El Pollo Loco “The Crazy Chicken” is a popular fast-food chain known for its Mexican-inspired grilled chicken. But did you know that they also offer a range of vegan options?
That’s right! If you’re a vegan or looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, you’ll be happy to know that El Pollo Loco has a variety of tasty and healthy vegan options to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best El Pollo Loco vegan options.
What is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. This diet typically includes only eating plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Veganism is often seen as a lifestyle choice as it extends beyond just food choices. This lifestyle also avoids using products made from animal materials such as leather and fur, and they may also choose to avoid products that have been tested on animals.
El Pollo Loco Vegan Options
And now, let’s explore all the vegan options available at El Pollo Loco, including burritos, bowls, salads, sides, and beverages. Whether you are a vegan or simply looking to try something new, El Pollo Loco has plenty of delicious options for you to enjoy.
Here is a list of vegan options at El Pollo Loco:
This Mexican fast food offers a hearty and filling burrito, making them a great choice for a quick and satisfying meal. Here are some of the burritos you can enjoy at El Pollo Loco:
- Beans, Rice, and Cheese Burrito (No Cheese): This BRC burrito is made with pinto beans, Spanish rice, and shredded cheese. Simply ask for it without the cheese, and you’ll have a delicious vegan Mexican option.
- Fajita Burrito (No Chicken, No Cheese, No Sour Cream): This burrito is filled with sautéed onions and bell peppers, along with your choice of meat. Ask for avocado instead of chicken, and hold the cheese and sour cream.
- Double Chicken Burrito (No Chicken, No Cheese): This vegan chickenless pollo burrito is typically made with two servings of chicken, cheese, rice, and beans. To make it vegan, sub avocado for the chicken and hold the cheese.
If you’re looking for a lighter and healthier option, El Pollo Loco’s veggie bowls are a great choice. Here are some of the vegan veggie bowls you can enjoy at El Pollo Loco:
- Chicken Black Bean Bowl (No Chicken): This bowl is made with black beans, rice, avocado, and your choice of meat. To make it vegan, simply ask for avocado salsa instead of chicken.
- Pollo Bowl (No Chicken): This bowl is made with Spanish rice, pinto beans, your choice of meat, and avocado. Ask for avocado instead of chicken.
If you’re in the mood for a salad:
- Avocado Bacon Tostada Salad (No Chicken and Bacon): This vegan friendly salad is typically made with chicken, bacon, and avocado. To make it vegan, simply ask for the chicken and bacon to be substituted with avocado.
El Pollo Loco has a variety of vegan extras to choose from that can complement your meal. Here are some of the vegan extras you can choose from:
- Chips & Guacamole: El Pollo Loco’s guacamole is made with fresh avocados, onions, and cilantro. It’s a perfect side dish or snack to enjoy with their tortilla chips.
- Citrus Vinaigrette: This light and tangy vinaigrette is a great dressing option for your salad.
- Corn Tortillas: These gluten-free tortillas are perfect for making tacos or wrapping your burrito.
- Flour Tortillas: El Pollo Loco’s flour tortillas are vegan-friendly and can be used for burritos or quesadillas.
- Tortilla Chips: These crispy chips are perfect for dipping into El Polloco’s fresh salsa or guacamole.
El Pollo Loco’s sides and snacks are a great way to add more variety to your meal. Here are some of the vegan sides and snacks you can enjoy at El Pollo Loco:
- Avocado Salsa: This salsa is made with fresh avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. It’s a great alternative to traditional salsa.
- Black Beans: These protein-packed black beans are a great side dish or can be added to your burrito or bowl.
- Broccoli: If you’re looking for a healthy side option, El Pollo Loco’s steamed broccoli is a great choice.
- House Salsa: This classic tomato-based salsa is a great addition to any meal.
- Jalapeno Hot Sauce: If you like it hot, El Pollo Loco’s jalapeno hot sauce is a great option.
- Lettuce: El Pollo Loco’s fresh shredded lettuce can be used to add some greens to your burrito or bowl.
- Pico de Gallo Salsa: This fresh and chunky salsa is made with tomatoes, onions, and creamy cilantro dressing.
- Pinto Beans: These tasty pinto beans are a great side dish or can be added to your burrito or bowl.
- Rice: El Pollo Loco’s Spanish rice is a great addition to any meal.
- Salsa Roja: This spicy tomato-based salsa is perfect for those who like a little heat.
- Side Salad (Omit the Cheese): El Pollo Loco’s side salad is a great option if you’re looking for something light and refreshing. Simply ask for no cheese to make it vegan.
- Tapatio Fries: If you’re in the mood for some fries, El Pollo Loco’s Tapatio fries are a great choice.
- Bottled Water: If you’re looking for a simple and refreshing drink, El Pollo Loco’s bottled water is a great choice.
- Fountain Sodas: El Pollo Loco’s fountain sodas are vegan-friendly and come in a variety of flavors.
- Fuze Raspberry Iced Tea: This sweet and fruity iced tea is a great choice if you’re looking for something refreshing.
- Gold Peak Teas: If you’re a tea lover, El Pollo Loco’s Gold Peak teas are a great choice.
- Hi C Flash Fruit Punch: This sweet and fruity drink is a great option for kids or anyone who loves a sweet drink.
- Minute Maid (Lemonade/Strawberry Lemonade): El Pollo Loco’s Minute Maid lemonades are a classic favorite.
- Vitamin Water: If you’re looking for a more nutritious drink option, El Pollo Loco’s Vitamin Water is a great choice.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
A vegan diet has been shown to offer numerous health benefits. Here are some of the most notable benefits:
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Eating vegan has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. This is because a vegan diet is typically low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Weight loss: Many people adopt this diet for weight loss purposes, and studies have shown that a vegan diet can be effective in promoting weight loss. This is because plant-based foods tend to be lower in calories and higher in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied without consuming too many calories.
- Improved digestion: This diet is high in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and can help prevent constipation and other digestive issues.
- Better overall health: By eating a variety of plant-based foods, you’re more likely to consume a wide range of nutrients, which can help support overall health and well-being.
- Environmental benefits: It is also better for the environment, as it requires less water, land, and other resources to produce plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods.
How To Order Vegan-Friendly in 2023
Ordering vegan at El Pollo or other restaurants has become much easier in recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of plant-based diets. Here are some tips for ordering vegan-friendly meals in 2023:
- Research the menu in advance: Before going to a restaurant chain, take a look at the menu online to see what plant-based options are available. Many restaurants now include plant-based options on their menu or have a separate vegan menu available.
- Ask for modifications: Many non-vegan dishes can be modified to make them vegan-friendly. For example, you can ask for a salad without meat (pork, beef, chicken and cheese), or ask for a vegetable stir-fry without chicken or beef.
- Be clear with your server: When ordering, make sure to let your server know that you are vegan and what your dietary restrictions are. This will help them to better understand your needs and suggest suitable options.
- Look for plant-based proteins: Many restaurants now offer plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan as substitutes for animal-based proteins. Look for dishes that include these ingredients for a filling and protein-rich meal.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If you’re unsure about a particular dish or ingredient, don’t hesitate to ask your server for more information. They should be able to provide you with details about the dish and any potential allergens or animal products.
FAQs on El Pollo Loco Vegan Options
Are El Pollo Loco’s salads vegan-friendly?
Some of El Pollo Loco’s salads can be made vegan-friendly by simply omitting animal-containing ingredients such as meat and cheese. The Avocado Bacon Tostada Salad, for example, substitutes chicken and bacon with avocado.
Does El Pollo Loco offer any vegan protein options?
While El Pollo Loco used to offer a vegan chicken alternative called vegan Chickenless Pollo, it has since been discontinued. However, you can still enjoy a variety of plant-based options such as beans, rice, and avocado slices.
Are the beverages at El Pollo Loco vegan?
Most of the beverages are vegan at El Pollo Loco including bottled water, fountain sodas, and various teas and fruit drinks. However, some drinks may contain honey or other animal-containing ingredients, so it’s always best to check the ingredients or ask a staff member to be sure.
El Pollo Loco may not be the first restaurant that comes to mind when you think of vegan options, you may think of chains like Chipotle, Taco Bell, and Panera bread but they do offer a variety of vegan-friendly menu items. El Pollo Loco vegan options include burritos, bowls, salads, and sides, there are plenty of options to choose from. By knowing what to look for and how to modify menu items, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal at El Pollo Loco, even as a vegan.