There’s no such thing as a wrong time or way to eat tortilla chips. Serve them as an appetizer, enjoy them as a snack, or make a quick, satisfying meal by loading them with toppings of your choice; tortilla chips are always a winner.
They are also universally beloved and hence, make a perfect snack for every occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner, a cocktail party, or having some friends over for a movie night, chips and salsa are a great option.
Let’s be honest; there are only a few foods as versatile as tortilla chips. But, as a vegan, you can’t simply enjoy your chip n’ dip without considering the big question – are tortilla chips vegan?
Let’s find out the answer to it today!
Are Tortilla Chips Vegan-Friendly?
Simply put, yes, tortilla chips are vegan on their own.
The core tortilla chips ingredients include flour, oil, water, and salt, all of which are plant-based
However, they may sometimes be non-vegan.
What Can Make Tortilla Chips Non-Vegan?
Things get a little tricky when these plant-based tortilla chips are given different colors and flavorings. Many companies use flavors or seasonings that contain animal or unethically sourced ingredients. The controversy (or ethical debate) surrounding artificial colors further add to it.
For those who may not be aware of the controversy, some vegans believe that products containing artificial colors should be avoided because these colors are tested on animals. By continuing to use products that have artificial colors, you’re (in a way) contributing or supporting animal cruelty.
Many vegans, however, argue that the widespread use of food colors has made it impossible to avoid them. They also assert that avoiding foods with artificial colors won’t make any difference to the animal testing practice because synthetic dyes are not just used in foods; they are also used in various other items; cosmetics, skincare, and paints, to name a few. Even though food colors are different, all synthetic dyes are tested for safety.
Another potential factor that can make tortilla chips non-vegan is the use of lard instead of oil.
How to Make Sure Tortilla Chips Are Vegan?
Your best bet for vegan tortilla chips is to go for the classic tortilla chips without any added flavorings. Get the plain variety of organic tortilla chips to rule out the possibility of any non-vegan ingredient being sneaked into them.
However, if you really want to try out some interesting tortilla chips flavors, you’ll have to do the whole ingredient-checking drill. Check the label to make sure the tortilla chips you’re considering buying do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Non-Vegan Ingredients to Look for in Tortilla Chips
Following are some of the non-vegan ingredients that can potentially be found in certain varieties of tortilla chips, making them unsuitable for vegans:
- Artificial colors and flavors (just like colors, artificial flavors are also frequently tested on animals)
- Dairy – often sneaks in through cheese powder and ranch powder but can also be found in the form of whey, which may be sometimes used in seasonings
Some Vegan Tortilla Chips Options on the Market
To save you from the hassle of checking food labels, here is a list of some certified vegan tortilla chips varieties available out there:
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Tortilla Chips – White Corn
- Siete Grain-Free Tortilla Chips – Squeeze of Lime
- Garden of Eatin’ – Red Hot Blues
- Garden of Eatin’ – Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
- Late July Snacks – Summertime Blues – Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips
- Tostitos Crispy Rounds Tortilla Chips
- El Sabroso – Tortilla Chips – Restaurant Style
Doritos are inarguably the most popular tortilla chips. However, the majority of Doritos flavors are non-vegan.
Read my article Are Doritos Vegan for a detailed vegan analysis of all Doritos flavors!
Don’t lose heart in case you can’t get your hands on these (or any other) vegan tortilla chips – you can make some for yourself at home. Making tortilla chips is very simple. Check out the following video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make tortilla chips at home and vegan chips and dips recipe…
Conclusion – Can Vegans Eat Tortilla Chips?
Classic tortilla chips are vegan, for the most part. However, they can sometimes have lard in them.
Certain flavored tortilla chips can also be non-vegan. Cheese and Ranch are the most common non-vegan flavors of tortilla chips. However, certain other flavors can also have some non-vegan or controversial ingredients.
Always check the ingredients list to ensure there is no animal-derived ingredient in the tortilla chips you’re buying. When eating outside, ask the server before ordering.
Did you find this article helpful? Are you interested in a similar vegan analysis of other popular snacks too? Check out my article Are Lays Chips Vegan to find out what flavors of these popular potato chips are vegan-friendly!