Nando's launches its first plant-based chicken

PERi good news! Nando’s launches its first plant-based chicken alternative made from pea protein – but admits it not strictly vegan because it’s cooked on the same grill as meat

  • The Great Imitator, made from pea protein, launches in restaurants tomorrow
  • Its cooked on the same grill as chicken so plant-based dish is not strictly vegan
  • Nando’s fans will still be able to turn up the heat, by choosing their desired level of spice on the PERi-ometer, as they would with their usual Nando’s order 

Nando’s has delighted customers by launching their first ever plant-based meat alternative.

The Great Imitator, made from pea protein, launches in restaurants across the UK from tomorrow, and is designed to taste like their popular PERi-PERi chicken breast fillet.

While the recipe is completely plant-based, it’s aimed at flexiterians rather than vegans and vegetarians as it’s cooked on the same grill as the chicken dishes, meaning it’s not strictly vegan.  

Nando’s has delighted customers by launching their first ever plant-based meat alternative to rival their chicken. Pictured in a pitta

The dish will be served as four strips that are grilled to order and sit on the menu as part of the burgers, pittas and wraps category. 

Nando’s fans will still be able to turn up the heat, by choosing their desired level of spice on the PERi-ometer, as they would with their usual Nando’s order.

The South African chain currently has a beanie burger made from chickpea, sweetcorn, lentils, peas and pumpkin seeds, but this is the first time they will be offering an option that mimics meat.   

Dawn Carr, Director of Vegan Corporate Projects, PETA, told FEMAIL: ‘PETA is delighted to have played a part in Nando’s journey to putting this delicious plant-based chicken on the table. 

The Great Imitator, made from pea protein, launches in restaurants across the UK from tomorrow, and is designed to taste like their popular PERi-PERi chicken breast fillet. Pictures in a burger

‘Nando’s can’t guarantee zero risk of cross-contamination, so it’s not calling it vegan, but as all the ingredients in the burger and pitta versions are completely animal-free – right down to the mayo – we say these are an excellent choice for vegans, vegetarians, meat-reducers, and chickens. Cluck yes!’

The dish has split opinion of vegans, with some saying they’ll happily dig in to the dish, while others want to avoid cross contamination.

Taking to the Facebook group, Vegan Food UK, one Nando’s fan wrote: ‘Unpopular opinion but I’ll eat it – cross contamination used to be an issue for me but now I’m kinda over it – this is vegan as far as I’m concerned.’

‘It’s not an animal product, you’re not paying for an animal product. It’s fine in my opinion,’ added another.

While the recipe is completely plant-based, it’s aimed at flexiterians rather than vegans and vegetarians as it’s cooked on the same grill as the chicken dishes, meaning it’s not strictly vegan. Pictured in a wrap

However others disagreed, with one adding: ‘We won’t be eating it’.

‘Not vegan if it ends up with chicken juices on it,’ added another. 

Sticking with the plant-based theme, the Great Imitator isn’t the only new item coming to the October Nando’s menu. 

Those looking for a starter to share can now tuck into some Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic PERinaise, both are plant based and 10p from each purchase goes to Nando’s Fighting Malaria.  

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