If you are like most other vegan dieters, you likely have some non-vegan friends or family members that may drag you to less than ideal restaurants for dining. If you have ever found yourself at a Red Lobster, you may be wondering “What in the heck can I eat here?” Red Lobster is known for its surf-and-turf, but do they offer vegan options?
Unfortunately, most of Red Lobster’s menu items contain seafood or dairy product. While there are no vegan entrees, Red Lobster offers some vegan-friendly side options such as their Garden Salad (no cheese or croutons), Dragon Broccoli appetizer, and side items of a plain Baked Potato, Sea Salted French Fries, Quinoa Rice, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, and Fresh Steamed Broccoli.
Now that we know there are some items on Red Lobster’s menu that are suitable for a vegan diet, let’s look at some other tips and tricks for ordering vegan at red lobster, non-vegan foods to avoid, and what their vegan options entail.
- Tips & Tricks for Ordering Vegan at Red Lobster
- Non-Vegan Foods to Avoid at Red Lobster
- Top Vegan Options at Red Lobster
- Vegan Appetizers
- Vegan Salads
- Vegan Sides
- Vegan Dressings and Condiments
- Vegan Beverages
- Special Diets and Allergies
- Find a Red Lobster near You
- Similar Restaurants to Red Lobster
- Related Questions
Tips & Tricks for Ordering Vegan at Red Lobster
Chances are, you didn’t choose Red Lobster as your first choice when dining out on a vegan diet, but we sometimes compromise for our friends and family who eat differently. If you happen to find yourself at a Red Lobster restaurant wondering what vegan items you can order, check out some of the tips and tricks below to help guide you.
- Red Lobster only offers one vegan-friendly salad dressing, their Champagne Vinaigrette.
- You can bring your own sauces or toppings, such as vegan sour cream to improve the flavor of some of your sides.
- Red Lobster does not offer any vegan-friendly dessert options at this time.
- Everything fried at Red Lobster is fried in canola oil. However, there is potential for cross-contamination between French fries and other menu items like fried shrimp.
- Red Lobster’s Caesar salad cannot be made vegan-friendly at this time as it would require all ingredients aside from iceberg lettuce to be removed from the dish.
- It’s not currently offered on their menu, but some Red Lobster locations will allow you to order pasta with a marinara sauce as another vegan entrée item.
Non-Vegan Foods to Avoid at Red Lobster
The list of non-vegan foods to avoid at Red Lobster is a long one. Similar to trying to dine vegan at a steakhouse, choosing a seafood restaurant can be quite a challenge. Below is a list of menu items that cannot be altered to be vegan-friendly and should be avoided.
- Bacon-Wrapped Sea Scallops
- Hand-Breaded Calamari
- Lobster and Langostino Pizza
- Signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
- Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp Appetizer
- Langostino Lobster Artichoke and Seafood Dip
- Crab-Stuffed Shrimp Rangoon
- White Wine and Roasted Garlic Mussels
- Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
- Steak-And-Lobster Wednesday
- Mariner’s Feast
- Harborside Lobster and Shrimp
- Ultimate Surf and Turf
- Ultimate Feast
- Seaside Shrimp Trio
- Admiral’s Feast
- Seafarer’s Feast
- Lobster, Shrimp and Salmon
- Bar Harbor Lobster Bake
- Sesame-Soy Salmon Bowl
- Wagyu Bacon Cheeseburger
- Baja Shrimp Bowl
- Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
- Crispy Cod Sandwich
- Classic Caesar Salad
- Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
- Classic Caesar Salad with Seasoned Shrimp
- Classic Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon
- Sailor’s Platter
- Kung Pao Noodles with Crispy Shrimp
- Kung Pao Noodles with Crispy Lobster
- Kung Pao Noodles with Chicken
- Salmon New Orleans
- Shrimp Linguini Alfredo
- Cajun Chicken Linguini Alfredo
- Crab Linguini Alfredo
- Lobster Linguini
- Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders
- Clam Strips
- Oven-Broiled Bay Scallops
- Golden-Fried Bay Scallops
- Popcorn Shrimp
- Garlic Shrimp Scampi
- Walt’s Favorite Shrimp
- Oven-Broiled Wild-Caught Flounder
- Golden-Fried Wild-Caught Flounder
- Live Main Lobster
- Wild-Caught Snow Crab Legs
- Fish and Chips
- Garlic Shrimp Skewers
- 7-ounce Sirloin
- 12-ounce NY Strip
- 6-ounce Filet Mignon
Soups and Sides
- New England Clam Chowder
- Lobster Bisque
- Creamy Langostino and Norway Lobster Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Langostino and Norway Lobster Baked Potato
- Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Pina Colada sauce
- Garlic-Grilled Shrimp
- Popcorn Shrimp
- Petite Maine Lobster Tail
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Chicken Tenders
- Golden-Fried Fish
- Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Key Lime Pie
- Chocolate Wave
- Brownie Overboard
Top Vegan Options at Red Lobster
Now that we know the extensive list of items on Red Lobster’s menu that are not vegan-friendly, let’s look at some of the vegan-friendly options you can choose. Unfortunately, Red Lobster does not currently offer any vegan-friendly entrées at this time, but they do have a small handful of side items and an appetizer that can be appropriate for those on a vegan diet.
1. Dragon Broccoli
Red Lobster’s Dragon Broccoli is deep-fried broccoli coated in a spicy soy-ginger sauce and topped with green onions and is the only vegan-friendly appetizer on their menu.
Bear in mind though, this item will share a fryer with other menu items and has a high risk for potential cross-contamination. If you are worried, you can order the fresh steamed broccoli side instead.
1. Garden Salad (no cheese or croutons)
Red Lobster offers a simple garden side salad that can be made vegan-friendly by asking them to remove the shredded cheese and croutons. Ask for the Champagne Vinaigrette and you have a light, vegan-friendly salad option.
- Iceberg lettuce
- Red onions
- Sliced tomatoes
1. Sea Salted French Fries
Red Lobster’s Sea Salted French Fries are a vegan-friendly item on their menu that you can enjoy with some ketchup while your company indulges in seafood. These fries do share a fryer with other menu items and do have a risk for cross-contamination during cooking.
2. Plain Baked Potato
Red Lobster also offers a baked potato side option that can be made vegan-friendly. Simply omit the butter and sour cream as add-ons and enjoy plain or top with Pico de Gallo (available at select locations).
3. Quinoa Rice
Red Lobster’s Quinoa Rice is not cooked in stock or butter, making it the perfect vegan-friendly menu item to add to the mix. Pair this with any of the other sides available to make for a more filling meal.
4. Crispy Brussel Sprouts
Another wonderful side to pair with the others is Red Lobster’s Crispy Brussel Sprouts. Verify with your server that these sprouts aren’t cooked in butter as some locations prepare them slightly differently.
5. Fresh Steamed Broccoli
Lastly, Red Lobster offers fresh steamed broccoli as a side item that is 100% vegan-friendly. It has light seasoning on it and pairs well with the quinoa rice or plain baked potato for a more filling meal. You can even add it to your garden salad to make it more diverse.
Vegan Dressings and Condiments
Red Lobster has a small handful of vegan-friendly condiments to choose from, including the following:
1. Cocktail sauce
2. French dressing
4. Marinara sauce
5. Pico de Gallo
Like most restaurants, Red Lobster offers a variety of vegan-friendly beverages, including coffee, tea, fountain drinks, and even a few cocktails.
1. Peach Margherita (frozen or on the rocks)
2. Raspberry Margherita (frozen or on the rocks)
3. Boston Iced Tea Classic Cranberry
4. Boston Iced Tea Peach
5. Boston Iced Tea Raspberry
8. Hand-Crafted Lemonade Classic Lemonade
9. Hand-Crafted Lemonade Strawberry
10. Iced Tea
Special Diets and Allergies
Red Lobster offers a convenient way to look up their allergen information for their menu items on their website. Simply select the allergens you would like to avoid from the list, which includes fish, shellfish, eggs, gluten, meat, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Red Lobster will then load a list of their menu items that are suitable for those with the selected allergy.
Please note they do not offer an allergy search for animal products therefore not all items available will be suitable on a vegan diet. You can search their allergy information here.
Find a Red Lobster near You
To find a Red Lobster near you, click here.
Similar Restaurants to Red Lobster
Red Lobster is a popular seafood restaurant in the United States. Similar restaurants of its kind include Joe’s Crab Shake, Olive Garden, and Chili’s.
Are Fries from Red Lobster Vegan?
Red Lobster’s Sea Salt Seasoned French Fries are considered vegan-friendly as they do not contain any animal products. However, their fries are cooked in canola oil that is shared with other menu items, including their fried shrimp, which could result in cross-contamination with animal products. If you wish to avoid this cross-contamination, avoid ordering any food items off the list above that are fried.
Is Red Lobster Pasta Vegan?
Currently, Red Lobster does not offer any vegan-friendly pasta dishes. Although they do not offer it on their menu, Red Lobster can prepare a simple pasta with a marinara sauce for those who request it. Their pasta and the marinara sauce are both vegan-friendly. However, this option may not be available at all locations.
Are Red Lobster Biscuits Dairy-Free?
Red Lobster is known for their beloved Cheddar Bay biscuits and if you’ve had them before, you know why. Unfortunately, their biscuits contain both milk and cheese and are therefore not suitable on a dairy-free or vegan diet. Red Lobster does not currently offer any other types of bread or rolls that are vegan-friendly.