Double checking that your grocery list is completely void of any animal-derived products is the hardest part about being a vegan, especially at the beginning.
One would go through the market and fill their trolley with all sorts of sugar, bread, beer, cocoa, and veggie burgers, thinking they’re completely safe. Then, it turns out the bread you purchased contains milk and eggs, the sugar has traces of animal bone char in it, and even the veggie burger isn’t completely legume-based. We know the struggle!
The good news is that just like how some presumably vegan products turn out to be cruelty-based food, some of the products you’ve long ditched are actually vegan, and for the weird turn of events, they’re not vegan on purpose!
Because you might want to add some of these back to your shopping escapades, we’ve compiled a list of all kinds of accidentally vegan foods. We promise you a fun ride, so what are you waiting for? Hop in, buckle up, and let’s go!
- Accidentally Vegan Breakfasts
- Accidentally Vegan Staples
- Accidentally Vegan Snacks
- Accidentally Vegan Cookies and Cakes
- Accidentally Vegan Chocolate
- Accidentally Vegan Sweets
- Accidentally Vegan Fast Food
- Be Vegan! Be Soul-Happy!
Accidentally Vegan Breakfasts
The moment we hear the word “breakfast,” the first things that jump into our minds are cereals, biscuits, and pre-prepared sandwiches, the safest of which is cereals!
While cereals are essentially vegan products since they’re made of corn or wheat with the addition of flavours, some of them aren’t really vegan, such as Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, and Cheerios. Vegan-conscious customers still need to see the word “vegan” on the package to make sure they’re not eating animal-processed ingredients.
But even without this clear statement of veganism, some cereals along with some sandwiches and biscuits on the market are accidentally vegan. Here’s a few of them:
Although Barbara’s Bakery hasn’t made it to the market as a vegan food brand, most of their products are dairy- and gluten-free, making them a valid choice on every vegan’s breakfast table.
Not only are they cruelty-free, but they also hold a considerable amount of fibres and proteins without piling on the calories. This bakery’s big corn and oat puffs taste like heaven and are loved by kids and adults alike!
Their accidentally vegan cereals include the Brown Rice Crisps, Organic Corn Flakes, Peanut Butter Puffins, Original High Fiber Medley, Barbara’s Shredded Wheat and the world-tasty and finger-licking Cinnamon Puffins.
Smucker’s Uncrustables have always been the choice for tastier mornings. We’ve had our doubts that these sandwiches include milk, honey, and dairy butter in the ingredients, and they really have in some of their products, like the Peanut Butter & Honey Spread on Whole Wheat and Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread Uncrustable.
However, some flavours come out as vegan ones, and for our luck, they’re the most scrumptious ones. These include the Reduced Sugar Peanut Butter & Strawberry Spread on Whole Wheat, Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly, and Reduced Sugar Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly on Whole Wheat flavours.
BelVita Crunchy Breakfast
These highly nutritious, chocolate-filled biscuits are one of the disguised vegan products on the market. Containing a bunch of vitamins, whole grains, and plant-derived sugar and oils, BelVita Crunchy biscuits are completely free from any non-vegan ingredients.
The biscuits come in many flavours, all of which are safe. From experience, you don’t want to miss out on the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Biscuits as it’s the tastiest flavour. Also, if you’re on a strict diet, you’ll love BelVita Soft Bakes Strawberry as it’s low on calories, big on flavour, and highly nutritious.
Cascadian Farm Organic
Another vegan-friendly cereal and crunches! Though organic, Cascadian Farm Organic isn’t a vegan brand, and many of its products contain animal ingredients.
Yet, some of its cereal flavours come out as accidentally vegan products, including the Berry Vanilla Puffs, Chocolate O’s, Cinnamon Crunch, Fruitful O’s, Graham Crunch, Multi-Grain Squares, Purely O’s, and Raisin Bran.
Other Vegan Breakfasts:
- Weetabix Crispy Minis
- Del Monte Cream Style White Corn
- Kellogg’s Unicorn Froot Loops Cereals and Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite Size
- Fruit Wheats (all flavours are vegan)
- Frosted and Coco Shreddies
- Tesco Cereal Cinnamon Squares
- Co-op Strawberry Crisps
- SuperPretzel Soft Pretzels
- Fiber One Original Cereals
- Kashi Cereals (Autumn Wheat, Island Vanilla, Strawberry Fields, and GOLEAN Crisp)
- Nature’s Path Cereals (Amazon Frosted Flakes, Choco Chimps, Crunch Vanilla Sunrise, Flax Crunch Maple Pecan Crunch, Koala Crisp, Raisin Bran Flakes, and SmartBran)
Accidentally Vegan Staples
We’re spoiled for choices when it comes to vegan staples. The long list includes protein- and iron-rich legumes, beans, lentils, and nut butter, which spares us the use of its animal-derived alternative. Not to mention the various products of tofu and tempeh, which serve as the best meat substitute.
However, did you know that many of the products you’ve crossed out of your list are actually vegan and safe to eat? Let’s check some of them!
Shake ‘N Bake
Yes! You read it right. Shake’ N Bake, the flavoured chicken and pork coating, is actually vegan! Well, not all of them, but most of the flavours do actually come in vegan varieties with zero dairy products and artificial ingredients, making them a worthy choice for your kids’ lunch.
Instead of using these coating mixes with animal products, you can add them to your meals in the form of dips or salad toppings. Just be aware that not all versions are guilt-free.
Some of the vegan flavours are: It’s Pasta Anytime Spaghetti With Marinara, French Fries Seasoning, Taco Bell Taco Dinner, Hot/Spicy Coating Mix, Original Chicken Coating Mix, and Original Pork Coating Mix.
Just because it’s a soup doesn’t mean it should be meat or chicken broth. And that’s what we found in the delicious Lipton Beefy Onion Soup. The beefy soup does taste like beef but has no animal flesh or any unethical constituents in the ingredients.
It’s an easy-to-make recipe and can be of tremendous help for new vegans who are still craving meat in the transition of their diet. Other accidentally vegan soups and dip mixes from Lipton include the Onion, Onion Mushroom, and Vegetable flavours.
McCormick mixes and spices are a good way to cook a fancy five-star restaurant dinner at home, and although not all of them are vegan, some spices have escaped the label of “animal exploitation.”
Among these are the Fajitas Seasoning Mix, Original Seasoning Mix, Pasta Salad Vinaigrette Dressing Blend, Hot Seasoning Mix, Spaghetti Sauce Mix, Sloppy Joe Seasoning, and the famous Chili Seasoning Mix.
Uncle Ben’s Rice
Rice in itself is vegan, but just because manufacturers have an unfathomable habit of adding milk or eggs to their products, many rice packets on the market aren’t entirely vegan.
Uncle Ben’s microwave rice comes in many flavours, many of which are non-vegan. Fortunately, some of them lack animal-derived ingredients and with no intention from the manufacturers to produce these flavours for the vegan community out there.
Uncle Ben’s Rice products that are safe to buy include the Lemon & Herb Rice, Long-Grain Rice, Mexican Fiesta, Oriental Fried Rice, Spanish Rice, and Wild Rice.
Other Vegan Staples:
- Hormel Vegetarian Chili With Beans
- Healthy Choice Garden Vegetable Soup
- Near East Rice Pilaf and Couscous Mix
- Old El Paso Fat-Free Refried Beans
- Olé Mexican Foods (Flour and Corn Tortillas)
- Mission Foods (Corn Tortillas, Flour Tortillas, Taco Shells, and Tostadas)
- Old El Paso (Flour Tortillas, Tortilla Pockets, Tostada Shells, Crunchy Taco Shells, Stand’ N Stuff Shells, Hard Shell Tacos and Southwest Seasoned Tortillas)
Accidentally Vegan Snacks
Now that we’ve had a bunch of full meals, it’s time for a snack! There are some delicious vegan chips, strips, jelly candy, and pies that have been standing on the shelf waiting for your attention for so long, and you didn’t know they were cruelty-free!
We’ve seen lots of vegans giving up on tortilla chips, wraps, and burritos, just because the list of ingredients is a bit shady. Mission Foods is one of the non-vegan companies that provide a variety of seasoned tortillas and wraps.
The guilt-free options include the Corn Tortillas, Taco Shells, Pre-Fried Tortilla Chips and Strips, and Pre-Cut Unfried Tortilla Chips and Strips. However, as with the rest of the food companies in this article, not all of their products are vegan – only the ones we mentioned.
For the Doritos lovers out there, there are a few flavours that don’t include an ugly story in the packs. From the 13 available Doritos Flavours, only the Chilli Heatwave, Lightly Salted, and BBQ and Chilli flavours are safe. As for the dips, you can get the salsa-based dips and Mild and Hot Salsa. Other than these, all products contain whey protein, which comes from milk.
> Read more: Are Doritos vegan?
Similar to Doritos, a few Pringles flavours are accidentally vegan. These include the Original, Sweet Chilli, Paprika, Smokey Bacon Flavour, Texas BBQ Sauce, and the Original Tortilla Chips.
Jumping to the tasty Walkers delicious crisps, you have quite a variety to choose from. You get the Ready Salted, Worcester Sauce, and Marmite flavours. For the fans of traditional tastes, the Walkers Salt & Vinegar Squares, Skips, Crispy Bacon Wheat Crunchies are cruelty-free too.
Other Vegan Snacks:
- Wise Onion Rings
- Toasteds Crackers (Only the Sesame and Wheat varieties are soy- and gluten-free)
- Town House Original Crackers
- Whole Foods Organic Chocolate Truffles
- Wasa Crispbread
- Snack Pack Juicy Gels
- Pipcorn Popcorn
- Smartfood Delight Sea Salt Air Popped Popcorn
- SunChips Original
- Super Bubble Bubble Gum
Accidentally Vegan Cookies and Cakes
If you’re more sweet than salty, there are many yummy dessert vegan options that can make your day.
Oreos the Original
For vegans who have a thing for these cream-filled chocolate cookies, congratulations! They’re free from dairy, animal fat, and butter, so they’re totally ethical and safe to eat. However, that only applies to the Original and the Double Stuf varieties. Other Oreo flavours and Oreos mixed with other brands are unethical.
> Read more: Are Oreos vegan?
Mr Kipling Pies and Tarts
Harry Potter’s favourite tart makes an appearance on this list, and it’s actually vegan! If you enjoy treacle tarts as much as your favourite fictional character, you can eat them with a clear conscience from Mr Kipling.
Not only the treacle tarts but also Mr Kipling’s Apple & Blackcurrant Pies, along with several jam tarts as well as fruit pies, are guilt-free.
Other Vegan Cookies and Cakes:
- McVities (Only the originals)
- Co-op Custard & Jam Doughnuts
- Lotus Original Caramel Biscuits
- Fox’s Ginger Crinkle Crunch Biscuits
- Nairn’s Biscuits
- Ritz Crackers
- Belvita Breakfast Tops
- Filled Mini Churros
- Warburtons crumpets
- Naan Breads (Garlic and Coriander)
- Arnold Sandwich Thins Rolls
Accidentally Vegan Chocolate
You don’t want to add to the guilt of eating a high-calorie chocolate bar with eating living beings. Fortunately, some manufacturers like Ritter Sport and Lindt produce dairy-free chocolate bars. Yes, they’re by accident but still count as vegan products!
> Read more: Is dark chocolate vegan?
As a chocolate brand that goes under the umbrella of “dairy milk” chocolates, it’s hard to believe that one of their products is accidentally vegan, but yes! The Cadbury Bournville is suitable for animal lovers, yet it’s the only safe one in all of Cadbury lines.
The lip-smacking Swiss chocolate has only one line that’s free from animal products. All Lindt Excellence Cocoa bars aren’t only vegan but also super tasty and healthy.
Other Vegan Chocolates:
- Eat Your Hat Dark Chocolate
- Fry’s Peppermint Cream
- Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp Dark Chocolates
- Tesco Dark Chocolate Mint Thins
- Choceur Dark Mint Chocolate Waves
- Ritter Sport Marzipan
- Divine Chocolate (Mint Thins and Ginger Thins)
Accidentally Vegan Sweets
It’s hard to find sweet treats without any dairy or eggs, but fate has intervened, and now we have a ton of accidentally vegan sweets that you don’t want to miss out on.
Admit it! You still sneak a bag of gummy sweets into your trolly every time you visit the supermarket. Well, there’s no shame to that, especially when there are no animals exploited or killed in the process of making them.
Although most of Haribo’s candies contain beeswax and animal or pork gelatin, the Haribo Sour S’ghetti Gummi Candy and Haribo Rainbow Twists Sour are accidentally vegan. So, the next time you go on a search for a sweet kick of nostalgia, you can reach for these two flavours.
You’re not British if you haven’t tasted Millions Sweets at some point in your life. Luckily, though, if you’re a new vegan and considering whether you should ditch those delicious candies, don’t worry! By eating them, you’re saving many animals from a life of suffering since these candies are gelatin-free. Not even a single flavour has animal-derived products in its ingredients.
Other Vegan Sweets:
- Tic Tac Mints
- Mr Toms Peanut Bars
- Sainsbury’s Flying Saucers
- Lidl’s Sugarland Mint Imperials
- Rowntrees Jelly Tots
- Hartley’s Jelly
- Choceur Dark Mint Chocolate Waves
- Refresher Choos
- Joyva Chocolate (Orange and Raspberry)
Accidentally Vegan Fast Food
Who doesn’t love to indulge in fast food every now and then? Even the most diet-obsessed ones of us can’t deny the importance of a mouthwatering Big Mac from McDonald’s or a Beef Teriyaki from Yo! Sushi while on the go.
Although these are out of the question due to their unethical ingredients, you can still grab a bite from a fast-food restaurant thanks to the hidden vegan items that even the restaurants’ owners don’t know they’re blessing us with.
No, of course not the Bacon & Cheese Whopper! But Burger King is one of the fast-food joints where vegans can work their way around the menu. For example, the French Toast sticks and the tasty Hash Browns are great options for a guilt-free breakfast on your way to work.
For a quick lunch, you can try the Impossible Whopper then satisfy your sweets craving with the Dutch Apple Pie, which is totally vegan and absolutely accidental!
The Mexican fast-food chain is on its way to entering the vegan game and is deliberately adding many vegan items to its list. However, one of its trademark, accidentally-vegan items is the Cinnamon Twists, which are made of wheat flour, rice flour, yellow cornmeal, and salt – not a hint of animal products.
Other Vegan Fast Foods:
- McDonald’s fries (except in the U.S.)
- Carl’s Jr. French Fries
- Wendy’s Plain Baked Potato
- Papa Johns Breadsticks
- Panera’s Baja Grain Bowl (order it without the yoghurt and feta)
- Panda Express Chow Mein and Eggplant Tofu
- Auntie Anne’s pretzels (only the original and the sweet’ n’ salty flavour)
- Baskin-Robbins ice creams ( only the Chocolate Extreme, Coffee Caramel Chunk, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough)
- Domino’s Thin Crust Pizza (just spare the cheese!)
Be Vegan! Be Soul-Happy!
As you can see, you might have been restricting your diet and avoiding food products that you can actually enjoy without hurting any of our furry friends.
All the products included in our list are vegan, so you can pick whichever you want and add them to your shopping cart – with your vegan conscience stated and well-fed!
However, since they weren’t produced with the concept of veganism in mind, some of them may include minute traces of animal products.
We took extra care not to include foods and drinks that consist of more than 0.01% of animal-based ingredients. If you’re not sure about whether this is acceptable, we advise you to take a look at what the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has to say about this.
Another important note is that we haven’t mentioned the obviously vegan products nor the brands that state clearly on their packages that they’re vegan. These are easy to spot, and you might be aware of all of them already.