Are Mcdonald’s Fries Vegan?

Are McDonald’s fries vegan?

This is a question that many vegans and those following a plant-based diet may often find themselves asking.

In this article, we will dive into the ingredients of McDonald’s fries and examine whether they meet the criteria for a vegan-friendly food option.

Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan?

Short answer: It depends on where you live. McDonald’s fries in Europe, Canada, or Australia are entirely vegan. Unfortunately, McDonald’s fries in the US aren’t vegan-friendly – they contain animal-derived ingredients.

Detailed Answer

Many people wonder whether McDonald’s fries fit into a vegan diet, given the fast-food chain’s reputation for animal-based ingredients.

In Europe, McDonald’s french fries are made using rapeseed and sunflower oil. They also aren’t coated in any animal-derived ingredients. This makes them suitable as vegan snacks. McDonald’s fries are also considered vegan in Australia and Canada.

The situation is very different in the US – there, McDonald’s fries are made with ‘natural beef flavoring’, which is known to contain milk. Because of that, McDonald’s fries are considered unsuitable for vegan consumption.

Key Takeaways:

  • McDonald’s fries are vegan in Europe, Canada, and Australia since they contain only potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. They are not vegan in the US.
  • If they don’t have ‘natural beef flavoring’, they can be a popular snack or side option for those following a vegan diet.
  • Consumers should check for potential cross-contamination when ordering at McDonald’s, as cooking methods may involve shared fryers with non-vegan items.

What Are McDonald’s Fries?

McDonald’s fries are thin, crispy sticks of potato deliciousness that have gained immense popularity worldwide. They perfectly complement meals or serve as a tasty snack on their own.


IngredientUsed ForIs It Vegan?
PotatoesThe main ingredientYes
Vegetable oilUsed for frying the potatoesYes
Canola oilUsed for frying the potatoesYes
Corn oilUsed for frying the potatoesYes
Soybean oilUsed for frying the potatoesYes
Hydrogenated soybean oilUsed for frying the potatoesYes
Natural beef flavor (US)Adds flavor to the friesNo
DextroseAdds sweetness to the friesYes
Sodium acid pyrophosphateUsed to maintain the color of friesYes
SaltUsed for seasoningYes

As you can see, not all ingredients in McDonald’s fries are safe for vegans to eat.

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Are McDonald’s Fries Healthy?

While McDonald’s fries can be vegan, it’s essential to consider their nutritional value. Like any deep-fried food, they are high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Therefore, they should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Alternatives for McDonald’s Fries

If you’re looking for healthier or homemade alternatives to McDonald’s fries, here are some great options to consider:

  • Baked sweet potato fries seasoned with herbs and spices
  • Zucchini fries coated in breadcrumbs and baked to crispy perfection
  • Cauliflower wings with a flavorful coating and served with a dip

Examples of Dishes or Recipes Using McDonald’s Fries

Although McDonald’s fries are delicious on their own, you can also incorporate them into various creative dishes and recipes. Here are three mouthwatering ideas:

  • Vegan Loaded Fries: Top a plate of vegan McDonald’s fries with vegan cheese, plant-based meat crumbles, diced tomatoes, green onions, and a drizzle of dairy-free sour cream for a decadent and indulgent treat.
  • Vegan Poutine: Start with a bed of vegan McDonald’s fries, add vegan cheese curds, and smother it all in rich vegan gravy. This classic Canadian dish is sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
  • Vegan Taco Fries: Top your vegan McDonald’s fries with seasoned black beans, vegan cheese sauce, guacamole, salsa, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. It’s a Tex-Mex twist that will make your taste buds dance!

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Can I order McDonald’s fries without salt?

Yes, you can request McDonald’s fries without salt. However, keep in mind that the absence of salt may affect the flavor, so it’s worth considering your preference before making the request.

Are McDonald’s fries suitable for gluten-free diets?

McDonald’s fries are gluten-free, which means they are safe to consume for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Nonetheless, cross-contamination may occur during preparation, so it’s essential to verify the specific procedures followed by your local McDonald’s.

Are McDonald’s fries cooked in the same oil as non-vegan items?

Yes, McDonald’s fries are cooked in the same vegetable oil used for other menu items, some of which may not be vegan. While the oil is filtered, there is a possibility of cross-contamination. If you have concerns, it’s best to ask the staff or opt for other vegan-friendly menu choices.

Are McDonald’s fries suitable for people following a low-sodium diet?

McDonald’s fries are relatively high in sodium due to the salt used in their seasoning. Therefore, individuals following a low-sodium diet should consume them in moderation or explore alternative options with lower sodium content.

Are McDonald’s fries suitable for individuals on a keto diet?

Since McDonald’s fries are made from potatoes and cooked in vegetable oil, they are generally not considered suitable for individuals following a strictly low-carb or ketogenic (keto) diet. However, this ultimately depends on your specific daily carbohydrate allowance and overall dietary approach on the keto diet.


Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan? It all depends on where you live. In the United States, McDonald’s fries contain a ‘natural beef flavoring’ with milk, which makes them unsuitable for vegans.

On the other hand, in Europe, Australia, and Canada, McDonald’s fries are made with plant-based ingredients only, making them a favorite among local vegans.

No matter if they are vegan or not, it’s essential to enjoy McDonald’s fries in moderation due to their high calorie, sodium, and unhealthy fat content. If you’re looking for healthier alternatives, you can try baking your own fries or exploring other veggie-based options.

Lastly, keep in mind that cooking methods at McDonald’s may involve shared fryers, which could lead to potential cross-contamination with non-vegan items.

If you have specific concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s always a good idea to confirm with the staff or consider other vegan-friendly choices on the menu.

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