Here’s Every Vegan Option at Dairy Queen (2020)

You wouldn’t expect a place called Dairy Queen to have many vegan options. But you may be surprised! While you won’t find any big healthy entrees, there are plenty of vegan sides and treats—including vegan ice cream!

Vegan options at Dairy Queen:

  • Side Salad
  • Fries
  • Hash Browns
  • Pretzel Sticks (Without Queso)
  • Non-Dairy Dilly Bar
  • Lay’s Chips
  • Applesauce (Kids’ Menu)
  • Misty Slush
  • Light Smoothies
  • Add Ons and Sauces

Keep reading to learn all the details of how to order, and which options are surprisingly NOT vegan. I’ll also answer common questions, and I’ll finish with a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) menu—for vegans trying to avoid processed food, too.

Dairy Queen Vegan Menu

I put this vegan menu together with the following sources: First, I emailed Dairy Queen and asked what vegan options they have. (I’ve shared some quotes from their response below.)

I also went through the allergen information and the ingredients lists on their website. I did this because sometimes the official answer you get from a restaurant isn’t necessarily the practical, complete, and up-to-date answer.

Obviously, restaurant menus change all the time—so you may want to double-check with Dairy Queen staff at your location while ordering.

1. Side Salad

The only big salad entree they regularly have at Dairy Queen is the Chicken BLT Salad, which is definitely not vegan. But the Side Salad comes vegan originally:

“INGREDIENTS: Lettuce, Tomatoes, Carrot, Red Cabbage.”

You’ve got these 3 options for vegan salad dressings:

  • Marzetti Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Marzetti Fat Free California French Style Dressing
  • Marzetti Light Italian Dressing

2. Fries

Dairy Queen Fries are fried in soybean oil—so you don’t have to worry about lard or animal fat, like you’ll see at some restaurants.

Note: Dairy Queen uses the same fryers for their meats as they do for their Fries. So there is always a chance of “cross-contamination” in a sense. Personally I’m okay with that, but some vegans aren’t. So take heed!

3. Hash Browns

A gem from the Breakfast Menu! Hash browns are a guilty pleasure of mine.

Everything I said about the Fries above also applies to the Hash Browns: They’re cooked in soybean oil, but they are likely fried in the same fryer as meat.

4. Pretzel Sticks (Without Queso)

Dairy Queen has some big soft pretzel sticks that are pretty delicious. But you need to order them without the cheese/queso dip.

Here are the ingredients for the Pretzel Rods alone—you can see they’re vegan:

“INGREDIENTS: Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Fructose, Vegetable Shortening (Palm), Sugar, Yeast, Natural Flavor, Barley Malt (Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Malted Barley), Salt, Dough Conditioner (Wheat Flour, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Enzymes), Bicarbonates And Carbonate Of Soda.”

If you want to get creative, ask for one of these Dipping Sauces to replace the queso:

  • BBQ Dipping Sauce Cup
  • Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce Cup

5. Non-Dairy Dilly Bar

Now this is the real exciting menu item… Vegan ice cream! At a mainstream, major restaurant chain like Dairy Queen!

The Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is made with coconut ice cream and a vegan chocolate coating. Here’s the full ingredients if you want to check for yourself:

“INGREDIENTS: Non-Dairy Dilly Bar Frozen Dessert (Water, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Coconut Oil, Coconut Cream, Contains 2% Or Less Of Vanilla Extract, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Carob Bean Gum, Mono & Diglycerides), Coating (Coconut Oil, Sugar, Cocoa Processes With Alkali, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Natural Flavor).”

6. Chips

You can also grab some vegan chips on the side:

7. Applesauce (Kids’ Menu)

Another little side you can potentially add to your meal: Applesauce!

8. Add Ons, Boosts, and Sauces

Here are the vegan “Add Ons” you can get. You may be able to make some kind of creative vegan sandwich out of them—or you could bring your own food to eat with them:

  • Banana
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Chocolate Topping
  • Diced Tomato
  • Ketchup
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • OREO Cookie Pieces
  • Pickles
  • Pineapple Topping
  • Strawberry Topping
  • Tomato
  • Vanilla Syrup
  • Yellow Mustard

Note: Although the Chocolate Topping is vegan, the Choco Chunks, Cocoa Fudge, and Hot Fudge Toppings are not vegan—they all contain milk products.

Here are the vegan “Boosts” that can be added to smoothies and the like:

  • Antioxidant Boost
  • Energy Boost
  • Vitamin C Boost

Here are the vegan Dipping Sauces to choose from:

  • BBQ Dipping Sauce Cup
  • Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce Cup

9. Misty Slush

Dairy Queen is known for its Blizzards and shakes, none of which are vegan (yet). But we vegans can partake in a special frozen beverage of sorts—the Misty Slush.

When I emailed Dairy Queen, this was one of the menu items they proudly proclaimed was vegan:

Available at all DQ stores and restaurants, our Misty® drinks are all made without dairy. I have included the ingredient listing for the Blue Raspberry Misty drink below for you as an example. All Misty drinks will have the same Misty Base, the flavoring will vary, and you can check those ingredients on our website.

Misty Base: General label declaration, ingredients may vary by supplier. Water, dextrose, citric acid, salt, cellulose gum

Blue Raspberry Misty Flavor: Water, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Artificial Color FD&C Blue #1 and Red #40, Maltodextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Artificial Raspberry Flavor.”

You’ll have these flavors of Misty Slush to choose from:

  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Lemon Lime
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Strawberry Kiwi

Note: If you see a menu item called a “Misty Freeze,” do NOT assume it is vegan. According to the allergen info on the Dairy Queen website, the Misty Freeze contains dairy.

10. Light Smoothies

First, I want to caution you: NOT all Dairy Queen fruit smoothies are vegan. But you can get vegan ones made at most Dairy Queen locations.

Now, you will probably see at least 3 options for smoothies at Dairy Queen. Here I’ll explain what they each are:

  • Julius Originals — These are not vegan, as they come standard with eggs and dairy. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to order them vegan.
  • Premium Fruit Smoothies — These come standard with yogurt, so they aren’t vegan, either—unless you ask to get yours made without yogurt!
  • Light Smoothies — These are the vegan version of Premium Fruit Smoothies. They’re made to be low in calories, so they don’t have yogurt.

You should see these options for Light Smoothie flavors:

  • Mango Pineapple Light
  • OrangeBerry Xtreme Light
  • Pomegranate Berry Blast Light
  • Strawberry Banana Light
  • Strawberry Light
  • Strawberry Watermelon Sensation Light
  • Sunshine Orange Light
  • Tripleberry Light
  • Tropical Tango Light
  • Tropi-Colada Light

Note: Banana Chill Light is the only flavor of Light Smoothie that looks to NOT be vegan, as it still contains dairy.

11. More Beverages

You should be able to get these drinks, too:

  • Coffee
  • Orange Juice Bottle
  • Coca-Cola Products (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite)

But What About…

Here are two menu items that I would’ve expected to be vegan, but actually are NOT:

  • None of the cones listed on the Dairy Queen website are vegan, as they all contain dairy products.
  • The Flame Thrower Sauce at Dairy Queen is not vegan, as it contains egg.

Now let’s answer some common questions about vegan food at Dairy Queen.

What Does Dairy Queen Fry Their Food In?

Dairy Queen uses soybean oil, not butter or animal fat, to cook and fry their food. However, vegans should take note that Dairy Queen shares the same fryers between their meat and vegetarian foods like their Fries.

Are Dairy Queen Onion Rings Vegan?

Dairy Queen onion rings are not vegan, as they contain dairy products.

Are Dairy Queen Fries Vegan?

Diary Queen Fries are vegan, as no animal products are used to make them. However, some vegans may avoid Dairy Queen Fries because they are fried in the same fryer as meat and animal products.

Here is the list of Dairy Queen french fries ingredients:

“Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (May Contain One or More of the Following: Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil), Modified Food Starch (Potato, Corn, Tapioca), Rice Flour, Dextrin, Salt, Leavening (Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Dextrose, Xanthan Gum. Cooked in Soybean Oil.”

Does Dairy Queen Have Non-Dairy Ice Cream?

Dairy Queen has a Non-Dairy Dilly Bar, which is currently their only non-dairy ice cream product. The Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is made from coconut ice cream.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Options

More and more people are adopting a plant-based diet for health reasons. If that’s the case for you, then many of the items above are really not suitable for you, as they’re still fried or loaded with sugar.

What are the whole-food plant-based (WFPB) options at Dairy Queen?

  • Side Salad
  • Banana
  • Diced Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Pineapple Topping
  • Strawberry Topping
  • Coffee
  • Orange Juice Bottle

The Applesauce is likely vegan, too—but you may want to check if it contains added sugar.

As you can see, this list is not really much to go off of… I would not try eating at Dairy Queen if you’re doing strict WFPB.

If you need to go with family or friends, I’d just bring your own food or eat before you go. Grab a Side Salad and chit-chat and make the most of it.

Note: The Light Smoothies are not WFPB. Although they contain real fruit, they also contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 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).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.