Is KFC Gravy Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 21, 2023

Identifying whether or not a product is vegan can sometimes be a challenging task, especially given the secretive nature of manufacturers regarding their ingredients. 

The difficulty arises as a result of hidden ingredient sources, confusing terminology, and the overall lack of transparency within the food industry. 

This article aims to demystify these complexities, revealing the truth behind KFC’s gravy, and supporting you, our compassionate reader, on your vegan journey.

Is KFC Gravy Vegan?

To cut straight to the point, no, KFC gravy is not vegan.

The reason for this lies primarily in the use of chicken fat, an ingredient that directly contradicts the principles of a vegan diet. This animal-derived ingredient is a clear indication that KFC’s gravy does not fit into a vegan or even vegetarian diet. 

Beyond chicken fat, the gravy also contains hydrolyzed soy protein and hydrolyzed corn protein, which can sometimes be derived from animals.

Is KFC Gravy Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, KFC gravy is not cruelty-free. The inclusion of chicken fat in the recipe means that animal products are used, which goes against the principle of cruelty-free production. 

Even if other ingredients were plant based or synthetic, the presence of chicken fat negates the possibility of this gravy being cruelty-free.

What Is KFC Gravy Made Of?

KFC’s gravy is a popular sauce that elevates the taste of various dishes at KFC. This savory, delectable gravy provides a burst of flavor and richness that perfectly complements KFC’s famous fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and more. 

However, what exactly goes into this beloved gravy? Let’s delve into the key ingredients:

  • Chicken fat
  • Wheat flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Mono- and diglycerides
  • Spices
  • Natural flavors

Chicken fat

Chicken fat is a type of animal fat that comes from the rendered tissues of chickens. It plays a vital role in giving KFC gravy its rich, savory taste and smooth texture. This ingredient makes the product non-vegan because it is sourced directly from animals.

Wheat flour

Wheat flour is derived from grinding whole wheat grains into a fine powder. It serves as a thickening agent in KFC gravy, helping to give it a hearty, thick consistency. While wheat flour is vegan friendly, the overall product is not vegan due to the presence of chicken fat.


Cornstarch is a carbohydrate extracted from the endosperm of corn. Like wheat flour, cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, contributing to the gravy’s thick and rich texture. Cornstarch is a plant-based ingredient, hence it is vegan.


Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride. It is used universally in cooking to enhance flavor. In KFC Gravy, salt helps to intensify the savory flavor profile. Salt is naturally vegan because it is a mineral harvested from sea water or mined from salt deposits.

Mono- and diglycerides

Mono- and diglycerides are types of fats used as emulsifiers in a variety of food products. They help to blend ingredients together that would not normally mix, such as oil and water. These can be sourced from either plant or animal origins, but in the case of KFC gravy, they are usually plant derived, hence vegan friendly. 

However, their presence does not make the overall product vegan due to the inclusion of chicken fat.


The term “spices” covers a broad range of ground or whole plant products used to flavor food. The specific mix used in KFC gravy is proprietary, but they add depth and complexity to the flavor profile of the gravy. Spices are derived from plants and are therefore vegan.

Natural flavors

Natural flavors are derived from plant or animal sources and are used to enhance the flavor of food products. Without specific details, it’s difficult to determine if the natural flavors used in KFC Gravy are vegan. 

However, given the presence of chicken fat in the product, the gravy overall is not considered vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to KFC Gravy

If you’re looking for a gravy to put on vegan mashed potatoes, KFC won’t cut it. Replacing KFC’s gravy with vegan options doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Here are a few categories and specific alternatives you can consider:

  • Homemade gravies: With a blend of vegetable broth, flour, and your favorite spices, you can whip up a delicious gravy in your own kitchen.
  • Store-bought gravies: Brands like Tofurky and Bisto offer vegan-friendly gravy options that are easily accessible.
  • Vegan-friendly restaurants: Many eateries, such as Veggie Grill, a vegan fast-food restaurant, offer vegan gravy that matches, if not surpasses, the richness of traditional gravy.


Navigating a vegan lifestyle can be complex, but with the right information, you can make choices that align with your principles. Unfortunately, KFC gravy is not vegan or cruelty-free due to the inclusion of chicken fat and potentially animal-derived proteins. 

However, there are numerous tasty alternatives available from various brands that respect both your dietary choices and our planet’s well-being. As we continue to demand transparency and ethical practices in food production, we hope to see more mainstream options that embody the spirit of veganism.