Vegan Guide to Wendy’s: The Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

There’s no need to ask, “Where’s the beef?” with these vegan options at Wendy’s.

vegan guide wendy's

Treehugger / Photo Illustration by Catherine Song / Wendy's

If you love drive-thru fast food, you can thank Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas whose “Pick-Up Window” helped shape the American foodscape. This quick-service chain began serving its iconic square beef patties and Frosty desserts in 1969 and now sports locations across the globe.

Wendy’s does not have any food created specifically for vegans, so we did some digging and found the best ways to create a plant-based meal here. Whether you're humming for fries or something on the healthier side, we'll help you make your next vegan Wendy's order a breeze.

Treehugger Tip

Opt for ketchup packets only. Unfortunately, the ketchup used to top off burgers and sandwiches at Wendy’s contains egg. If you’ve gotta have that sweet, sweet ketchup, put it on yourself from one of those pesky plastic packets.

Our Top Picks

While there aren't many vegan options at Wendy's, our top two meals are more than satisfying.

Apple Pecan Salad and Baked Potato

Craving something other than a sandwich? Wendy’s made fresh daily Apple Pecan Salad can be prepared fully vegan by removing the chicken, roasted pecans, and blue cheese. Indulge by adding extra raw sweet onion, sweet strawberries, and heart-healthy avocado. Drizzle on vegan-friendly Champagne Vinaigrette or Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Enjoy alongside a baked potato topped with extra chives, avocado, and sea salt for a hearty vegan meal.

Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe

With lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, and crinkle-cut pickles, a modified Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe makes a decent burger substitute. Customize yours by removing the hamburger patty, the cheese, the mayonnaise, and the ketchup. Stuff more vegan yumminess between the Sandwich Bun by adding mustard and extra lettuce.

Make yourself a perfect drive-thru vegan combo meal by adding a side of french fries, apples, or baked potato and a drink.

Vegan Hamburgers

Wendy’s offers two hamburger buns that don’t contain any animal products—the Sandwich Bun and the Premium Bun. While the Premium Bun is technically vegan, it is toasted on surfaces where allergens, including milk and pork fat, are also toasted, so you may choose not to eat it.

  • Dave’s Single (Served on a Premium Bun. Order yours without the patty, cheese, mayo, or ketchup. Then add extra lettuce, crinkle-cut pickles, tomatoes, and raw sweet onion. Add even more vegan goodness with extra spring mix, avocado, and jalapeño slices.)
  • Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe (Order it without the patty, the cheese, the mayo, and the ketchup, then add mustard and extra lettuce.)

Vegan Sandwiches

Deep inside Wendy’s Chicken, Nuggets & More menu hides the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. Served on a vegan-friendly Sandwich Bun, you only need to remove the chicken and the mayo to make this sandwich vegan.

Go the extra mile: add lettuce, tomato, pickles, sweet onion, and mustard, and you’ve got yourself a vegan sandwich.

Vegan Fresh-Made Salads

Sadly for vegans, all but one of the Wendy’s salads contain milk products as part of the pre-made mix. Luckily, you can order the Apple Pecan Salad vegan-style by holding the chicken, roasted pecans (which contain milk), and blue cheese. Add sweet onion, strawberries and avocado then top with your choice of vegan dressing.

Vegan Fries

Wendy’s Natural-Cut Fries do not contain any animal-derived products, and they are cooked in nonhydrogenated vegetable oil. But they are cooked in the same oil as menu items containing fish and milk, so diner beware. Vegan dipping sauces include sweet and sour sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup packets, and sea salt.

Vegan Sides

We wish that Wendy’s would reformulate their chili to be vegan-friendly because the only vegan side they offer is a plain baked potato. Top yours with extra chives, avocado, and sea salt.

Treehugger Tip

Lighten up your meal by swapping the fries in any Wendy’s combo for apple bites or a plain baked potato, both of which are vegan.

Vegan Beverages

Wendy’s features a sweeping collection of drink options from Coca-Cola Freestyle (including Rick and Morty Mixes, for all the fans out there). 

  • Fountain beverages
  • Lemonade (Comes in a variety of flavors)
  • Ice tea
  • Nestle Bottled Water
  • Fresh brewed coffee (Regular and decaf)
  • Cold brew iced coffee (The Vanilla and Chocolate Frosty-ccinos contain dairy, so stick to black.)
  • Honest Kids Fruit Punch
  • Simply Orange Juice

Vegan Breakfast

Start your day off with fruit—Wendy’s apple bites, strawberries, and orange juice are all vegan-friendly breakfast options. The Seasoned Potatoes are also vegan, although they too are cooked in oil shared with menu items, including fish. Need a morning java? Grab a cold brew or fresh roasted regular or decaf coffee.

Vegan Kids’ Meal

Wendy’s makes it very easy for parents to customize a vegan Kids’ Meal. Simply choose the Kids’ Hamburger and order it without the patty or ketchup. Then add extra lettuce, tomatoes, crinkle cut pickles, raw sweet onion, and mustard.

Your Kids’ Meal comes with vegan-friendly apple bites and a drink. Swap the default milk for bottled water, a fountain drink, or Honest Kids Fruit Punch.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are Wendy’s fries vegan?

    While Wendy’s fries are vegan, they are fried in the same oil as other menu items containing milk and fish. If you have cross-contamination concerns, it’s best to pass.

  • Does Wendy’s offer a vegan burger?

    Wendy’s does not offer a plant-based meat burger. The closest you can get is ordering a burger or sandwich without the meat and adding extra toppings.

  • Are Wendy’s Frostys vegan?

    No, unfortunately. Neither Wendy’s classic chocolate nor the vanilla Frostys are vegan-friendly because they contain dairy.