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Updated January 2022! McDonald’s menu has shifted in recent years due to normal ingredient changes and some dairy supplier contracts. They now use real butter, have several buttermilk-based products, and use dairy just a little more liberally. Some of their classic items are still dairy-free by ingredients, but the risk of potential cross contamination with dairy is a bit higher. They’ve also discontinued all of their salads. The quick dairy-free menu guide below is for the United States, but we have included some notes for Canada.
McDonald’s Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Custom Order, Allergen, and Vegan Notes
Allergen Notes: McDonald’s uses real dairy butter, and may butter the buns or grill, depending on the location. Always clarify no butter when placing your order, and inquire on cross-contamination issues with the grill if concerned. Most items listed below contain wheat and soy. Most non-egg items listed below can be ordered without egg, just be sure to ask for no Big Mac Sauce, Spicy Pepper Sauce, Mayonnaise, or Tartar Sauce, and skip the Honey Mustard and Hot Mustard Dipping Sauces.
Vegan Notes: McDonald’s is almost completely void of vegan options. They offer some buns, sauces, and condiment-style vegetables for a protein-less sandwich if you’re truly starving (see the items below without egg, meat, fish, and honey). However, they are test marketing the McPlant sandwich, which will be sold at 600 stores in the San Francisco and Dallas areas starting Feb. 14, 2022. It is vegan when ordered without cheese. And for a treat, their Apple Slices and Baked Apple Pie are vegan-friendly.
- Bic Mac (no cheese)
- McDouble (no cheese)
- McPlant (no cheese) (select regions)
- Quarter Pounder (no cheese)
- Quarter Pounder Double (no cheese)
- Quarter Pounder Deluxe (no cheese)
- Quarter Pounder with Bacon (no cheese)
Heads Up! It is not standard policy to use butter on the burgers, but some locations do butter all of the buns or use butter on the grill. Make sure to request NO Butter on all orders. McDonald’s used to use a Grill Seasoning, which was dairy-free, but now they reportedly season their patties only with salt and pepper.
- Chicken McNuggets
- Crispy Chicken Sandwich (no butter)
- Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- Deluxe Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- McChicken Sandwich
Heads Up! McDonald’s only lists butter on the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, but some locations do butter all of the buns. Make sure to request NO Butter on all orders. Some McDonald’s locations do reportedly use a separate fryer for their chicken. But it’s possible that they cook items containing milk in the same fryer. Verify at your location if possible fryer cross-contamination is a concern. The fried chicken items in Canada are also made without milk, but their Brioche Buns do contain milk. Stick with a standard Sesame Seed Bun.
- Apple Slices
Heads Up! In the United States, McDonald’s French Fries do CONTAIN milk. In Canada, the UK, and some other countries, the French Fries are dairy-free by ingredients.
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Hot Mustard Sauce
- Mild Picante Sauce, Hot or Mild
- Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce
- Tangy Barbeque Sauce
Heads Up! The Spicy Buffalo Sauce and Creamy Ranch Sauce at McDonald’s do contain milk.
- Egg McMuffin (no cheese, no butter)
- Sausage McMuffin (no cheese, no butter)
- Sausage McMuffin with Egg (no cheese, no butter)
- Plain Scrambled Eggs (no butter)
- Fruit & Maple Oatmeal (prepared with water, no cream)
Heads Up! In the United States, McDonald’s Hashbrowns do CONTAIN milk. In Canada, the UK, and some other countries, their Hashbrowns are dairy-free by ingredients. McDonald’s uses both salted butter and clarified butter to make their breakfast sandwiches. Make sure neither is used for dairy-free needs. The Hotcakes and Scrambled Egg Mix (for the burritos) do contain dairy.
- Baked Apple Pie
- Minute Maid Slushies (Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Pink Lemonade)
- Beef Patties
- Canadian Bacon
- Crispy Chicken Fillet
- Egg (not the Folded Egg)
- McChicken Patty
- Plain Scrambled Eggs
- Sausage Patty
- Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon
Heads Up! In the U.S., the Fish Filet Patty and Folded Egg at McDonald’s do contain milk. In Canada, the Fish Filet is made without milk. Verify that the protein you order is not cooked with butter.
- Regular Bun
- Big Mac Bun (contains wheat)
- Quarter Pound Bun (contains wheat)
- Potato Roll
- English Muffin
- Flour Tortilla
Heads Up! The Biscuits and Griddle Cakes at McDonald’s do contain milk. Verify that the bread you order is not buttered.
- Shredded Lettuce
- Roma Tomato
- Big Mac Sauce (contains egg, soy, wheat)
- Spicy Pepper Sauce
- Tartar Sauce
- Hotcake Syrup
Heads Up! Canadians can also enjoy the Creamy Habanero Sauce and the Creamy Onion Sauce.
- French Vanilla Syrup
Heads Up! The Chocolate and Caramel Syrups and Drizzles all contain milk. At last check, their McCafe still does not offer any dairy-free milk beverages. But they are test marketing oat milk in Australia.
This Post is for Informational Purposes Only
Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, food sourcing, and restaurant protocols are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.
There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.
Each location of a chain restaurant has different management and staff, and some might have different owners. This means differences in processes, ingredients used, menu options, and food sourcing can occur. Always verify the safety of your order for your needs at your current location.
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