Is Nutella Vegan?

In this article you will find out the answer to the all important question Is Nutella Vegan? We break down the ingredients within Nutella so as you can decide how Vegan friendly it is and what you may choose to find a substitute. We also explore Vegan Nutella alternative spreads which still have a great Nutella esque taste as well as some easy to follow recipes that you can enjoy making at home. 

Can Vegans enjoy Nutella? 

So, a big question for all the Vegans out there,is, is Nutella vegan? Most would assume that with the main ingredient sounding like nuts that it must be. BUT no, unfortunately Nutella is not vegan mainly due to the ingredient of milk powder that is used. There are however many Vegan alternatives that can be found online and in stores as well as easy homemade recipes so as you can still enjoy your Nutella fix. 

What ingredients are in Nutella?

  • Sugar 
  • Palm oil 
  • Cocoa powder 
  • Hazelnuts
  • Vanillin
  • Milk powder 
  • Lecithin

Which ingredients in Nutella are not vegan? 


I have discussed the do’s and don’ts of sugar before. Most vegans would assume that sugar is fine to be eaten. However, it cannot always be guaranteed where it could have originated from, as the process in which sugar can be made can come from harming animals. With the use of bone char. However this is normally if you follow a strict vegan diet, however if you want to avoid the possibility of this then I would suggest buying coconut sugar, 

Palm oil  – vegan (but considered not to be) 

Palm oil is in so many things, and even though the ingredient itself does not come from animals, so technically it is vegan as it is considered a vegetable. However, to be able to get palm oil huge areas of the rainforest are destroyed so as plantations can be created to produce palm oil. This has caused a lot of animal death and cruelty and also now some species are threatened to extinction because of deforestation and the need for palm oil. So as a vegan who cares about animals and the planet, making a choice to avoid or limit the products you buy would definitely be considered a more vegan/ethical choice. 

Milk powder – not vegan  

Even though this ingredient is in powder form it is still derived from milk and is therefore a byproduct of an animal. Milk powder is created through evaporating the milk and it is then continued to be further condensed and processed. 

Lecithin – not vegan 

Lecithin is a fat, it can be found in a few food sources. One of the main ones is egg. Vegans can eat lecithin that is produced from soy. 

Cocoa – vegan 

Cocoa powder comes from the cocoa solid and both are suitable for vegans. However occasionally milk can be incorporated within a cocoa powder, so make sure you check the ingredients carefully. 

Hazelnuts – vegan

Hazelnuts as all nuts are fine for vegans in there natural state just watch out for some of the coated nuts, e.g honey roasted nuts are not considered vegan. 

Vanillin – vegan 

This is a synthetic created vanilla but yes it is considered vegan friendly. 

Vegan Alternatives for Nutella

You can buy many different Vegan alternatives for nutella here are just a selection of our favourites (just check that they are the dairy free versions):

Vegan Nutella substitutes: 

So in the original nutella the ingredients that are not considered vegan friendly are: 

Palm oil, milk powder and lecithin. Some of these ingredients can definitely be substituted with vegan alternatives or completely left out and you can still have an exceptionally tasty nutella. 

Hazelnuts and dark chocolate are pretty much the essentials, other nuts and vegan alternatives can also be used to create a delicious nutty chocolatey spread, 

The Littlest Vegan’s Nutella Recipe: 


You will need: 

  • 250g Blanched hazelnuts
  • Salt to taste (normally a good pinch) 
  • 250g Dark Chocolate (good quality, makes a difference I usually use green and blacks) 
  • 275ml Maple syrup (or agave) 
  • 120ml Almond milk  (any plant based milks but I prefer almond) 

Top Tip: 

Whenever you are making any type of nut butter, always roast your nuts. These give them a much deeper roasted flavour ( a bit like a coffee roaster). 


First preheat the oven to180 degrees.

Place hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast for 10 mins, keep a careful eye as they can quickly turn from roasted to burnt! 

Whilst the hazelnuts are roasting you can prepare your other ingredients and start to melt the chocolate. This is easily done in a microwave or you can heat it over boiling water. For this make sure you have a heatproof bowl that can sit off of the water in a saucepan, slowly adding the chocolate to the bowl and stirring to melt it gradually. Just make sure that the bowl doesn’t actually touch the boiling water. 

Then place all of your ingredients into a blender, if you have time let the roasted hazelnuts cool down a little before placing in the blender. 

Blend to your desired consistency we like it smooth with a few little chunks (so we save a few roasted hazelnuts and chop and sprinkle on the top of the delicious gooey spread, this can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. 

Is Nutella good for you?

There is some controversy around nutella with some countries having banned it from the shelves in the past, I mean like all things, that maybe aren’t entirely great for you. It has been portrayed as being a bit of a healthier snack for you and the kids to have spread on anything. I mean you’ve seen the ingredients, they’re not exactly wholesome. The sugar and palm oil are the main ingredients that cause concern around whether it is considered ‘healthy’ But like anything a little indulgent every now and again. Especially our vegan alternatives that have less processed ingredients and less sugar is a better alternative even for those of you who aren’t vegan. 


Is there a dairy free Nutella?

Nutella itself has not created a dairy free version, however as I have mentioned above there are many vegan alternatives available to buy in your local supermarkets. Or you can follow our recipe to create your own dairy free nutella! 

Is Nutella animal friendly?

Nutella is considered to be vegetarian, however it is not vegan as they use a skimmed milk powder. 

Why is Nutella banned in Europe?

The European Food Standards Authority warned that the contaminants found in the palm oil could be carcinogenic. The manufacturers will not not use palm oil and have not currently  found an alternative ingredient that they feel would keep the product at it’s best. 

Summary …

So in short the popular brand Nutella is NOT Vegan. This is due to it containing products that are considered to be an animal derived ingredient. The main animal derived ingredient in Nutella is skimmed milk powder. There are however many Vegan Nutella’s around to buy as well as some delicious homemade recipes including our own recipe mentioned above @thelittlestveganblog

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