Chick-Fil-A To Begin Testing New Cauliflower Sandwich

The reason plant-based options continue to be added to menus at fast food chains is quite simple: demand. As NBC News reported back in 2020, plant-based alternatives from high-profile chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Dunkin' have proliferated. In most cases, these meatless offerings have been made in partnership with companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which specialize in plant-based meat substitutes intended to mimic the real thing.

Of course, fast food chains don't necessarily have to engage in these sorts of partnerships to create plant-based menu alternatives, which is what Chick-fil-A has done with its new cauliflower sandwich, which Mashed reports will make its debut at select Chick-fil-A locations across the U.S. starting next week. The chain shares that the new sandwich — which it began developing in 2018 — was created as a response to customer requests for more nutritious, vegetable-oriented menu items.

How does the new cauliflower sandwich stack up to the chicken version?

Chef Stuart Tracy is credited with designing the new menu item, which mimics the chain's iconic chicken sandwich in its use of breading and seasonings, as well as how it is served (on a toasted bun with dill pickle chips, if you're not a frequent Chick-fil-A diner). Despite the similar appearance, the new sandwich is made with whole slices of real cauliflower, making it the chain's first-ever plant-based sandwich. 

Chick-fil-A has spent five years tinkering with the recipe, and according to a review from Mashed, the chain has been able to create a pretty convincing alternative to its original chicken sandwich for those looking to consume less meat. The outlet describes the sandwich as having the same "spicy, savory flavor" as its poultry counterpart with a touch more sweetness, and praises the texture of the cauliflower version, writing, "It's the perfect balance of tender but with a little bit of a bite, and it's surprisingly juicy for a vegetable that's been cooked twice."

Where to find the new Chick-fil-A cauliflower sandwich

Chick-fil-A is not heralding the new cauliflower sandwich as either vegan or vegetarian-friendly, as it includes egg and milk-based products and, according to Mashed, will be prepared in the same cooking space as the company's chicken sandwiches. Presumably, this should spare Chick-fil-A any complaints like the lawsuit filed against Burger King (which has since been dismissed, per Food & Wine), that alleged the fast food giant deceived its customers by not divulging that its Impossible Whoppers were cooked in the same place as its meat-based offerings.

The new cauliflower sandwich will be offered on a trial basis starting Monday, February 13; As of right now, it will only be available for a limited time in three regions' stores — Charleston, South Carolina; Denver, Colorado; and Greensboro, North Carolina, so the company can assess diner interest and feedback and determine if a nationwide rollout is in the plant-based menu item's future.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.