Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan 2023?

Fast food options such as McDonald’s is a choice for many, but does the food fit the vegan lifestyle? Today we will be answering the question; are McDonald’s hash browns vegan?

In United Kingdom Mcdonald’s hash browns are vegan, but in the United States Mcdonald’s hash browns are not vegan. The reason for this is the usage of natural beef flavor which contains beef flavor derived from beef fat and hydrolyzed milk.

We did the research and found some interesting facts that we will share in this article.

Without further ado let’s get started.

What are Mcdonald’s Hash Browns?

Hash browns are very fluffy and soft in their interier and crunchy outwardly.

While they seem to be well cooked when being gazed at, their color is usually golden brown.

The hash browns hit the Mcdonald’s menu in 1977 and have been one of the breakfast favorites ever since.

McDonald’s Hash Brown Ingredients

Are McDonald’s Hash Browns Vegan?

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable Oil (Canola oil and Soybean oil)
  • Salt
  • Corn Flour
  • Dextrose
  • Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
  • Natural Beef Flavor
  • Dehydrated Potato
  • Extractives Of Black Pepper

I have highlighted some of the ingredients and up next we will take a closer look at those.


Non-Vegan Ingredients

There is only one non-vegan ingredient in the McDonald’s Hash Browns and that’s natural beef flavor, but it’s only used in the United States.

Natural Beef Flavor

In order to get that beefy flavor without adding actual meat, McDonald’s uses natural beef flavor. The beef flavor is derived from beef fat and to finalize the ingredient hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk is also added.

This ingredient is obviously not vegan since it contains animal derived ingredients.

This ingredient is also used in their french fries.

Questionable Ingredients

There are also some questionable ingredients that we need to address as well.

Soybean Oil

One of the vegetable oils used is soybean oil and the issue here is the fact that it’s a common GMO crop.

The soybean crop is known for sever environmental issues when produced with GMO’s.

It needs a high usage of herbicide.

This herbicide can damage biodiversity and ecosystems severly.

As with other organic crops, organic soybeans does not contribute to the damage that GMO crops can create.

No information can’t be found that organic soyabeans are used, which makes this ingredient a highly questionable one.


To wrap this up we added some useful questions and answers related to the subject in hand.

Are Mcdonald’s Hash Browns Vegetarian?

In UK the hash browns are vegetarian and in the US the hash browns are not vegetarian due to the beef flavor beeing derived from animals.

Are Mcdonald’s Hash Browns Gluten-Free?

Unfortunaly they are not gluten-free, because they contain wheat.

Are Mcdonald’s Hash Browns GMO-Free?

There is a high chance the vegetable oil used is made from GMO crops.


It’s a shame that McDonald’s hash browns is not vegan in the US, when they could be. Although UK can enjoy vegan hash browns.

Eating at fastfood restaurants as a vegan isn’t always easy and often animal derived ingredients can be hidden. However McDonald’s is very open with the natural beef flavor, which is a good thing.

More and more restaurants do offer vegan alternatives and even remake their recipes to fit vegans aswell.

We can only hope that the Mcdonald’s hash browns will become vegan some day.

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