McDonald’s Spicy Vegetable Deluxe

Review of McDonald’s Spicy Vegetable Deluxe

What they say:

A spicy veggie patty with cool mayo, sweet chilli sauce, shredded lettuce, cucumber in a toasted sesame topped bun.

Price: £2.99.

Calories: 412 kcal.

So, I thought I would be a pioneer and be the first to review a vegetarian option on your favourite burger review website. I decided that the McDonald’s Spicy Vegetable Deluxe would be my first (possibly last?) foray into the non-meat burger market.

“Not a burger” I’d normally say, but well, there is a massive segment of the population that don’t eat meat, so it’s high time we put a vegetable burger under the Burger Lad® microscope.

This order actually took quite a while – I am assuming it is not one of the biggest sellers and I’d imagine it needs to be made up when ordered. The “vegetable deluxe” is actually two burgers – spicy or original (which means not spicy). The spicy one, which I’ve chosen, includes cool mayo, lettuce, sweet chilli sauce and cucumber. No cheese, which is odd considering it’s also vegetarian.

McDonald's Spicy Vegetable Deluxe
Veg burger gets a predictably green box…

Well, anyway the first one I got was built wrongly – I was given what was clearly an “original” with the red sauce and cucumber missing. So back it went and was replaced quibble-free.

In the process of discovering the wrong build I also had a chance to inspect that veg patty which requires a bit of discussion. It’s breaded and round and on the face of it, isn’t wildly different to look at than a McDonald’s chicken patty (which itself is more than OK). But the colour was odd – my first reaction was that it made me think of 1970s frozen fishcakes. Checking the ingredients list on their website, the majority of the spicy veggie patty consists of 30% chickpeas, 11% onion, 8% split peas and 7% potato.

The second build had the sweet chilli sauce and the cucumber that it’s supposed to have and generally looks much more impressive than the first one. Aesthetically I’d recommend the spicy over the original.

McDonald's Spicy Vegetable Deluxe
McDonald’s Spicy Vegetable Deluxe…

You might think that cucumber on a burger is strange, or there just to appease the vegetarian consumer. But it’s not uncommon to see it as a topping on McDonald’s (mainly Eastern European) burgers under the “Fresh” moniker.

Biting in, I got the sweet heat of that sauce which is likely to be the same sweet chilli sauce McDonald’s puts on the Sweet Chilli Chicken One wrap amongst other things. It was quite pleasant and largely untroubled by the mayo. Both of them kept this burger from drying out.

The bun seemed to be the standard toasted sesame topped one used on other menu items such as the Big Mac and did the job as expected.

Texture-wise, significant crunch was to be found in here, and it was fairly pleasant actually. Getting through that crunch to the main event didn’t really confirm what was in the patty’s ingredients list. Inside the crispy exterior was a soft mush of vegetables, fairly indistinguishable in this format but also very inoffensive.

McDonald's Spicy Vegetable Deluxe
Sweet chiili sauce & cool mayo…

As I got through it, I established two things – firstly I was pleasantly surprised, but secondly I was underwhelmed. Yes, both at the same time.

The reason for that latter feeling was simply that there was something lacking on the palate. The elephant in the room… or rather, the cow. But then that’s the carnivore in me talking. It would be interesting to see some sort of focus group data where actual non-meat eaters give their opinions on the rather limited vegetarian selection available at McDonald’s.

It turns out that not having meat in your burger tastes pretty much like not having meat in your burger. And while it’s maybe not the earth-shattering conclusion you might have hoped for, that’s as honest as it gets.

McDonald's Spicy Vegetable Deluxe
Cucumbers on a burger…

I have almost zero vegetable burger experience to serve as a yardstick, but I think if you are inclined to leave the meat for whatever reason, you won’t go wrong with this – it does the job adequately. It’s also something as a burger review website we’ll look to gain further insight on in the future, especially with more people adopting things in their lifestyle such as Meat Free Mondays.

Admiral Burgerbar


Spicy Vegetable Deluxe

Spicy Vegetable Deluxe


6.5 /10


6.0 /10


9.0 /10


  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Crispy patty


  • Bland

9 thoughts on “McDonald’s Spicy Vegetable Deluxe

  • 24th October 2016 at 12:51 am

    You got lucky! The reason it took a while is because they were cooking it from scratch. Usually it sits in the drawers in the same way as all the other burgers, but it can’t take it, turns into a somehow both dry and mushy horrible mess very quickly, certainly not crispy. I’d give it 3/10, there are much better ones out there.

  • 15th May 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I’m a vegetarian and my favourite burgers to buy are Tesco’s BBQ bean burgers. They’re a spiced bean burger with BBQ sauce and Monterey Jack cheese in the centre. Really tasty. I don’t know why McDonald’s couldn’t do something similar? Second to that would probably be Linda McCartney’s pulled pork burgers or her quarter pounders.

    • 29th August 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Love those burgers!

  • 31st May 2017 at 12:37 am

    Try the spicy vegetable deluxe with the ‘bread’ from the Chicken Legend. Improves it a whole lot more as otherwise there just isn’t enough bite due to the mushy burger. Should be no problem having it made and you get a freshly made at the same time!

  • 2nd July 2017 at 5:41 am

    I tried the Spicey Vegetable Deluxe yesterday and think it’s a con because I expected the spiceyness to be in the burger itself, but the patty is bland and almost tasteless. The slight spiceyness comes from the sweet chilli sauce on top. The texture of the patty is good: crunchy exterior and soft inside, but as it almost tastes of nothing and has no spiciness at all, it’s a lazy offering by McDonalds. I’m not vegetarian, but Waitrose sell delicious spicey bean burgers (not expencive) in the frozen section. McDonalds should try harder because lots of families have at least one vegetarian, and if they only offer one vegetarian burger it should be a good effort and not bland and boring. Don’t call it spicey if it only becomes spicey by the sauce dolloped on top.

  • 29th August 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I have had the original one as I thought the spicy would be ‘burn the roof of your mouth hot!’ It took them ages to prepare and then when I asked what was going on they said it had fallen on the floor and they were having to start a fresh one. Nice enough burger had it with a side salad.

  • 29th August 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Passing off the same burger but with different sauce and the addition or removal of cucumber as two different burgers. Just call it the veggie deluxe and ask what sauce the customer would like. They do this with chicken legends. Customers could be asked if they want cucumber or not too.

  • 22nd September 2017 at 4:16 pm

    aside from the lack of guerkin which i think this burger would really benefit from, the patty is bland.. and the whole burger is expensive – at over £2.99 i fail to see how this price point is justified when burgers made of animals with a slice of cheese are sold for £1! why is this product nearly £2 more for what is effectively less than a big mac (2 patties in that). This pricing is something I have complained about many times, to no avail..

  • 23rd September 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I tried it and thought it was disgusting!! It was mushy, bland except for the sauce and just plain boring. And to add insult to injury it was pretty much the same price as a regular burger. Not all us vegetarians like spicy food yet everywhere where there is a veggie burger it’s spicy!!! There are so many flavours to offer. Look at the endless ideas they come up with for their meat burgers. All the monthly Legend burgers they come out with yet ONE veggie burger! I know maybe they mightn’t sell as well but if they expanded their vegetarian options more vegetarians will go to McDonalds.


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