Nando’s isn’t known for being particularly vegan-friendly. It’s one of the few high street restaurants that hasn’t launched a vegan menu, despite having a fairly generous vegetarian selection. Nevertheless, you may still be able to eat at Nando’s as a vegan. If you’re missing this Portuguese-inspired restaurant’s famous peri-peri, we’re here to help you uncover the tastiest plant-based treats hidden on its menu.
Unfortunately for peri-peri fans, the answer to this is no. Nando’s is yet to launch a vegan menu, despite many other restaurants doing so. We wish Nando’s would take Wagamama’s lead and go primarily plant-based – or, even better, 100% vegan!
Frustratingly, Nando’s hasn’t so much as hinted at releasing a vegan menu, although with Veganuary 2022 just around the corner, we’ve got our fingers crossed that this will change.
Nando’s may not have a dedicated vegan menu, but vegetarians certainly won’t go hungry! Vegetarian Nando’s dishes are plentiful, with lots of meat-free starters, sides, mains and extras to choose from.
Nando’s main vegetarian offering is its Beanie, which like most of its main dishes, comes in a wrap, burger or pitta. The Beanie is packed full of veggies and beans, including sweetcorn, peas and lentils, but is also stuffed with cheese.
It’s really important to note that the only item on its menu that Nando’s has confirmed to be 100% vegan is the vegan PERinaise, which has been certified by PETA.
Why? Well, as you look through Nando’s menu, you’ll notice that there are only vegetarian and plant-based options. It’s up to you to determine whether you’re comfortable eating plant-based items, such as Nando’s Rainbow Bowl Salad and PERi-Salted Chips, that aren’t confirmed to be vegan.
Some of Nando’s plant-based meals have sparked controversy for this very reason. For instance, when Nando’s released the Great Imitator, its vegan mock chicken made from pea protein, many people were frustrated to realise that the wrap it’s served in contains shellac. As shellac is a byproduct of the lac bug, it’s not technically vegan.
PETA suggests ordering the Great Imitator in a burger or pitta to ensure it’s 100% “bug-free” – but a quick search on the Nando’s website confirms that these items still use a baste containing shellac.
Please also note that, although some of the items on the menu at Nando’s contain only plant-based ingredients, the restaurant admits there may be some cross-contamination with its chicken.
Frustrating, right? Right! Nevertheless, many people following a vegan diet – or primarily plant-based diet – are still comfortable eating at Nando’s. If this sounds like you, we’ve listed all the plant-based options on the menu to help you order a true feast.
Houmous with PERi-PERi Drizzle
Who doesn’t love spiced houmous? Enjoy this chickpea treat with a fiery drizzle and sliced warm pitta bread. Yum!
Sweet Potato Wedges
These sweet potato wedges are served with Nando’s plant-based garlic PERinaise, offering the perfect combination of flavours.
Spicy Mixed Olives
Olives are the ultimate starter to share with friends, especially these mixed with garlic, red pepper and mushrooms!
The Great Imitator Wrap, Burger & Pitta
As we’ve discussed, the Great Imitator is prepared with a baste containing shellac. However, the rest of its ingredients, including the mayonnaise it’s served with, are free from animal products
This colourful salad combines warm grains with plenty of wholesome veggies, including broccoli and Nando’s own rainbow slaw – which is coated in mustard, not yoghurt.
Spicy rice is one of Nando’s most classic side dishes – and is ideal for soaking up the fiery flavours the restaurant is known for!
Who doesn’t love golden brown chips? At Nando’s, you’ve got two options – plain and PERi-salted. Which will you opt for?
Long Stem Broccoli
Broccoli, coated in garlic and lemon oil, is a vegan’s dream – and makes for a truly tasty side dish to enjoy at Nando’s!
Garlic bread is often made with butter, but not at Nando’s. Those on a plant-based diet will be pleased to know that this dish is completely dairy-free.
This plant-based alternative to coleslaw is just as vibrant as its name suggests, with crunchy veggies, seeds and mustard offering a dreamy combination.
Mixed Leaf Salad
As you might expect, Nando’s mixed leaf salad is 100% plant-based! It’s served with a tangy balsamic dressing for extra punch.
PERi Plant Strips
These pea protein strips are a truly tasty plant-based alternative to Nando’s famous chicken, and unlike the Great Imitator, they don’t contain shellac (according to the Nando’s website). Yum!
This slightly spiced, garlic-infused mayonnaise is completely plant-based, making it the ultimate dip for hot, salty chips and PERi Plant Strips!
Nando’s is known for its PERinaise, but if you’re in the mood for something different, this fiery jam is the pick for you.
If you love contrasting the hot with the sweet, you’ll love tucking into Nando’s grilled pineapple on the side of your meal.
Feel like finishing your meal at Nando’s on a sweeter note? The Mango Gelado, a refreshing frozen dessert, is a truly tempting plant-based alternative to ice cream.
Whether you decide to eat at Nando’s is up to you. Many vegans choose not to support restaurants serving meat, which Nando’s is certainly known for. However, many others believe that by eating at Nando’s and other high street restaurants, we can encourage more brands to cater for the vegan diet – and ultimately reduce the animal products they serve. What do you think?
We’d love to know your thoughts, or what you think of the plant-based options at Nando’s. Contact us to share!