The new addition, called Veggie Dippers, are made from red pepper, rice, sundried tomato pesto and split peas surrounded by light and crispy breadcrumbs.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s has confirmed to The Independent that both the ingredients and cooking method have been certified by The Vegan Society, meaning there is no risk of cross contamination.
Customers will be able to order a fully vegan meal for the first time when the Veggie Dippers are teamed with vegan-friendly fries and any of the soft drink options and sauces for £4.99.
The dippers will also be able to be purchased as part of a Happy Meal, which will include two dippers, a vegan friendly side (vegetable bag, fruit bag or fries) and water or a Fruit Shoot for £2.99.
Alternatively, the Veggie Dippers can be purchased separately, with a bag of four costing £3.29.
Thomas O’Neill, head of food marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “In the last 12 months we’ve seen an 80 per cent uplift in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s, so it is time for the brand famous for the dippable McNugget to launch a dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers.
“The Veggie Dippers are a delicious addition to our menu and we’re looking forward to seeing what customers make of our first vegan Extra Value Meal and Happy Meal in the New Year.”
The Veggie Dippers will arrive in McDonald’s UK and Ireland restaurants on 2 January.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s launched its first ever vegetarian Happy Meal, the contents of which were chosen by children and their mothers.
While the new Happy Meal was marketed as being vegetarian, it is technically vegan, as it contains dairy-free and vegan ingredients.
However, as the tortilla wraps in the range pass through the same toaster that’s also used for McDonald’s buns, which contain milk, the fast food chain has chosen to label it as vegetarian.
There are two variations of the meal. The first, which costs £2.49, contains a veggie wrap, consisting of a red pesto goujon with tomato ketchup and shredded lettuce in a toasted wrap.
The second, which costs £2.99, contains a spicy veggie wrap, consisting of two red pesto goujons, spicy relish with tomato, lettuce and red onion wrapped in a toasted tortilla.
“There’s a growing demand for veggie food everywhere and it’s fantastic to see McDonald’s meeting the needs of their customers,” said Lynne Elliot, chief executive of The Vegetarian Society.
“It is especially important for young veggies to be able to choose something to eat when they are out with their friends.”
You can find The Independent’s round-up of the best vegan food launches of 2019 here.