Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD
Eating out with a group as a vegetarian can be a pain, amiright?
You’re either tasked with deciding on the restaurant, because “you’re the picky one…” or you end up at a restaurant that might have a side salad available to you.
For a long time, here at Dietitian Jenn, I’ve been writing about the health effects of vegetarianism and how to eat peacefully at dinner time.
The next logical step is to make sense of eating out as a vegetarian in a multivore group.
Next up, Red Lobster, AKA “the fanciest restaurant in Texas.”
Crispy Green Beans (skip the ranch if you’re vegan)
Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
Not a lot there with no meat, obviously a lot of seafood options. I’ve never done it, but I imagine that the Lobster and Langostino Pizza could be made without the seafood, essentially giving you a cheese pizza.
Bowls and Sandwiches
Try the Baja shrimp bowl, no shrimp. With the beans, rice, and a bunch of veggies you should be pretty full afterwards!
This is likely your best vegan option at Red Lobster.
Nothing to see here…..
Kung Pao Noodles – no meat. You’ll still have edamame, onions, and cashews.
Linguini and Cajun Linguini Alfredo – no meat. I usually get the cajun linguini alfredo and sub the chicken for broccoli.
Soups and Sides
Red Lobster’s soups are not vegetarian friendly. Neither is the mac and cheese! (the cheese sauce has lobster in it).
You could potentially make a meal out of the sides.
Vegetarian options include broccoli, orzo rice (though I couldn’t verify if it was made with a meat stock), crispy Brussels sprouts, baked potato, mashed potatoes (contains dairy), French fries, coleslaw, house salad, and (of course) the amazing cheddar bay biscuits.
Since we have some slim pickings, why don’t we get some dessert?!
My vote is either the Chocolate Wave or Brownie Overboard, but they also have a vanilla bean cheesecake, and a Meyer lemon cake that *may be vegan.
Unlike Applebee’s, Red Lobster does not offer a vegetarian/vegan menu, nor does it highlight which items are veg*n friendly.
I did my best to seek out the options that appear to be vegetarian-friendly, but depending on how strict you are, I would strongly recommend asking your server about your options.
Honestly, if I were vegan, I would call ahead to see if you even have options, but I suspect you may be stuck with a plain baked potato or French fries and a side salad, or at best the kung pao noodles, with no meat.
Honestly, Red Lobster is never a restaurant I choose if I’m picking the spot. There are a few dishes that I can get there, and I stinkin’ love the biscuits.
But, the whole place does smell like fish (for obvious reasons) and I hate seeing the lobsters in the lobby area. Makes me sad.
I hope this is helpful to someone though!
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.