Taco Bell to test vegetarian menu this year

Photo: Dave Kotinsky / Stringer (Getty Images)

This morning, Taco Bell released its New Years “commitments,” a list that last year included goals like the discontinuation of extra-large soda cups, a pledge to use cage-free eggs and “chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine,” and more. This year’s list is interesting—we’ll cover a few more of the entries further down the page—but one item in particular popped out at us: “Be even easier and better for vegetarians and flexitarians.”

Easy enough to say, but here’s what the Bell plans to do:

Later this year, Taco Bell will be testing its first, dedicated vegetarian menu in stores, as well as new featured vegetarian items to enjoy. As the only American Vegetarian Association-certified QSR, Taco Bell has more than 8 million vegetarian combinations, and there are plenty of gratifying meatless options from which to choose as well – enough to customize a new meal every day for nearly 20,000 years.

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A dedicated vegetarian menu at a major QSR (quick service restaurant) is no small thing. Taco Bell tells us the new in-restaurant menu boards will be a combination of some items that are already on the menu, as well as some new vegetarian and vegan options. This will make it even easier for customers to order meatless meals; currently, the menu offers 38 vegetarian ingredients, and refried pinto beans or black beans can be swapped for meat in most items.

Taco Bell’s other 2019 commitments include:

  • The removal of synthetic preservative tBHQ from all menu items, a 25 percent total reduction in sodium by 2025, and “continued pursuit of the highest quality ingredients”
  • Ensuring that all its beef is sustainable
  • Improving recycling efforts, specifically with regard to cups
  • A continued commitment to “creating 100,000 new U.S. jobs by 2022.”
  • Ongoing support for the Taco Bell Foundation

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Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.