KFC Will Test Vegetarian Fried Chicken in the UK

As more fast food chains introduce vegetarian options, KFC plans a chicken-free fried chicken.

By Ethan L. Johns
June 06, 2018

Image: Shutterstock

Vegetarian chicken may sound like even more of an oxymoron than a vegetarian burger, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It may not taste or have the texture of the real thing, but vegan culinary witchcraft has evolved far enough that you might actually be surprised by a bite of mock meat.

To please repudiators of poultry—and to adhere to new health governmental guidelines—KFC’s United Kingdom and Ireland branch has announced that it is currently working on a new meat-free fried chicken product to replace Colonel Sanders’ classic bird bits.

The mock chicken is still in its early stages of development, KFC told Foodbeast, but it hopes to begin testing a product in certain restaurants in 2018, with a full-scale launch in 2019.

If you’re super upset about KFC changing its recipe, you might be consoled by the fact that the restaurant is (obviously) still going to be using its signature secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.

While McDonald’s serves the McVegan burger in certain markets and the Impossible Burger continues to spread across the globe, faux chicken has not yet caught on among the large fast food restaurants, most likely due to the difficulty of recreating the striations of muscle tissue that has not been ground up.

KFC’s work on a meat-free chicken is also linked to new nutritional guidelines in the UK. It plans to reduce its calories per serving by 20 percent before 2025.

Of course, vegan junk food can often contain just as many calories as regular junk food—if not more. Could KFC’s research and development budget end up giving the world a legitimate chicken substitute? If so, it could have vast implications on a poultry industry that’s rife with issues concerning both ethics and safety.

Still hungry? Follow Genius Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more fresh food news, served daily. Use #GeniusKitchen to let us know what you're sharing!

Got a smokin' hot tip? Contact the GK News Desk at gkeditteam@gmail.com with story ideas.

get the Food.com app.

Watch on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Roku, or Fire TV.

Learn More

About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns