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Vegetarian Options on the Burger King Menu

by 
author image A.J. Walkley
A.J. Walkley earned a B.A. in literature from Dickinson College in 2007 before heading into the U.S. Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Malawi, Africa. Upon her return to the States, she became a United Nations correspondent and freelance writer working out of New York City, before moving to the Los Angeles area. She is currently writing out of Connecticut.
Vegetarian Options on the Burger King Menu
Vegetarians, rejoice! Burger King offers veggie burgers. Photo Credit: 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.

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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).

Read more: The Best and Worst Fast-Food Breakfast Items

At Burger King, opt for a salad without the chicken.
At Burger King, opt for a salad without the chicken. Photo Credit: 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](https://money.cnn.com/2002/03/14/news/companies/burgerking_veggie/) noted.

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.

Burger King Veggie Burger Nutrition Information

If your diet allows for eggs and dairy, as the lacto-ovo diet does, you have the option of the BK Veggie Burger. But for vegans and lacto-vegetarians, don’t let the name fool you; while it’s made from veggies instead of meat, it still contains eggs and milk.

According to LIVESTRONG.COM’s food database MyPlate, this burger contains 390 calories, 16 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of protein. While it’s mainly marketed toward the meatless crowd, Burger King notes that it’s “not just for vegetarians.”

To be sure, this sandwich is a slightly healthier choice when compared to the traditional Burger King Whopper, which comes in at 660 calories, 40 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbohydrates and 28 grams of protein.

Read more: The 10 Best Homemade Veggie Burger Recipes

Burger King Salads

While you might take a look at the Burger King menu and think that the only salad possibility for a vegetarian is the Garden Side Salad, think again, as any of the BK salad options can easily be modified for your needs.

You can choose the Garden Chicken Salad or the Club Salad minus the chicken or the bacon for a true meal of a salad. Keep in mind that the following nutritional information for each of these options does contain those meat-based additions, so your total calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein count will be lower by ordering without.

  • Garden Chicken Salad (340 calories, 15 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 39 grams of protein)
  • Club Salad (440 calories, 23 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 44 grams of protein)

That Garden Side Salad is a great choice as well. You can order two to make it a meal, which will add up to 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.

Don’t forget the dressings, though, which will each add to your nutritional takeaways:

  • Ken’s Ranch Dressing (260 calories, 28 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein)
  • Ken’s Golden Italian Dressing (160 calories, 17 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of protein)
  • Ken’s Lite Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette (120 calories, 8 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of protein)
Opt for a small fries instead of going for the large.
Opt for a small fries instead of going for the large. Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/GettyImages

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.

Read more: The 14 Healthiest Foods at Fast-Food Restaurants

Sometimes you find you can’t avoid eating at Burger King.
Sometimes you find you can’t avoid eating at Burger King. Photo Credit: 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!

Best Sandwiches at Burger King

  • Hamburger (240 calories, 10 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein)
  • Cheeseburger (280 calories, 13 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of protein)

Worst Sandwiches at Burger King

  • Triple Whopper Sandwich with Cheese (1,220 calories, 82 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 71 grams of protein)
  • Rodeo King Sandwich (1,250 calories, 82 grams of fat, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 60 grams of protein)

Fortunately for vegetarians, the Veggie Burger comes in closer to the “better” end of the spectrum, at 390 calories.

Best Breakfasts at Burger King

  • Quaker Maple Oatmeal (170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)
  • French Toast Sticks Three Piece (230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein)

Worst Breakfasts at Burger King

  • EGG-NORMOUS Burrito (940 calories, 57 grams of fat, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of protein)
  • BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter (1,230 calories, 70 grams of fat, 122 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of protein)

Another win for the vegetarians, the meatless breakfast items are among the lowest-calorie choices on the menu.

Best Desserts at Burger King

  • Ginger Spice Cookie (150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 25 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)

Worst Desserts at Burger King

  • OREO Cookie Cheesecake (350 calories, 18 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein)
  • TWIX Pie (370 calories, 20 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein)

Best Beverages at Burger King

  • Unsweetened Tea (zero calories, zero grams of fat, zero grams of carbohydrates, zero grams of protein)
  • BK Joe Regular or Decaf Coffee (zero calories, zero grams of fat, zero grams of carbohydrates, zero grams of protein)

And you can always opt for water!

Worst Beverages at Burger King

  • Chocolate OREO Shake (740 calories, 22 grams of fat, 121 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein)
  • OREO Shake (720 calories, 20 grams of fat, 118 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of protein)

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!

More About My Plate

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