Taco Bell Is Jumping Back Into the Vegetarian Market as More Fast Food Chains Embrace Meat-Free Options

After a brief hiatus Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco will be back starting March 11.

If you're both a vegetarian and a Taco Bell fan (we know you're out there) then rejoice. Taco Bell is kicking off 2021 with the return of potatoes and exploring a new plant-based protein with Beyond Meat.

Taco Bell had faced some backlash when it eliminated potatoes from their menu to the disappointment of vegan and vegetarian customers. Vegetarian and vegan Taco Bell fans have long used the potato bites, which are certified vegan, to swap out meat on various menu items. Removing potatoes from the menu meant their plant-based options, while still available in items like beans, had been greatly decreased.

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But after a brief hiatus Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and the Spicy Potato Soft Taco will be back starting March 11. Taco Bell is also teaming up with Beyond Meat to create a new plant-based protein that will be tested in the next year.

Going vegetarian isn't just a trend for Taco Bell. McDonald's sauntered into the world of plant-based offerings in November with its announcement of the appropriately named "McPlant," a plant-based burger the fast foot giant plans to release later this year.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut had its own announcement last year, becoming the first national pizza chain to introduce plant-based "meat" pizzas across the country.

Taco Bell said the return of these vegetarian-friendly menu items is the start of a trend for the chain. "The return of our beloved potatoes is just the first step in showing our fans the strong continued commitment to vegetarian we are making this year," said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's Global Chief Food Innovation Officer. "We have long been a leader in the vegetarian space, but this year, we have more meatless options in store that vegetarians, veggie-curious and even meat-eaters will love."