Are french fries vegan? – from fast food to homemade fries

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are french fries vegan

Are french fries vegan? Like homemade fries, most frozen fries sold in supermarkets are suitable for vegans. That includes popular brands like Ore-Ida and Alexia. The same goes for the vast majority of fast-food french fries, although it’s worth mentioning that places such as Burger King, Chick-fil-A, and Wendy’s usually cook their fries in the same oil as their non-vegan products.

But is there anything else we should pay attention to when buying or ordering french fries? Surprisingly there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Are homemade fries vegan?

Absolutely! French fries are basically just potatoes and truly simple to make from scratch – you need a few potatoes, vegetable oil, salt, and perhaps a couple of spices for seasoning. As long as you avoid cooking them in animal fat, you can’t really make them non-vegan.

I used to love homemade fries with French’s fried onions but unfortunately, they contain dextrose making them possibly non-vegan.

Are frozen french fries vegan?

We’ve all had those nights where we have no energy for cooking after a long day at work, buy a pack of frozen fries from the nearest supermarket, and throw them in the oven. Now the question is, are frozen fries always vegan like homemade fries? Luckily for us, they usually are!

It’s always good to check the list of ingredients though. In some rare cases, you can find components such as animal fat, milk solids, non-vegan E numbers, and animal-based food additives in fries.

Are french fries vegan at fast-food restaurants?

I bet I’m not the only one who has experienced going somewhere with friends and then finding out that fries are the only vegan-friendly option the establishment has. Especially when it comes to fast-food restaurants – it’s usually fries or a salad for vegans. But are fast-food fries always 100% plant-based? There are a few things we should pay attention to.

  • The fries – No fast-food restaurant makes their fries from scratch, they’re always bought frozen in bulk. As mentioned above, most frozen fries are totally fine for vegans but there are a few exceptions. Always worth asking the staff to check the ingredients list for you.
  • Cooking method – Restaurants typically use vegetable oils in the fryers, don’t stress too much here. Again, you can ask an employee to give yourself peace of mind.
  • Cross-contamination – Not all places have separate fryers for their fries and other menu items like Taco Bell has for example.  So there tends to be a big chance that your fries get cooked in the same oil as animal products such as chicken nuggets and fried meats. 

Now that we’ve gone over some common issues that we might face when ordering fries, lets look through a few popular fast-food joints and see whether we should boycott them or not. 

are french fries vegan

Are McDonald’s fries vegan?

Well, it depends on where in the world you live. In America: no, McDonald’s french fries are not plant-based. You can see vegetable oil in the ingredients list, and for some reason, they’ve decided to use beef flavoring in the oil. The natural flavoring isn’t really made of beef but it does contain dairy. But hey, if you’re anywhere else in the world, you’re in luck! The fries are vegan in most other countries, and even have their own separate fryer in some countries.

Are Burger King’s fries vegan?

Burger King’s fries are free from any animal-derived components and are one of the many plant-based options they offer. Do note that they are cooked in the same oil as other non-vegan products though, in case that could be an issue for you. You can read all about Burger King’s vegan options here.

Are Wendy’s fries vegan?

Yes! Well, just like the fries at Burger King, the fries are vegan but there is an issue of cross-contamination. The company has stated that the fries are “cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain wheat, milk, and mustard”. Wendy’s has quite a few other plant-based menu items too that go great with the fries!

Yes, french fries are normally 100% vegan. However, there are some exceptions.

McDonald’s fries in the United States aren’t as the vegetable oil in the fries contains natural beef flavoring which has dairy in it. In the rest of the world, the fries are vegan.

The iconic fried onions contain dextrose which could possibly be non-vegan.

Yes, the fries are free from any animal-derived ingredients. However, they are fried in the same fryer as non-vegan products such as chicken nuggets.

Again, the fries are vegan but fried in the same oil as Wendy’s animal-based products.

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