Whether you smother it on toast in the morning or have it as a delectable pancake topping, it’s hard to beat Nutella. This family-favorite product is one of the yummiest spreads out there. However, whether or not Nutella is vegan is common question for those following a vegan diet. Here’s what you should know.
So…Is Nutella Vegan?
No. Nutella is not vegan. According to the brand’s website, the ingredients are as follows: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk, cocoa, soy lecithin as emulsifier, vanillin (an artificial flavor). So it’s the the skim milk (skim milk powder to be precise), that makes this spread non-vegan.
Best Vegan Alternatives to Nutella
If you love the chocolatey and nutty flavor of Nutella, you can still get your fix while enjoying vegan versions that don’t contain animal products. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to look at the ingredient lists of some of the best vegan Nutella alternatives you can get right now.
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut & Almond Butter Blend
With a smooth cocoa flavor and the enticing taste of almonds and hazelnuts, you will love Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut & Almond Butter Blend. The ingredients of this vegan spread are dry roasted hazelnuts, dry roasted almonds, organic powdered sugar, organic cocoa powder, organic cocoa butter, palm oil, and sea salt. Since none of the above are derived from animals, you can rest assured that this is a solid vegan alternative to Nutella.
Artisana Organics Hazelnut Cacao Spread
None of these hazelnut chocolate spreads qualify as health food―they are sweet treats, after all―but if you’re looking for a Nutella alternative that’s not only vegan, but that also has other thoughtfully sourced organic ingredients, Artisana is a good option. This creamy nut butter contains no palm oil (coconut oil instead), organic hazelnuts are the first listed ingredient, and the primary sweetener is organic coconut sugar.
As with many natural peanut butters, the ingredients do tend to separate a bit when left on the shelf, so you’ll need to give it a good stir before each use.
Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut Spread
Imported from Italy, the Nocciolata dairy-free hazelnut spread from Rigoni di Asiago tastes fantastic, with many reviewers claiming it actually tastes better than Nutella! Aside from the delicious taste, it’s also vegan, USDA organic, non-GMO, kosher, and gluten free. And unlike Nutealla, it doesn’t contain palm oil.
Nutiva Vegan Hazelnut Spread
With ingredients like cocoa, chia and flaxseed, this certified organic, non-GMO, vegan chocolate hazelnut spread from Nutiva is a popular choice. The taste is similar to that of Nutella and yet completely suitable for vegans.
A number of reviewers complain that the Nutiva spread is not vegan because it is made in a facility that also processes milk solids (not because non-vegan ingredients are added directly). You’ll need to judge for yourself where to draw the line in your vegan journey.
How to Make It Yourself
If none of these commercial vegan Nutella alternatives strike your fancy, why not make your own vegan chocolate spread? This homemade Nutella recipe is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. You can also make it free of refined sugar, depending on the ingredients you use. Experiment with maple syrup, agave syrup, organic cane sugar, or similar natural sweeteners.
The only ingredients you’ll need are raw hazelnuts, dark chocolate, vanilla extract, salt, and monk fruit sweetener. If your chocolate is already sweet, you can skip the sweetener.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the hazelnuts in an even, single layer.
Toast the hazelnuts for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. With clean hands (or a clean towel), rub the hazelnuts to remove most of the skins. This will help make the consistency of your Nutella more creamy.
While the hazelnuts are toasting, melt the chocolate. To do this, place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second increments, pausing often to mix the chocolate.
Or, you can fill a small pot ⅓ full with water, and place the bowl of chocolate on top. (Again, use a heat-safe bowl.) Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Bring the water to a light boil, mixing the chocolate as it melts.
The chocolate is ready once it’s smooth and no chunks are left.
In a high-powered food processor, add the hazelnuts.
Process the nuts, scraping down the side as necessary. The nuts will eventually form a thick, crumbly paste.
Continue processing the hazelnuts until it’s a mostly smooth, runny consistency.
Note: As you process the nuts, the crumbly paste will likely bunch into balls. Just keep going! Simply flatten and spread the paste back toward the blades, and continue blending. Eventually, the nuts will release their natural oils and soften the mixture.
Add the vanilla extract, salt, and sweetener, if using. Blend well. Finally, slowly add the melted chocolate while the processor is blending.
Continue blending until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Taste the Nutella and add more salt, vanilla, or sweetener, depending on your preference.
That’s all there is to it! Here’s how to enjoy this sweet spread:
- Spread it on toast, pancakes, or waffles
- Use it as a pretzel dip
- Eat it with crackers
- Drizzle it on ice cream
- Blend it in smoothies
- Eat it by the spoonful!
Store your homemade vegan Nutella in an air-tight jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Note: The spread might harden if your house is a bit chilly. If this happens, scoop out your desired serving and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the it in 15-second intervals until creamy and spreadable.
Homemade Vegan Nutella
- 2 cups hazelnuts raw and unsalted
- 1 ⅓ cups dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped chocolate about 8 ounces
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon monk fruit sweetener plus more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the hazelnuts in an even, single layer.
- Toast the hazelnuts for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. With clean hands (or a clean towel), rub the hazelnuts to remove most of the skins.
- While the hazelnuts are toasting, melt the chocolate. To do this, place the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second increments, pausing often to mix the chocolate. You can also use a double broiler on your stovetop.
- In a high-powered food processor, add the hazelnuts, including the skins. Scrape down the side as necessary. The nuts will form a thick, crumbly paste, then eventually become somewhat smooth and runny.
- Add the vanilla extract, salt, and sweetener, if using. Blend well. Finally, slowly add the melted chocolate while the processor is blending. Continue blending until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Taste the Nutella and add more salt, vanilla, or sweetener, depending on your preference.
- If your chocolate is already very sweet, you can omit the additional sweetener.
- You can also use powdered sugar or coconut sugar to sweeten the Nutella.
- Store the Nutella in an air-tight jar at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.