Is Beyond Fried Chicken Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 27, 2023

Identifying Beyond Fried Chicken is vegan can be a complex task.

Who even knows what’s in food these days? From genetically modified organisms to synthetic, unpronounceable additives, processed food could contain almost anything.

Fear not, dear reader, as this article aims to unveil the truth, supporting your admirable commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

Is Beyond Fried Chicken Vegan?

No, Beyond Fried Chicken is not strictly vegan. Why? The answer lies within the processing of this plant-based chicken.

Although the Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets themselves are completely plant based, composed primarily of pea protein, rice flour, and yeast extract, they are cooked in the same fryers as the traditional chicken menu items at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Cross-contamination with animal products, such as traditional meat, makes it unsuitable for those following a strict vegan lifestyle.

Is Beyond Fried Chicken Cruelty-Free?

While not strictly vegan, Beyond Fried Chicken is indeed cruelty-free. The process of creating this plant-based meat option doesn’t involve raising, harming, or killing animals. The primary ingredients — pea protein, rice flour, yeast extract — are all plant derived and certified free of GMOs.

It’s a reminder that, with creative culinary innovation, we don’t need to eat or exploit animals to enjoy the taste and texture of classic dishes like fried chicken.

What Is Beyond Fried Chicken Made Of?

Beyond Fried Chicken, a product making waves in major chains like KFC, comprises a medley of ingredients that mimic the taste and texture of traditional fried chicken. Here’s what goes into these plant-based chicken nuggets:

  • Pea protein
  • Rice flour
  • Yeast extract
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

Pea Protein

Pea protein is derived from yellow peas. It acts as a source of plant-based protein in the Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets, providing the texture that mimics that of traditional chicken. It is a vegan ingredient, and its cultivation has a significantly lower environmental footprint compared to raising meat exclusively.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is made from finely milled rice. It is a vegan ingredient, used in the nuggets to provide structure and a crispy coating when fried. Notably, rice farming is a much more sustainable option compared to poultry farming.

Yeast Extract

Yeast extract, a vegan ingredient, is derived from the same yeast used to make bread and beer. In the nuggets, it lends a savory, umami flavor that helps mimic the taste of chicken.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is simply dried, ground garlic. It is vegan, adding a savory kick to the plant-based nuggets.


Salt, a mineral found in seawater and rock deposits, is also vegan. It enhances the flavor of the nuggets.

Vegan Alternatives to Beyond Fried Chicken

While Beyond Fried Chicken offers a cruelty-free option for those who enjoy the taste of fried chicken, it’s not the only choice. There are plenty of other brands of vegan chicken nuggets in the market:

  • MorningStar Farms Chik’n Nuggets
  • Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
  • Quorn Vegan Nuggets

Remember, always double-check labels to ensure that your food choice aligns with your vegan lifestyle.


Although KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken is a cruelty-free alternative that brings us one step closer to a world where we don’t need to eat animals to enjoy our favorite foods, it’s not strictly vegan due to potential cross-contamination with animal products in the cooking process.

Each ingredient, from the pea protein to the rice flour, plays a crucial role in mimicking the taste and texture of chicken, reinforcing the idea that tasty food doesn’t require animal sacrifice. While not perfect, it’s a promising indication of the industry’s shift towards more plant-based options.

Until such time as all major chains provide completely vegan options, we must stay informed and choose the options that best align with our principles.