When you hear the name Chick-fil-A, you probably think of chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and chicken sandwiches. Chicken is the name of the game here and well, the literal name of the chain, but there is a new player coming to the menu. Starting Monday, February 13, shoppers in select locations will find something new and plant-based on their menu to try — a Chick-fil-A cauliflower sandwich. 

Yes, plant-based, as in not chicken. Maybe you had to read that again. No, it's not April Fools Day. I am serious about this plant-based option and so is Chick-fil-A — they worked for four years to get it just right.

What is the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich and where can I try it?

Chick-fil-A is launching the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich, which will be tested in three markets: Denver, Colorado; Charleston, South Carolina; and North Carolina’s Greensboro-Triad region. This plant-forward entrée is prepared just like the Original Chick-fil-A Sandwich. It's marinated and breaded with Chick-fil-A’s signature seasoning, pressure-cooked, and served on a toasted buttery bun with their classic dill pickles. Those obsessed with Chick-fil-A salads can also try this new plant-based option on any of the three salads they offer.

This new option emerges as Chick-fil-A aims to meet the ever changing desires of their clients. “Guests told us they wanted to add more vegetables into their diets, and they wanted a plant-forward entrée that tasted uniquely Chick-fil-A,” said Leslie Neslgae, director of menu and packaging at Chick-fil-A, in an Q&A on the chain's website. “Our new sandwich is made with the highest quality ingredients and whole vegetables, and we hope it offers customers another reason to dine at Chick-fil-A.”

Is the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich vegan or vegetarian?

Chick-fil-A Cauliflower is considered plant-based by Chick-fil-A, but not outright vegetarian or even vegan. "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." Within their kitchens, there is also no specific vegetarian designated meal prep area so cross contamination with chicken can be expected.

Where other chain restaurants have plant-based options?

Chick-fil-A isn’t the first fast food chain to add some plant-based options to their menu. McDonald’s introduced the McPlant sandwich, Kentucky Fried Chicken tested plant-based nuggets, and Taco Bell offered Beyond Meat, but none of these items have stuck in their menus for long. Burger King however, introduced their Impossible Whopper in 2019, and it's still possible to order off the menu. Starbucks too introduced their Impossible Breakfast Sandwich in 2020, and it's still out there. Perhaps in time Chick-fil-A can join the ranks alongside Burger King and Starbucks with a permanent plant based option on their menu.