Are KFC Secret Recipe Fries Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 21, 2023

Discerning whether a product is vegan or not can often prove difficult. 

This complexity arises largely due to manufacturers cloaking the true nature and sources of their ingredients. 

This article, however, aims to demystify this process and aid you in your dedication to a vegan lifestyle, with a focus on a popular fast-food item: KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries.

Are KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries Vegan?

Sadly, KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries are not vegan. Why, you ask? Despite the simple allure of fried potatoes, these particular fries include a seasoning made with “milk ingredients,” according to the KFC website. This addition clearly breaks away from the vegan philosophy; dairy is an animal product.

Are KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries Cruelty-Free?

Given the inclusion of milk-derived ingredients, it’s clear that KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries cannot be considered cruelty-free. Dairy production inherently involves the exploitation of cows, which contradicts the principles of a cruelty-free ethos.

What Are KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries Made Of?

Before we dive into vegan alternatives, it’s worth understanding exactly what goes into making KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries:

  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk ingredients
  • Secret seasoning


Potatoes are a staple plant food, sourced from the ground. They provide the foundation for the fries and are completely vegan.

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil, usually derived from plants such as sunflowers, soybeans, or corn, is used for frying the potatoes. This ingredient is also vegan.

Milk ingredients

These are derived from dairy and used in the seasoning for the fries. They are the culprit making these fries non-vegan and not cruelty-free.

Secret seasoning

This is a mix of spices and herbs used to flavor the fries. While the specific blend is a trade secret, the inclusion of milk ingredients in this mix is what makes the fries unsuitable for vegans.

Vegan Alternatives to KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries

Despite the setback, don’t be disheartened! There are plenty of vegan-friendly alternatives to KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries out there:

  • Homemade French fries: Simply chop up some potatoes, toss them in vegetable oil and your choice of herbs and spices, then bake or fry them. It’s so easy. Be sure to flip them halfway through cooking!
  • Store-bought vegan fries: Many brands offer completely plant-based fries, just check the packaging to ensure they are vegan friendly.
  • Vegan restaurants: Numerous vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants offer delicious and cruelty-free versions of French fries.


I can’t imagine it’s easy to eat vegan at a place with “chicken” in the name. While KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries may not align with a vegan or cruelty-free lifestyle due to the inclusion of milk ingredients, there are countless alternatives available. 

As advocates for the health of our planet and all its inhabitants, it’s crucial we stay informed and make choices aligning with our values. You don’t need to rely on vegan options at KFC to enjoy fast food on a vegan diet.

Continue to question, research, and explore vegan options at fast-food restaurants and beyond, and remember — every plant-based choice you make contributes to a more compassionate world.