McDonalds, Greggs, KFC, Subway and Costa vegan options reviewed

For any vegan hoping to diet this January, you’re going to struggle. McDonalds, Greggs, Subway, KFC and Costa have now all released a plant-based option.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 12:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 5:17 pm
The vegan alternatives released in January

Following on from the success of the vegan sausage roll, Greggs has now brought out a new steak bake – which doesn’t contain any meat, egg or dairy products.

Having already tucked into the new plant-based pasty and been highly impressed with its parity to the iconic original – I headed out track down the other four alternatives which have hit fast-food restaurants and cafes on Thursday, January 2.

Those giving Veganuary a go will have a lot more options to try from too:

Veggie Dippers

Mcdonald’s has brought out the veggie dipper, Costa has a new Vegan Smoky Ham & CheeZe Toastie, Subway has a new Meatless Meatball Marinara and KFC has released a new Vegan Burger.

What did we think of the McDonalds’ Veggie Dippers?

There’s no other way to look at it, the chicken nugget is iconic. As a frequent visitor to Maccy Ds and someone who lives the Nug Life all too often, I was intrigued by the new vegan option the global fast-food chain has to offer.

Unlike the other alternatives on this list, the veggie dipper isn’t masquerading as something else. It’s veggie and it’s proud.

Vegan Smoky Ham & CheeZe Toastie

The dipper is made with with red pepper, rice, sun dried tomato pesto and split peas surrounded by light and crispy breadcrumbs. There’s a flavoursome spice to it but it’s not hot and the breadcrumb crust has a great crunch to it. Whether you’re vegan, veggie or a meat-eater I think it’s a great addition to the menu.

Overall rating: 4/5

How about Costa’s Quorn Smokey Ham and Cheezey toastie?

The original is my go-to toastie of choice whenever I find myself in the cafe chain – so I feel well equipped to compare the two.

Meatless Meatball Marinara

The vegan cheese was impressive and it was the main flavour bursting through this plant-based alternative. The smokey vegan ham, however, didn’t bring much to the mix and, in my opinion, the bright and peachy appearance is a tad off-putting.

As an alternative I don’t think this vegan option strays too far from it’s original counterpart but I’m not sure I’d convert full-time.

Overall rating: 3/5

So does the Meatless Meatball Marinara live up to the Subway original?

The vegan steak bake.

Now I must confess unlike the other fast-food chains, it’s very rare I step foot in the sandwich shop and it’s been a long time since I had a meatball marinara.

I must admit my first impression of the foot-long sub was that just two slices of vegan cheese is on the stingy side. The sauce is overpoweringly sweet and the whole thing tastes a little bit candied.

I think the texture of the meatball itself was rather convincing, but there was something not quite right about the whole thing – I just can’t quite put my finger on what that is.

It's a good attempt and for a vegan I think it’s a decent alternative, especially if you’ve never tried the original, but it hasn’t enticed me enough to make a return trip to Subway.

Overall rating: 2.5/5

What about KFC’s Vegan Burger?

I’ve read some great things already about the new fake chicken burger but unfortunately I’m not in a position to share my opinion. Despite having the signs hanging on the window, a system problem meant there were no KFC Vegan Burgers available at the Wessington Way branch.

So all I can do is tell you what’s in it... The meat-free burger includes the iconic Original Recipe flavour. The usual chicken breast fillet is replaced with a Quorn fillet, which is coated in herbs and spices. It’s served with vegan mayonnaise and crisp iceberg lettuce, all within a soft-glazed bun.

I will definitely be returning to KFC to give it a try.

Overall rating: N/A

So how do they all compare to the Greggs’ vegan steak bake?

The fake steak tastes meaty although there isn’t as much gravy within the pastry casing.

As we learnt from the vegan sausage roll, the dairy-free pastry splits opinion with some preferring the texture and structure of the less-flaky alternative.

There’s a bit more seasoning in the original but all in all the fake bake is definitely a success.

Overall rating: 4/5

Let us know what you think of the Vegan alternatives.