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Chick-fil-A Is About to Sell Its New Chickenless Sandwich. What's In It? Starting next week, the chicken chain will test its 'plant-forward' sandwich in three cities.

By Jonathan Small

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Good news for those who want to experience Chick-fil-A awesomeness without the actual chicken.

Starting on February 13, the chicken chain will start selling its first "plant-forward entrée" — the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich.

The latest menu item is made with a cauliflower filet that's marinated and breaded in Chick-fil-A seasoning, pressure cooked, topped with two dill pickle chips, and served between buttery toasted buns.

"Cauliflower is the hero of our new sandwich, and it was inspired by our original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich," said Leslie Neslage, director of menu and packaging at Chick-fil-A. "Guests told us they wanted to add more vegetables into their diets, and they wanted a plant-forward entrée that tasted uniquely Chick-fil-A."

Chick-fil-A's first meatless sandwich will go on sale for a limited time in three markets: Denver; Charleston, and the Greensboro-Triad region in North Carolina.

A company spokesperson told CNN that the starting price is $6.59, which could vary by market.

Related: 'We've Been An Elite Restaurant': Chick-fil-A Manager Started Offering a Three-Day Workweek. It Now Has 100 Percent Management Retention.

Meatless food goes mainstream

Plant-based options have infiltrated fast food restaurants for the past few years, with chains such as KFC, McDonald's, and Taco Bell offering meatless menu items.

Last summer, Burger King introduced a plant-based version of its Original Chicken Sandwich, replacing the chicken with Impossible Chicken Patties.

But this is the first-ever veggie offering from Chick-fil-A.

Why cauliflower?

Stuart Tracy, Chick-fil-A's principal culinary developer, said the company has been experimenting with various plant-based options for the past four years.

"Our culinary team brainstormed and explored everything from mushrooms to chickpeas to chopped vegetables formed into patties, but we kept coming back to the cauliflower filet," he said.

Tracy added that many taste testers mistook the cauliflower sandwich for the original.

"When most people think about a plant-forward sandwich, they might picture a patty molded from chopped vegetables, but this sandwich is what you could call a cauliflower steak. It's real cauliflower," Tracy said.

But is it vegetarian?

While the new Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich is "plant-forward," it is not vegetarian.

"This is made with cauliflower, pickles, bread, milk, and eggs. If that works for your definition of vegetarian, awesome," Neslage told USA Today. "But it is not isolated in our kitchens. We have chicken all day, every day, and that's not going away, so we want to be very candid and open and honest with our customers."

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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