Salad is arguably one of the most common go-to quick meals for vegans. You can make hundreds of different salads by combining virtually limitless ingredients. As long as you don’t put any meat or dairy-based dressings on your salad, you’ll be good to go!
For many people, though, croutons are just as important as the dressing.
They add a nice bit of crunch to your salad, and a bit of herbal flavor, and are a different texture than the other veggies in the salad.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you some of my favorite vegan croutons brands that I keep stocked in my pantry. Whether you like croutons on your salad, in your soup, or just like to munch on them, you’ll find the perfect brand below!
Are Croutons Vegan?
Croutons are a classic topping for Caesar salads and many other different types of soup and salad as well. The only problem is that most croutons are NOT vegan.
Dairy tends to be the biggest culprit, as far as croutons go. In a way, this also makes them similar to salad dressings, which have a reputation for containing dairy as well.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great-tasting vegan croutons to choose from, which I’ve listed below! Alternatively, you can make your own homemade vegan croutons using your favorite vegan bread and a simple recipe:
Common Non-Vegan Ingredients In Croutons
Here are some of the most common non-vegan ingredients you’ll find in homemade and pre-made croutons:
|Non-Vegan Additives In Croutons||Explanation|
|Butter||Butter is often used in place of cooking oil, as it has a better flavor. Unfortunately, butter is a dairy by-product that consists mostly of milkfat.|
|Whey||Whey is a concentrated protein that’s derived from milk during the cheese-making process. As a dairy product whey and concentrated whey protein are not vegan. MilkMilk, of course, is pure dairy and is not vegan. Palm OilPalm oil is plant-based cooking oil. However, modern-day palm oil production is incredibly destructive to our rainforests. So many vegans choose to boycott palm oil in favor of other plant-based oils.|
The 6 Best Vegan Croutons Brands 2023: Let’s Make A Salad
Recently, I showed you all some of the best vegan salad dressing brands. Now, it’s time to go one step further and show you some of the best-tasting vegan croutons brands!
Below, you’ll find traditional wheat-based croutons as well as some alternative croutons that are made from quinoa, plantains, and other grains.
It’s time to get your crunch on!
1) Olivia’s Croutons Garlic & Herb Flavor (link)
- Flavor Rating: 9/10
Olivia’s Croutons are one of my favorite vegan-friendly brands of croutons. These plant-based croutons have a wonderfully crispy “crunch factor” and a potent herbal aroma that goes perfectly with a soup or homemade tomato salad.
All of the ingredients are certified organic too, which means that there’s nothing but high-quality goodness in these croutons.
They’re made with a traditional wheat bread recipe made from whole wheat and rye flour, salt, and yeast. Other added ingredients include sunflower oil, garlic, onion, basil, black pepper, parsley, and paprika.
The combination of spices in these croutons is awesome and they add an explosion of flavor to any dish! Olivia’s Croutons offers several different flavors, but the classic Garlic & Herb variety is my favorite.
- Made from all-organic ingredients
- Loaded with flavorful seasonings
- Extra-crispy croutons
- The package is a bit small
2) 365 by Whole Foods Market, Seasoned Organic Croutons (link)
- Flavor Rating: 8/10
Whole Foods Market’s “365” products usually offer great quality at an affordable price. Plus, they’re easy to find at any Whole Foods Market location (if you’re lucky enough to have one near you).
365 Seasoned Organic Croutons are a simple, wholesome brand of croutons that pair well with a number of different foods. As far as the flavor goes – they’re pretty simple. But sometimes simple is exactly what I’m looking for!
The base is made from organic wheat flour, cracked wheat, cracked rye, vegetable oil (sunflower or safflower oil), yeast, and salt.
Seasonings and flavors include organic cane sugar (not refined with bone char), garlic and onion powder, and parsley. All of the ingredients are 100% certified organic as well, which is always a plus!
Overall, they’re affordable, taste good, and are easy to find.
- Can be found at Whole Foods Market
- Made with all-organic ingredients
- Dairy and butter-free
- Contain added sugar
3) CARRINGTON FARMS Organic Garden Herb Crounons (link)
- Flavor Rating: 8/10
Just because you’ve decided to cut out gluten doesn’t mean that you have to give up croutons! Although croutons are traditionally made from wheat-based ingredients, Carrington Farms Organic Herb “Crounons” are 100% gluten-free.
Instead of wheat, these croutons are made with puffed quinoa, tapioca syrup, quinoa flour, coconut oil, pea protein, banana powder, roasted garlic, spices, and salt. Most of these ingredients are organic as well, except for pea protein, banana, garlic, salt, and spices.
They definitely taste different, compared to traditional wheat croutons. Quinoa has a richer, more complex flavor, and the added coconut oil gives these croutons a slightly nutty flavor. Pea protein serves as a binding protein and prevents them from being too dry and crumbly.
The only downside of these croutons is that they’re a bit overpriced since they’re specifically marketed towards gluten-free dieters.
- Made from mostly organic ingredients
- No added sugar
- Made with organic ancient grains
- They’re more expensive than wheat-based croutons
4) Best Select Mini Croutons (link)
- Flavor Rating: 7/10
If you’re looking for a simple family-friendly brand of croutons, Best Select Mini Croutons are a solid choice. The ultra-small croutons are great for kids who may not appreciate the extra-large (and often sharp-textured) croutons that adults prefer.
Alternatively, I also like how the mini croutons pair well with soups. Since they’re a bit smaller, they soak up the soup, turning it into a more cereal-like dish. Since they’re extra-small, they also allow for better distribution throughout your salad.
Best Select Mini Croutons are made with a simple recipe, consisting of wheat flour, palm oil, garlic and onion powder, yeast, salt, and herbal extracts (which serve as preservatives).
As you can see, they’re nowhere near as flavorful or seasoned as some of the other brands I’ve looked at. However, this is precisely what makes them a great choice for kids and picky eaters.
The only problem is the palm oil that’s used in the recipe. While some vegans are okay with this additive, many are not. Depending on how strict your vegan diet is, this could be a deal-breaker.
- Good for picky eaters (limited seasoning)
- Mini croutons are good for small mouths
- Contain palm oil
5) naturSource Uncrouton (link)
- Flavor Rating: 10/10
Who said that croutons have to be made with bread? naturSource’s “Uncroutons” are a 100% grain-free alternative to traditional croutons. They’re also made from plant-based ingredients, which makes them great for keto dieters, gluten-free eaters, and vegans alike!
Uncroutons are made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, nutritional yeast, cane sugar, natural acacia gum, apple cider vinegar, canola oil, tapioca syrup, sea salt, garlic and onion powder, dried herbs, spices, and natural citric acid (as a preservative).
They’re low-carb, low-sugar, and packed with healthy plant-based fats and protein. This makes them considerably more nutritious than grain-based croutons. Despite this, the flavor is remarkably similar to the same old-fashioned croutons that you’re used to.
- Made from natural seeds and nuts
- Tastefully seasoned
- Great for low-carb diets
- No artificial ingredients
- They have a higher-than-normal fat content
6) Planchos Plantain Croutons (link)
- Flavor Rating: 8/10
If you like plantains, then you’ll love Planchos Plantain Croutons! This simple, plant-based crouton alternative is made from all-natural fried plantains and Himalayan salt. The natural sweetness of the plantains pairs wonderfully with the crisp texture and salty seasoning.
Personally, I still enjoy traditional-style croutons in my salad. However, I’ve found that these plantain croutons are perfect for soup. Plus, they’re grain-free and don’t contain any added sugars, which makes them great for a wide variety of diets.
- Made from real plantains (no other ingredients)
- No added sugar
- Lightly seasoned with Himalayan salt
- They’re not as flavorful or seasoned as real croutons
The Verdict – What Are The Best Vegan Croutons?
If I had to choose the best vegan crouton brand, I’d go with Olivia’s Croutons. I love the Garlic & Herb flavor, and the brand offers several other great-tasting flavors as well. They’re made from all-organic ingredients and pair well with both soups and salads.
If you want to take your salad game to the next level, be sure to check out my list of the best vegan bacon bits brands next!