Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD
Oftentimes, choosing to eat out can be stressful. Add in a multivore gathering and it can be completely overwhelming.
In the first of this series, I hope to take out some of that stress when choosing a meal by offering you easy-to-find vegetarian options at major chain restaurants, this time: Applebee’s.
Remember that there may be some variations in menu based on your location, and that menus get changed every so often, so consider this a guide.
- Brew Pub Loaded Waffle Fries – order without bacon, or get it on the side for some bacon lovin’ soul.
- Crispy Cheese Bites Breadsticks with alfredo sauce – for the record, also fantastic at Olive Garden. These breadsticks are made with butter, so switching to marinara would not create a vegan option.
- White Queso Dip and Chips – sub queso for guacamole for a vegan appetizer
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Mozzarella Sticks
- Brew Pub Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip
Keep in mind that cheese may contain animal rennet. Choose a vegan option, or ask the server if you are concerned about this ingredient.
- Impossible Cheeseburger – remove cheese for a vegan choice
- Bourbon Street Mushroom Swiss Burger – sub Impossible patty
- Quesadilla Burger – sub Impossible patty, remove bacon
- Whiskey Bacon Burger – same as above
Basically one bowl with 2 meat options. Sub meat for an Impossible patty. Or, even better, ask for extra bean and corn salsa.
- Broccoli Alfredo Pasta – no meat, or sub Impossible patty
- Three Cheese Chicken Penne – no chicken, or sub Impossible patty
- Four Cheese Mac and Cheese – see above….
Salads and Soups
For the following salads, make them vegetarian by removing the main protein (or sub Impossible patty):
- Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad
- Crispy (or Grilled) Chicken Tender Salad
- Oriental Chicken Salad
Make the Strawberry Balsamic Salad vegan by avoiding the breadsticks.
The dressings on the other salads are not vegan containing honey (Chicken Tender Salad) or chicken (Oriental Chicken Salad).
None of the soups at Applebee’s are vegetarian friendly.
- Onion Rings (not vegan friendly)
- Mashed Potatoes (or loaded mashed potatoes, no bacon)
- Side 4-Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Steamed or cheesy broccoli – no butter for vegan friendly steamed broccoli
- Garlicky Green Beans
- Side House Salad
Many menu items at Applebee’s are or could be vegetarian friendly with an easy modification. Vegan options are limited, but also possible.
Consider the following meals for inspiration:
- Strawberry Balsamic Salad, no chicken. Side of 4-Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Impossible Burger with a side of Steamed broccoli – make vegan by removing the cheese from the burger and butter from the broccoli.
- Southwest Chicken Bowl, sub chicken for Impossible patty. Totally Vegan!
- Brewpub Pretzels with Beer cheese dip, side salad, side of Garlicky Green Beans.
Don’t forget dessert!
For more Eating Out ideas
Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, mom, wife, and vegetarian in North Texas. She has dedicated Dietitian Jenn to be a source of information, ideas, and inspiration for people like her, vegetarians that live with people with different dietary beliefs and/or needs in a multivore household.