When you lead a vegan diet and lifestyle, you have to be careful where you choose to eat, as some restaurants may not have vegan options on the menu, or may not be aware of the best vegan practices that they can employ when making their food.
Luckily, we always have a guide of vegan options available at some of the most popular restaurants. One of which is Chili’s. Chili’s is an American casual restaurant chain specializing in Mexican food, burgers and grills, with over 1,600 locations across the globe.
Despite having a lot of meat options on their menu, Chili’s actually display which food and drink items are suitable for vegans and vegetarians right on the menu! This, along with the allergen and vegan information listed on their website has helped us create an in depth guide of the 7 best vegan options at Chili’s.
7 Best Vegan Options At Chili’s
If you are looking for a delicious vegan option at Chili’s, then you are in the right place. Our personal favorite is the chips and salsa, but you can also have this with guacamole!
Chips and Salsa (or Guacamole)
If you love Mexican food, then you know how important chips and salsa are to the Chili’s menu. Luckily, their Bottomless Tostada Chips and Salsa or Chips and Fresh Guacamole are completely 100% vegan friendly!
This means that the chips, salsa, guacamole are all suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and you can enjoy this staple of Mexican cuisine completely risk and guilt free. That being said, the tostada chips will have been fried in a shared fryer, so you may have to ask your server if there is a risk of cross contamination, or if you need to avoid fried foods altogether.
Side House Salad (without croutons or cheese)
As per usual, the side house salad at this restaurant is vegan. The Chili’s Side House Salad comes with red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, salad, garlic croutons and cheese. If you remove the last two ingredients, you have yourself a vegan meal. We also recommend asking for a vegan dressing to make it a little more interesting, or pair it with some fried pickles if you want something a little more filling!
Caribbean Salad (without meat or regular dressing)
We also recommend that you try ordering the Caribbean Salad if you are a vegan eating at a Chili’s restaurant. This comes with mandarin oranges, pineapple, dried cranberries, red bell peppers, cilantro, green onions and a honey lime dressing.
Obviously, a vegan cannot eat the dressing, but this can be substituted for the Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette, which is the only vegan dressing option available at Chili’s. Also, order the Caribbean Salad without any meat or toppings for a 100% vegan meal.
If you are looking for a tasty snack at Chili’s, you cannot go wrong with the Fried Pickles. These are tangy and delicious crispy bites of pickles, that work as an appetizer, or as an addition to your side salad. Just remember to order without the Ranch Sauce that comes with them, and your dish will be completely vegan friendly.
Just like the chips previously, the pickles are fried in a shared fryer, so there may be a risk of cross contamination, and if you have an allergy then avoid these. However, you may ask your server in the specific location if there is no risk.
You may be wondering why the Veggie Fajitas from Chili’s are not on this list, but unfortunately these are not completely vegan. However, you can recreate this scrumptious meal by combining a few of the side dishes to make your own Chili’s Vegan Fajitas.
Luckily, the corn and flour tortillas at Chili’s are both vegan, and as are the black beans and Mexican rice dishes, throw in some steamed veggies, salsa and a few sides, and you have yourself some perfectly vegan fajitas.
To do this, all you need is:
- Black beans
- Tortillas - flour or all natural corn
- Steamed broccoli
- Mexican rice
- Grilled asparagus
- Corn on the cob
Again, if you are worried about cross contamination, then steer clear of the fries as these will be cooked in a shared fryer with non vegan foods.
Condiments and Sauces
If you want to spice up your meals at Chili’s, then you can order a variety of condiments and sauces that are all vegan:
- Avocado slices
- House BBQ Sauce
- Regular BBQ Sauce
- Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
Chili’s offer a wide selection of vegan alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages to choose from, but these may differ from location to location, so it is best if you check with your local restaurant, and ask your server which drinks are 100% vegan friendly.
If you love Mexican food, and enjoy eating at Chili’s, but worry about what vegan options there are, then worry no more. There is a good variety of vegan choices available at Chili’s from House Salads to Fried Pickles to simple chips and salsa.