Vegetarian Options on the Burger King Menu

Homemade burgers on rustic wooden background
Vegetarians, rejoice! Burger King offers veggie burgers. (Image: Pekic/E+/GettyImages)

Being a vegetarian can be challenging, especially when meeting friends at restaurants like Burger King, where the signature item is a big, meaty Whopper.

Over the years, though, Burger King has added a few meat-free items to its menu, so even if you’re a vegetarian, you can still have it your way. From its breakfast menu, to lunch and dinner, including sides and drinks, here are your best bets when grabbing some fast food.

From the Burger King Breakfast Menu

While non-vegetarians may have a hard time envisioning a breakfast without bacon, sausage or some other meat-based fare, the truth is that breakfast can be one of the easiest meals of the day to go meat-free. The breakfast menu at Burger King offers several choices for all types of vegetarians:

  • Quaker Maple Oatmeal (170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)
  • Egg and Cheese CROISSAN’WICH (340 calories, 18 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein)
  • French Toast Sticks Three Piece (230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)
  • Pancake Platter (610 calories, 31 grams of fat, 72 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein)*
  • Hash Browns, Small (250 calories, 16 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein)

*NOTE: The nutritional information for the Pancake Platter above includes the sausage patty that usually comes with it. When you order this platter without the sausage, you’ll be saving a substantial amount of calories and fat (though you’re also sacrificing nearly all the protein as well).

Business lunch break in Chicago Downtown
At Burger King, opt for a salad without the chicken. (Image: LeoPatrizi/E+/GettyImages)

Meatless Lunch and Dinner Options

While the thought of heading to Burger King for a vegetarian lunch or dinner might have been virtually impossible a few years ago, now a wider array of meatless menu items makes this chain a viable option.

A lesser advertised item on the menu, the BK Veggie Burger, was first introduced back in 2002 in an effort to “attract new customers who didn’t previously buy food at the store because there wasn’t anything on the menu that appealed to them, in addition to providing existing customers with another choice,” a 2002 CNNMoney article explained.

The patty itself is not made in-house, but purchased from Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms:

“Morningstar Farms is the sole supplier of the vegetable patties, [which] sells vegetable patties to the general public under the Garden Veggie brand,” CNNMoney noted.

“But the Burger King patties are different from the Garden Veggie brand, as they were developed exclusively for Burger King…. The patties do contain corn syrup solids and corn oil, and some people are allergic to those products, although they usually don’t cause the severe reactions caused by other foods, such as peanuts.”

According to the nutrition facts for the veggie burger supplied directly on Burger King’s website, the burger contains the following:

  • Mushrooms
  • Water chestnuts
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Green bell peppers
  • Red bell peppers
  • Black olives
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Wheat gluten
  • Water
  • Egg whites
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Rolled oats
  • Corn oil
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Soy sauce
  • Onion powder
  • Corn starch
  • Salt
  • Hydrolyzed corn
  • Soy and wheat protein
  • Yeast cxtract
  • Sugar
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Spices
  • Garlic powder
  • Dextrose
  • Jalapeno pepper powder
  • Celery extract

Considering the above ingredient list, these veggie burgers are not vegan, nor are they gluten-free. According to registered dietitian Sarah Pflugradt, M.S., RDN, LDN, the amount of sodium in the burger is also a cause for concern.

“For starters, it contains 980 milligrams of sodium,” she told LIVESTRONG.COM. “The American Heart Association has now recommended that it is ideal to keep sodium levels below 1,500 milligrams per day. This burger has a very high level of sodium for one meal. It is also not allergy-friendly. According to Morningstar Farms’ website, the garden veggie burger contains wheat gluten, soy, corn and eggs. So it is not vegan and not gluten-free, like most people would assume.”

Despite its nutrition and allergens, the Burger King Veggie Burger has been named one of the best meatless drive-thru burgers by CBS News.

Vegetarian Sides and Desserts

When you take a look at the side options at Burger King, most (fortunately) don’t include meat, which opens up the options for most types of vegetarians. There are:

  • Cheesy Tots (310 calories, 15 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein)
  • French Fries, Small (320 calories, 14 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)
  • Onion Rings, Small (320 calories, 16 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)

You can also rest assured that all dessert menu items are safe for consumption by vegetarians, giving you some tasty choices to decide between (though if you’re counting calories or watching your sugar consumption, you’re better off skipping this part of the meal):

  • Ginger Spice Cookie (150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein)
  • Butter Sugar Cookie (160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein)
  • Carnival Cookie (160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein)
  • Red, White & Blue Cookie (160 calories, 6 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein)
  • Soft Serve Cup (170 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein)
  • Soft Serve Cone (190 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein)
  • HERSHEY’S Chocolate Sundae (280 calories, 7 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein)
  • Caramel Sundae (290 calories, 6 grams of fat, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein)
  • Two Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (310 calories, 13 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)
  • HERSHEY’S Sundae Pie (310 calories, 19 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)
  • Two Chocolate Chip Cookies (330 calories, 15 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)
  • Dutch Apple Pie (340 calories, 14 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)
  • Two White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (340 calories, 18 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)
  • OREO Cookie Cheesecake (350 calories, 18 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein)
  • Pie made with TWIX (370 calories, 20 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)

Drinks, Slushies and Shakes

Burger King offers a wide array of beverages for customers to enjoy throughout the day. The following list has BK drinks arranged from least caloric to most caloric:

  • Unsweetened Tea, 20 ounces (0 calories)
  • BK Joe Regular or Decaf Coffee (0 calories)
  • Diet Coke, 16 ounces (0 calories)
  • MINUTE MAID Light Lemonade, 16 ounces (10 calories)
  • CAPRI SUN 100% Apple Juice Pouch (80 calories)
  • Fat-Free Milk, 8 ounces (90 calories)
  • Frozen FANTA Lemonade, 16 ounces (120 calories)
  • Sweet Tea, 20 ounces (120 calories)
  • Frozen Coke, 16 ounces (130 calories)
  • MINUTE MAID Orange Juice, 10 ounces (140 calories)
  • BK Joe Iced Coffee Medium (150 calories)
  • Low-Fat Chocolate Milk, 8 ounces (160 calories)
  • BK Joe Iced Coffee Medium Mocha (170 calories)
  • Frosted Frozen FANTA Lemonade, 16 ounces (180 calories)
  • Frosted Frozen Coke, 16 ounces (190 calories)
  • Dr. Pepper, 16 ounces (190 calories)
  • BK Joe Iced Coffee Medium Vanilla (190 calories)
  • Sprite, 16 ounces (210 calories)
  • Coca Cola Classic, 16 ounces (210 calories)
  • Cherry Coke, 16 ounces (210 calories)
  • HI-C Fruit Punch, 16 ounces (220 calories)
  • FANTA Orange, 16 ounces (230 calories)
  • BARQ’S Root Beer, 16 ounces (240 calories)
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie, 16 ounces (310 calories)
  • Tropical Mango Smoothie, 16 ounces (370 calories)
  • Mocha Frappe, 16 ounces (400 calories)
  • Caramel Frappe 16 ounces (410 calories)
  • Vanilla Milk Shake (580 calories)
  • HERSHEY’S Chocolate Milk Shake (610 calories)
  • Strawberry Milk Shake (640 calories)
  • FROOT LOOPS Shake (720 calories)
  • OREO Shake (720 calories)
  • Chocolate OREO Shake (740 calories)

While the Burger King shakes and smoothies with milk bases are off limits for you if you’re vegan, the Coke-flavored or lemonade-flavored slushies are both options for you.

Burger King Surprises Wall Street With Large Rise In Quarterly Earning
Sometimes you find you can’t avoid eating at Burger King. (Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/GettyImages)

A Note About Burger King Nutrition

While Burger King isn’t the healthiest eating option out there, sometimes eating fast food is unavoidable (like on a road trip). If you find yourself staring up at the Burger King menu in the drive-thru line, Pflugradt offered the following for vegetarians eating at the chain:

“Here’s my suggestion: Garden Salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette, value fries and applesauce for a total of 450 calories and 645 milligrams of sodium. If trying to get more protein, add in a low-fat milk to get nine grams of protein, 540 calories and 770 milligrams of sodium.”

Looking for a quick snapshot of the best and worst menu items calorie-wise for vegetarians and carnivores alike? Keep on reading!

What Do YOU Think?

Have you tried the Burger King Veggie Burger? What do you think of it? Would you consider trying it the next time you were in the mood for some fast food? What is your go-to vegetarian meal at Burger King? Let us know in the comments below!

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