Are KFC Beyond Nuggets Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 22, 2023

As defenders of our beloved planet and our fellow creatures, we’re often faced with a challenging task: deciphering if a product is truly vegan. 

This difficulty is often due to manufacturers’ tendency to obscure the nature and sources of their ingredients. 

Rest assured, this article aims to cut through the confusion, uncover the truth, and help you sustain your compassionate vegan lifestyle.

Are KFC Beyond Nuggets Vegan?

Regrettably, KFC Beyond Nuggets are not completely vegan. Despite the fact that the nuggets themselves are plant based, KFC fries them in the same oil that’s used to fry real chicken products, which means there’s a likelihood of cross-contamination with animal products.

By KFC’s own admission, these are not “vegetarian, vegan, or Certified Vegan.”

Are KFC Beyond Nuggets Cruelty-Free?

While the KFC Beyond Nuggets themselves don’t contain animal ingredients, they aren’t entirely cruelty-free due to the shared frying process with meat-based products.

Furthermore, KFC has been accused of gross animal cruelty in the past and even lost a lawsuit to PETA. If you truly want to live a cruelty-free life, you’ll probably want to avoid this chain completely.

What Are KFC Beyond Nuggets Made Of?

KFC Beyond Nuggets, as a new addition to the plant-based options at major chains, are an intriguing blend of ingredients that aim to replicate the taste and texture of fried chicken. 

Here’s what they’re made with:

  • Wheat proteins
  • Soy proteins
  • Various spices and flavorings

Wheat proteins

Wheat proteins are derived from wheat, a plant, and serve as a critical source of plant-based protein in many vegan foods. These proteins give the nuggets their “meaty” texture. They are completely plant based and vegan.

Soy proteins

Like wheat proteins, soy proteins come from soybeans, a type of legume. They contribute to the nugget’s texture and are an essential source of protein. They are plant based and vegan.

Spices and flavorings

The proprietary blend of spices and flavorings aims to mimic the taste of KFC’s popcorn nuggets. However, it’s important to note that although these ingredients themselves are plant based, the cross-contamination issue during cooking prevents these nuggets from being certified vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to KFC Beyond Nuggets

In your journey to order vegan fast food, there are several other plant-based options available that can satisfy your craving for crispy, savory nuggets without the risk of cross-contamination:


While the KFC Beyond Nuggets are a significant step toward more plant-based options in fast food, they fall short of being completely vegan and cruelty-free due to the potential cross-contamination with real chicken products in the cooking process. We’re not really sure why Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn’t just cook them separately, but, alas, it does not.

However, you still have plenty of options when it comes to enjoying a delicious, vegan-friendly nugget meal. 

By making informed choices, you’re not only supporting your own health but also contributing to a kinder and more sustainable world. Keep up the great work and remember, every plant-based meal from different brands makes a difference.