Is Hot Sauce Vegan? A Comprehensive Look (2023)

Is Hot Sauce Vegan? A Comprehensive Look (2023)

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Chris Whitehair

Is Hot Sauce Vegan?

With the prevalence of vegan diets growing in popularity, especially among 26% of millennials, the choices of plant-based and vegan foods are now commonplace.

Despite this, many people who partake in a vegan diet are at first not sure which condiments they can and cannot eat.

They usually don’t know if what is listed on the ingredients list of the condiments they used before are friendly to vegans or ethically made to not cause harm to animals during production (a main pillar of the vegan belief).

Meanwhile, hot sauce is a condiment that is also growing very popular with younger generations. The spike in growth is unprecedented.

Naturally, this leads to the question “Is hot sauce vegan”?

Hot sauce is expected to reach 3.77 billion in sales in 2026, up from 2.29 billion that was recorded in 2018.

While feeding spice-chasing addicts, hot sauce comes in many varieties. Yet, when looking at a hot sauce recipe, many are not sure whether any kind of hot sauce is vegan.

With this, hot sauces that are made to suit vegans and vegetarians are a dimension that may soon be a popular choice for vegan diets and beyond.

If you want to answer the question “Is hot sauce vegan?”, read below and find out for yourself.

What Is Considered Vegan?

Unlike vegetarian options, for a product to be considered vegan, its ingredients in any form must not be made from animal-based products.

Animal-based products is not just meat. It would include products containing milk, eggs, dairy products like milk or honey. 

Vegan diets can be difficult at times due to the fact that animal products are often in many edible and non-edible products and hiding where someone may least expect.

Animal products can hide in products like lipstick, shortenings, and even Worcestershire sauce which has anchovies in them.

Also yes, you did indeed read correctly that honey is not considered vegan!

This is because honey can sometimes be made by farmers unethically exploiting bees and can harm a bee’s health.

To solve this, some vegan alternatives to honey include maple syrup, date syrup, and blackstrap molasses.

What Should Not Be in Vegan Hot Sauces?

Besides any animal-based products, ingredients that should not be part of your condiments if you want to stick to a vegan diet include:

  • Fish sauce (obvious)
  • Mayonnaise (eggs)
  • Pesto (because of the parmesan cheese usually mixed into it)
  • Dijon mustard (some brands contain eggs and the filtering process for Dijon involves animal by-products, though it’s important to note yellow mustard is vegan)
  • Ranch (made with dairy products)

Vegan ingredients that can be used in hot sauce include soy sauce, wasabi, or even peanut butter!

So, Is Hot Sauce Vegan?

Unfortunately, it’s not a very simple answer, depending on many factors.

In its most basic form, hot sauce is a trinity of peppers, vinegar and salt.

Whether a hot sauce can be made vegan or not depends on the ingredients that are added later – either to increase the spiciness of the sauce, or intense the flavor combinations.

Other processes that could affect hot sauce production could be as simple as adding fruits or sugar.

This comes as a tricky subject when it comes to adding sugar in your sauce because sugar in hot sauces, specifically when made with cane sugar, is typically made using bone char, a black material developed using charred bones from animals like cows.

When cane sugar is made, the juice from the cane is heated, crystallized, filtered, and bleached using the bone char.

This is what creates the white-colored sugar, though while it is not made with the bone char, it still came into contact with it during the refinement process.

Because of this method, processed sugar would not be a suitable vegan-friendly product to use in your vegan hot sauce.

If you really want to have sugar in your vegan hot sauce, it must use organic sugars like maple syrup, agave, or beet sugar.

As long as the hot sauce you make does not have honey or any type of animal-based products, your hot sauce will be considered as vegan and therefore be suitable for your vegan diet.

If you’re not sure if any sauces you use are vegan friendly, make sure to check the ingredients list on the bottle, or many of them will clearly state this as a selling point on their label.

Examples of vegan hot sauces that say they are vegan right on the front of the label include…

Bravado Spice Co. Serrano and Basil Hot Sauce

Bravado Spice Co.

Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce

Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Smoked Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Seed Ranch Flavor Co.

Smoked Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Why Use Hot Sauce on Vegan Food?

Studies have shown that there are multiple health benefits when using hot sauce on food. Take a look at our other blog to learn more.

Some of the most substantial benefits include reducing the risk of diabetes and heart health, improving digestion, and helping burn body fat when routinely using hot sauce on your food.

Hot sauce also contains nutrients such as: 

  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

These are all essential in anyone’s diet, especially for vegans and vegetarians.

Depending on the kinds of vinegar and the amount of salt used, putting low-sodium hot sauce could also benefit you in your diet choices.

They can also be used in your vegan food to help recreate the feel and flavors of all of the meat, chicken, and fish dishes you loved when combined with other ingredients.

On top of the health benefits of a vegan diet like:

  • Being richer in essential nutrients
  • Promoting weight loss
  • Lowering blood sugar levels
  • Improving kidney function
  • Lowing the risks of cancer

there’s no reason why combining them into your diet wouldn’t benefit you in the long run!


How Do I Use Vegan Hot Sauce?

You can use any hot sauce you want in your vegan recipes! No matter if you want to use them as a rub for vegan meat or as a dipping sauce, there’s always a vegan hot sauce that is suitable for your needs.

Easy dishes to include your desired vegan hot sauce inside are curries, chilis, and stews for a great kick in flavor.

The spices in hot sauces are usually made from chilis, so if any vegan hot sauce has a high level of spice, they are still vegan!

If you need to wash your mouth with alternative milk if the hot sauce is too spicy, some good options are made out of soybeans, nuts, seeds, rice, oats, and much more.

Some people have preconceived ideas that vegan meals are not filling or seem too limiting in what people can eat, but this is not true at all.

While you cannot use any meat in your vegan diet, hot sauce can still be used on vegan-friendly proteins such as:

  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Cauliflower
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Of course, every kind of fruit and vegetable possible.

Outside of animal products, there’s no limit as to what kind of vegan food can be used with hot sauce.

Dishes that can work very well with hot sauces like a kimchi stew or seitan fajitas with bell peppers can both expand your understanding of vegan food that can be both spicy and delicious.

Other vegan recipes that can work with hot sauce can take the form as a tofu scramble in the morning or even some vegan buffalo wings for lunch.

Perhaps they can encourage you to go beyond the typical veggies you usually incorporate into your diet too.

Pour Some on Your Veggies and Enjoy Some More

Starting to eat as a vegan can be overwhelming and it’s all too easy to believe that once you take out animal by-products, you can’t use any kind of condiments or sauces again.

In fact, having a condiment like a vegan hot sauce in your repertoire can open your senses while still eating ethically. 

Hopefully, this article answers your question “Is hot sauce vegan?” and you can continue to smother mango habenero or another kind of hot sauce on your dinners that will be ethically manufactured and deliciously made.

Vegan hot sauces are a great condiment choice to add to any diet, no matter if you follow a vegan diet or just want to try something new.

Either way, you’ll be licking your fingers in enjoyment and satisfaction.

We carry multiple brands of hot sauce makers from all across the United States, so if you can’t find a typical vegan hot sauce in your supermarket, let us be your guide to finding new hot sauces that you will want to keep in your refrigerator at all times.

Check out our products page for more hot sauces, barbecue sauces, wing sauces, and a lot more! Perhaps you’ll add them to your vegan recipes!

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