Taco Bell Testing New Plant-Based Protein as Vegan Option

by Madison Miller

Taco Bell is already a go-to fast food haven for the vegetarian community. The ability to sub out anything with meat for black beans instead makes Taco Bell a resourceful pit stop for non-meat-eaters.

After a late night or while craving a greasy meal, Taco Bell is there for a lot of people.

Taco Bell’s New Vegan Option

Now, Taco Bell is taking an extra step in welcoming the vegan fast-food audience to “Live Más.” The popular chain has announced that it is testing a plant-based protein creation called the “Cravetarian” Taco.

It is currently being tested at one California location until April 29. So, if you’re near Tustin, California, you could be one of the few to give it a taste. Depending on how the product does, more people could see it in the coming months popping up on menus.

According to Business Insider, the new vegetarian option has a blend of peas and chickpeas as the meat replacement. It also comes with shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, and all of that goes into a crunchy shell.

The vegan option comes in at only 180 calories. Meanwhile, a standard Crunchy Taco Supreme with ground meat has 190 calories.

Eating ‘Fresco Style’

If tacos aren’t your go-to pick at Taco Bell, the new “Cravetarian” meat can be placed in a variety of different menu items. It can be put in anything from a chalupa to a burrito to a quesadilla. However, vegans should be cautious in asking for no cheese or sour cream in other options that usually include them.

At Taco Bell you can actually order something “fresco style.” This means the workers will sub out dairy products for tomatoes instead, making the meal vegan. The potatoes, which left the menu briefly and caused national outrage, are also an excellent non-meat option. The potato tacos, burritos, and sides are another staple for vegetarian and vegan fast-food customers.

“The term ‘Cravetarian’ is inspired by all of Taco Bell’s craveable options and it emphasizes how no one should have to sacrifice bold flavors for their lifestyle,” Taco Bell said in a statement.

Next up in appealing to vegans and vegetarians, Taco Bell will be partnering with Beyond Meat, the most popular meat alternative on the market.

Other Plant-Based Fast Food Initiatives

In terms of fast food plant-based menu items, there are very few options out there. Companies have slowly started to offer alternatives, but the process really is slow.

Burger King continues to serve the Impossible Whopper, which is made with an Impossible Foods Patty. Dunkin’ allows vegetarians and vegans to “Run on Dunkin’ too. The coffee and donut chain released its Beyond Sausage Breakfast Sandwich that remains on the menu.

The sandwich doesn’t come vegan, but can be ordered without cheese.

Other places that offer meatless options are Fatburger, Del Taco, Qdoba, Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and a few other chains. Other restaurants offer meatless options, but they may also quickly vanish from the menu.

KFC, for example, is currently testing out a Beyond Fried Chicken option in a very limited capacity.