Greggs is a plant-based paradise, and this guide includes everything you need to know about its vegan snacks and pastries.
Greggs, the largest bakery chain in the U.K., specializes in making savory products like its famous sausage rolls and sandwiches. But recently, it has turned its attention to the plant-based food market, launching several new menu items and veganizing some of its classics.
In January 2019, Gregs launched a vegan version of its popular sausage roll, attracting a cult following and significant new revenue. For months after the launch, stores struggled to keep up with customer demand. The following August, CEO Roger Whiteside revealed that the company was hard at work perfecting vegan recipes for some of its fan favorites.
“We are working away to see if we can come up with a version of all our bestselling lines because people want vegan options,” Whiteside told LBC. “If we can produce something that tastes just as good as the meat version, then that will sell very successfully.”
Whiteside has since hinted that vegan chicken could be on its way. “[Vegan] chicken is a way forward,” he said at the start of 2020. “I have seen some good products out there.”
The complete guide to eating vegan at Greggs
Greggs uses the term “vegan-friendly” to describe its plant-based products. The company website states that items are not made within dedicated vegan sites, but that staff take as “many steps as possible […] to minimize the risk of cross-contamination” with animal products. Its vegan pastries are also free from animal products and come in a bag labeled “vegan.”
The bakery regularly updates both its menus and its ingredients, so it’s always worth checking the packaging and asking at the counter about possible allergens to make sure. For example, the Belgian bun can be vegan, but sometimes includes dairy.
Ready to dig in? Here’s a guide to vegan options you can get at Greggs.
Vegan sausage roll
The sausage roll that started it all. Three years ago, Greggs launched a vegan-friendly version of its famous sausage roll. It was an overnight sensation and sold out across the UK. Following the high demand throughout the year, Greggs topped £1 billion in sales for the first time ever.
The meatless sausage patty includes 96 “layers of light and crisp puff pastry” wrapped around a plant-based filling made by Quorn. The UK-based brand uses mycoprotein, a type of high-fiber, low-fat protein derived from a type of fungus.
Countless retailers have since followed Greggs’ lead and launched vegan-friendly sausage rolls and pasties, including leading supermarkets Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, and Sainsbury’s.
Vegan steak bake
Greggs also launched a Vegan Steak Bake, another veganized customer favorite. The new menu item was initially launched in 1,300 Greggs locations with plans to roll it out nationwide. Like the original plant-based sausage rolls, the steak bake features Quorn mycoprotein along with diced onions, and gravy, wrapped in dairy-free puff pastry.
After launching the pasty, Greggs struggled to meet the massive demand for its vegan steak bake and commented that the popularity was bigger than anticipated. Many shops sold out of the new menu item. To help out customers, Greggs even launched a “Locate a Bake” feature on its sites to tell customers which stores have the steak bake.
The vegan steak bake is currently unavailable, but Greggs regularly re-launch products.
Glazed ring doughnut
Just weeks after the launch of the vegan steak bake, Greggs added the glazed ring doughnut to its menu. The classic yeast doughnut is slathered with fondant icing and is made without the use of dairy or eggs. Perfect for coffee and tea. (The jam and sugar strand-topped doughnuts also do not contain animal ingredients in the recipe, but there is again a risk of cross-contamination.)
Vegan hot cross buns
What’s the Easter season without hot cross buns? These dairy and egg-free hot cross buns are an essential part of any vegan guide to Greggs. Sold in a four-pack, the vegan glazed hot cross buns combine spices, vine fruits, and feature a light citrusy flavor. These are only available during the Easter season, but that’s right around the corner…
Sweet mince pies
You don’t have to miss out on mince pies, even if you’re avoiding dairy. This mouthwatering seasonal shortcrust pastry is filled with sweet mincemeat made from vine fruits, Bramley apples, and candied orange and lemon peels. The sweet mince pies are lightly dusted with a sugar icing. Unfortunately, these are only sold over Christmas—not all good things last forever.
Vegan festive bake
Another festive favorite, this veganized version combines Quorn pieces and plant-based bacon with cranberries and sage and onion stuffing. (Think bubble and squeak in a pasty.)
Warm winter vegetable soup
Soup always hits the spot in winter. Greggs’ seasonal spicy vegetable soup includes parsnip, carrot, swede, onion, and creamed coconut for a rich flavor. It’s also gluten-free. (This soup is also currently unavailable from Greggs stores.)
Southern fried potato wedges
There was once a time when potatoes were one of the sole vegan items on any given restaurant menu. But, Greggs first introduced its southern fried potato wedges as part of an updated evening menu. The vegan-friendly potato wedges are available in the chain’s “Hot to Go” counters.
The wedges come lightly spiced with a combination of herbs and spices and are sprinkled with a special southern fried seasoning. Remember to get ketchup. (Fact: you can still never really go wrong with potatoes, and Greggs also serves a two-pack of crisp hash browns.)
Mexican bean and sweet potato wrap
Greggs first unveiled the Mexican Bean and Sweet Potato Wrap as part of a new summer menu. A makeover of the chain’s Mexican Bean Wrap, the wrap includes mixed beans, sweet potato falafel with tomato and jalapeño sauce, peppers, and leafy greens, all wrapped in a soft tortilla.
Unfortunately, the Mexican bean and sweet potato wrap is not currently available, but here’s hoping they bring this spicy, vegetable-based snack back at a future date.
Vegan ham and cheese baguette
This vegan ham and cheese baguette features “Vegan Ham with Quorn mycoprotein and topped it with mouth-watering mature Cheddar flavour slices,” though a few customers did suggest the company includes some sort of vegetable, salad, or greenery next time with this beige feast.
Vegan breakfast rolls
In the fall of last year, Greggs introduced several new vegan breakfast items, including the plant-based bacon roll and sausage breakfast roll—served at stores nationwide until 11 am. Served in a corn-topped roll, customers can also make additions to their breakfast sandwich (yes, including hash browns).
Vegan sausage, bean, and cheese melt
Another classic, the veganized sausage, bean, and cheese (or “Cheeze”) melt came after months of customer requests for additional plant-based pasties. It includes baked beans, sausage meatballs, and “gloriously gooey” melted plant-based cheese.
The most recent addition at Greggs is soya milk, which customers can order as part of barista-style hot drinks such as its popular large cappuccino. As reported earlier this year by the social media page Vegan Food UK, it seems that the bakery chain is doing away with the small, individually packaged pots of plant milk they served previously, cutting down on packaging waste significantly. Perhaps this signals that more dairy-free milk options could be on the way…