As a popular chicken wing chain, many people wonder if Wingstop also offers plant-based options for vegans and vegetarians. With the rise of veganism and plant-based eating, more restaurants are expanding their menus to include meatless items. So does Wingstop, known for its classic chicken wings, have vegan wing options? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Wingstop?
Founded in 1994 in Garland, Texas, Wingstop is an American fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in chicken wings. They offer classic, boneless, and bites sized chicken wings in a variety of flavors. Wingstop currently has over 1,500 locations across the United States and several international locations. They are best known for their signature seasoned wings and wide range of wing flavors like Original Hot, Lemon Pepper, Atomic, and Mango Habanero.
Does Wingstop offer vegan options?
Currently, Wingstop does not offer any vegan wing options or plant-based meat alternatives. Their menu strictly focuses on chicken wings and chicken tenders. All of their wings are cooked in chicken fat, so there are no vegan flavors or preparation methods available.
However, Wingstop does offer a few vegetarian side dishes such as green beans, corn, french fries, ranch dressing, and rolls. Vegetarians can order these meatless sides, but there are still no protein replacements for chicken wings on the menu.
Why doesn’t Wingstop have vegan wings?
There are a few reasons why Wingstop has not added vegan wings or plant-based proteins to their menu:
- Specialized menu – Wingstop focuses on one core menu item rather than offering a wide variety of options. Expanding into vegan wings would be a major shift away from their signature product.
- Food preparation – All of Wingstop’s wings are fried in chicken fat. They would have to change their oil and cooking process to accommodate vegan wings.
- No demand – With a loyal customer base who come specifically for the chicken wings, there may not be enough demand or interest in vegan wings currently.
- Cost – Developing and sourcing vegan wing options would require additional costs for ingredient sourcing and new menu development.
Will Wingstop ever offer vegan wings?
While many popular wing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings already menu vegan boneless wings, it is unclear if Wingstop has plans to follow suit. With the growing popularity of plant-based diets, they may face increasing customer requests and pressure to add vegan options down the line. However, Wingstop is laser-focused on chicken wings, so they may resist fully diving into plant-based menu alternatives.
In recent years, Wingstop has tested some diversification with products like chicken sandwiches, chicken thighs, and waffle fries. But their core offering still remains traditional chicken wings. Adding vegan wings would be a major shift and risk for the company. Their focus remains on perfecting chicken wings, not veganizing the menu.
How could Wingstop offer vegan wings?
If Wingstop ever decides to expand into the vegan wing market, here are some ways they could do it:
- Vegan chicken alternative – Use a plant-based chicken substitute like Beyond Meat or Quorn to replicate wings.
- Seitan or soy – Make wings from wheat gluten (seitan) or soy protein.
- Cauliflower – Bake breaded cauliflower “wings” tossed in sauce.
- Jackfruit – Use unripe jackfruit, which has a similar texture to meat.
- Tofu – Marinate and fry tofu cubes to absorb flavors.
- Vegetable medley – Create a mixed platter of grilled vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini.
Any of these could be paired with Wingstop’s signature wing sauces and flavors to mimic their chicken wings. However, to appeal to vegans these options would need to be prepared without cross-contamination with animal products.
Best vegan wing options near Wingstop locations
Although you can’t order vegan wings from Wingstop itself, there are some solid vegan wing alternatives available near many Wingstop locations. Here are a few of the top spots vegans can get their wing fix:
|Vegan Wing Options
|Quaker Steak & Lube
|Beyond Meat wings
|Wild Wings Cafe
|Cauliflower wings, chili lime tofu wings
|The Land of Kush
|Soy protein wings
These restaurants offer tasty vegan wing recipes from cauliflower to soy to Beyond chicken. Stopping in one of these spots before or after your Wingstop visit is a easy way to get that wing fix as a vegan.
Trying vegan chicken wing recipes at home
Vegans craving wings don’t have to rely solely on restaurants. There are endless vegan wing recipes you can make in your own kitchen. Here are some of the most popular recipes to try:
This recipe uses cauliflower florets baked and tossed in hot wing sauce. It’s lower in calories than deep fried while still full of flavor.
Baked Tofu Wings
Extra-firm tofu is marinated, breaded, and baked before getting coated in your desired sauce.
Seasoned, baked tempeh gets a crispy breading and sticky sauce for the full wing experience without the chicken.
BBQ Jackfruit Wings
Green jackfruit is shredded and sauced for a tasty barbecue-flavored wing.
Seitan gets the perfect chewy texture after frying for a close mimic of chicken wings.
The options are truly limitless when making vegan wings at home. Get creative with different proteins, cooking methods, and sauce flavors.
Innovations making vegan wings more accessible
One major factor that may compel Wingstop to eventually add vegan wings is innovations making plant-based alternatives extremely convincing:
- Meat substitutes – Brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are creating plant-based meats nearly indistinguishable from animal products.
- 3D printing – Startups like Novameat are 3D printing extremely realistic plant-based meat with nearly identical taste and texture.
- Cell-based meat – Companies are developing real chicken meat grown from cells without raising animals, which could enable 100% authentic wings without harming animals.
As these innovations continue improving taste, texture, price, and accessibility, Wingstop may find it’s feasible to offer vegan wings that capture the same experience as their signature chicken wings.
Should you request vegan options at Wingstop?
The best way to potentially encourage Wingstop to add vegan wings starts by requesting it as a customer. If they see increasing demand, it may compel them to test the waters with plant-based menu options. However, here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to request vegan wings from Wingstop:
- Be polite in your request, not confrontational.
- Understand that a nationwide chain has to consider diverse customer preferences and feasibility.
- Consider ordering one of their vegetarian sides instead if you visit the restaurant.
- Try leaving feedback on their website or social media as well.
- If you speak with an employee, direct feedback to corporate, not the individual location.
With constructive customer feedback, Wingstop may consider dipping their toes in the vegan wing market. But there’s no guarantee, given their brand identity relies so heavily on classic chicken wings.
The future of vegan options at Wingstop
It’s unclear if or when Wingstop may add vegan wings to their menu. While other wing chains are branching out into plant-based options, Wingstop seems committed to their original chicken wings. But never say never. With sufficient customer interest and progress in vegan meat technology, they may eventually test the waters.
Regardless, Wingstop doesn’t have to be off-limits for vegans and vegetarians. You can still enjoy their fresh cut fries, corn, ranch dressing, and other sides. And other wing spots definitely don’t leave you high and dry. More wing restaurants than ever sling stellar vegan wings and boneless options.
At the end of the day, wings aren’t about chicken. They’re about the crunch, the sauce, the spices, and the fun of eating with your hands. There are endless ways to re-create that experience without harming animals. So whether Wingstop eventually joins the club or you explore other vegan wing options, you’ll still be finger lickin’ satisfied.
Wingstop built their brand around classic chicken wings, not vegan alternatives. But with the rise of plant-based eating, many customers are curious if vegan wings could eventually join their menu. While Wingstop currently offers no vegan options, sufficient interest and ongoing food innovations could potentially change their minds down the line. But for now, your best bet as a vegan is choosing Wingstop’s vegetable sides or exploring the many other restaurants offering delicious vegan wings and boneless wings.