With the word “dairy” at the forefront of this fast-food restaurant’s name, it’d be alright if you assume there aren’t any vegan options on Dairy Queen’s menu.
Here at Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen, we’re happy to report that that’s not the case, so you can add this fast-food chain to your personal list of vegan-friendly spots. Here are Dairy Queen vegan options.
Dairy Queen: An Overview
D.Q. Corp., more commonly known as Dairy Queen or DQ, is an American chain of fast-food restaurants and soft-serve ice cream owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc. The first restaurant opened in 1940, making it over 80 years old today, with over 6,800 Dairy Queen locations in 27 countries worldwide.
The iconic soft-serve formula of the ice cream was first created in 1938 by Grandpa McCollough and his son, Alex, which they introduced to Sherb Noble, a family friend. Noble owned an ice cream store in Kankakee, Illinois, and offhandedly offered the product to customers to make his friend happy.
This product was an instant hit. Within two hours, Noble had dished out 1,600 servings of the fresh, novel dessert.
Noble and McCollough decided to open the first Dairy Queen store two years later in Joliet, Illinois, and since then, the fast-food chain has used a franchise system in order to expand its operations worldwide.
Dairy Queen Vegan Menu Options
You don’t have to be limited to Blizzards, Moolattes, and Malts when you visit the local Dairy Queen, as all these contain milk. Dairy Queen’s Misty Slushes are vegan approved, and you can choose from fun, yummy flavors like Cherry, Grape, Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry, and Kiwi Strawberry for a refreshing drink. However, don’t confuse Misty Slush with Misty Freeze, as those contain milk.
Dairy Queen’s Premium Fruit Smoothies do contain yogurt, but you can specifically request the staff to replace this non-dairy ingredient with water instead (trust us, you won’t even notice the difference!). Tripleberry, Mango Pineapple, and Strawberry Banana are your fresh fruit options for light smoothies.
Dairy Queen also serves vegan-friendly sodas, like Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. Oh, and did we mention that they make a mean cup of brewed coffee, too?
Pretzel Sticks (No Queso)
Dairy Queen’s Pretzel Sticks, made from vegetable shortening, is a great, savory vegan food option. However, it’s worth noting that they are not vegan right off the bat.
The pretzel sticks are brushed with butter before serving, but you can ask the staff to omit that step before they serve the warm sticks to you.
The Queso dip that the pretzel sticks come in is also definitely not vegan, but you can substitute them with vegan-friendly dips. Ask for BBQ Dipping Sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, or Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce instead. These are all certified vegan.
Double Veggie Burger
While Dairy Queen does not offer vegan burgers, you can customize their Double Cheeseburgers to fit your vegan diet. Request the staff to build the vegan version or the Double Veggie Burger without any meat, mayo, or cheese, and double the veggies (think extra tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and onions). Season the burger with any of the vegan-friendly dipping sauces. If you ask us, that sounds filling and satisfying at the same time!
Hash Browns & French Fries
Are Dairy Queen fries vegan? Yes! Dairy Queen offers hash browns and french fries that are 100 percent vegan (yay!). Unlike other fast-food chains that use animal fat, Dairy Queen deep-fries these snacks to a golden brown crisp using soybean oil. All their burgers come with a side of fries.
However, it’s important to note that the hash browns and french fries use shared cooking equipment as their other animal products, so there will always be a risk of cross-contamination.
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- Vegan Wheat Thins Options
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Non-Dairy Dilly Bar
In 2020, Dairy Queen released their first official vegan ice cream . This act is in response to PETA’s campaign for the dessert giant to offer more vegan-friendly options. The Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is based on the iconic Dilly Bar, but the vegan option has a vanilla extract, carob bean gum, corn syrup, and coconut cream base and is coated with coconut oil, corn starch, soy lecithin, and vegan chocolate instead. It is also gluten-free and plant-based.
Unfortunately, they have yet to offer vegan Blizzards or any vegan ice cream, but the Dairy Queen vegan Dilly Bar has such a natural flavor that we can’t complain. We suggest you make your own dairy-free ice cream at home and top it with this fruit salsa recipe! Yum!
Applesauce or Banana (Kids Menu)
Dairy Queen’s Kids Menu has hidden gems for those on a strict vegan diet. If you're trying to be extra healthy, you can opt to order applesauce or a banana as a side dish.
Side Salad & Salad Dressings
The side salad is one of the best vegan options at Dairy Queen if you are seriously committed to only eating green. It is made from romaine and iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, cabbage, and shredded carrots.
You can season the side salad with their many vegan salad dressings. Here are your side salad vegan dressings:
- Marzetti Asian Sesame Dressing
- Marzetti Fat-Free California French Style Dressing
- Marzetti Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Marzetti Light Italian Dressing
Starkiss Frozen Treat
The Star Kiss Bars from Dairy Queen is another vegan-friendly frozen dessert. The only downside to it is it’s not available in all locations. This red, white, and blue treat tastes so rich and creamy; even PETA says it’s just like eating ice cream.
No. Unfortunately, the onion rings at Dairy Queen are not vegan. The onion rings batter contains milk, a common dairy ingredient.
No, the Dairy Queen menu does not have a veggie burger as of now. While you can modify their double cheeseburgers to tailor-fit your vegan lifestyle, this fast-food chain does not offer veggie patties in their menu yet (we’re hoping they catch up soon!).
No. As of 2021, Dairy Queen has yet to make vegan ice cream, malts, and shakes. You can opt for their Misty Slush or Light Smoothies instead.
Unfortunately no, Dairy Queens do not offer dairy-free cakes. If you’re craving something sweet, opt for the Non-Dairy Dilly Bars at the fast-food establishments instead.
While the vegan options at Dairy Queen are still limited, vegans shouldn’t shy away from visiting after reading our guide. We think you’ll still walk away from the establishment having eaten a full meal.
Aside from Dairy Queen’s Non-Dairy Dilly Bars, a double veggie burger with a side of fries and a Strawberry Banana smoothie sounds like a great, satisfying bite to us!
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