The Truth About Taco Bell's New Meat Substitute

It's no secret that there are some pretty unhealthy things you can order at fast food chains, but thanks to their surprisingly robust assortment of vegetarian items, there are some Taco Bell foods that are actually pretty healthy. And they're about to become even more so, because there are two new meatless menu items at Taco Bell.

While other fast food chains in the United States have started introducing meatless meat substitutes, like Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC, Beyond Meat crumbles at Del Taco, and the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub at Subway, so far Taco Bell has relied on their existing ingredients for a vegetarian meal, like black beans, refried beans, and potatoes, which customers can make their own substitutions from. But all of that is changing at their European locations, who will soon have an actual meat substitute (that isn't just refried beans).

What is Taco Bell's meat substitute made out of?

Taco Bell has introduced two new meatless items for its European clients (via Nation's Restaurant News). The first is a Crunchy Taco called the Oatrageous Taco, which is filled with a meatless beef substitute that's made of pulled oats and legumes that are seasoned with the same spices as Taco Bell's beef. This meatless beef is topped with cheese, lettuce, and creamy chipotle sauce.

The Oatrageous Taco, which was first tested in Finland, was recently added to the permanent menu at Taco Bell restaurants in Spain, and it's going to be added to Taco Bell menus all around Europe in the summer of 2020.

But the Oatrageous Taco isn't the only meat-free item the chain has introduced in Europe this year. They've also been selling Crunchwraps that are filled with halloumi in Cyprus. Halloumi is a firm cheese with a mild milky and salty flavor, and a squeaky texture. While it can be grilled, this halloumi is breaded and fried before being added to the Crunchwrap.

Steven Gomez, the director of international product development at Taco Bell, said that the halloumi "is almost like a fried mozzarella." He continued, "The savory salty deliciousness of the cheese works really well with our ingredients."

Will diners in the U.S. ever get a taste of either meatless menu item? There's no official word, but Gomez says, "Never say never."