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Vegan Options at Applebee’s
Appetizers, Meal Options, Side Dishes

Last updated: February 16, 2021

Applebee’s may not be the best option for hangry vegans as there aren’t too many vegan meals. The restaurant is best known for its meat and cheese stuffed appetizers. Now, you definitely can enjoy some plant-based meals with your friends and family. I’ll list all vegan options at Applebee’s to make your dining experience even better.

Quick Ordering Guide for Vegans

a salad bowl

Yes, eating vegan at Applebee’s is a bit of a challenge, but you can enjoy some excellent meals if you’re creative and think ahead. Think about these options when ordering:

  • Simple salad. Opt for one of the salads and ask the staff to leave out breadsticks, croutons, and cheese. Go for one of the vegan dressings (I’ll list them below) and add red-skinned potatoes or fries for a more filling meal.
  • Choose a bowl. Of course, ask the staff to leave out the meat and add more veggies, guacamole, bean, and corn salsa.
  • Sides to save the day. Order red skin potatoes or a baked potato with no butter and a house salad without croutons, cheese, and a vegan dressing. You can also opt for steamed broccoli, guacamole, and grilled onion.

Don’t Get Tricked by These Non-Vegan Options

If you’re trying to eat vegan at Applebee’s, you should avoid these menu items:

  • Breadsticks — they’re pre-made with butter;
  • Onion rings — the batter contains milk derivatives;
  • Toasted brioche bun — made with eggs and milk;
  • Dressings — I listed the vegan ones below.

Vegan Appetizers at Applebee’s

The appetizers weren’t always vegan, as they used to be made with animal lard. However, Applebee’s now uses vegetable oil free from trans fats. Applebee’s vegan appetizers include:

  • Basket of fries;
  • Chips and chips salsa.

Main Course Vegan Meal Options at Applebee’s

two types of salads

Applebee’s vegan main courses don’t give you too much choice. You can enjoy their Impossible burger. However, the Impossible Burger isn’t yet available at all locations. You can currently order it only in New York.

If you’re not up for a vegan burger, you can also improvise your vegan meal. You can order:

  • Southwestern Chicken Salad without chicken, cheese, and substitute the dressing for a vegan one, like the chili-lime vinaigrette; or try the
  • Oriental Chicken Salad without chicken and substitute the dressing for a vegan one.

Vegan Side Options at Applebee’s

  • French fries
  • Seasoned fries
  • Steamed broccoli — request no butter
  • Apple sauce
  • Baked potato — request no butter
  • House salad — modify it to be vegan
  • Greens with fruit and veggies
  • Grilled onions — this item is off-menu, but you can order it as a topping
  • Guacamole

Vegan Salad Dressings and Sauces at Applebee’s

  • Lemon olive oil vinaigrette
  • Fat-free Italian dressing
  • Champagne & chili lime vinaigrette
  • Sweet & spicy sauce
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Pico de gallo
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Chunky Roma pepper relish
  • Black bean corn salsa
  • Salsa

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Vegan Beverages

There are alcohol options at many Applebee’s locations, but make sure they’re vegan.

  • Assorted fountain drinks
  • Hot coffee or tea
  • Hot, flavored, and iced tea
  • Frozen & flavored lemonades
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Juice
  • Lemonade and iced tea quenchers
  • Bottled water/Perrier sparkling water

Tips for Eating as a Vegan

Before going for a meal at Applebee’s consider all their menu items and vegan options. If you’re not in the mood for a burger or they don’t have it at your location, you may end up with sides, chips, and salsa.

If you’re someone that can’t fill up on a potato and a side dish, you may want to rethink eating at Applebee’s.

Is Applebee’s Menu Good Enough for Vegans?

To be honest, Applebee’s vegan food selection is good enough and isn’t that bad.

However, they could add at least a couple more plant-based meals, and maybe even some pasta dishes so more vegans can enjoy their food.


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