Taco Bell is officially rolling out a fully vegan menu item nationwide for the first time in its history, according to a press release shared with Daily Meal. Beginning October 12, fans of the chain throughout the United States will be able to order Nacho Fries with Vegan Nacho sauce. The snack is certified vegan by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA).
The nacho-spiced fries themselves -- simply coated in seasonings -- are vegan already. However, traditionally, each order comes with a side of sauce made with milk and cheese. The new vegan "cheese" sauce will be completely animal product-free. The vegan Nacho Fries will be available in two sizes, priced the same as the dairy option: regular for $2.19 or large for $2.99.
The fast food chain first introduced Nacho Fries in 2018. Since then, the side dish has left the menu and returned several times (they were even supposed to become a permanent menu item). September 28 marks the 10th time the fries with dairy-based cheese have been available to order. The vegan nacho cheese sauce first appeared in select test markets in June 2023 as part of a vegan Crunchwrap test.
Taco Bell Has A Vegetarian-Friendly History
Taco Bell may be the first fast food restaurant to have served American Vegetarian Association-certified menu items, but the Nacho Fries will be the chain's first explicitly advertised-as-vegan menu item. However, the brand has appealed to plant-based diners in the past. The current menu features a "Veggie Cravings" section with meat-free options for vegetarian diners.
Although a number of these items still contain non-vegan ingredients like cheese, sour cream, or nacho cheese sauce, the menu allows for customization to make many of its recipes vegan. Taco Bell lets diners swap refried beans, black beans, or potatoes instead of meat for any menu item at no extra cost. The company's website also features AVA-certified vegan ingredients for diners to reference. The restaurant does note, however, that cross-contamination with meat or dairy products could occur in kitchens or frying oil.
Taco Bell estimates that more than a tenth of all items ordered at its restaurants are vegetarian as-is or modified to be. The launch of its inaugural officially vegan menu item could hint that even more plant-based items could hit menus in the future.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.