We tried Chick-fil-A’s new Cauliflower Sandwich. Here’s how it tastes and why it’s not ‘vegetarian.’

Chick-fil-A’s latest sandwich appears identical to its original, but it definitely doesn’t have the same flavor.

The restaurant chain based in Atlanta is introducing a new Cauliflower Sandwich in three distinct markets on Monday.

This is the first plant-based main dish offered by the company.

Leslie Neslage, the Menu and Packaging director for Chick-fil-A, expressed, “We have a strong dedication to chicken, and chicken is the central focus.” “However… It was increasingly evident that customers had a growing desire to incorporate more vegetables into their dietary choices.”

Chef Stuart Tracy, the senior lead culinary developer for Chick-fil-A, explained to USA TODAY that their goal was to create a specially designed main course that prioritizes plant-based ingredients. However, it’s worth noting that customers already have the option to choose from salads and other menu items that do not contain chicken.

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Chef Stuart Tracy said texture was just as important as taste in developing the new Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich.

The Cauliflower Chick-fil-A Sandwich is made by marinating and fileting the cauliflower, then cooking it in a pressure cooker until it becomes crispy. After that, it is hand-breaded and coated in a mild buffalo sauce. It looks like a chicken sandwich, with a toasted bun and two pickle slices on top.

What sets this sandwich apart?

Neslage and Tracy, who manage the requested groups, stated that the main focus lies in customers. The entire plant embraces this sandwich, which replaces the meat-based feature of the Whopper and the Impossible Burger with a plant-based alternative. Unlike KFC’s Chicken Fried Beyond, this sandwich is completely plant-based.

Tracy exclaimed, “It’s amazing how it consistently resonates with me, like the need for vegetables to be easily recognizable. Hey, let’s keep experiencing this over and over again!”

He said, “We knew that the taste of Chick-fil-A had to it, but we didn’t necessarily want it to be exactly the same as the experience of eating a chicken sandwich.” With his background in dining table-to-farm and fine cuisine, he handcrafted the recipe.

What makes cauliflower special?

Chick-fil-A examined numerous vegetable-based ideas, such as whole mushroom caps and fried green tomatoes, before focusing on cauliflower.

“This was the sandwich that customers absolutely fell in love with, and it scored head and shoulders above anything else,” Neslage said.

Side by side, it

How does the Cauliflower Sandwich taste?

I generally don’t like sandwiches from Chick-fil-A because personally, I detest chicken breast, but I enjoyed every bite of the Cauliflower Sandwich because of the really flavorful marinade and breading. I didn’t need any extra sauce.

I had been a little worried because the previously frozen cauliflower can make it a little soggy, but it was cooked perfectly with a nice crunch and hearty mouthfeel, which didn’t weigh me down.

Tracy acknowledged, “It was a substantial amount of work.” “Cauliflower this’ swallow even can’t I dry, raw, like not also but cauliflower, this’ pungent, mushy, sweaty be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK, like be not to it get we do how OK

Does it adhere to a vegetarian diet?

Chick-fil-A refers to the Cauliflower Sandwich as plant-forward, rather than vegetarian, despite the absence of any meat.

Neslage said, “If that works for your definition of awesome vegetarian. This is made with eggs and milk bread, pickles, and cauliflower. We want to be very honest, open, and candid with our customers, so we don’t go away from having chicken every day. It’s not isolated in our kitchens, though.”

The company ensures meticulous food safety in its kitchens, although there are no designated areas exclusively for vegetarian or vegan meal preparation.

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Does it contain gluten?

Chick-fil-A does provide gluten-free buns, however, this sandwich is not suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance since the cauliflower coating contains gluten.

Where can it be purchased?

Starting Monday, the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich will be accessible in Denver, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Greensboro-Triad region of North Carolina for a restricted duration, subject to availability.

Will it be accessible across the country?

The Cauliflower Sandwich is currently undergoing a testing period. The feedback received will determine whether it will be introduced nationwide.

According to Neslage, if we need to make adjustments and modifications, it may require additional time. However, if all goes smoothly and no alterations are necessary, she mentioned that it could potentially be accessible on a national scale within a timeframe of six months to a year. She stated that this decision is logical for the company, as it benefits our team members and aligns with the interests of both operators and customers. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that we prioritize this initiative.

What is the price?

The pricing differs depending on the market location, but the initial cost is $6.59.

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Leslie Neslage points to a timeline of menu development at Chick-fil-A

How much time has been dedicated to this project?

If it manages to reach that stage, it can require several years before a notion is presented to patrons. Tracy recognized the uniqueness of his creation immediately, but Chick-fil-A commenced the development of the Cauliflower Sandwich in October 2018.

In this particular case, the chef said, “Yep,” and pointed out that this is something that is not part of the catalog of products. He explained how they had to work with suppliers to grow and slice cauliflower to specific dimensions, and how the preparation process could be invented from the ground up to fully pun it. He also added that it’s now ours and to top it off, sprinkle some magic dust from Chick-fil-A.

The organization establishes a completely new classification for this sandwich, however, the framework and comparable procedures are already set up, facilitating the testing and introduction of items such as seasonal drinks at a faster pace, as stated by Neslage.

What was the most recent addition introduced by Chick-fil-A?

Chick-fil-A is continuously investigating novel menu options, but only a select few are successfully introduced to the market.

In 2021, the final new main course introduced was the Grilled Spicy Deluxe sandwich. Certain regions conducted trials on Chorizo Cheddar Egg Bites, whereas the Autumn Spice Milkshake and Cloudberry Sunjoy were launched nationwide in the previous year.

Customers should take note that not all Chick-fil-A experiments become available nationwide. Farewell, sweet potato fries.