Nutella is a popular chocolate hazelnut spread that originated in Italy in 1964, though multiple iterations of the beloved spread predated its current form. After World War II, cocoa and chocolate were scarce so in 1946, Italian baker Pietro Ferrero came up with a sweet hazelnut spread called Giandujot that stretched a small amount of cocoa without sacrificing flavor. It could be eaten with toast, croissants, fruit, or on its own as a dessert.
Giandujot came in brick form and was quite difficult to spread, so the bakery created a new formula in 1951 called SuperCrema which came in a jar and was easier to spread. Some tinkering with the recipe resulted in a new and improved recipe called Nutella, which was introduced 15 years later and the rest is history!
Is Nutella vegan friendly?
No, Nutella is NOT vegan friendly, unfortunately. Nutella contains two milk-derived ingredients: skim milk and whey. These ingredients give the spread a smooth, mellow flavor. There are many other vegan-friendly creamy ingredients that help achieve the same flavor and texture. Due to the popularity of Nutella worldwide, there are so many similar products on the market everywhere.
How to tell if a chocolate hazelnut spread is vegan
In addition to Nutella, there are many other chocolate hazelnut spreads available on the market, and not all of them are vegan either! Just like Nutella, many of them contain milk-derived ingredients such as skim milk and whey, or even milk chocolate. Look out for “sneaky” dairy ingredients with names like casein or lactose.
To check if a chocolate spread is vegan, first check the end of the ingredient list where it lists the common allergens a product may contain. For example, “Contains: Milk, Tree Nuts, Soy”. If milk or other non-vegan ingredients are listed, then you can eliminate this product and move on to another. This allergen list is also a good way to confirm that a product is vegan or not vegan after you’ve read through the ingredients list. Then read the ingredients to see if you can identify other non-vegan ingredients.
Fortunately, there are many delicious options that are 100% vegan. The ones listed below are our favorites.
Best Vegan Nutella Alternatives
All of these chocolate hazelnut spreads are suitable for vegans and just as delicious as Nutella, without the milk! Each product has slightly different base ingredients and qualities so you’ll want to try them all. We prioritized products that are made by small businesses, organic, fair trade, and that use responsibly-sourced or no palm oil, which many people consider to be not vegan since it contributes to deforestation and destruction of the natural habitats of endangered species like orangutans.
Where to buy: Whole Foods, Vitacost, Amazon
Why we love it: Nocciolata’s dairy-free vegan chocolate hazelnut spread is made in Italy using an original Italian family recipe. It contains no fillers or unnecessary ingredients, just pure chocolate hazelnut deliciousness! It’s certified vegan and certified Yummy! It’s also organic and doesn’t contain palm oil.
Ingredients: Cane Sugar*, Hazelnut Paste*, Sunflower Oil*, Cocoa Powder*, Cocoa Butter*, Sunflower Lecithin, Vanilla Extract*. *Organic
- USDA Certified Organic
Where to buy: Vegan Essentials, GTFO It’s Vegan!
Why we love it: VEGO hazelnut chocolate spread tastes just like the famous chocolate hazelnut VEGO Bar, but in spread form that can pass as a vegan Nutella any day! It’s a decadent treat enjoyed with toast, crepes, fruit, and pretzels, or used as an icing for cakes and cupcakes. As a bonus, the jar the product comes in is meant to be repurposed as a drinking glass! VEGO is a fully-vegan company started in Berlin with a growing line of products including chocolate bars, spreads, and candies.
Ingredients: Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Hazelnuts, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Fat-reduced Cocoa Powder, Shea Butter, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Ground Vanilla Bean Extract.
- Fair Trade
- Soy Free
- Palm Oil Free
Where to buy: Fine & Raw website, Amazon
Why we love it: This vegan Nutella alternative contains very little added sugar in the form of coconut sugar so it’s not as sweet as some of the other options. If purchased from the company website, customers can make a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription to get 15% off and have chocolate goodness delivered every 30, 45, or 60 days. The Fine & Raw chocolate company has a sustainability mission and sources their cacao ethically directly from farmers in Belize and Ecuador. The company is based in New York City in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and offers factory tours to see the process in action.
Ingredients: Organic Hazelnuts, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Cacao Bean, Organic Cacao Powder, Organic Whole Ground Vanilla, Sea Salt.
- Gluten Free
Where to buy: Target, Walmart, Whole Foods
Why we love it: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend adds some variety to the vegan Nutella options on the market by adding roasted almonds to the recipe for extra flavor. This spread contains less sugar than comparable products, but it’s still plenty sweet and ready to be enjoyed on toast, waffles, or straight out of the jar with a spoon. Justin’s products are readily available in many different stores and online retailers so a chocolate fix is never too far away.
Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Dry Roasted Almonds, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa, Organic Cocoa Butter, Palm Oil, Vanilla Powder, Sea Salt.
- Non-GMO Project Certified
- Certified Gluten-Free
- 4g protein per serving
Where to buy: Vitacost, Walmart, Amazon
Why we love it: Like many of the other vegan Nutella alternatives on the market, Nutiva chocolate hazelnut spread offers flavor without the excess sugar. What sets Nutiva apart is the extra boost of nutrition with at least 5g fiber and 450mg Omega-3 fatty acids per serving from the flaxseed flour in the recipe. It’s basically healthy, right?! Nutiva chocolate hazelnut spread also comes in 2 delicious flavors: classic and dark chocolate, both of which are vegan.
Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Cocoa, Palm Oil, Flaxseed Flour, Inulin, Hazelnut, Palm Olein, Palm Stearin, Refined Coconut Oil, Chia Seed Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors.
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Fair Trade Certified
- USDA Certified Organic
- Palm Done Right
How to use vegan chocolate hazelnut spread
You can use vegan chocolate hazelnut spread just as you would Nutella. Try it for breakfast on your toast, waffles, pancakes, or pastries. Enjoy it for dessert on ice cream or with fresh fruit. Nutella-filled crepes, a recipe that originated in France, are a popular dish at brunch spots everywhere.
You can even bake with it and make recipes like Nutella cookies, cakes, and more!
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Recipes
If you’d prefer to enjoy a homemade vegan chocolate spread, look no further! Making homemade vegan Nutella will give your spread a rich, intense flavor because each recipe starts with roasting fresh raw hazelnuts. These recipes are also highly customizable because you can choose your favorite chocolate and type of sweetener (or no sweetener at all!).
- Best Unsweetened Option: Easy Vegan Nutella from Minimalist Baker
This vegan hazelnut chocolate spread is so easy to make with just 4 ingredients, none of which are added sugar! The recipe has options for making the vegan Nutella dupe with either dark chocolate or cocoa powder so you can use the ingredients you have on hand. The first step is toasting the raw hazelnuts which brings a fresh roasted flavor to the spread.
- Best All-Natural Option: Homemade Vegan Nutella from Choosing Chia
This vegan Nutella alternative is sweetened with maple syrup and made richer and thicker with refined coconut oil, which has all of the benefits of coconut oil without the strong coconut flavor. The blogger offers a variation to use store-bought hazelnut butter if you want to skip the step of toasting and skinning the hazelnuts from scratch. Hazelnut butter can be expensive and difficult to find, but it’s a great option.
- Best Healthy Option: Best Ever Vegan Nutella from Pick Up Limes
If you’d like to pack your chocolate hazelnut spread with an extra dose of fiber, try this recipe that uses Medjool dates and a touch of maple syrup as a sweetener instead of refined sugar! The dates help give this dairy-free Nutella recipe an extra gooey flavor and natural sweetness. Since the recipe contains dates, it will have a shorter shelf life than some of these other recipes, so be sure to use it within 2 weeks.
- Best Mixed Nut Option: Healthy Vegan Nutella from Gathering Dreams
While hazelnut is a classic, try mixing it up by adding different nuts to your chocolate spread. This vegan Nutella recipe calls for a mix of hazelnuts and cashews, but feel free to use any nuts you like! If you’re a fan of the Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend, try using roasted almonds. Macadamia nuts or pecans would also be delicious!
Which one of these vegan chocolate hazelnut spreads will you try first?