Is Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 5, 2023

Hey there, Earth Warriors! Ever found yourself standing in the grocery aisle, staring at a packet of Old El Paso Taco Seasoning and wondering, “Is this vegan?” 

You’re not alone! Navigating the maze of food labels can feel like decoding a secret language, especially when companies play hide-and-seek with their ingredients.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! This article is your ultimate guide to making sure your taco nights are not just tasty, but also kind to our animal friends and Mother Earth.

Is Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Vegan?

No, Old El Paso Taco Seasoning is not vegan. The ingredient that specifically makes it non-vegan is natural flavor, as its source is not disclosed and could be derived from animals.

Furthermore, this product contains sugar that may or not be processed with bone char, the ground-up bones of animals. Usually, when a manufacturer chooses to use sugar not processed with bone char, it makes a point of publicizing the fact. A manufacturer that doesn’t disclose the source of its sugar gives strict vegans no choice but to avoid its products.

Is Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Cruelty-Free?

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning is probably cruelty-free. While we don’t know the exact sources of the natural flavor, it’s unlikely that it’s tested on animals.

What Is Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Made Of?

Old El Paso Taco Seasoning is a mix of various ingredients designed to give your tacos that authentic flavor. Below is a list of all the ingredients in the product:

  • Chili pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Maltodextrin
  • Spice
  • Sea salt (potassium magnesium chloride, salt)
  • Vegetable oil (canola oil and/or soybean oil)
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Citric acid
  • Sugar
  • Natural flavor

Chili Pepper

Chili pepper adds a spicy kick to the seasoning. It is derived from chili plants and is vegan.


Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent. It comes from corn and is vegan.


Salt is a mineral and is vegan.

Onion Powder

Onion powder adds flavor and is derived from onions, making it vegan.


Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate and is usually plant based, making it vegan.


The term “spice” is general but is usually plant derived and vegan.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is a mineral and is vegan.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil, whether canola or soybean, is plant based and vegan.

Silicon Dioxide

Silicon dioxide is a mineral used as an anti-caking agent and is vegan.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits and is vegan.


Sugar is plant derived but may be processed using bone char. There’s no way to be sure unless the sugar is organic, unrefined, or raw. Strict vegans should avoid sugar whose source you can’t be sure of.

Natural Flavor

Natural flavor is the problematic ingredient. Its source is not disclosed, and it could be animal derived, making the product non-vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Old El Paso Taco Seasoning

If you’re looking to maintain your vegan diet while enjoying delicious tacos, there are plenty of alternatives to Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.

  • DIY seasonings: It’s highly likely that you already have all the spices you need to make taco seasoning in your spice cupboard. Make your own taco seasoning mix at home.
  • Certified organic or vegan brands: Look for taco seasoning from brands that are certified vegan and/or organic, like this product from Simply Organic.


Alright, eco-conscious amigos, that’s a wrap! While Old El Paso Taco Seasoning might tantalize your taste buds, it’s a no-go for the vegan tribe due to that sneaky natural flavor and sugar that might be filtered through the bones of animals.

But don’t let that get you down! There are a ton of plant-based alternative brands that are just as flavorful and 100% guilt-free.

So go ahead, spice up your vegan tacos and relish the goodness, knowing you’re doing right by the planet and its critters. Keep being awesome and making food choices that matter! ✌️🌈