Believe it or not, vegetarians are not immune to the juicy tastes of junk food. To be perfectly honest, vegetarian junk food is not as “junk” as you might think. It still contains a bunch of healthy nutrients, even though the look, texture, and—in some cases—taste resemble classic junk foods.
Vegetarian junk food options are almost endless. They range from famous restaurants' takes on vegetarian and vegan junk food staples to simple junk food snack recipes.
The following write-up showcases some of the best vegetarian junk food dishes. They are easy to prepare at home, so you can quench your vegetarian junk food craving.
Vegetarian Junk Food Sandwiches
In terms of the best vegetarian junk food, there is hardly a more palatable thing than a veggie junk food sandwich. Nailing just the right taste and juiciness that you get with their famous meat-based counterparts is not as difficult as it seems. The perfect veggie junk food sandwich does require some preparation and skill, but it is well worth the effort.
1. Vegan McDonalds McChicken Sandwich
This vegan junk food sandwich has the looks and taste that might fool even non-vegans. It features succulent chicken flavored seitan that you can prepare at home on top of a perfectly soft bun. The McChicken sauce uses vegan mayo and onion powder for some added junk food flavor.
2. Filet O’ Chickpea Sandwich with Tartar Sauce Slaw
The Filet O’ Chickpea is a perfectly healthy vegetarian take on the famous Filet O’ Fish. It is a mouth-watering combination of chickpea filets that feature crispy brown rice bread crumbs, cooked chickpeas, and some artichoke hearts. When you add some veggie tartar sauce with cashews and vegan mayonnaise, you will get a perfectly healthy junk food treat.
3. Chick-fil-A Sandwich
This vegetarian junk food sandwich includes well-seasoned vegan chicken cutlets inside of a velvety bun with home-made pickles that give it some extra crunchiness. The Chick-fil-A sandwich is very easy to make at home, but it’s every bit as tasty as any other sandwich that requires more elaborate preparation.
Not including vegetarian pizza on the list of the best vegetarian junk food would almost be a sacrilege. Admittedly, there are a lot of different vegetarian pizzas you can order in almost any restaurant. But if you try to make one at home, it might come out even better than the real deal.
When it comes to making veggie pizzas, the only limitation is your imagination. This means that you can basically mix and match any ingredients as long as they are in sync with your vegetarian diet. Before you start experimenting with ingredients and flavors, there is one veggie pizza that is really worth trying.
The vegetarian take on the famous Taco Bell Mexican pizza surely gives the real one a run for its money. A whole wheat tortilla is covered with homemade chipotle enchilada sauce and baked to perfection. If you are a dairy-eating kind of vegetarian, you can top the pizza with some cheese. Otherwise, plant-based dairy substitutes will work just fine.
Vegetarian French Fries
You might think that all French fries are vegetarian, but some fast food chains actually add animal-based seasonings to beef up the flavor. However, there is no need for any kind of fancy flavoring to get a tasty treat that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians really enjoy.
In essence, the basic French fries recipe is really simple. All you need is some sea salt, peanut or extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar. Quality potatoes are, of course, an absolute must, but when it comes to vegetarian junk foods, there are more creative options.
Fried avocados, for example, are one type of vegetarian fries you need to give a try. Avocado is full of healthy fats that add a special taste and crunchiness to this fried alternative. Sure, these might not be as “French” as their name suggests, but they are a tasty treat anyway.
Burgers are the supreme rulers of the junk food world and any list of the best vegetarian junk food recommendations would be incomplete without them. Similar to vegetarian pizzas, there are a bunch of veggie burger options you can order at restaurants. What’s more, some restaurants have become famous solely for their veggie burgers.
Even though there are so many commercial options available, there is no reason not to give a veggie burger a try at your own kitchen.
Vegan Big Mac
This plant-based Big Mac has a chickpea-based burger that is especially succulent because of the lemon juice, barbecue sauce, and fresh black pepper. The sauce is made of silk tofu, white vinegar, French dressing, and a bunch of other healthy “junk” food ingredients. The thing that rounds off the palatable taste of the sauce is the Dijon mustard.
You should note that most of the recipes for vegan burgers contain a lot of oil and salt. The reason for this is to mimic the taste of the real Big Mac as closely as possible. If you feel this is too much for you, feel free to reduce the amount so it fits your specific preference.
Best Vegetarian Junk Food to Eat at McDonald’s
Contrary to popular opinion, there are some vegetarian junk foods that you can actually eat at McDonald’s. The restaurant chain has a menu that is constantly evolving to cater to the growing demand for vegetarian foods. You won’t be a hungry vegetarian if you pay a visit to this famous restaurant chain.
A good place to start your vegetarian meal at McDonald’s is a side salad. The salad has a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables with seasonings to your preference. If flavor is your main concern, the vegetarian breakfast junk food options might be a bit tastier than a plain salad.
The fruit and maple oatmeal is probably the healthiest junk food breakfast you can have at McDonald’s. It has enough nutrients to give you a morning boost, but it does come from the famous restaurant chain, which makes it junk food by definition.
Breakfast hotcakes are a good option if you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian because there is some milk in them. They are a bit heavy on the calories, but calories are an integral part of the junk food experience anyway.
The Final Bite
There are junk food options for every type of vegetarian diet, so determining the best vegetarian junk food is usually a matter of personal preference. It is up to you to find the vegetarian junk food that is your guilty pleasure. However, you should always be careful not to breach the plant-based diet and source the healthiest possible vegetarian junk food ingredients.