McDonald's Serves A Burgerless Burger In New Zealand

The McDonald's Salad Burger is everything but the beef.

If there's anything McDonald's is sorely lacking, it's plant-based anything. I'm not even a vegetarian and I feel for anyone remotely of that lifestyle who tries to hit up the Golden Arches and walk away with more than fries. It's not that the chain hasn't at least tried to support a go at it in America—remember the McPlant, which McFacePlanted before it even got off the ground? Yet aside from a few breakfast sandwiches you can modify, it's difficult to order meatless entrees. So I was surprised to learn that in New Zealand, McDonald's has a sandwich that caters to vegetarians in the simplest way: subtracting the beef from the burgers.

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The McDonald’s New Zealand Salad Burger, explained

The Salad Burger from McDonald's New Zealand (which we learned about via Brand Eating), is pretty much what it sounds like—that is, a salad between two pieces of bread. It's two slices of tomato, raw onion, shredded lettuce, cheese, two pickles, and "peppery McChicken sauce," all on a sesame seed bun.

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Honestly, it sounds just fine to me. Refreshing, even, considering this is basically a fully topped burger without the burger patty. However, I'm sure it's not nearly as filling as a sandwich with some protein in it.

I also appreciate the fact that, judging by the name, it seems comfortable being what it is. "Salad Burger" says it all. Here in the States, you can order something similar, but it has to be an existing item that must be modified. If you ask for a Quarter Pounder Deluxe with no beef, you'll get pretty much the same thing, except instead of "McChicken sauce," you get mayonnaise, with ketchup added.

Burger King New Zealand sells a Salad Burger, too

McDonald's isn't the only fast food chain with a sandwich of this type in New Zealand. Burger King has one too, and it even has the same name. Yep, BK New Zealand also has a Salad Burger.

This one's a little different, because its main filling is onion rings, but it also has cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, pickles, and onions, also on a sesame seed bun. Burger King's website does note that "the Salad Burger is not vegetarian due to our cooking method," but doesn't specify how. (One guess is that the oil used to fry the onion rings also mingles with chicken.)

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I'm weirdly loving this onion ring sandwich concept. I like that the "burger" doesn't play around with the idea of fake meat—though Burger King New Zealand also offers some robust vegan meat substitute options, including both plant-based meat patties for what it calls its "Rebel" menu and vegan chicken patties for other sandwiches.

Here in the States, BK is the home of the Impossible Whopper, one of the only plant-based burgers to stick around America's fast food scene. Maybe more fast food joints should try offering fun salad burgers.

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