Chick-fil-A Is Testing a Cauliflower Sandwich That's an Eco-Friendly Alternative to Its Chicken Counterpart
Chick-fil-A's plant-based Cauliflower Sandwich is launching at select locations. Here's what to know about the planet-friendly option.
Chick-fil-A—the restaurant that, as the name suggests, is all about its chicken menu items—isn't typically a hot spot for plant-based folks. But that's all about to change with its newest launch: a cauliflower sandwich that's just as crispy and delicious as its chicken counterpart.
The restaurant chain announced the news in a press release, stating that the Cauliflower Sandwich—its first plant-forward entrée—took four years to perfect.
"Time and time again, we kept returning to cauliflower as the base of our sandwich," said Stuart Tracy, culinary developer of the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich. "After a significant amount of development, we knew we had a one-of-a-kind entrée; one that puts a delicious spin on what we’re known for–great tasting food with ingredients you can trust."
Here's everything you need to know about the new menu item, including what's in it, how it benefits the environment, and where to find it.
What's in Chick-fil-A's Cauliflower Sandwich
Chick-fil-A's Cauliflower Sandwich is made with a tender cauliflower filet that gets the same treatment as the original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich it was inspired by.
To create the sandwich, the cauliflower filet is "marinated, breaded with a signature seasoning, pressure-cooked, and served on a toasted buttery bun with two dill pickle chips."
Because the menu item contains milk and eggs, it's considered vegetarian—not vegan. With that being said, Leslie Neslage, director of Menu and Packaging for Chick-fil-A, told USA Today that it's not isolated in their kitchens and there's not a separate area reserved for preparing meatless menu items.
"This is made with cauliflower, pickles, bread, milk and eggs. If that works for your definition of vegetarian, awesome," Neslage said. "But it is not isolated in our kitchens. We have chicken all day, every day, and that's not going away, so we want to be very candid and open and honest with our customers."
Is Chick-fil-A's Cauliflower Sandwich Eco-Friendly?
Over the past few years, many fast food chains—from Burger King to McDonald's to KFC—have added plant-based items to their menus. And that's only good news for the planet.
Plant-based foods have a lower environmental footprint than those made from animals, both in terms of their water footprint and carbon emissions. Let's compare chicken and cauliflower, for example. While a single pound of chicken requires 468 gallons of water to produce, the same amount of cauliflower only requires 35 gallons.
Sure, fast food chains aren't perfect. But by adding plant-based options to their menus, they're giving consumers the option to eat more consciously. Chick-fil-A sells over 400,000 chicken sandwiches every day. Every time someone chooses the new cauliflower sandwich over the original, they're lessening their footprint.
Where to Find Chick-fil-A's Cauliflower Sandwich
Want to get your hands on Chick-fil-A's new Cauliflower Sandwich? Starting Monday, February 13, it will be available in three select markets: Denver, Colorado; Charleston, South Carolina; and North Carolina’s Greensboro-Triad region.
While this is just an initial test, the excitement surrounding this release is a promising indicator that this plant-forward and planet-friendly option is here to stay.
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