Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan? | Find Out Here

McDonald’s serves lovely breakfast options; one such evergreen option is the humble hash brown! People love these everywhere! But, there have been debates about whether McDonald’s hash browns are vegan. Let us find that out here! 

Are McDonald's Hash Browns Vegan?

McDonald’s Hash Browns are not fit for vegans. Along with the raw potatoes, there are a lot of other added ingredients that go into making these hash browns. Quite a lot of these added ingredients, which help with the flavor of the hash browns, are not vegan. 

McDonald’s has been around for a long time for serving great food and having affordable prices. However, along with the rise of this fast-food chain, people have also been taking up veganism. 

So, this is a tough spot, as veganism was not as big back when McDonald’s first opened as it is now. So, naturally, vegans would doubt all the food served at McDonald’s. In the following sections, we will look closely at what exactly makes McDonald’s hash browns unfit for vegans! Happy reading! 

Why Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Not Vegan?

Why are McDonalds hash browns not vegan

As of now, we have established the fact that McDonald’s hash browns are not vegan. It is confusing that something made mainly with vegan ingredients is not vegan. For that, let us take a small look at the history and evolution of these hash browns. 

When Hash browns first became popular at McDonald’s, they were fried in beef tallow. This is what gave them their classic rich and irresistible flavor. However, later, McDonald’s did switch to a vegetable oil blend. The story with McDonald’s fries is the same, so they don’t qualify as vegan. 

But, the vegetable oil blend consists of a ‘natural beef flavor,’ which gives these hash browns the flavor people have always loved. Moreover, this natural beef flavor also contains derivatives of milk, which is again something that is not eaten by vegans, making it unfit for vegans to consume. 

What’s Inside A McDonald’s Hash Brown?

You may think that hash browns are easy to make and take only a few ingredients. However, the thing with fast food is that it has to be as delicious as possible.

So, there are actually over ten ingredients that go into making these hash browns! Below is a list of the ingredients that make McDonald’s hash browns. 


  1. Potatoes
  2. Vegetable Oil (canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [wheat And Milk Derivatives])
  3. Salt
  4. Corn Flour
  5. Dehydrated Potato
  6. Dextrose 
  7. Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color)
  8. Extractives Of Black Pepper. 

(*Natural Beef Flavor Contains Hydrolyzed Wheat And Hydrolyzed Milk As Starting Ingredients)

So, as you can see after taking a closer look at the ingredients, it is not just the natural beef flavor or the animal product that is the issue here.

Amongst all the complicated ingredients, the natural beef flavor contains milk derivatives; sadly, vegans cannot enjoy this breakfast treat from McDonald’s. 

Can You Make A Vegan McDonald’s Hash Brown At Home?

Can you make a vegan hash brown at home

If you recently turned vegan and have tried McDonald’s hash browns before, you may know just how delicious they taste! Even if you have never tried them, you might still know how delightful hash browns are. 

I mean, it is a little unfortunate that vegans cannot enjoy this unique from McDonald’s. However, if you want to try them out, you can always make yourself McDonald’s hash browns at home! 

The best thing about making them at home is that you can add whatever you like to them. Moreover, making them easy can be done with a few simple ingredients. Look at this recipe to make McDonald’s hash browns at home

Other Vegan Foods That You Can Try At McDonald’s

Other vegan options at McDonalds

You can still do that if you are a vegan and want to visit McDonald’s. Yes, the options on McDonald’s vegan menu are limited. However, they are still very nice and worth trying out! 

These vegan options include apple slices, fruit & maple oatmeal, and even most beverages. However, with milk-based beverages, you may have to ask them to switch the milk to plant-based milk instead. 


The hash browns from McDonald’s are not vegan as they contain natural beef flavoring. Moreover, the raw beef flavoring also has milk derivatives, which makes it unfit for vegans. 

However, there are various other options that you can try from the McDonald’s menu, which are all perfectly fit for vegans to enjoy! Moreover, if you are a vegan, I would recommend checking out if McDonald’s fries are vegan or vegetarian and if the apple pies are vegan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are McDonald’s hash browns not vegan? 

McDonald’s hash browns have added ‘natural beef flavoring,’ which makes them unfit for vegans. 

Does the natural beef flavoring also have lactose? 

The natural beef flavoring contains milk derivatives, which are also unfit for vegans. 

Does McDonald’s have other options for vegans? 

Yes, some other options on the McDonald’s menu can be enjoyed by vegans without any worries! 

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