Vegan Guide to Red Lobster: Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

The seafood chain has a few solid options for vegans.

Fries, margaritas, rice, and Brussels sprouts pictured are all vegan at Red Lobster.

Treehugger / Photo Illustration by Catherine Song / Red Lobster

True to its descriptive name and logo, Red Lobster serves reasonably priced fish and shellfish in a casual dining setting. The seafood chain was born in Florida as a single-family restaurant and quickly caught the attention of multinational manufacturer General Mills. With their backing, Red Lobster’s business boomed across the nation around the world. Today they have over 700 international locations.

Eating at a restaurant whose very name contrasts with a vegan lifestyle understandably means that your food options here are limited. But fear not—we’ll give you some sea legs to help you order vegan at Red Lobster.

Treehugger Tip

While information about potential allergens is available through Red Lobster's location-specific Food Allergy Wizard, we suggest also verbally confirming with your location that your order is truly vegan.

Best Bet: Modified Baked Potato and Modified House Salad

Simple as it may be, a baked potato and salad make for decent vegan eating at Red Lobster.

Order your Baked Potato without butter or sour cream and instead opt for marinara sauce, pico de Gallo, or cocktail sauce. French dressing is your only vegan option for the House Salad. Just be sure to leave off the cheese and the croutons, and you’re ready to anchor down and eat.

Vegan Pastas

The closest thing you’ll find to a vegan entree at Red Lobster is the modified Kung Pao Noodles. Ordered without chicken or seafood, the noodles, edamame, cabbage, crispy onions, cashews, and green onions should meet all your vegan needs. But take note: We were unable to confirm that the sweet and spicy soy-ginger sauce didn’t contain other animal products. 

At some Red Lobster locations, you can order off-menu by asking for the pasta topped only with vegan-friendly marinara sauce.

Vegan Sides and Additions

When ordering vegan sides like broccoli, crispy Brussels sprouts, green beans, and quinoa rice, it’s best to confirm with your Red Lobster location that they won’t be topped with butter (as many menu items are). 

And although they are prepared in shared fryers, Red Lobster’s Sea-Salted Fries are vegan. Dip yours in vegan-friendly cocktail sauce, ketchup, marinara, or pico de gallo. Don’t forget about that plain baked potato for more spuds-y goodness.

Vegan Kids Menu

Finding vegan options on the Red Lobster Kids Menu is, sadly, impossible. Beyond a side of fruit, the only vegan kids' options at Red Lobster are drinks, including Casco Bay Cooler and Cherry Wave Slushy. 

Vegan Salads

Like most casual dining spots, Red Lobster has a reasonable House Salad you can modify to be vegan-friendly. Order yours without the cheese or croutons. Finish topping your greens, onions, and tomatoes with French dressing, the only vegan salad dressing option available.

Vegan Beverages

If you can’t truly dine with your non-vegan friends here, you can at least order a drink. Red Lobster offers both peach and raspberry margaritas (frozen or on the rocks) as well as beer and wine, some of which may be vegan-friendly. For example, select Red Lobster locations offer bottled Guinness, which has become a vegan-friendly beverage in recent years. 

Alcohol aside, you can also order tea, coffee, lemonade, and soda. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are the Kung Pao Noodles at Red Lobster vegan?

    Technically speaking, Red Lobster’s Kung Pao Noodles with Chicken does not contain shellfish, eggs, fish, or milk. Presumably, if it’s ordered without the chicken, it would be vegan. But because it’s unclear whether the sauce is truly vegan, we’re hard-pressed to give it an official stamp of approval.

  • Are Red Lobster’s biscuits vegan?

    Sadly, no. Red Lobster’s signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits are not vegan-friendly.