Are Croutons Vegan and Cruelty Free? The Flakey Truth

Trying to figure out if croutons are safe for vegans to consume can be a bit tough.

Bread products often contain many ingredients, and some of them may be animal products.

To ensure that you’re only eating food that aligns with your vegan diet and lifestyle, I’ve looked into the ingredients and production processes of croutons.

Here’s what I found.

Are Croutons Vegan?

No. Most croutons are not vegan.

Croutons, or the little bread cubes served with salads, are typically made with wheat bread, which often contains egg and milk and its derivatives. So, unless the source bread is specifically made without these ingredients, croutons will not be vegan.

What’s more, some add Parmesan cheese to their recipe. Croutons may also be brushed with butter or margarine during the baking process, making them even less vegan friendly. While some brands of margarine are vegan, most of them are not.

So, if you’re a vegan, you may want to avoid croutons. It’s best to check the ingredients list if it is store bought or ask the server before ordering a restaurant salad with croutons.

Are Croutons Cruelty Free?

Yes! Croutons are cruelty free.

Croutons are not tested on animals at any point during their production. They also don’t contain ingredients that are tested on animals, such as artificial colors.

Animal testing is an outdated and unethical practice that only brings suffering to helpless animals. There surely are ways to ensure that our food is safe without harming animals. Thankfully, many food brands are starting to realize this and are moving away from animal testing.

What Are Croutons Made Of?

Here are the ingredients of average croutons:

  • Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Melted butter
  • Organic garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

These ingredients are added to some recipes for croutons:

  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Onion powder
  • Malted barley flour
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Refined sugar

Let’s break down each ingredient of Croutons:

Bread

Bread is the main ingredient in croutons. Depending on the recipe, bread may contain eggs and milk, which would make croutons non-vegan.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a type of vegetable oil made from olives. It’s often used in cooking and baking. Olive oil is a vegan ingredient.

Melted butter

Butter is a type of dairy product that’s made from cream or milk. It’s solid at room temperature but it can be melted. Butter is not a vegan ingredient.

Organic garlic powder

Garlic powder is a type of seasoning that’s made from ground-up dried garlic cloves. Garlic powder is a vegan ingredient.

Italian seasoning

Italian seasoning is a type of spice blend that typically contains oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Italian seasoning is a vegan ingredient.

Kosher salt

Kosher salt is a type of salt that’s made from sodium chloride. It’s often used in cooking because it has a less salty taste than table salt. Kosher salt is a vegan ingredient.

Ground black pepper

Black pepper is a type of spice that’s made from the dried berries of the Piper nigrum plant. Black pepper is a vegan ingredient.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan is a sharp, dry cheese used to add flavor and thickness to certain foods. Parmesan cheese is not vegan.

Refined sugar

Sugar by itself is vegan, but in processed foods, the sugar is refined with a material called “bone char,” which is the ground-up bones of cows, pigs, or other animals. Filtering sugar through bone char gives it its white color. Unless sugar is labeled “organic,” “raw,” or “unrefined,” it’s not vegan, especially in the US, where the use of bone char is most common.

Why Aren’t Croutons Vegan?

Croutons are not vegan because they’re typically made with wheat bread, which often contains eggs and milk and its derivatives. So, unless the bread is specifically made without these ingredients, croutons will not be vegan. Some recipes also add Parmesan cheese to their crouton recipe or brushed it with butter during the baking process.

Are New York Bakery Texas Toast Seasoned Croutons Vegan?

No. New York Bakery Texas Toast Seasoned Croutons are not vegan. They contain refined sugar and milk products such as cheese, whey, and butter.

These croutons are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Fresh Gourmet Italian Seasoned Croutons Vegan?

No. Fresh Gourmet Italian Seasoned Croutons are not vegan. They contain milk products, such as cheese, whey, and butter.

These croutons are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Olive Garden Croutons Vegan?

No. Olive Garden Grocery Seasoned Croutons contain cheese.

These croutons are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Chatham Village Garlic & Butter Flavored Croutons Vegan?

No. Chatham Village Garlic & Butter Flavored Croutons contain natural butter flavor.

These croutons are not safe for vegan consumption.

Are Tuscan Garden Italian Seasoned Croutons Vegan?

 No. Tuscan Garden Italian Seasoned Croutons are not vegan. They contain sugar, milk, and cheese.

These croutons are not safe for vegan consumption.

Vegan Alternatives to Croutons

If you’re looking for vegan croutons to add to your salad, don’t worry. There are plenty of vegan croutons for you to choose from. Here are some of my favorite vegan croutons:

These croutons are just some of the vegan options that are available on the market. If you can’t find any store-bought vegan croutons near you, you can make your own homemade croutons. Here are a few of my favorite vegan crouton recipes:

All you need is vegan bread and some seasonings of your choice. Cut the bread into cubes, drizzle with olive oil or melted vegan butter, sprinkle on the seasonings, and bake in a preheated oven until crispy. And that’s it! You’ve now made your own vegan croutons. Enjoy them in salads, soups, or as a snack.

Final Words

So, there you have it! Croutons are not vegan. Most bread-based croutons contain eggs and milk products and are unsuitable for vegans. However, there are some store-bought vegan crouton brands available, or you could always make your own at home with some vegan crouton recipe. Bon appetit!