A trip to IKEA can be dangerous. The Swedish furniture giant is a source for affordable furniture with sometimes vague but generally easy to use assembly instructions. The retailer has also pledged to reduce its impact on the environment by using only renewable and recycled materials by 2030 and betting on the second-hand furniture market.
Another way IKEA is serving its climate-conscious customers is by offering eco-friendly food options. IKEA’s vegan food options range from plant-based hot dogs and meatballs to gelatin-free sweets and crusty bread. Here’s how to navigate the food court and grocery section of the furniture store.
Vegan in the IKEA food court
IKEA is almost as well known for its food court as it is for its furniture and housewares. In US stores, there are only a few plant-based dishes on the menu (unlike Europe, where vegan options include dairy-free ice cream). But, the future may hold more vegan food. In November 2020, the international retailer pledged to make half of its menu plant-based by 2025, as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts. Here’s what’s currently vegan at IKEA restaurants across the US.
1 vegan hot dog
IKEA hot dogs are famous. So when the furniture giant first disclosed that it was testing a vegan version, it was a big deal. The vegetarian hot dogs – made from kale, red lentils, carrots, red cabbage, celery, onions, quinoa and ginger – were a hit with customers and quickly became a staple in IKEA food courts around the world. It comes topped with pickled red cabbage, onion fries, and spicy mustard.
two vegan meatballs
IKEA veggie meatballs are like an old-fashioned vegan burger in that they’re made from obvious bits of vegetables like chickpeas and carrots, and aren’t necessarily meant to mimic meat. At the food court, you can try them served with romesco tahini sauce, rice mixed with vegetables and noodles. It’s a little stronger than hot dogs, so it’s a good way to fuel up for a walk around the furniture store.
Vegan at IKEA’s Swedish Food Market
IKEA US may only have a few plant-based entries on its restaurant menu, but its grocery section is worth a visit for its plentiful vegan options. Not only can you buy frozen plant-based meats, but you’ll also find jam-free pastries, snacks and crispy breads – a light and crunchy rye-based biscuit from Sweden. The retailer is constantly updating their options, so remember to read the ingredients on all new products.
1 vegan hot dog
It’s the same type of hot dog offered at the food court. They come frozen in a half-pound package and ready to customize with whatever toppings you’d like, whether it’s ketchup and mustard or onions and relish.
two vegan ground beef
Made from pea protein, IKEA’s plant-based minced meat is a versatile ingredient you can keep in the freezer to make a quick vegan Bolognese, ground “beef” tacos, or stir-fry with seasonal vegetables in a skillet. It’s also easily shaped into burgers and meatballs for those nights when you have more time to spend in the kitchen.
3 vegan meatballs
This potato-based pea and meatball protein is the meatier cousin of the veggie balls you’ll find on the food court menu. Take home a bag of these babies to use in pasta dishes, meatball sandwiches, as a pizza topping and more.
4 vegetable balls
These are Plant Balls’ vegetable cousins, made with the obvious chunks of chickpeas, carrots, peppers, corn, and kale. You can use them the same way you would the meatiest vegan meatballs, but they also taste fantastic when served in a grain bowl with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli.
5 grain mixes
Sometimes we don’t have the time or energy to cook whole grains from scratch, and that’s okay. The “BÄSTISAR” brand of grain mixes, which starts with a base of oats, wheat, rye and barley, makes a convenient base for a hearty, healthy vegetable bowl.
The grain and mushroom flavor features a blend of oats, wheat, rye and barley mixed with porcini mushrooms, parsley and onion. Or go for the one made with garlic, lime, jalapeño and blueberry. The first is divine with braised kale and a splash of lemon juice, while the second sparkles with roasted sweet potatoes and pan-seared cabbage.
6 organic pasta
IKEA doesn’t just have specialty ingredients—the Swedish retailer also has budget-friendly pantry staples, like these elk-shaped noodles made from organic durum wheat.
7 Muesli & Porridge
Need a low-effort breakfast? The muesli with berries is 100% vegan. The berry flavor features pumpkin seeds plus dried cranberries, raspberries and blueberries, while the cocoa flavor features strawberries and dried raspberries with a base of oats and wheat flakes. The porridge, made from oats, barley, puffed quinoa and seeds, is also vegan.
8 vegan cookies
Yes, some of the cookies are free of all animal ingredients! While the ingredients aren’t actually on the website, an IKEA representative confirmed to VegNews that you can choose from gingerbread crumbles, gingerbread almond crumbles, and raspberry-filled biscuit.
Learn more here
9 jams and jellies
Perfect for mixing with oatmeal, spreading on bread or serving with plant-based cheese and wine, IKEA’s organic jams and jellies are vegan-friendly. Flavors include orange and elderflower marmalade, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blueberry, and cloudberry.
10 vegan candy
Many gummy bears are made with gelatin, but this is not the case at IKEA. The candy section is stocked with various types of chewable vegan sweets, including cola-flavored elk jellies, berry-flavored hearts, strawberry-vanilla ice cream cones, Viking ships tarts, and more.
11 Crunchy and vegan bread
Bread is the backbone of many meals, and many of the options you’ll find at IKEA are vegan. You can choose from wholemeal crispy rolls, rye crispy bread, multigrain crispy bread or soft thin bread.
12 French fries
There’s no powdered milk hidden in those snacks. These fries have the skin left in for a rustic feel. All flavors are vegan. If you are in Europe, lucky you! The sour cream and onion chips are dairy free.