Are Tortilla Chips Vegan?

Mexican food is typically more vegetarian-based. Wraps, tacos, enchiladas may all suit your lifestyle and then there are…

the tortilla chips.

You settle down for the night and, curled up on the couch, you reach for your tortilla chips and then a thought hits you, “Are these vegan?” The last thing you want to do is munch on something that contains animal ingredients.

Let’s run you through the vegan world of tortilla chips.

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The good news about tortilla chips.

The great news about your tortilla chips is that they are vegan. At least at a basic level. That‘s because tortillas are made from only three things:

  • Corn
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Not much in a tortilla, right?

Things start to turn non-vegan when you look at the additional stuff that gets added to your chips to give them color and taste. 

Cheese flavoring is used to give your chips that traditional tortilla taste. Milk, whey, and lactose may also have been used and now we have diary products affecting our tortillas.

Sometimes the coloring used is taken from the dye that has been tested on animals. That is a no-go zone for vegans. 

Look at the list of ingredients on the packet and check to see if there are animal-based elements contained in the chips. Some brands do offer vegan tortilla chips.

Vegan tortilla chips

You are in the snack aisle at your local supermarket and look at all the different brands of tortilla chips. Which ones can you trust are 100% vegan.

Here are some brands that you can rely on that offer a vegan option.


One of the most popular names in the world of tortilla chips, Doritos does have several vegan options:

These contain no animal by-products, yet they may contain wheat and soy. 

365 Salted Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips 

Made from white corn, expeller pressed oil (sunflower and canola), and sea salt, these tortilla chips are sure to please any discerning vegan. They are Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free certified, and kosher-certified. 

The white corn is stone ground to enhance the corn flavor. Pop over to Amazon and grab yourself a packet or two.

Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Garden of Eatin’ holds to the tradition of making organic, healthy food. The Blue Corn Tortilla Chips are a testament to that vision. 

The chips are made from organic blue corn and expeller oil (sunflower or canola). There are no artificial flavors or preservatives, so you can rest assured that there are no animal by-products or ingredients that were tested on animals in these chips. 

They are Non-GMO and gluten-free. 

If you want chips that are blue rather than the traditional yellow color, then buy yourself a packet on Amazon.

Beanfields Spicy Queso Bean Chips

Typically tortilla chips are made from corn, yet Beanfields bucks the trend and offers a bean-based option. All the flavors they have to offer are completely 100% vegan. 

The Queso Bean chips are made from the following:

  • Black beans 
  • Navy beans 
  • Long grain rice
  • High oleic safflower or sunflower oil 

And the flavoring is created with:

  • Potato maltodextrin
  • Salt 
  • Tomato powder
  • Cane sugar (vegan) 
  • Onion powder yeast extract 
  • Paprika
  • Green bell pepper powder
  • Red bell pepper powder
  • Natural non-dairy flavor 
  • Extractives of annato 
  • Lactic acid
  • Calcium lactate 
  • Grill flavor (from sunflower oil)

The amazing thing about these chips is that they have the same crunch and flavor as standard tortillas. Hop over to Beanfield’s Amazon store and buy yourself some for your next night in or party. 

Late July Snacks Summertime Blues Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Made from organic whole ground blue corn, organic sunflower, and safflower oil, and sea salt these tortilla chips will suit any serious vegan. They are Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and gluten-free

The awesome thing with these chips is that you can have an authentic restaurant-style tortilla chip at home, so you don’t need to go out to have a touch of Mexican cuisine. 

Just head over to Amazon.

Make your own tortilla chips

If you are a DIY-type person and want to turn your hand at making your own tortilla chips, then try this recipe:

  • Cut up your tortilla into triangular shaped pieces
  • Brush the triangles with sunflower or canola oil. 
  • Place the cut tortillas onto a baking tray 
  • Preheat your oven to around 200ºC and place your chips into the oven for around 5 minutes.
  • Take them out of the oven and let them cool off
  • Add your own favorite spices and flavors to the chips

It’s also about the dipping

Tortillas chips may be great on their own, but you may long for some dipping. That’s when a vegan-based tortilla chip could now become non-vegan. 

Again, it comes down to considering what you are making your dip out of, and even then what does each component contain? It’s easy to make your own dipping that is purely vegan. 

There are a lot of recipes available online that show you how to make a great vegan dipping. Some even teach you how to make plant-based cheese that feels like and tastes like the real thing, like this one from “karrisa’s vegan kitchen”.

You could also make salsa, which is purely vegetable-based. 

What about when I order tortilla chips at a restaurant?

You never know how things are cooked in the kitchen in a restaurant unless you ask.

Though tortilla chips are usually deep-fried in oil, there may be times when fat is used instead of oil. Now we have an animal product contaminating your tortillas. 

Also, there could be the possibility of cross-contamination if the tortillas are cooked in equipment that has been used for deep-frying meat. Or if there is a meat frying station next to the tortilla deep-fryer. 

Ask at the restaurant how they cook their tortillas and then decide whether to go ahead and order yourself a serving or pass on it. 

Love the tortilla chips 

Mexican food is highly vegetable-based and when it comes to tortillas, there is no exception. Yet, some brands will look to enhance the attractiveness and flavor of their chips by using additives that may come from animals or have been tested on animals.

The brands we have listed offer vegans a great choice when it comes to enjoying a tortilla chip. Make your own vegan dip and then relax and enjoy your chips.

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