Love Nutella but wondering if it's vegan? Or maybe just looking for cruelty-free alternatives?
You're in the right place.
Expect to find all that and other common questions about Nutella in this short guide along with a list of vegan Nutella brands and alternatives to keep a look out for!
Is Nutella Vegan?
ANSWER: Unfortunately, because Nutella contains milk it cannot be considered vegan. The good news is that if you're craving a decadent and rich hazelnut spread there are plenty of alternative options. There is a variety of vegan hazelnut spreads available to buy and it is super easy to make at home.
Want to learn more about vegan foods? Check out our free grocery list to learn how to shop vegan.
Vegan Dairy-Free Nutella Brands & Alternatives
Nutiva Hazelnut spreads is one of the closest plant-based products to Nutella that you could find. You can use it in the same way as you would the regular stuff, on sandwiches, for dipping or eating right out of the jar. It’s also certified organic (not that this matters too much to me).
Looking for a vegan nutella with a clean ingredient statements? This is it! JEM is made with only four ingredients: Raw Hazelnuts, Cacao Nibs, Coconut Sugar and Vanilla and it’s 100% raw. It’s a great way to stay fueled as an athlete or to enjoy as an indulgent snack as a lay-person.
While this product doesn’t technically have any hazelnuts, it’s still a dairy-free chocolate spread with a similar mouthfeel to Nutella. It comes in a chocolate version and a caramel version both of which are milk-free and vegan. They’re coconut milk based, so they still have that fatty richness even though there aren’t any hazelnuts.
Part of the allure of Nutella is that it’s Italian, right? Well – if you’re looking for a vegan-version made in Italy. This is it. It has a very similar ingredient statement to Nutella, except without the milk. It’s also free of palm oil which is a definite plus! And for the chocolate-hazelnut icing on the cake, it has a Vegan Certification from Europe Italia.
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is a great bet if you need a creamy hazelnut fix. The ingredient statement according to the manufacturer’s website is listed below. It also has a lower percentage of sugar in the recipe because sugar is listed as the third ingredient rather than the first in the case of Nutella. As a result it has more of a deep and rich flavor rather than something that’s slightly overpowering on sweetness.
What Are the Ingredients in Nutella?
According to the Nutella website - the hazelnut spread is made of 7 ingredients: Sugar, Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa, Milk, Soy or Sunflower Lecithin, and Vanillin (Synthetic Vanilla).
What Makes Nutella So Delicious?
Believe it or not, it's not the skimmed milk in Nutella that gives it the delectable flavor profile that people love. It's the combination of sugar, fat, hazelnuts, and chocolate. The added skimmed milk is kind of a useless ingredient other than the fact that Nutella uses it as a misleading selling point. Given the health and ethical pitfalls of dairy, it's unfortunate that it would be advertised as a selling point, but the good news is, replicating Nutella without the skimmed milk is super easy!
Making Vegan Nutella at Home
If you haven't been able to tell by now, there aren't many complex ingredients in a hazelnut spread. That means making it at home is super simple. If you want to follow an exact step by step recipe, check out this short video below...
Conclusion on Nutella
Between animal products and excess sugar, Nutella might not be all that it is "cracked" up to be. With all the alternative options we've offered, replacing it should be super simple and taste just as good if not better. Happy spreading!