11 Vegan Options You Need to Try at Applebee’s

Did you know Applebee’s has a surprising number of vegan options?  You’ll love dishes like the Impossible Burger, chips and guacamole, and the Irresist-a-Bowls.

far away view of Applebees restaurant sign

Applebee’s is a national chain restaurant that offers a wide variety of American food. From burgers and sandwiches to salads and pastas, there are plenty of options for even the toughest crowd.

If you don’t mind making special requests, you can also choose from multiple vegan options at Applebee’s that make it enjoyable to eat at this popular chain restaurant even when following a vegan diet.

Use this guide as your go-to the next time you’re planning to eat a vegan meal at Applebee’s.

Appetizers

The vegan appetizer options are more limited than the main entrees, but there are a few vegan options that will be a delicious start to your meal.

Note that full ingredient lists are not available for items at Applebee’s, however you can access nutrition and allergen information via their website.

close up of fresh pretzel sticks which is a vegan option at Applebee's

Brew pub pretzels & marinara

To make this vegan, order the brew pub pretzel without cheese dip or honey Dijon mustard and ask for marinara instead. The pretzel sticks are vegan but be sure to ask for any additional toppings of butter to be left off.

close up of chips and guacamole in a bowl

Guacamole & chips are a vegan option at Applebee’s

Originally, this is a white queso dip, which is obviously not vegan. You’ll need to completely change this order and ask for guacamole instead of queso dip to make it vegan-friendly.

The chips are listed as “freshly made” on the Applebee’s website, which means they’re likely fried in shared fryer oil.

Lunch and dinner vegan options at Applebee’s

Applebee’s offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, pastas, bowls, and burgers, many of which can be made vegan. The choices require modifications, but most are straightforward enough to avoid a complicated order.

close up of strawberry balsamic salad vegan option menu item at Applebee's

Strawberry balsamic chicken salad without chicken

The salad menu at Applebee’s is surprisingly limited when it comes to vegan-friendly choices. This salad ordered without chicken is a good choice, as it requires limited modifications.

Add an Impossible Burger patty if you’re looking for extra protein, or request almonds for additional fat. Both the Italian dressing and lemon olive oil dressing are vegan.

close up of bowtie pasta with red sauce

Pasta with marinara sauce

Many of the pasta dishes at Applebee’s come with cheese and meat, however the noodles are vegan, which creates an opportunity for building a customized vegan meal.

Ask for pasta with marinara sauce for a simple vegan dish. If you want to make a heartier meal, request an Impossible Burger patty on the side or crumbled into the sauce with the addition of broccoli without butter.

Southwest chicken bowl without chicken

Part of their line of Irresist-a-Bowls, the Southwest chicken bowl without chicken is a filling, vegan meal that comes with a mix of rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, black bean and corn salsa, and a flavorful chimichurri sauce.

The addition of the Impossible Burger patty is a good option to up the protein. You can also ask for a double portion of the black bean and corn salsa if you prefer extra beans.

Tex-Mex lime shrimp bowl without shrimp

This bowl ordered without shrimp is an excellent choice for a vegan meal at Applebee’s. However, take note that this and the Southwest bowl are similar in their flavor profile once you remove the traditional protein.

side view of a vegan burger option at Applebee's

Impossible Burger

Another vegan option at Applebee’s is the Impossible Burger. This option comes with cheese, so be sure to request no cheese to make it vegan.

The brioche bun served at Applebee’s is a vegan choice, as are the additional toppings of tomato, lettuce, and onion. If you want to skip the fries prepared in shared fryer oil, opt for a side of broccoli without butter or a house salad with a vegan dressing.

Sides

While many sides are available to fit a vegan diet, it should be noted that Applebee’s uses shared fryer oil, which may make some fried choices inappropriate for those who follow a strict vegan diet.

This is also important for anyone with severe food allergies, as major allergens like shellfish are likely to be cooked in the same oil as other foods.

Baked potato is a tasty vegan option at Applebee’s

Order without butter and sour cream. Dress your potato with vegan alternatives like black bean and corn salsa, guacamole, or broccoli prepared without butter.

Fries and waffle fries

Both the fries and waffle fries are vegan, however they’re fried in the same oil as other non-vegan foods.

close up of a plate full of cooked broccoli

Broccoli

Order without butter to make vegan.

House salad

Be sure to choose a vegan dressing such as Applebee’s Italian dressing or the lemon olive oil vinaigrette.

Drinks

Applebee’s offers a variety of vegan beverages including fountain drinks, lemonades, tea, coffee, and smoothie swirls. They also serve alcoholic beverages.

Surprising options that are not vegan

While Applebee’s has multiple vegan options, there are a few options that are not vegan, which may take you by surprise.

Oriental dressing

Many dressings served at Applebee’s are obviously not vegan (think ranch, blue cheese, etc.), however the Oriental dressing is one that may surprise you.

Not only does this dressing contain milk in the form of dried whey, it also contains chicken meat and chicken fat making it not vegan-friendly.

Honey Dijon mustard

Even if you follow a vegan diet that allows for honey, you’ll still want to avoid this mustard as it contains egg yolk.

side view of a bowl of cream of mushroom soup

All soups

All soups offered at Applebee’s contain milk. Additionally, some soups have other animal products, such as beef fat or chicken. Steer clear of the soups at Applebee’s if you’re looking for vegan choices.

More vegan restaurant guides

Looking for more vegan options at other restaurants? Discover what plant-based items are on the menu at these other locations:

The Bottom Line

Eating vegan at Applebee’s is entirely possible with a little creativity and flexibility.

Sources:

Did you know Applebee’s has a surprising number of vegan options? You’ll love the Impossible Burger, chips and guac, and Irresist-a-Bowls!
Plant-Based Eating |

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