Taco Bell Is Adding Plant-Based Meat to Its Menu Within a Year

Courtesy of Taco Bell
Courtesy of Taco Bell

Taco Bell introduced a dedicated vegetarian menu in 2019, but at the time, plans for a partnership with plant-based "meat" producers like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat were not in the works. Now the Mexican-style chain is changing its tune. 

The Yum! Brands Inc.-owned company is set to launch a plant-based protein in the coming year, Taco Bell CEO Mark King confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. 

"We definitely see the plant-based protein has a place on the menu," King said, noting that while the company has met with both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in recent months, Taco Bell has yet to make a final decision on exactly what it will end up introducing on its menu.

"I tried all the food which was really exciting, and way beyond my expectation," King added of Beyond Meat. 

And while this will mark Taco Bell's first attempt at plant-based meat in the United States, the chain actually debuted a vegan-friendly alternative overseas in 2017. The Oatrageous Taco features Finnish pulled oats, also known as Nyhtökaura, as the "meat" and are available exclusively in Spain and Finland.

Though we don't know when or what form the new plant-based meat will arrive on US Taco Bell menus, at least we've got confirmation it's coming. And in the meantime, we can get our fix at Burger King, Hooters, or our Fasties award winner, White Castle.

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 Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.