Is Nutella Vegan? How to Get Creamy, Nutty Chocolate Goodness Without the Dairy

The Italians have given the world many of its most delicious, most indulgent, and most comforting foods. But while it’s synonymous with savory classics like pizza and spaghetti alla carbonara, the country, of course, also knows how to do sweet treats really well. And one of the best examples of this is, arguably, Nutella (although gelato is also one of its best exports).

The nutty spread is not just popular in Italy (where people consume roughly 60 million jars a year), but also around the globe. In fact, every year, around 650,000 tons of Nutella are shipped to around 160 countries. But is this creamy treat vegan? And if not, just how do vegans who love the taste of Nutella get their fix? We’ve got the answers.

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What is Nutella?

To put it simply, Nutella is a sweet hazelnut, chocolate spread. Since 1964, it has been manufactured by Ferrero, an Italian multinational confectionary company. The texture is similar to smooth peanut butter: it’s creamy, gooey, and easy to spread. While it’s usually enjoyed on bread or toast, it can be added to anything. (Some people enjoy eating it with fruit, for example, or just straight out of the jar.)

Is Nutella vegan?

Unfortunately, Nutella is not vegan. While cocoa and hazelnuts are two of the spread’s key ingredients, alongside sugar and palm oil, the addition of skimmed milk renders the product not suitable for vegans. Milk, of course, comes from cows, which means it is a byproduct of animal agriculture and isn’t considered vegan.

Brands that make vegan Nutella

Fortunately for vegans, Ferrero isn’t the only company that can make creamy hazelnut, chocolate spread. These brands all offer Nutella-inspired vegan spreads, with the same taste and texture, just without the cow’s milk (and, for the most part, far less sugar, too).

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1 Justin’s

Justin Gold, the founder of Justin’s, has had a passion for nut butters since his early 20s. In 2004, he decided to take that passion and turn it into a brand, which he aptly named Justin’s. Now, that brand offers a wide selection of vegan-friendly nut butters and butter cups (just watch out for the ones that contain milk or honey), including Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter. Again, it contains less sugar than Nutella, but offers a very similar deliciously nutty taste (thanks to the added almond element, too).
FIND IT HERE

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Vego

Makers of delectable vegan chocolate bars, Vego also makes a luscious hazelnut spread. Unlike most spreads on the market, Vego’s isn’t smooth; its crunchy texture is due to the addition of hazelnut pieces. While not widely available in the US just yet, Vego can be found on digital retailers, including Amazon. 
Find it here

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3 Nutiva

In the early 2000s, Nutiva’s main focus was cold-pressed, organic coconut oil. Over the years, the brand has worked to expand its portfolio, focusing on ethically-produced, sustainably-sourced ingredients and minimal waste production. Now, alongside coconut oil, it offers products like hemp seed oil, chia seeds, and two organic hazelnut spreads: classic and dark. Both varieties are just as velvety and indulgent as the original Nutella, but they’re made with 40-percent less sugar.
FIND IT HERE

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Deux

Best known for its functional cookie doughs, woman-founded Deux has expanded its product portfolio to include dessert spreads. The line, aptly named Drip, includes an enhanced hazelnut coca spread made with aloe vera and vitamin C to support healthy skin. Chocolate as skincare? We’re in!
Find it here

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5Voyage Foods

You’d be surprised to learn that this nutty, chocolatey spread doesn’t contain hazelnuts or cocoa. Instead, Voyage Foods uses a blend of seeds—roasted sunflower kernels and grape seeds, to be exact—to achieve its velvety texture and creamy taste. Plus, it’s free of the top nine allergens and certified Kosher. 
Find it here

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6 Tbh

Noah Schnapp is best known for his role on Stranger Things, but last year, he also started building his own sustainable snack empire. The first product from the actor’s new brand Tbh is a vegan, hazelnut cocoa spread, which has way less sugar than its big competitor, zero palm oil, and a lot of hazelnuts.
FIND IT HERE

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7SunButter

Another allergen-friendly option, SunButter’s Chocolate Sunflower Butter swaps out hazelnuts for, well, sunflower seeds. Made with just six ingredients, this chocolatey spread packs six grams of protein per serving and is free from the top eight allergens. 
Find it here

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8 Artisana Organics

Artisana Organics is committed to making nut butters with fair-trade, sustainably-sourced ingredients, and works with farmers from all over the world for that very reason. Alongside Coconut Butter and Cashew Cacao Spread, you find Hazelnut Cacao Spread on its virtual shelves. The latter is palm oil-free, made with organic coconut sugar, and most importantly: creamy and delicious.
FIND IT HERE

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9 Rigoni

If you’re looking for an authentic, rich, Italian chocolate nut spread, but you don’t want any sneaky animal ingredients (looking at you, milk powder), then Rigoni has you covered. The company’s Nocciolata spread is arguably more indulgent than its rival Nutella, and while the original recipe contains milk, it also offers a totally dairy-free, vegan version.
FIND IT HERE

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10Rawmio

This handcrafted, raw vegan spread is made with just three ingredients: hazelnuts, Peruvian cacao nibs, and Balinese coconut sugar, which boasts a lower glycemic index than conventional sugar. High in minerals and antioxidant-rich, it’s perfect for scooping into waffles, pancakes, smoothies, and more. 
Find it here

What are the benefits of Nutella?

The original Nutella does contain calcium and iron, but because of its high sugar and saturated fat content, it’s not widely considered to be a healthy snack. That said, many of the alternatives on the market have significantly less sugar, and prioritize healthy, organic, whole-food ingredients. When they’re not overly processed, nut butters are often good sources of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

How to use vegan Nutella

Just like regular Nutella, vegan chocolate hazelnut spreads can be enjoyed on fresh bread, sandwiches, toast, croissants, crêpes, and ice cream. You can bake them into cookies, brownies, or cakes, blend them into milkshakes and smoothies (we recommend adding banana!), or you can just spoon them straight out of the jar. When it comes to enjoying this creamy indulgence, there are no rules.

Vegan Nutella recipes

When a Nutella craving hits, you have two options: track down a vegan version of the famous spread, or make your own! And good news, if you opt for the latter, you don’t need a huge amount of time or ingredients. In fact, you can whip up some delicious, nutty, chocolatey spread in less than 20 minutes. What are you waiting for?

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1 Vegan Nutella With Vanilla Extract

This chocolate hazelnut spread is not just mouthwateringly good, it’s also pretty healthy, too. It’s low in calories, and it’s a source of healthy fats, B vitamins, and vitamin E. All you need is a little bit of vanilla extract, cocoa powder, a dash of salt, your favorite dairy-free milk, a sweetener, and, of course, those all-important hazelnuts.
Get the recipe

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Vegan Nutella With Maple Syrup

To really get your hazelnut, chocolate spread to taste like the real deal, you need a good sweetener. But it doesn’t have to be sugar. In fact, this recipe proves that a few spoonfuls of maple syrup will work just as well.
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3 Vegan Nutella With Medjool Dates

Another sugar-free sweetener option for vegan Nutella is to use fruit, and in this recipe, Medjool dates work beautifully. The hazelnuts are also toasted before blending, which helps to ensure a fragrant, delectable result.
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For more on vegan snacks, read: