Vegan options at Panda Express vary depending on the day, but the options are enormous. Panda Express offers vegan items like vegan dumplings and tofu buns, as well as soy-based entrees like steamed rice, vegetable dumplings in homemade sauce, and steamed vegetables. Some dishes containing dairy can be altered for greater or lesser nutritional value, such as brown rice instead of white or animal broth instead of soy milk; there is also a vegan section on the side menu with faux meat and veggie options.
Should you go to Panda Express expecting no meat or animal by-products? No! Veganism is about not eating meat or animal products of any kind at all—it’s about making ethical choices based on your personal values.
Vegan options at Panda Express
How to order vegan options at Panda Express
- Go to the website, enter your zip code, and find the location nearest you.
- Look for the vegetarian section of the menu, which is about 1/3 of the way down, and is clearly marked with a veggie icon!
- There are 4 foods in this section: steamed rice, vegetable dumplings, tofu buns, and fried tofu. All are vegan when ordered without broth or sauce (they will be steamed plain). The steamed rice comes topped with dried seaweed for a salty flavor that can be a good alternative to soy sauce (which is not vegan). Make it even more flavorful by adding some soy sauce!
- In addition to the vegetarian menu, there is also a vegan menu that contains vegetable udon noodles, vegetable lo mein, sweet and sour tofu, crispy tofu, and beefless skewers.
- For entrees in the main portion of the menu that are not marked vegan, you can request no egg or no chicken broth to make them vegan-friendly. The Filipino Chicken has only chicken broth in it; if you order without this, it will come steamed plain with vegetables and is vegan-friendly.
- The edamame is also a good veggie option packed with fiber and protein; however, it is salted (soy sauce is not vegan). You can request it fresh without salt, or have it as an appetizer.
- The chicken lettuce wraps are not fully vegan as they are prepared with egg and no other ingredients are vegan, but you can request that the chicken be taken out and they will serve you a plate of lettuce with dressing on the side; if you want to leave the dressing off, simply ask for a fork and spoon.
- If you’re not willing to eat whole foods, there is a menu for the kids: this section is more fruit-focused (no meat or animal byproducts), and they have vegan fruit juice, smoothies, and kid’s meals.
- The desserts aren’t vegan because it contains egg yolks; they will ask if you have any allergies or sensitivities; otherwise, the desserts are made with natural ingredients like cashews and coconut milk.
- There’s also a special section of dishes you can order with no broth at all.
Order vegan options at Panda Express
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The best vegan options at Panda Express
- The Vegetarian Chicken Lettuce Wrap entree is vegan when ordered without chicken and egg. The vegetable mixture, usually cabbage, onions, carrots, and water chestnuts is cooked in the same pan as the chicken and egg; it is delivered to the kitchen as a mixture, so it cannot be separated in the back. Because of this, I recommend ordering something different if you are on a vegan diet. If you do choose this option, make sure to ask for only vegetables in your wrap, without egg or chicken broth.
- Vegetarian Dumplings are vegan when ordered without broth. These are served in a brown sauce that many assume contains chicken broth, but they actually use a vegan sauce. The vegetable dumplings have a mild flavor very similar to the filling of broccoli and cheese quesadillas!
- The Vegetable Lo Mein is made with egg, although it is an animal byproduct that is not required for the recipe and is completely unnecessary because there are better alternatives that don’t use animal products (like agar for noodles). Be advised of this fact and make your own decision about it.
- Tofu Buns are delicious! They’re steamed plain to prevent soggy breading, and you can always ask for some soy sauce to dip them in.
- The main entree Vegetarian Fried Rice is also vegan when ordered without egg, but this meal is heavily spiced and may not give you energy as easily as other options. You may want to order a side of vegetable steamed rice instead; it can be a good alternative option when you get tired of fried food!
- Steamed Vegetables (with brown rice) are delicious, but make sure you specify that you want them plain instead of with chicken broth.
- The Steamed Tofu is completely vegan and a delicious option for when you don’t want animal byproducts. Be sure to add some soy sauce to your tofu for extra flavor!
- The Vegetable Dumplings in Homemade Sauce is also vegan when ordered without broth; this dish tastes better than it sounds, provided you like vegetables!
The best vegan options at Panda Express
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What are some of the new trends in vegan food?
- The first trend is vegan-friendly restaurants. These have expanded to every major city; they are easy to find since they are very visible and advertise themselves as vegan-friendly, vegetarian, or something similar. Within the last year, there have been hundreds of new vegan restaurants opening in the United States; this trend is catching on due to a large number of people becoming aware of their intake of animal products and the desire to live a healthier lifestyle by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Some restaurants offer full-service meal preparation that includes pick up and delivery, which has expanded their access further.
- The second trend is vegan pizza. The first vegan pizzeria I heard of was the Vegan Pizza Company in New York City; now there are also several vegan pizza chains popping up all over the country. You can order one with no cheese or (if you prefer) no tomato sauce. There is also a sauce made from sunflowers and sundried tomatoes available, as well as sweet and savory sauces.
- The third trend is vegan dairy alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, oat milk, and soymilk; these are found in most grocery stores nowadays (although some may be harder to find). Not only do they taste great, but they are also more nutritious than the dairy offered in stores.
- Next, there is vegan cheese! This is made from soybeans, nuts, or vegetables and it melts just like regular cheese. Daiya is a good brand; it’s not the best vegan cheese out there because it tastes a little fake but it’s the only one I’ve found that you can buy in the grocery store and use on most food items (such as pizza).
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Vegan options at Panda Express are not that great of a range. The best thing about the place is that it is a take-out restaurant; it would be rather inconvenient to do all your ordering at the counter, and the food needs to be served fresh to make good vegan versions. There are plenty of other options in the area if you want to go out for a more traditional meal.
There are more than 20 restaurants within walking distance from Panda Express! There are also many places nearby where you can get tofu, soy milk, and other vegan items.