The war on meat continues this week with another momentous battle.

Following on from the epic struggle between BK’s Rebel Whopper and Greggs’ Vegan Steak Bake, we have pitted two more giants of the fast food industry against each other.

In the red corner we have KFC with their Vegan Burger and in the blue corner we have Subway with their Meatless Marinara, but which one came out top in our latest taste test?

We’ll start with the Vegan Burger. This was actually trialled by KFC in 2019 and proved so popular that to coincide with Veganuary (poor February, all it has to look forward to is pancake day!), it’s now become a permanent item on the menu.

KFC’s vegan burger is made with a bespoke Quorn fillet, which replaces the usual chicken fillet, and for the first time ever is coated in herbs and spices as created by good old Colonel Sanders back in 1952, or that’s what the publicity says anyway!

It’s also served with vegan mayonnaise, crisp iceberg lettuce and is all sandwiched between a soft glazed bun.

So, to the taste. Having eaten our fair share of Quorn fillets, the one supplied to KFC looks very similar in size and shape, the big difference being the signature 11 herbs and spices which are added, and wow do they make a difference. The taste is almost indistinguishable from the meat version, undoubtedly down to the the ‘secret’ coating.

But do you know what the biggest surprise was? The vegan mayonnaise. We hadn’t tried anything like it before so we are pleased to report it tastes damn good and if all vegan mayonnaise is like this, then Hellman’s better start thinking about making their own version now, otherwise they may be in trouble!

The Vegan Burger was a revelation and to coin a well-worn phrase, finger-lickin good as well!

So, to Subway and the Meatless Marinara. This was also trialled to great success last year and is now also a permanent fixture on the menu.

We got our Sub to take away which might explain why after the car journey back to the office, it didn’t look anything like what we had seen on the menu screen at our local Subway.

We did follow the screen to the letter though by having it with 9-grain multi-seed bread and the vegan cheese. We politely declined adding any salad bits or extra sauces to it so we could concentrate just on the taste of the meatballs, marinara sauce and vegan cheese.

The original meatball marinara has become icon so the plant-based version has a lot to live up and we’re glad to say it does a decent job. It does resemble the original in look and taste and like the Rebel Whopper last week, it tastes like meat, but no animals were thankfully killed in the making of it. The sweet marinara sauce was also nice.

The only thing letting it down is the vegan cheese but it’s no secret that vegan cheese in general is totally flavourless, so whilst vegans are stuck with it, the vegetarians and flexitarians among us should remember to ask for it with normal cheese; then we think taste wise, people wouldn’t know the difference between the meat and plant-based version,

So, who is this week’s winner?

We’re going to say KFC’s Vegan Burger, is only for the coating which elevates the chicken and the mega surprise which is the vegan mayonnaise.

Next week, in the last of our Veganuary-related ‘taste-offs’, we will put McDonald’s Veggie Dippers up against Pizza Hut’s Pepperphoni Pizza, before giving a final ranking to everything we have tried.

It’s a dirty job…….

Jane Beesley
About Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.