I’ll take two scoops of this fan-favorite turned vegetarian, please.
Panda Express is expanding its vegetarian options beyond tofu, rice, and vegetables, and TBH, it sounds like something everyone can be excited about. The new Beyond plant-based menu item is a meat-free take on the chain’s fan-favorite Orange Chicken. At launch, it’s only a test item, but if you know where to get Panda Express’ new Beyond Orange Chicken, you can try out the meatless dish for yourself.
Panda Express unveiled its Beyond the Original Orange Chicken on July 13, and it’s the first time Panda Express and Beyond Meat have teamed up on a menu item. The plant-based Orange Chicken sounds like a drool-worthy twist on Panda’s signature offering, featuring crispy wok-fried pieces of Beyond Chicken tossed in Panda Express’s sweet, citrusy Original Orange Chicken sauce.
Beyond the Original Orange Chicken officially launches as a test item in select Panda Express locations in Southern California and New York City on Monday, July 26, according to an email from Panda Express to Elite Daily, and it will cost a $1.25 up-charge for bowls and plates. If you’re in one of those areas, you can check Panda’s Beyond Orange Chicken website once the plant-based option launches in test locations to see if it’s available near you.
As with most meat-free “meat,” you’re probably wondering if it’s also vegan. The Beyond the Original Orange Chicken is free of animal products, but it’s not certified vegan by Panda Express due to the possibility of cross-contamination. According to the brand, all food is cooked in shared woks, and the restaurants use the same prep facilities across the menu, so they aren’t able to certify the Beyond Orange Chicken as vegan due to strict Certified Vegan Standards. If you’re looking for a new veggie dish, though, this test item might be calling your name.
It’s unclear how long the test item will be available, but Panda Express may have future plans to launch the offering nationwide if it does well. In the meantime, there are other vegetarian options at Panda Express like the Super Greens Mixed Vegetables, fried, white, and brown rice, and Eggplant Tofu. And, of course, if you’re open to a meat dish, there’s always the OG Orange Chicken. Before heading to Panda Express, make sure to check the CDC guidelines for the most updated health rules.