Chick-fil-A Just Added a New Sandwich to Its Lineup

Updated: Jun. 05, 2023

This new entree item looks just like the original chicken sandwich—with one key, delicious difference!

Who doesn’t love a fried chicken sandwich? They’re an American staple of crispy, fatty goodness and nothing beats that first juicy bite. Even the most die-hard vegetarians can find themselves craving the delectable classic. Fortunately for all the veg-heads, Chick-fil-A, the ever-popular chicken-based fast-food chain, is testing out a new plant-based sandwich now in select locations.

While Leslie Neslage, director of Menu and Packaging for Chick-fil-A, insists that chicken is still “the hero” of the franchise, the restaurant recognizes that “customers really want to find ways to increase vegetables in their diet.” Thus, they created the Cauliflower Sandwich, a new plant-based menu option that Neslage says “customers absolutely fell in love with,” in her interview with USA Today. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Chick-fil-A’s New Cauliflower Sandwich Made of?

The sandwich shares many ingredients with the franchise’s original chicken sandwich: the same seasoned breading, the same two pickle slices, the same toasted bun. However, inside that hand-breaded shell lies a filet of cauliflower, marinated in a mild buffalo-styled sauce. The breaded cauliflower is then pressure-cooked to cook the cauliflower through and crisp up the breading.

The use of whole cauliflower really sets this sandwich apart from plant-based sandwiches provided by other fast-food chains. Both KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken Sandwich and Burger King’s Impossible Whoppers utilize plant-based meat substitutes, which are typically highly processed. In contrast, Neslage says the team prioritized the product being “identifiable as a vegetable.”

Better yet, the team put “a fair amount of work” over the past five years to ensure it met the right texture requirements for a sandwich. The results seem well worth it; one USA Today journalist said she “ate every bite” and that the cauliflower was “perfectly pressure-cooked with a nice crunch and hearty mouthfeel.” Yum!

Is Chick-fil-A’s New Cauliflower Sandwich Vegetarian?

Chick-Fil-A Chicken SAndwich and waffle fries at a restaurant franchise in Dedham MaineBoston Globe/Getty Images

This depends on one’s definition of vegetarianism and their needs surrounding the diet. According to Neslage, the sandwich is “made with cauliflower, pickles, bread, milk and eggs. If that works for your definition of vegetarian, awesome.” However, it’s important to note that there is still a possibility of cross-contamination from meat. Neslage says the sandwich is “not isolated in our kitchen. We have chicken all day, every day, and that’s not going away, so we want to be very candid and honest with our customers.”

For this reason, the company is referring to the sandwich as “plant-forward” rather than “vegetarian.” However, it’s worth noting that any so-called “vegetarian” dishes at restaurants are almost always prepared in the same kitchen as meat items unless it is a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant. So, if you feel comfortable eating an In-n-Out Grilled Cheese or Beyond Taco at Del Taco, the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich may comfortably sit in the same category.

How Can I Try Chick-fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich?

As of right now, the Cauliflower Sandwich is only available in Denver, Charleston and the Greensboro-Triad area of North Carolina for a limited time, while supplies last. The company is calling this a “testing phase” and if the sandwich sells well, it may be available nationally in six months to one year. “We really want to make sure it’s the right thing for our customers, it’s the right thing for operators, it works well for our team members, it makes sense for the business,” Neslage says.

If you live in one of the aforementioned areas, expect to pay around $6.59 for the cauliflower sandwich. If the sandwich is not yet available in your area, might we suggest making your own breaded cauliflower for a Nashville-style sandwich? Or, experiment with plant-based living with these 40 ways to sneak more vegetables into your diet. From sweet potato fritters to zucchini boats to mushroom tacos, you’re sure to find a recipe to satisfy both your nutritional requirements and taste buds! Did you know Chick-fil-A has a secret menu?

Chick-fil-A Copycat Recipes to Try
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