Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan?

Are McDonald’s hash browns vegan? This is a commonly asked question among those who follow a vegan lifestyle.

In this article, we will explore the ingredients of McDonald’s hash browns and discover how well they fit into a vegan regimen!

Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan?

Short answer: It depends on where you live. The US version contains animal-derived ingredients, making the hash browns not vegan-friendly. However, McDonald’s hash browns are fully plant-based in other countries like the UK.

Detailed Answer

In the United States, McDonald’s hash browns are cooked with a natural beef flavor, which contains hydrolyzed milk as a starting ingredient. This makes them unsuitable for vegans.

Additionally, they are fried in vegetable oil alongside products containing chicken and fish – another red flag for those adhering to strict vegan diets.

On the contrary, in the UK, McDonald’s hash browns do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. They are made of potatoes, vegetable oil (which consists of sunflower and rapeseed oil), dextrose, and a few preservatives. Also, they’re fried in dedicated fryers, separate from non-vegan products.

To sum it up, whether McDonald’s hash browns are vegan-friendly largely depends on your geographical location. Always check the ingredients and preparation methods in any country, as recipes and cooking practices can vary significantly from place to place.

Key Takeaways

  • The vegan status of McDonald’s hash browns varies depending on the country.
  • In the US, they are not vegan due to the use of a natural beef flavor derived from milk.
  • However, in the UK, McDonald’s hash browns are fully plant-based and fried in separate fryers, providing a vegan-friendly option.
  • It’s essential to check local ingredients and preparation methods when eating out as a vegan.

What Are McDonald’s Hash Browns?

McDonald’s hash browns are a popular breakfast side dish that has become a fan favorite. These crispy potato patties have a delightful texture with a golden-brown exterior and a fluffy interior.

Whether enjoyed on their own or paired with a breakfast sandwich, they are a satisfying addition to any morning meal.


Grated potatoesThe main component that provides texture and flavorYes
Vegetable oilUsed for frying; creates a crispy exteriorYes
SeasoningsEnhances the flavor of the hash brownsYes
Milk (US-only)Used in natural beef flavoringNo

Does nutrition ever seem confusing? It doesn’t have to be. Learn how simple (and delicious) healthy eating can be in the FREE Food for Health Masterclass. This 1-hour presentation makes things clear—finally. Click here to reserve your free spot!

Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Healthy?

While McDonald’s hash browns are a tasty treat, they are not the healthiest option, especially if consumed in excess.

They are considered to be high in calories, fat, and sodium due to the frying process and the added vegetable oil. However, as an occasional indulgence, they can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Alternatives for McDonald’s Hash Browns

If you are looking for vegan-friendly alternatives to McDonald’s hash browns, there are a few options you can consider:

  • Homemade hash browns: You can make your own hash browns using grated potatoes, seasonings, and some vegetable oil. This way, you have full control over the ingredients and can customize them to your taste.
  • Other fast-food chains: Many other fast-food chains offer vegan hash browns, such as Burger King and Subway. These options can provide variety and satisfy your hash brown cravings.
  • Local breakfast spots: Check out local diners or cafes that offer vegan breakfast options. They may have their take on hash browns using plant-based ingredients.

Examples of Dishes or Recipes Using McDonald’s Hash Browns

Here are a few ideas for incorporating McDonald’s hash browns into delicious dishes:

  • Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole: Layer McDonald’s hash browns with vegan cheese, sautéed veggies, and tofu scramble. Bake it until golden and enjoy a hearty breakfast.
  • Vegan Hash Brown Breakfast Sandwich: Place a cooked hash brown patty on a toasted vegan bun with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and a vegan-friendly sauce for a satisfying morning sandwich.
  • Hash Brown Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with cooked McDonald’s hash browns, black beans, corn, and spices. Bake until the peppers are tender for a tasty and filling meal.

Looking for a sign that it’s time to take charge of your diet? This is it. Watch the Food or Health Masterclass—completely free—and discover the 10 surprising nutrition breakthroughs everyone should know. Reserve your free spot here!


How are McDonald’s hash browns cooked?

McDonald’s hash browns are deep-fried in vegetable oil to achieve their crispy exterior while maintaining a fluffy interior.

Are McDonald’s hash browns suitable for those with gluten sensitivities?

Yes, McDonald’s hash browns are gluten-free and can be enjoyed by individuals with gluten sensitivities.

Do McDonald’s hash browns contain any artificial flavors?

No, McDonald’s hash browns do not contain any artificial flavors.

Can McDonald’s hash browns be reheated?

Yes, you can reheat McDonald’s hash browns in a toaster or oven to restore their crispiness.

What is the nutritional content of McDonald’s hash browns?

The nutritional content of McDonald’s hash browns varies slightly based on the size and location, but generally, a serving of hash browns contains around 150-190 calories, 9-12 grams of fat, and 230-310 milligrams of sodium. It is essential to check the specific information provided by McDonald’s for accurate values.


The vegan status of McDonald’s hash browns is dependent on the country. In the US, they contain animal-derived ingredients and are therefore not suitable for vegans.

However, in the UK, they are entirely plant-based and cooked separately from non-vegan products.

While McDonald’s hash browns may not be the healthiest choice due to their high calorie and fat content, they can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced eating plan.

If you prefer alternatives, you can try making homemade hash browns or explore other fast-food chains that offer vegan options.

With some creativity, you can also incorporate McDonald’s hash browns into dishes such as casseroles, sandwiches, and stuffed peppers for a delicious twist.

Two More Recommendations for Your Plant-Based Journey

1. This is the best free video training I’ve found on plant-based nutrition. You’ll learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and obesity—all with plant-based food. Watch the free “Food for Health Masterclass” here.

2. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in my 14 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).