Eating out as a vegan or vegetarian can be challenging, especially if you are dining at a chain restaurant like Texas Roadhouse.
Texas Roadhouse is not only known for its mouthwatering steaks but also for its great hospitality and quality service. However, they don’t have as many vegan and vegetarian options on their menu as they have juicy steaks.
What are the best vegan and vegetarian options at Texas Roadhouse? Luckily, the menu boasts many side dish alternatives, such as grilled or steamed vegetables, salads, or potato fries.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some vegan and vegetarian options of dishes that you can enjoy at the famous steakhouse.
What Is Texas Roadhouse Known For?
Texas Roadhouse was founded in 1993 by Kent Taylor in Clarksville, Indiana. The first restaurant was a converted Lyon restaurant and featured live country music, line dancing, and buckets of peanuts for customers to munch on.
Taylor’s vision was to create a restaurant that was a combination of a honky-tonk and a steakhouse. Today, Texas Roadhouse has over 600 locations in 49 states and nine countries, serving steaks, ribs, chicken, and sides made from scratch.
One unique feature of Texas Roadhouse is its in-house meat-cutting program. All of their steaks are hand-cut by trained butchers, who carve steaks to order. This means that every steak is cooked to perfection with a precise level of marbling, tenderness, and flavor.
For side dishes, they have a wide variety of options to choose from, including baked potatoes, green beans, buttered corn, and mac and cheese. And let’s not forget the famous Texas Roadhouse buns, hot and fresh out of the oven, served with a side of honey cinnamon butter.
Another standout feature of Texas Roadhouse is its commitment to customer service. The servers are not only friendly but also energetic and enthusiastic, making the dining experience not only delicious but also entertaining.
When it comes to the décor, Texas Roadhouse is all about the details. The wood paneling, exposed brick, and neon signs create a relaxed and comfortable ambiance.
The walls are adorned with cowboy hats, boots, and saddles, and country music plays in the background.
And let’s not forget the peanuts! There are barrels of free peanuts available for customers to snack on while they wait for their food.
Unfortunately, all of this means that attending a family dinner at Texas Roadhouse can often be a stressful experience for vegans and vegetarians.
The restaurant specializes in steak, ribs, chicken, and other dishes that contain animal products, leaving many vegan and vegetarian guests feeling anxious about ordering a meal.
If you are unsure about whether you can safely order a vegetarian or vegan meal at Texas Roadhouse, read on!
Understanding the Meaning of Vegetarian
A vegetarian diet is a dietary pattern that excludes the consumption of any meat. People on a vegetarian diet do not eat any kind of animal flesh or meat, including beef, chicken, pork, fish, and even insects.
Vegetarians also exclude other animal products, such as dairy, eggs, and honey, depending on the type of vegetarian diet being followed.
A vegetarian diet provides numerous benefits, including improved cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body weight. It can also decrease your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancers.
In addition, it promotes a healthy gut by including more fiber in the diet through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Many vegetarians report feeling a sense of ethical satisfaction and a deeper connection to nature.
Besides the health benefits, people go vegetarian for a variety of reasons, including animal welfare, environmental concerns, and personal beliefs.
Some people are vegetarians for ethical reasons, believing that it’s wrong to kill or consume animals.
Others do it for the health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Conserving the environment is another reason why people opt for a vegetarian diet, as the meat industry is a large contributor to climate change.
Understanding Veganism: What Does Vegan Mean?
Firstly, a vegan is someone who avoids all animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy, and even honey. This means that their diet consists solely of plant-based foods such as soy, nuts, legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Vegans do not use any products that have been tested on animals, nor do they purchase clothing made from them. They also avoid any entertainment or activity that exploits animals, such as zoos, circuses, or horse racing.
Similar to vegetarianism, veganism has several health benefits. A balanced plant-based diet is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals yet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Many studies have shown that vegans have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases. A vegan diet can also help to manage some health conditions, such as high blood pressure and asthma.
However, it should be noted that becoming a vegan requires careful consideration and planning. A poorly-planned vegan diet can be deficient in certain nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vegans should take care to include a variety of protein sources, such as tofu, lentils, and quinoa, and may require supplementation for certain vitamins and minerals.
Vegetarian Options at Texas Roadhouse
Although Texas Roadhouse is known for its steaks and burgers, there are a few vegetarian options that you can choose from the menu. Let’s look at various vegetarian options available at Texas Roadhouse, what ingredients they are made of, and how to order them.
Country Vegetable Plate
If you are looking for a wholesome and healthy meal, then the Country Vegetable Plate is a perfect choice for you. It includes freshly steamed broccoli, seasoned green beans, and carrots, which are lightly seasoned with garlic and herbs.
This dish also comes with a side salad and your choice of dressing. You can also ask for extra vegetables if you wish. This dish is not only vegetarian but also gluten-free, making it a good option for all dietary restrictions.
The House Salad is another great choice for vegetarians. It is a classic salad made of fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. This dish also comes with a choice of dressing.
However, note that the House Salad includes cheese, eggs, and croutons, so you will need to order the dish without these ingredients to make it vegetarian.
The Steak Fries at Texas Roadhouse are a popular side dish, and they can be vegetarian-friendly, too, if you order them without bacon.
These fries are made of freshly cut potatoes, and they are seasoned with a blend of spices, making them a delicious and crispy side dish. You can also order cheese fries or loaded fries by simply asking your server to hold any other non-vegetarian topping.
Note that the fries may share a fryer with other meat products, which can be considered cross-contamination.
Buttered corn is a simple yet flavourful side dish. It is made of sweet corn, which is simmered in butter and lightly seasoned with herbs. You can ask the restaurant to use margarine instead of butter, which will make the dish vegetarian.
Sauteed Mushrooms or Onions
The Sauteed Mushrooms at Texas Roadhouse is a tasty appetizer that can also work as a vegetarian main course. They are made of freshly sauteed mushrooms or sauteed onions, which are seasoned with garlic and herbs.
Vegan Options at Texas Roadhouse
Let’s now take a look at some vegan options at Texas Roadhouse.
House Side Salad with Oil & Vinegar dressing
The House Side Salad is a great vegan option at Texas Roadhouse. It comes with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and croutons. Make sure to ask for no cheese, eggs, or bacon. Instead of the ranch dressing, ask for the Oil & Vinegar dressing, which is vegan, and you’re good to go.
If you’re looking for a side of vegetables, Steamed broccoli is a great choice. Texas Roadhouse steams broccoli to perfection, making it a delightful, healthy side option for vegans.
Just keep in mind that the Butter Herb Seasoning they sprinkle on it is not vegan, so make sure to ask for it without.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of nutrients and vitamins, and they are naturally sweet. At Texas Roadhouse, Sweet Potato is a great vegan option, and it is served with cinnamon, sugar, and margarine.
Note that baked potatoes may be coated with grease or fats, so you should specify your vegan requirements when ordering this dish.
Steak Fries are a classic side dish that can be vegan-friendly, as long as you request it without bacon or other animal products.
These fries are cooked with vegetable oil, which is a great alternative to animal fats. The best thing is, they are gluten-free, so if you’re gluten intolerant, you have the option to munch on at Texas Roadhouse.
As noted above, Texas Roadhouse uses the same fryer for the steak fries and other meat dishes, so strict vegans may not consider this dish vegan.
Applesauce & Barbecue Sauce
Applesauce and Barbecue Sauce are both vegan options at Texas Roadhouse. Applesauce is a refreshing choice, and the Barbecue sauce is a tangy delight. These sauces are an excellent condiment to the vegan dishes offered, making your meal more delicious.
How to Navigate Texas Roadhouse’s Menu as a Vegetarian or Vegan
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, dining out can be a daunting experience, especially at restaurants that are known for their meat-heavy menus, like Texas Roadhouse. Unfortunately for non-meat eaters, their menu does not offer any vegetarian or vegan entrées or main dishes.
However, that does not mean that you have to skip out on dining at Texas Roadhouse altogether. Let’s explore some ways to navigate their menu and find some vegetarian or vegan-friendly options.
Start with the Sides
Although Texas Roadhouse’s menu does not have any vegetarian or vegan entrees, you can still find some vegetarian or vegan-friendly options on their side menu. Some of their sides, such as baked potato, sweet potato, green beans, and corn on the cob, are vegetarian or vegan.
You can also ask for the butter and sour cream to be removed when ordering a baked potato or for the butter to be substituted with olive oil or margarine.
Customize Your Salad
Salads are another option for vegetarians or vegans at Texas Roadhouse. However, make sure to ask for the meat to be removed or substituted with grilled vegetables. You can also ask for the cheese and croutons to be removed or substituted with other toppings, such as nuts or seeds.
You can also ask for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly dressing, such as balsamic vinaigrette, Italian dressing, or oil and vinegar.
Check for Hidden Ingredients
When ordering any dish at Texas Roadhouse, it is important to check if it contains any hidden animal products, such as chicken broth or fish sauce. For example, their mashed potatoes and rice pilaf contain chicken broth, so they are not vegetarian-friendly.
Always ask your server or check with the kitchen staff to ensure that the dish you are ordering is suitable for your dietary restrictions.
Consider the Off-Menu Options
While Texas Roadhouse’s menu does not offer any vegetarian or vegan entrées, some locations may have off-menu options that cater to non-meat eaters.
It is always worth asking your server or the kitchen staff if they have any vegetarian or vegan-friendly dishes that are not on the menu. Some locations may also be willing to customize a dish to make it suitable for your dietary restrictions.
Know the Risk of Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination is a concern at any restaurant, where vegan dishes may not be prepared separately and using different utensils or surfaces.
This can mean that a dish advertised as vegan containing no animal products is unfortunately contaminated with a meat product during preparation.
It is essential for vegans and vegetarians to speak to their waiter and chef to ensure that their meal is made in an area free from contact with animal-based foods.
Texas Roadhouse, unfortunately, doesn’t offer certified vegan options on its menu. Even though some people might believe there are vegan choices available, none of them have been verified by any official standards for veganism.
When a restaurant is certified vegan, not only should separate cooking equipment be used, but vegan ingredients should also have their own containers and space on the countertop or cutting board.
Taking these steps will help plant-based diners enjoy their meal with confidence knowing it has been prepared safely. Restaurants need to meet these requirements to become certified vegan.
Unfortunately, Texas Roadhouse is not a certified vegan restaurant, so there is still a risk of contamination. If this is a concern for you, then you should consider eating at a certified vegan restaurant that can meet all of these requirements.
Does Texas Roadhouse Offer Halal Options?
Texas Roadhouse can provide you with a totally halal experience. Thanks to their dedication to preparing only the best quality meat, they have received official halal certification from top Islamic organizations within the United States.
Whether you’re ordering a juicy steak for dinner or some flavorful ribs for lunch, you can rest easy knowing that your food has been certified as meeting all of the necessary criteria for a fully halal meal.
Does Texas Roadhouse Offer Veggie Burgers?
Texas Roadhouse is a popular and welcoming steakhouse, but unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any veggie burgers. If you want a filling option, consider some of the vegetarian and vegan dishes we have mentioned above.