparation or cooking.”

If cross-contamination isn’t a deal breaker for you, there are some food items you might be able to eat.

Recently they have added the Impossible Burger to their menu, but as far as I know, it’s only available in Applebee’s New York locations.

Impossible Burger

impossible burger

The Impossible Burger is 100% plant-based. It is made from soy and potato protein, coconut oil, and heme — a molecule that makes the burger taste like meat.

It also contains dextrose, yeast extract, as well as binders like methylcellulose and food starch to hold the burger together when it’s being cooked.

This is the only vegan/vegetarian main-course on their menu, but it’s only found in New York.

Keep in mind that the burger is not totally vegan because it comes with mayonnaise, so you have to ask the restaurant staff to remove it.

What Else Can You Eat?

Other than the Impossible Burger, there are really no other real vegan options on the menu, other than a few appetizers like Salsa & Chips, and a Basket of Fries.

However, if you really want to have something other than potatoes, you can always order the Southwest Steak Salad and customize it. This dish is basically steak, cheese, black beans, corn salsa, and cilantro ranch dressing.

To convert it into a decent vegan dish, you remove the steak, cheese, and replace the cilantro ranch dressing with vegan dressing. Plus, you can ask for more black beans and corn salsa, or even add some steamed broccoli on the side.

You can also do the same with the Oriental Chicken Salad.

This salad is essentially a combination of breaded chicken, cabbage, romaine, sliced Almonds, cucumber, chow mein, and an Asian dressing. To make it vegan, you can remove the chicken (and perhaps the chow mein), and replace the Asian dressing as it may contain honey.

Applebee’s Vegan Side Dishes & Salad Dressings

If you really want to get creative and re-build a non-vegan dish, or even create a dish from scratch, you have to know which side dishes are actually vegan.

As such, here is a quick list with all of their vegan side dishes:

  • Guacamole
  • French Fries
  • Seasoned Fries
  • Apple Sauce
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • House Salad
  • Salad Greens with Fruit and Veggies
  • And some Onions (either grilled or caramelized)

However, keep in mind that some of these ingredients may be prepared with butter, therefore do not forget to express your dietary concerns. Also, sides like grilled or caramelized onions are not written on the menu but you should be able to order them.

In addition to the sides, having a notion of which salad dressings and sauces are vegan will also help you add the right final touch to your custom dish.

Here are the vegan salad dressings and sauces at Applebee’s:

  • Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • Fat-Free Italian Dressing
  • Lemon Oil Vinaigrette
  • Sweet & Spicy Sauce
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Ketchup
  • Salsa
  • Chimichurri Sauce

If you’re like me, this is what will allow you to turn boring sides into delicious treats, and bring your salads and improvised dishes into a whole new level.

How to Order Vegan At Applebee’s

We know that ordering vegan food at Applebee’s can be somewhat challenging, but if you really need to go there, as long as you stick to the basic ingredients, you should be fine.

Remember that the information on this blog post may change, as fast-food chains may change their menu from time to time, and adapt to consumer behaviors. In fact, it’s quite possible that the Impossible Burger will be made available in places other than New York, given how the vegan movement is growing across the board.

In the meantime, you can modify some of the non-vegan options and turn them into a vegan dish by being a little creative.

The video above is not mine, but I do feel like it does a pretty good job of explaining how it’s like to eat vegan at Applebee’s. Therefore, if you have some time in your hands, watch it. 🙂


Does Applebee’s Have a Veggie Burger?

The only veggie burger available at Applebee’s is the Impossible Burger, and it’s actually their first veggie burger option on the menu according to Vegnews.com. 

Are Applebee’s Smashed Potatoes Vegan?

No, unfortunately, Applebee’s smashed potatoes are not vegan because they contain butter. 

Are Applebee’s Onion Rings Vegan?

No, the Applebee’s onion rings are not vegan because they contain dairy. 

Are Applebee’s Croutons Vegan?

No, Applebee’s croutons are not vegan. They contain milk. 

Are Applebee’s Fries Vegan? 

The fries are by definition suitable for vegans, however, at Applebee’s they may be cooked in the same fryer as meat products. Many vegans accept that cross-contamination happens and in such restaurants it’s inevitable (not only with fries), but I also know that certain vegans would rather avoid that. 

Key Takeaways

There are some things I believe are important and should be emphasized:

  1. Don’t settle for what’s on the menu. Be creative, and customize non-vegan dishes into vegan ones by making use of vegan sides and dressings.
  2. Don’t take everything on this blog post for granted. As you know, Applebee’s in New York have the Impossible Burger, which means that it may transition into other locations as well, so keep an eye out on the Facebook page of the Applebee’s near you.
  3. While I haven’t mentioned this — if you’re not happy with the food, stick to the drinks.

While Applebee’s is very limited in what it offers to vegans, you can still make it an enjoyable experience if you know how to mix and match vegan ingredients.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and I’ll do my best to keep it updated with any new crucial changes that may happen in the future.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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