Chili’s Brings Diners Together with Dairy-Free Eats for All

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Updated in 2021! I think you’ll be happy to discover how many popular items at Chili’s are actually dairy free. Sure, they use cheese on and in quite a few dishes. But burgers, ribs, chicken crispers, and several other entrees and sides are on this special diet menu. As an added bonus, we’ve labeled items that are also gluten-free and have included a vegan menu in this post.

Chili's Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Vegan Options

Chili’s Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Gluten-Free & Vegan Options

Fortunately, Chili’s offers a fairly detailed allergen menu, which they update annually. We referenced their latest list to create this detailed dairy-free menu. Our menu includes gluten-free labels for items that are made without gluten ingredients (see the disclaimer below). And we’ve included a separate vegan-friendly menu below.

Appetizers

  • Bottomless Tostada Chips & Salsa (gluten-free)
  • Fresh Guacamole & Chips (gluten-free)
  • Fried Pickles (no ranch dressing)

Heads Up! All flavors of Chili’s Bone-In and Boneless Wings contain milk.

Chicken Crispers

  • Crispy Crispers
  • Crispy Honey Chipotle Crispers
  • Crispy Mango-Habanero Crispers
  • Original Crispers

Dairy-Free Side Sauces: Original BBQ, Honey-Mustard, House BBQ

Salads

  • Caribbean Salad (gluten-free)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese; gluten-free)
  • Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Spicy Grilled Chicken (no ranch dressing; gluten-free)

Dairy-Free Salad Dressings: Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette, Honey Lime, Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Honey-Mustard, Santa Fe, Thousand Island (all dairy-free dressings are also gluten-free)

Soups

  • The Original Chili (no cheese; gluten-free)

Burgers & Sandwiches

  • Oldtimer Burger
  • Alex’s Santa Fe Burger (no cheese)
  • Chili’s Chili Burger (no cheese)

Dairy-Free Add-Ons: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Avocado Slices, The Original Chili

Heads Up! The Sautéed Mushrooms and Black Bean Patty contain milk. And yes, the Burger Buns at Chili’s are dairy-free! But make sure your location doesn’t butter them.

Gluten-Free Option: You can order all of the above burgers without a bun (lettuce optional) to make them gluten-free.

Other Entrees

  • Texas-Size Baby Back Ribs in Original, Dry Rub, Honey-Chipotle, or House BBQ (gluten-free)
  • Sizzling Carnitas Fajitas (no “fajita toppings”; gluten-free with corn tortillas)
  • Ranchero Chicken Tacos (no cheese)
  • Guiltless Grill 6 oz. Sirloin with Grilled Avocado (gluten-free)
  • Guiltless Grill Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese; gluten-free)
  • Guiltless Grill Mango-Chile Chicken (gluten-free)
  • Guiltless Grill Margarita Grilled Chicken (gluten-free)
  • Smoked Brisket (no toast; gluten-free)

Heads Up! The veggie and other meat and seafood fajitas contain milk. Their regular steaks are cooked with butter. You might be able to order them dairy-free (the classic ribeye and sirloin are gluten-free).

Sides & Other Extras

  • Black Beans (gluten-free)
  • Coleslaw (gluten-free)
  • Fries (gluten-free)
  • Garlic Dill Pickles (gluten-free)
  • Guacamole (gluten-free)
  • Mexican Rice (gluten-free)
  • Roasted Asparagus (gluten-free)
  • Shrimp (gluten-free)
  • Steamed Broccoli (gluten-free)
  • Sweet Corn on the Cob (not the Street Corn; gluten-free)

Kids

  • Burger Bites
  • Crispy Chicken Crispers (with dairy-free dip)
  • Grilled Chicken Bites
  • Original Ribs (gluten-free)
  • Corn on the Cob (gluten-free)
  • Fresh Pineapple (gluten-free)
  • Fries (gluten-free)
  • Mandarin Oranges (gluten-free)
  • Steamed Broccoli (gluten-free)

Chili’s Vegan Menu Options

The following are vegan by ingredients, but the fried items are made in a shared fryer where milk and other animal ingredients may be present. All of the items below, except for the Fried Pickles and Flour Tortillas, are gluten-free by ingredients.

  • Bottomless Tostada Chips & Salsa
  • Fresh Guacamole & Chips
  • Fried Pickles without Ranch Dressing
  • Mexican Rice & Black Beans
  • Caribbean Salad ordered with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • House Side Salad without Croutons and Cheese, ordered with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Fries
  • Garlic Dill Pickles
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn on the Cob
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Avocado Slices
  • Pickles
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Original BBQ Sauce
  • House BBQ Sauce
  • Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Salsa

Chili's Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Vegan Options

Chili’s Does Use a Shared Fryer

Fried items at Chili’s may be cooked in a fryer that other items containing milk are cooked in. Fried items do include their house tortilla chips. Be sure to ask for non-fried options if you are concerned about potential cross-contamination in the fryer. Chili’s uses soybean oil for frying.

This Post is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

Chili's Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Vegan Options

Where to Find Chili’s

This Tex-Mex bar & grill chain has over 1500 locations worldwide. The bulk of their restaurants are in the U.S., but they do have outposts in Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. See their website below for locations, hours, and online to-go ordering.

Website: www.chilis.com

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

13 Comments

  1. The citrus balsamic vinaigrette is not vegan. I asked an employee and she said it has dairy in it.

    • I’m not sure where that employee gathered this information, but according to Chili’s most recent allergen menu, the Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette is dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan. You can see the direct link in my post to verify. You might want to ask to see the allergen menu next time. I’ve had Chili’s employees give me inaccurate information in the past.

      • Theres no point in even wasting your time at chilis if youre vegan (which i am) their menu just makes me wanna pull my hair out.. Never eating at this place

  2. The fried pickles are NOT vegan at Chili’s. I asked an employee and they checked the nutrition facts. ?

    • I’m not sure what they were looking at, but as of April 9, 2019 (their last allergen update),the Fried Pickles WITHOUT ranch dressing (as noted above) are dairy-free by ingredients, and they’re actually vegan, too. If you told them you were dealing with a severe food allergy, then they might have told you they were off limits since they are fried in a shared fryer. You can see the allergen note on this in my post above.

      • I am currently eating at Chili’s and the waiter told me that the black beans are cooked in lard (ew) so not vegetarian or vegan!

  3. The online menu says the burger buns don’t have milk. I wonder if that’s true or if it changed since writing this article.

  4. Recent menu change makes the allergen menus online outdated. However they do have their allergy menu on table at the Ziosk.

  5. Your blog was a blessing for me. My baby is allergic to soy and dairy and I was clueless!