Not all vegans are on a whole-food plant-based diet. Some merely avoid animal-based foods. If you fall into the latter category, then you are probably more willing to eat processed food.
Lucky for you, there are still lots of easy snack options that are available at your local grocery shop. Keep in mind, these treats should be eaten sparingly since they are processed and possibly have unhealthy ingredients.
Here are some of the best vegan snacks that I reviewed.
Our Top Vegan Snacks
1 - KIND Snacks
KIND has granola bars that taste great, and they have some vegan options.
You'll have to investigate carefully to ensure that the nutritional label matches your standards.
They have varieties ranging from Cherry Apple Chia to Dark Chocolate Banana. These granola bars are a good source of fiber and contain no processed sugar.
Most of the variants taste okay, but the smell might be overpowering for some.
- Contains 1/2 servings of fruit per serving
- Good source of fiber
- Smell is overpowering for some
2 - Louisville Vegan Jerky
Vegan jerky is a thing. The jerky is made from soy protein and includes organic components like garlic, onion, and various spices.
Louisville Vegan Jerky is also non-GMO certified, gluten-free, and made with local Kentucky sources.
There are 21 grams of protein in each bag, which makes this a filling and healthy snack.
However, it's a little too salty for my liking.
Check this video out to learn more about its taste.
- Free of gluten, cholesterol, and trans fat
- Contains organic ingredients
- Made with freshly sourced Kentucky ingredients
3 - Lenny & Larry's
Lenny & Larry's is famous for their delicious vegan cookies.
Their cookies have no high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners. It has 6 grams of protein from pea and rice proteins containing all 9 essential amino acids.
They have different flavors, too. I love the classic chocolate chip cookie and apple pie.
It's not the cheapest out there, and I like the texture and consistency of the non-crunchy variant better.
- Non GMO, Vegan, Kosher
- No high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners
- Has the right balance of sweetness and dash of cinnamon
4 - Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares
Earth Balance is another brand known for its vegan food products.
I have a hard time finding vegan cheese that isn't coconut based, but these vegan cheddar squares are an excellent knock-off of the original cheese squares.
They also have recyclable packaging, although the plastic bag inside the box doesn't appear to be recyclable.
As much as I love vegan cheddar squares, this one is not as flavorful as I want them to be.
- 0g trans fat
- Ideal for a quick salt fix
- Not flavorful
5 - Oreo Cookies
Do I need to sell you on Oreos? The cookies and cream are vegan, including the golden variety.
This childhood classic is always great with a glass of almond milk.
So next time you are thinking about breaking from your plant-based diet, think about how you can still have Oreos and feel better.
The texture, however, is a little more powdery than regular Oreos.
- Contains a rich creme filling
- Great for snacking and sharing at home
- Texture is more powderty
6 - Lay's Classic Potato Chips
The world's most classic chips are made with only three ingredients; potatoes, oil, and salt.
It's the perfect salty snack, and it's also gluten-free.
The chips are also free from artificial flavors and preservatives.
Due to the lack of preservatives, you'll want to keep an eye on the expiration date. These only have a short shelf life of 60-90 days.
Consumers should look for chips that are air-fried and don't contain any extra sugar or seasonings.
- Maggie Michalczyk, RD
- Made only with three ingredients: potatoes, oil, and salt
- Easy to carry, store, and pack
- Expires earlier unlike other chip brands
7 - Clif Bar
I put Clif Bar on the list because they don't source from animals.
You'll want to read the ingredient list first before purchasing though since it might contain milk, whey, casein, or honey.
Their labels also mention possible cross-contact with an animal source. You need to decide for yourself how comfortable you are with the risk. Also, it can be a little too sweet for some.
Otherwise, these are packed with protein at 9-11 grams in each bar. Flavors range from Blueberry Crisp to Chocolate Brownie.
- Contains non-GMO ingredients
- Contains 9-11g of protein per serving
- Delicious flavors
- Too sweet for some people
8 - Sun Chips
The multigrain chip also has the tasty flavor of harvest cheddar. You can get 21 grams of whole grains per ounce with these chips.
They are a great wholesome snack option.
Unfortunately, only the original flavor can pass as vegan, just like Doritos.
The other flavors don't make the cut.
Regardless, this is still an excellent option for your snacking needs.
- Made with 21 gram of whole grains per serving
- Convenient take-home bag
- Support heart health
- Only the original flavor pass as vegan
9 - Sour Patch Kids
Surprisingly, Sour Patch Kids doesn't contain any gelatin, which is commonly found in gummy candies.
I would be a little cautious though.
Nothing in the ingredient list that would suggest it's not vegan, but artificial coloring has been tested on animals before.
It's up to your discretion if this is an issue for you.
- Does not contain gelatin
- Great for sharing
- Does not specifically state that it is vegan
10 - Nutter Butter Cookies
Luckily, Nutter Butter cookies don't contain animal-based ingredients, and it's also made with real peanut butter.
This is a cookie to eat sparingly, even if it is kosher-certified, cholesterol-free, and low in saturated fats.
Some find it salty, but the peanut butter flavor surely salvages it.
- Made with real peanut butter
- Salty for some people
11 - Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers
Ritz Crackers can be topped with anything and become a delicious appetizer.
Some topping options include pesto and vegan cheese, hummus with sweet peppers, and artichoke with dried tomato.
It's hard to go wrong with this crunchy base.
The whole wheat version is not as flavorful as the regular variant, but it still has that classic Ritz taste.
- Baked using whole wheat
- Ideal for travel
- Not as flavorful compared to its regular variant
12 - Unfrosted Pop-Tarts
Didn't think you could enjoy pop tarts anymore?
That's not the case if you get the unfrosted versions.
Avoiding the frosting means that you also avoid animal products. The gooey filling inside a crumbly pastry crust is a great option if you are missing the original versions.
Enjoy them fresh out of the toaster or fresh out of the pack.
Because it's unfrosted, the flavor is a bit more mellow.
- Contains 0g of trans fat
- Sweet, tasty, and ready to eat
- Flavor is mellow when unfrosted
What Types Of Snacks Are Vegan?
Some examples of healthy vegan snacks include:
- Mixed nuts
- Almond butter with apples
- Plain popcorn
- Coconut Bites
- Guacamole with crackers
- Roasted chickpeas
- Dark Chocolate (yes, it's vegan friendly if it's made from pure cocoa powder)
- Vegetables and hummus
These snacks are healthy for the body. For example, habitual consumption of avocados may reduce adult weight gain (1) and cocoa provides some cardiovascular benefits according to many human intervention studies (2).
If you are planning a road trip or any sort of travel, read our blog as we covered travel snacks that are vegan friendly.
Looking for something good for breakfast? Try these vegan cereal brands to prep a delicious breakfast for the kids.
For those who want to learn more about which snacks and sweets are vegan, read out our blog as we covered the most popular sweet treats in detail:
What Ingredients Should I Check Before Buying Vegan Snacks?
You should avoid ingredients that contain milk, dairy, meat, or any animal byproduct. Some ingredients in food don't immediately suggest they aren't vegan. The famous Jelly Bellys are the best example. As a consequence of having shellac and beeswax included in the ingredients list, Jelly Belly jelly beans are not vegan.
Moreover, if you're like me and you love to pair snacks with soda, make sure you drink soda that is vegan-friendly first.
Anyway, here's a quick guide for some sneaky ingredients to keep an eye out on while shopping:
- L. Cysteine
- Confectioner's Glaze
Which Vegan Snack Should You Buy?
The vegan diet doesn't mean that you have to let go of every unhealthy snack. It's okay to have processed foods in moderation. This is why we recommend Kind Snacks.
They are still filled with lots of calories and other elements that aren't the best, especially if you're aiming for specific health goals.
But, it's not at all bad to have a treat once in a while.
For more vegan snack options, check out Pulsin.
Craving for some junk food, check out some vegan junk food options here.