Are Doritos Vegan? Here’s What You Should Know

Doritos have been a snack staple for a LONG time, known for their bold flavors and satisfying crunch. Their taco-flavored chips were a BIG favorite of mine when I was a kid.

However, as more people adopt a vegan lifestyle, questions arise about which snack foods fit into a vegan diet. If you’re a Doritos lover and a vegan (or thinking of going vegan) you may wonder, “Are Doritos vegan?”

Of all the Doritos flavors, only two have been confirmed as vegan: Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and Lightly Salted Doritos. So, unfortunately, the majority of Doritos flavors are NOT vegan. Let’s talk about why.

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bags of Doritos in a store

Why Most Flavors Of Doritos Are Not Vegan

Most flavors of Doritos are not vegan due to their use of animal-derived ingredients including dairy products such as cheese powder, whey protein concentrate, and milk ingredients. Let’s examine why these ingredients make many Doritos flavors unsuitable for a vegan diet.

Dairy Ingredients

The most obvious non-vegan ingredients in Doritos come from milk. Cheddar Cheese, Swiss Cheese, and other cheese varieties are often used to create the bold and savory flavors Doritos are known for. These cheeses are made from milk which is, of course, not suitable for vegans.

Other dairy-derived ingredients such as whey powder, milk powder, and lactic acid can be found in Doritos seasoning blends. These ingredients are by-products of milk and are therefore excluded from a vegan diet.

Animal-Derived Additives

Aside from the obvious dairy components, Doritos also contain some less-apparent animal-derived additives. For example, sneaky “natural flavors” can sometimes include animal enzymes or other substances derived from animals.

While the exact sources of these natural flavors are not always disclosed, they can potentially be non-vegan. So if you’re following a strict vegan diet, you’ll want to avoid it.

Certain flavors may contain animal fats or stocks, such as chicken powder or beef stock, which are used to enhance the savory taste. These are obvious no-nos if you’re a vegan or even a vegetarian who consumes some dairy and eggs.

Risk of Cross-Contamination

Even if the ingredients list doesn’t specify any animal products, there’s still a risk of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. This means that vegan and non-vegan products may be processed on the same equipment, leading to the unintended presence of animal ingredients in otherwise vegan products.

doritos bag

On their site, Doritos states that none of their products are currently classified as vegan. One reason may be that cross-contamination cannot be ruled out. For strict vegans, this risk of cross-contamination is enough to avoid many processed snacks, including Doritos.

Fortunately, if you prefer to avoid Doritos there are plenty of vegan-friendly chip brands available. Brands like Vegan Rob’s and Beanfields offer delicious, plant-based snacks. Moreover, homemade vegan snack recipes, such as baked tortilla chips or spiced chickpeas, provide tasty and healthy alternatives.

Check out our picks for this year’s top vegan chips here!

vegan chips

Vegan Products Avoid Ingredients that Include Animal Testing

Vegan products not only avoid animal-derived products from their ingredients list but also any ingredients that have been tested on animals. This commitment to animal welfare is a core principle of a vegan lifestyle. Ingredients like artificial colors and flavors are often tested on animals to determine their safety, making them a big no-no in vegan products.

By choosing products that avoid animal testing, vegans support cruelty-free practices and promote the ethical treatment of animals throughout the food production process.

While the majority of Doritos flavors are not vegan due to their use of animal-derived ingredients and the risk of cross-contamination, there are still a couple of flavors that vegans can enjoy. By becoming familiar with non-vegan ingredients and being vigilant about checking labels, you can still enjoy plenty of delicious snacks without compromising your dietary choices.

FAQs on Doritos and Veganism

What makes a snack food vegan?

Snacks are considered vegan if they contain no animal products or byproducts and are not processed using animal-derived substances.

This includes avoiding ingredients like:

  • milk protein
  • cheese powder
  • egg yolk
  • beef stock
  • chicken powder
  • natural chicken flavor
  • whey protein concentrate
  • natural flavors with animal enzymes
  • lactic acid (that doesn’t specify it’s vegan such as this one by Druids Grove)

Instead, vegan snack foods rely on plant-based ingredients like ground corn, vegetable oils, and spices like onion powder and garlic powder.

Additionally, vegan snack production avoids the risk of cross-contamination with non-vegan foods, ensuring all ingredients and processes align with a vegan lifestyle.

Are there any vegan-friendly Doritos flavors?

Yes, Spicy Sweet Chili and Lightly Salted Doritos are vegan-friendly as they do not contain any vegan ingredients. However, for those who adhere to a strictly vegan diet, there may be a risk of cross-contamination.

Can I make my own vegan Doritos?

You bet you can! With recipes available online, you can create your own vegan Doritos using plant-based ingredients such as corn tortillas. Here’s a great recipe from The Vegan Dude for both nacho cheese and cool ranch vegan options.

What are Some Other Vegan Chip Snack Options?

If you’re looking for vegan alternatives to Doritos, you’re in luck! There are plenty of delicious vegan chip options to satisfy your cravings without compromising your dietary choices. Check out our article, 12 of the Most Delicious Vegan Chips in 2024. This guide features a curated list of the best vegan chips available this year, ensuring you’ll have plenty of options to satisfy your snack cravings.

Happy snacking!

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