Is Subway Veggie Patty Vegan? (A Dietitian Answers)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: January 15, 2024
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A vegan patty is becoming a regular menu item in many fast-food chains, and Subway is no different.

But are vegan patties completely plant-sourced and 100% vegan-friendly?

As a certified personal trainer, I consulted our dietitian and took a closer look at Subway's Veggie Patty to discover if it contains any sneaky animal ingredients.

Let’s find out.

Quick Summary

  • Subway's Veggie Patty is not entirely vegan-friendly due to the inclusion of egg whites and calcium caseinate derived from milk.
  • Despite its name, the Subway Veggie Patty appeals more to ovo-lacto vegetarians than to strict vegans, offering a blend of vegetables and grains.
  • Nutritionally, the Subway Veggie Patty contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, and 520 mg of sodium per 187g serving.
  • Personally, I find the Subway Veggie Patty a convenient option for vegetarians, but its high sodium content and non-vegan ingredients make it less ideal for health-conscious vegans.

Is Subway Veggie Patty Vegan?

sliced onions on a tray, fresh cropped carrots

Subway's Veggie Patty is not vegan, as it contains non-vegan ingredients like egg whites and dairy.


Although the name would make you think it's a promising vegan option, Subway Veggie Patty is not entirely free from animal products.

Here is what the recipe includes:

  • Water
  • Water chestnuts (water chestnuts, water, and citric acid)
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Cooked brown rice (water, brown rice)
  • Whole-grain oats
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg whites
  • Wheat gluten
  • Soy flour
  • Corn oil
  • Calcium caseinate (from milk)
  • Green peppers
  • Soy sauce (water, soybeans, salt, wheat),
  • Red bell peppers
spoonful of white powder and fresh egg broken

All looks good, except egg whites and calcium caseinate - these ingredients will make vegans pass on this veggie patty.

From my own experience as a vegan, I found that the presence of eggs and dairy byproducts in this veggie patty makes it a no-go for me and other strict vegans. However, it might appeal to ovo-lacto vegetarians who are less restrictive about their diet.

But, let's see what else is inside the Subway Veggie Patty.

The rest of the ingredients include:

  • Vegetables (Mushrooms, Water Chestnuts, Onions, Carrots, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Black Olives)
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Water For Hydration
  • Egg Whites
  • Cooked Brown Rice (Water, Brown Rice)
  • Rolled Oats, Corn Oil
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Wheat)
  • Cornstarch
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt, Black Olives
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Corn, Wheat, And Soy Protein)
  • Sugar
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Spices
  • Yeast Extract
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Jalapeno Peppers
  • Natural Flavors
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Dextrose

Due to alternate product availability may also contain:

  • Zucchini
  • Leek
  • Celery
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Potato starch
  • Palm fat

It also may contain 2% or less of onion powder, corn starch, salt, hydrolyzed corn, soy, and wheat protein, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavors from non-meat sources, sugar, soy protein isolate, spices, garlic powder, dextrose, jalapeno pepper powder, celery extract.

The egg is in the form of egg whites, and the milk comes in the form of calcium caseinate.

Nutrition Facts

person holding a sandwich with two hands and a measuring tape on it

Okay, so even if you opt for this vegetarian patty, what is the nutrition value that comes with it?

One serving size of 187g/ 3 oz. will get you:

  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Sodium: 520 mg
  • Total fat: 8 grams
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Cholesterol: 0

Compared to most offers in other mainstream fast-food chains, this doesn't look so bad health-wise. But is this the best option? We'll get to that in a minute.

Listed Allergens

If you are prone to allergies, you should avoid Subway's veggie patty since it contains the following allergens:

  • Egg
  • Milk/Lactose
  • Soybeans
  • Wheat/Gluten

Is It Healthy?

man raising up a sandwich while thinking, sandwich in a tray

Subway's veggie patty can be considered a relatively healthy option, but its high sodium content and processed nature may not be ideal for those with specific dietary restrictions or health concerns.

Water chestnuts, which are one of the main ingredients, are a good source of fiber. According to one of the studies from the WebMD website, they’re also low in calories, fat-free, and are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants [1].

Just like other vegetables in this patty, making the veggie patty one of the healthy and nutritious options at Subway.

But let's not forget that it's still highly processed food without a single organic ingredient. And here are some reasons why it’s not the healthiest choice.

Excessive sodium

Having tried the patty myself, I can say that with 520 mg of sodium per serving, it's not something I'd frequently indulge in, especially since I'm conscious about maintaining a super-healthy diet. This high sodium content is something health-conscious eaters should be wary of.

And when you pair it with condiments and the nine-grain whole-wheat bread, the sodium level jumps to 930mg. The Subway Veggie Patty also contains synthetic ingredients, including hydrolyzed protein and "natural" flavors.

According to another study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, high sodium intake is generally agreed to be deleterious [2]. Even in studies that found a U-shaped or J-shaped curve, mortality from cardiovascular disease increased at the highest levels (≥5000 mg/day).

Healthy Food Might Be a Relative Term

Deciding what's healthy depends on your lifestyle and dietary restraint you may have. If you are a strict clean eater, you'll pass on all processed foods anyway.

However, if you occasionally enjoy "cheat days", ordering a veggie patty at Subway is not that bad.

For example, the high amount of sodium might be a deal-breaker for people with heart and kidney problems, while it may not be a big deal for others.

Choosing Healthy Vegan Fast Food

man holding a no buger sign and a take out sandwich

I know firsthand that being starving, in a hurry, and vegan often leads to challenging food choices. From my experience, finding a quick, healthy vegan option can be tough, especially in fast-food scenarios.

Your best bet is to go with vegetables, low-fat, and low-carb choices with limited healthy food options.

"[Opt for] smaller-sized sandwiches on whole-grain bread with vegetables, and low-fat condiments, like mustard."

- The American Academy of Family Physicians 

Ordering a big salad or a DIY sandwich full of veggies is another healthy fast food option.

5 Vegan and Vegetarian Options At Subway

sandwich on a white plate, man happy with his sandwich

So, now that we have crossed out the veggie patty from the vegan-approved menu, what's left for a hungry, on-the-go vegan?

The vegan-friendly selection may be limited, but there are still a couple of choices:

1. Veggie Delite

Based on my own Subway visits, I often resort to the good old Veggie Delite - the only pre-made vegan sandwich at Subway. It's a reliable choice when I'm looking for a quick vegan meal on the go.

For instance, you can order the Veggie Delite on the nine-grain wheat bread with no cheese. Then you can load it up with vegetables like cucumbers, banana peppers, black olives, green peppers, lettuce, pickles, jalapenos, spinach, tomato, and red onions.

2. Malibu Garden Patty

sandwich with vegetables in it

This is a vegan-safe option. If you're lucky enough to find Malibu Garden Patty at your local Subway, that is.

It's packed with whole grains such as brown rice and rolled oats, crunchy veggies, plus super-tasty signature roasted tomato sauce.

Subway Malibu Garden Patty Ingredients include cooked brown rice (water, organic brown rice), water, all organic corn, carrots, onions, green peppers, rolled oats, canola oil, high oleic sunflower oil, red bell peppers, and soy protein flour.

3. Black Bean Patty

If you're going for something more substantial and protein-packed, this vegan patty can be a good choice.

The main ingredients in this black bean vegan patty include brown rice, bell peppers, corn, garlic, and cilantro, topped with a vegan sweet potato curry sauce.

4. Beyond Meat Meatball Sub

sandwich with meatballs and red sauce in it

Subway made a deal with the Beyond Meat company to produce vegan meatballs for the Subway Beyond Meat Meatball Marinara sub sandwich.

It's usually made with Italian white bread topped with vegetable-based meatballs, rich marinara sauce, and super-delicious vegan cheese and drizzled with vegan garlic mayo.

The plant-based sandwich is another addition to vegan choices at restaurants.

However, not all Subway locations have this meatball sub on their menu [3].

5. Subway Vegan and Vegetarian bread

If none of the above options work for you, you can always opt for a DIY sandwich with vegan bread or wraps, such as:

  • Hearty Italian bread
  • Subway's Garlic bread, aka Roasted Garlic bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Ciabatta
  • Tomato basil wrap

"The white and whole wheat flatbreads (on Subway) are labelled as containing dairy, making them both unsuitable for vegans." -Sage Williams,


What Changes Has Subway Made to Its Veggie Patty Recipe Over Time?

Subway has made significant changes to its veggie patty recipe over time, notably removing non-vegan ingredients like egg whites and dairy, reflecting its efforts to cater to the growing vegan market.

How Does Subway's Veggie Patty Compare to Other Fast Food Vegan Options?

Subway's veggie patty compares favorably to other fast-food vegan options, standing out with its unique blend of vegetables and spices, offering a distinct flavor profile, competitive pricing, and nutritional balance.

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Choosing Subway's Vegan Patty?

Choosing Subway's vegan patty offers environmental benefits, as plant-based options generally require fewer resources and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than meat-based products, supporting a more sustainable food system.

What Tips Can Vegans Follow to Customize Their Subway Orders?

Vegans can customize their Subway orders by selecting vegan breads like Italian or Hearty Multigrain and adding various vegetables for nutrition and flavor, along with vegan-friendly sauces such as Sweet Onion or Yellow Mustard.

What Are the Health Benefits of Subway's Vegan Patty?

Subway's vegan patty offers health benefits, being rich in plant-based proteins and dietary fiber, free from cholesterol, and lower in calories and saturated fats compared to meat-based patties, beneficial for heart health and dietary management.


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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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