Are Panda Express Fortune Cookies Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 5, 2023

Identifying whether or not Panda Express fortune cookies are vegan can be a challenging task. 

This difficulty arises because manufacturers often obscure the nature and source of their ingredients. 

Fear not, this article aims to uncover the truth and support you in your compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Are Panda Express Fortune Cookies Vegan?

No, Panda Express fortune cookies are not vegan. They contain sugar that may 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. 

Are Panda Express Fortune Cookies Cruelty-Free?

No, these fortune cookies are not cruelty-free. The presence of artificial flavors raises questions about animal testing.

What Are Panda Express Fortune Cookies Made Of?

Before diving into vegan alternatives, let’s first understand what exactly goes into these fortune cookies.

  • Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Sugar
  • Soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Artificial flavors

Enriched Flour

Enriched flour is wheat-based flour that has vitamins and minerals added back into it. It’s not animal derived, so it’s vegan-friendly.


Sugar is a sweetening agent. However, some sugar is processed using animal bone char, making its vegan status questionable. Strict vegans will want to avoid products that contain sugar unless it’s confirmed that the sugar is vegan. For example, organic sugar is not processed with bone char. 

Soybean Oil and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil

These oils are plant based and serve as a fat source in the cookies. They are vegan friendly.


Cornstarch is derived from corn and is used as a thickening agent. It’s plant based and vegan friendly.


Salt is a mineral and is vegan.

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors are chemically derived and their source can be either plant based or animal based. They are the reason these cookies are not cruelty-free.

Vegan Alternatives to Panda Express Fortune Cookies

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly options, you’re in luck! There are several alternatives to consider:

  • Golden Bowl Fortune Cookies: These fortune cookies are known to be vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Homemade fortune cookies: Most fortune cookie recipes can be made vegan with a few simple swaps.


Navigating the world of vegan food options at places like Panda Express can be tricky, especially when it comes to popular items like fortune cookies. 

Unfortunately, Panda Express fortune cookies are neither vegan nor cruelty-free due to the inclusion of artificial flavors. 

However, there are alternative brands and homemade recipes that align with a vegan lifestyle. Stay informed, stay compassionate, and keep fighting the good fight for our planet and its inhabitants.