Kentucky Fried Chicken Substitute Being Tested As KFC Offers Meatless Option

TY LimShutterstock

Kentucky Fried Chicken, or as it’s officially known now, just KFC, will be rolling out a vegetarian “chicken” option in its United Kingdom locations, Fortune is reporting.

A place with the word “chicken” in its name doesn’t exactly scream “vegetarian food here!” But the fast-food industry is working against trends toward healthier eating, and places like KFC are scrambling to offer options with fewer fat and calories. Even if that means replacing chicken with a meat substitute, apparently.

As of this writing, KFC hasn’t landed on the specific recipe that they’ll be using to substitute for chicken. But the company tells industry magazine Food Beast that once they figure out what it is, they’ll make an announcement.

“Development of the recipe is still in its very early stages, and so the options we’re exploring in our kitchen are still top secret.”

And a company spokesperson insists that the new meat substitute will be coated with the same blend of 11 herbs & spices that made Colonel Sanders’ fried chicken famous in the first place.

Now, you probably have some questions.

Will Anyone Actually Eat “Vegetarian Chicken”?

Apparently, yes. The U.K.’s Temple of Seitan chain has been offering vegan fried chicken for some time now. And if its reviews on TripAdvisor are any indication, it’s actually pretty good.

“Absolutely blooming amazing, the food is phenomenal.”

“We sampled a spicy burger (with excellent slaw, trimmings, and disconcertingly good cheese slice), two piece box, and chips. Everything was incredibly tasty.”

What The Heck Is “Vegetarian Chicken” Made Of?

It appears there are several options. The options at Temple of Seitan are made with, well, seitan (or, wheat gluten – which means that if you’re both vegan and gluten-free, you’re SOL). Another option for meatless “chicken” is soy protein, according to Food Crumbles.

Is KFC Going To Offer “Meatless Chicken” In The U.S.?

Not anytime soon, according to a company spokesperson contacted by Food Beast.

“We have no plans related to the UK’s test at this time.”

Can I Get Any Meatless Meat At Any Other American Fast Food Joints?

Not yet, apparently, but the day is coming. Already McDonald’s is testing out a meatless burger, the McVegan Burger, in Finland, according to Food Beast. Similarly, according to an April Food Beast report, White Castle is planning to roll out slider versions of the so-called “Impossible Burger,” a meatless hamburger-substitute patty that is so similar to the real thing that even the heartiest carnivores can’t tell the difference.