CONSUMER

Chick-fil-A’s newest sandwich has no chicken in it

Feb 9, 2023, 9:55 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 1:32 pm

Chick-fil-A's cauliflower sandwich goes on sale Feb. 13. (Courtesy: Chick-fil-A, Inc. via CNN)...

Chick-fil-A's cauliflower sandwich goes on sale Feb. 13. (Courtesy: Chick-fil-A, Inc. via CNN)

(Courtesy: Chick-fil-A, Inc. via CNN)

(CNN) — Chick-fil-A’s newest sandwich ditches chicken for … cauliflower.

The aptly named “Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich” is being tested in three cities beginning next week, marking the chicken chain’s first-ever plant-based sandwich. Imitating the chain’s signature fried chicken sandwiches, the new offering uses a “tender filet cut” of cauliflower that’s marinated and breaded in the chain’s seasoning, then pressure cooked and served on a buttery bun with pickles.

“Guests told us they wanted to add more vegetables into their diets, and they wanted a plant-forward entrée that tasted uniquely Chick-fil-A,” said Leslie Neslage, the chain’s director of menu and packaging, in a statement.

Chick-fil-A’s new sandwich goes on sale Monday for a limited time in three cities: Denver; Charleston, South Carolina; and the Greensboro-Triad region in North Carolina. The starting price is $6.59, but it varies by market, a company spokesperson told CNN.

The sandwich has been in development for nearly four years and was created in house by the chain’s chefs. Stuart Tracy, culinary developer of the cauliflower sandwich, explained in a blog post that the chain considered using “everything from mushrooms to chickpeas to chopped vegetables formed into patties,” but it chose cauliflower because it has a “mild flavor.”

However, the company notes that it’s not vegan, because milk and eggs are used. And it may not satisfy vegetarians, either: Its restaurants don’t have “vegetarian-only preparation surfaces,” the company said.

Fast food companies have been adding plant-based alternatives to their meat-centric menus in recent years as more people seek to limit their meat intake. But these efforts have been met with varying success.

Kentucky Fried Chicken tested plant-based fried chicken nuggets last year, but it hasn’t returned to menus. Taco Bell has tested several plant-based meat-flavored alternatives, but nothing has officially joined its menu. And McDonald’s tried a McPlant sandwich last year and has yet to add it to U.S. menus.

Burger King, however, still sells its Impossible Whopper and has expanded into testing plant-based chicken sandwiches with the same company.


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Chick-fil-A’s newest sandwich has no chicken in it