Are Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

October 6, 2023

Identifying whether a product like Pillsbury Crescent Rolls is vegan can often be difficult.

Why is it difficult? Because processed foods often have long lists of unidentifiable — and unpronounceable — ingredients that the layperson couldn’t possibly begin to translate.

However, this article will uncover the truth and provide you, the reader, with valuable information to support your compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Are Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Vegan?

No, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls might be vegan. The product contains ingredients that are commonly derived from animals or their by-products but that can also be supplied from plant sources.

Specifically, enriched flour may contain vitamins sourced from animals. Additionally, the sugar in crescent rolls might be processed with bone char, making these crescent rolls non-vegan.

Without knowing the source of these ingredients, we can’t say for sure Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan. Depending on how strictly you follow a vegan diet, you may be comfortable eating these, since they are dairy-free and egg-free. However, strict vegans will want to avoid this product.

No doubt if they were vegan, Pillsbury would be shouting it from the rooftops, trying to ride the vegan train as far as it could. Since it’s not, strict vegans shouldn’t take the chance.

Is Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Cruelty-Free?

No, not even maybe. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are not cruelty-free.

The inclusion of palm oil is a major concern for those seeking a cruelty-free lifestyle since palm oil harvesting involves several practices that threaten the environment, numerous wildlife species, and migrant workers.

Additionally, Pillsbury is a happy customer of GMO crops. The presence of GMO ingredients like soybean oil, dextrose, monoglycerides, and sugar means that the product was in all likelihood tested on animals or involved in processes that harm live animals.

What Are Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Made Of?

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients in Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls:

  • Enriched flour bleached
  • Water
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Soybean oil
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Monoglycerides
  • Potassium chloride
  • Annatto extract

Enriched Flour Bleached

This is wheat flour that has added vitamins and minerals. It’s used as the main base for the dough. Some vitamins might be sourced from animals, making it potentially non-vegan.


Water is a basic ingredient used in most baking processes.

Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable oil is a fat made from soybean, palm oil, hydrogenated palm oil, and fractionated palm oil. These oils give the rolls their flaky texture. Soybean and palm oil are technically vegan, but palm oil is not cruelty-free unless it’s verifiably sourced sustainably. And soybean oil is GMO.


Sugar is a sweetener that comes from either sugarcane or sugar beets. Some sugars are processed with bone char, which is not vegan, and sugar crops are also commonly GMO, unless organic.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a leavening agent made of baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and sodium aluminum phosphate. It helps the rolls rise. It’s vegan.

Vital Wheat Gluten

This is a natural protein found in wheat that provides elasticity to the dough. It’s vegan.


Dextrose is frequently GMO simple sugar derived from plants. It is vegan.


Salt is a mineral used for flavor. It’s vegan as can be.


These are fatty acids used as emulsifiers. They can be derived from both plant and animal sources, so we can’t guarantee they’re vegan.

Potassium Chloride

Potassium chloride is a salt substitute. It’s vegan.

Annatto Extract

A natural colorant derived from the seeds of the achiote tree, annatto extract is vegan.

Product Variations

Are Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls Vegan?

Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls might be vegan, but they have the same vague ingredients as the Original Crescent Rolls, and we can’t guarantee they’re 100% vegan.

Are Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls Vegan?

Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls might be vegan, but they have the same vague ingredients as the Original Crescent Rolls, and we can’t guarantee they’re 100% vegan.

Are Pillsbury Honey Butter Crescent Rolls Vegan?

While this product includes neither honey nor butter, despite the misleading name, we still can’t confirm it’s vegan because of vague ingredients and processing methods that might include animal products or by-products.

Vegan Alternatives to Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

For those seeking vegan-friendly alternatives to Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, there are several options available.

Your first option is to seek out vegan bakeries in your area. They’re growing faster than you can say “flax seed,” so you’re bound to find one. Here are some examples in big cities that may be near you:

If you’re living in a vegan desert and can’t find a vegan bakery within 100 miles, don’t fret. You can make your own vegan croissants! Here are tried and well-reviewed online recipes:


While Pillsbury Crescent Rolls may take you back to Sunday dinners from your childhood, they are neither vegan nor cruelty-free food.

The presence of certain ingredients and the potential harm to animals during production make them unsuitable for those following a strict vegan lifestyle.

Fortunately, there are vegan-friendly alternative brands available for those who wish to enjoy similar products without compromising their values.