Tostitos are easily one of the best-selling brands of tortilla chips in the country. Don’t believe me? There’s an annual football game named after them – The Tostitos Bowl.
While they offer an original recipe that’s made with three simple ingredients, they also offer some flavored tortilla chips which contain a lot of added (and unexpected) ingredients.
So, are Tostitos vegan?
The original unflavored varieties of Tostitos are all 100% vegan. They’re made with corn flour, corn oil, and salt. However, vegans need to look out for the flavored Tostitos.
Even though they may not sound non-vegan, most of them contain dairy or whey, which are non-vegan, animal-derived additives.
Below, I’ll show you exactly which Tostitos are vegan, so you know what to get the next time you’re out shopping for your next party! First, though, let’s answer some questions…
Are Tortilla Chips Vegan?
When most people think of Mexican food, tacos, and tortilla chips are usually the first two foods that come to mind. While tortillas aren’t only used in Mexican cuisine (they’re used throughout South America), tortillas are arguably the most popular in Mexico.
To make homemade tortilla chips, small triangles of tortillas are cut and then dropped in a deep fryer before being lightly salted.
Tortillas, themselves, are just made from three simple ingredients:
- Corn flour
In fact, I just made a post about a month ago, detailing exactly which types of tortillas are vegan and which tortillas you should be on the lookout for.
These same ingredients are used to make tortilla chips. The only difference is that tortilla chips contain vegetable oil (since they’re literally fried in it) and added salt (for flavor).
In short, tortilla chips are 100% vegan when they’re made in the traditional manner. Tortilla chips contain just four simple ingredients: corn flour, water, salt, and vegetable oil. These are all plant-based, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
I keep tortilla chips in my house. They’re a great, simple snack whenever I’m craving something crunchy. They also go well with plant-based dips, like tomato salsa or hummus!
Are Tostitos Scoops Vegan?
One of the best-selling varieties of Tostitos is the Tostitos Scoops. These tortilla chips aren’t like most of the other triangle-shaped tortilla chips you’ll find on store shelves. Instead, they’re made with an innovative scoop-style design!
This allows you to get the most out of your dip, as each chip holds nearly double the dipping, compared to your average triangle-shaped tortilla chip. Plus, there are fewer sharp edges to poke your gums!
Tostitos Scoops are 100% vegan. They’re made with the same three ingredients that Tostitos traditional corn tortilla chips are made from corn flour, vegetable oil, and salt. The only difference is that they’re shaped differently!
Personally, Tostitos Scoops are my favorite type of Tostitos.
Are Tostitos Restaurant Style Chips Vegan?
While I prefer the Tostitos Scoops, some people are just looking for a good old-fashioned bag of triangular tortilla chips. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Tostitos Restaurant-Style Chips should be right up your alley.
Tostitos Restaurant-Style Chips are 100% vegan. They’re made with corn flour, vegetable oil, and salt, which are all vegan-friendly ingredients.
They might not be able to hold quite as much dip as the Scoops, but I like to use them for nachos!
Are All Flavors of Tostitos Vegan?
All of the original varieties of Tostitos are vegan-friendly. Like most other brands of tortilla chips, Tostitos unflavored chips are made from corn, vegetable oil, and salt. These are all commonly found additives in vegan cuisine and are nothing that you should worry about.
However, not all flavors of Tostitos are vegan. In fact, some of them contain a number of unexpected animal ingredients and by-products.
For example, these are the ingredients found in Tostitos Hint of Lime flavored tortilla chips:
Let me take a minute to go through the non-vegan items on that list for you guys.
It may come as a surprise to newer vegans, but white sugar isn’t actually vegan.
Most people automatically assume that white sugar is vegan because it comes from the sugarcane plant. However, this isn’t the full story.
The natural unrefined cane sugar (sometimes referred to as turbinado sugar) is vegan. This is sugar in its most natural form. It’s minimally processed and contains no added ingredients. /
However, to turn raw sugar into the more concentrated white sugar, it must first be filtered using animal bone char. This is a special type of charcoal that’s made from the remains of animal bones at the slaughterhouse.
Sadly, this not-so-vegan refining process is the reason why most of the sugar found in processed food is not vegan. It’s often the reason why otherwise vegan foods get put on the no-no list!
I have to admit, this ingredient was a bit surprising… I never expected to find sour cream mixed into my lime-flavored chips. Then again, I don’t own a chip company, so what do I know?
Tostitos Hint of Lime chips all contains sour cream, which is made from cultured cream and skim milk. Presumably, this adds to the sour, citrusy flavor of the chips.
As you probably already know, though, sour cream is not vegan. It’s a product made from dairy, which is often a very cruel and destructive industry that exploits female cows for their milk production.
Whey is yet another dairy by-product that’s isolated as part of the cheese-making process. During this process, the solids (milk protein and fat) are separated from the liquid. This isolates the whey protein in milk, which is typically used for protein powders and supplements.
Since whey comes from dairy, it’s considered an animal product and isn’t vegan.
Watch this behind-the-scenes video to see how whey is separated from dairy:
Which Flavors of Tostitos Are Vegan?
To make your shopping a bit easier, here’s a quick list of the vegan and non-vegan flavors of Tostitos:
|Vegan Tostitos Flavors||Non-Vegan Tostitos Flavors|
|Original Restaurant-Style||Sabritas Salsa Verde|
|Lightly Salted||Sabritas Salsa Ranchera|
|Organic Blue Corn||Hint of Lime|
|Cantina Traditional||Roasted Red Pepper|
|Black Bean & Garlic||Hint of Jalapeno|
As you can see, most of the flavored varieties of Tostitos are non-vegan. This is because they all contain whey or dairy. Dairy isn’t always added for flavor alone. In fact, more often than not, it’s added to provide texture to the chips.
For instance, whey powder can create a softer texture on the chips’ surface, which makes them more desirable. The whey also helps the flavors bind to the surface of the chips, making for a more consistent flavor.
What Are Tostitos Made Of? Simple Ingredients Listed
Now that you know a little bit more about which Tostitos are non-vegan, let’s take a few minutes to look at the original Tostitos recipes! Above, you’ll find the recipe used for all of the original unflavored varieties of Tostitos.
Now, let me take a minute to break them down, so you can see why they’re all vegan-friendly.
Corn (specifically corn flour) is the main ingredient used to make all tortilla chips. Corn flour is always vegan, as it’s just dried and ground corn. It’s the main ingredient used to make tortillas, tamales, and popular chips like Fritos.
2) Vegetable Oil
All Tostitos are fried in either corn oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil. Corn oil is, by far, the most common type of vegetable oil used since it mixes the easiest with the corn flour that tortilla chips are made of.
Last but not least, all of the Tostitos tortilla chips are lightly seasoned with a bit of salt. Salt is always vegan, as it either comes from a lab (iodized salt) or is harvested from oceanic salt deposits (sea salt).
The Verdict – Are Tostitos Vegan-Friendly?
As long as you stick to the original unflavored varieties, Tostitos are always 100% vegan and plant-based. They’re made from simple, all-natural ingredients, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Just remember to stay away from the flavored Tostitos, as most of them contain dairy and dairy by-products.
To read my full article about tortilla chips and why they’re so popular in vegan cuisine, read my post answering, “Are tortilla chips vegan?” next!