Is it Possible for Bagels to be Vegan? The Definitive Answer

Are Bagels Vegan?

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in veganism and plant-based diets. With more people choosing to follow a vegan lifestyle, the question of whether certain foods are vegan or not has become quite common. One such food that often raises questions is the beloved bagel. So, are bagels vegan?

At first glance, bagels may seem like a suitable choice for vegans. After all, they are round, delicious bread products that can be topped with a variety of vegan-friendly ingredients. However, the answer to whether bagels are vegan is not as straightforward as it may seem.

The basic ingredients of traditional bagels are usually vegan-friendly. They typically consist of flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes sugar. However, it is important to note that bagels can come in many different flavors and varieties, which may or may not be vegan. It is the additional ingredients and toppings that can make or break the vegan status of a bagel.

Join us as we dive deeper into the world of bagels to explore their vegan status and the various factors to consider when determining whether a bagel is vegan or not.

Regular bagels are vegan

Bagels are a popular breakfast food that originated in Jewish communities in Poland. While there are many varieties of bagels available today, the regular bagel is typically vegan.

A regular bagel is made from a simple dough consisting of flour, water, yeast, and salt. It does not contain any animal products such as eggs, milk, or butter. This makes regular bagels suitable for a vegan diet.

However, it is important to note that some specialty or flavored bagels may contain animal-derived ingredients. For example, certain types of bagels may be made with eggs, milk, or honey to add flavor or texture. It is always a good idea to check the ingredients list or ask the baker if you are unsure about the vegan status of a particular bagel.

When it comes to toppings, regular bagels can be enjoyed with a wide variety of vegan spreads and fillings. Popular vegan options include hummus, avocado, dairy-free cream cheese, nut butters, and fresh fruits or vegetables.

In conclusion, if you stick to the plain, regular bagels, you can be confident that they are suitable for a vegan diet. Enjoy your vegan bagel with your favorite toppings and start your day off right!

What makes a bagel non-vegan?

What makes a bagel non-vegan?

A bagel can be considered non-vegan if it contains any ingredients derived from animals. Here are some common ingredients that can make a bagel non-vegan:

1. Eggs: Bagels may contain eggs, which are derived from chickens. Eggs can be used as a binding agent or to add moisture and richness to the dough.

2. Milk or dairy products: Some bagel recipes may include milk or dairy products like butter, cream, or cheese. These ingredients are derived from animals and are not suitable for those following a vegan diet.

3. Honey: Some bagels may be sweetened with honey, which is produced by bees. Honey is an animal-derived product and is therefore not considered vegan.

4. L-Cysteine: L-Cysteine is sometimes used as a dough conditioner in bagels. It can be derived from animal sources, particularly feathers, although it can also be sourced from non-animal sources like synthetic or microbial sources. Vegans would need to confirm the source of L-Cysteine in a bagel to determine its vegan status.

5. Food coloring derived from insects: Some bagels may contain food coloring additives like carmine, which is derived from crushed cochineal insects. These additives are not vegan-friendly as they involve the exploitation of insects.

It’s important for vegans to carefully read the ingredient list or ask about the ingredients when purchasing bagels to ensure they align with their dietary choices.

Note: Some bagel shops or bakeries may offer vegan options or be willing to customize a bagel to be vegan-friendly by omitting or substituting certain ingredients.

Make your own bagels

Make your own bagels

If you’re unsure whether store-bought bagels are vegan, or you simply prefer to make your own, here’s a recipe to try at home.


  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt


  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes foamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix the ingredients until a dough forms.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 8 equal portions.
  7. Roll each portion into a ball and use your thumb to poke a hole through the center. Gently stretch the hole to make it about 1-2 inches wide.
  8. Place the shaped bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover them with a kitchen towel. Let them rise for another 20-30 minutes.
  9. While the bagels are rising, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and carefully drop the bagels in, one or two at a time. Cook them for about 1-2 minutes per side.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, remove the boiled bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet.
  12. Bake the bagels in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  13. Once the bagels are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.

Now you have a batch of freshly baked bagels that are ready to be enjoyed. Add your favorite vegan spreads or use them to make sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

Read the label

Read the label

When you’re buying bagels from a store, it’s important to read the label to determine if they are vegan or not. The ingredients list will provide you with important information about what is in the bagels.

Look out for animal-derived ingredients such as eggs, milk, honey, or butter. These ingredients are commonly used in bagels and can make them non-vegan.

Additionally, be aware of any potential cross-contamination with non-vegan ingredients. Some manufacturers may process their bagels on equipment that also processes dairy or eggs, which can make the bagels non-vegan.

If you’re unsure about the ingredients or the possibility of cross-contamination, it’s always a good idea to contact the manufacturer directly. They can provide you with more detailed information about their products and help you determine if their bagels are vegan-friendly.

Non-Vegan Ingredients to Look Out For Potential Cross-Contamination
Eggs Dairy
Milk Eggs
Honey Nuts
Butter Wheat

Check for vegan certification

Check for vegan certification

When trying to determine if a bagel is vegan, one important step is to check for any vegan certifications. These certifications can be found on the packaging or in the form of labels or stickers on the product. Vegan certifications are usually provided by reputable organizations that have set criteria for what can be considered vegan.

It is important to look for certifications from recognizable vegan organizations such as the Vegan Society, Certified Vegan, or the American Vegetarian Association. These organizations have rigorous standards that products must meet in order to receive their certifications.

The presence of a vegan certification label indicates that the bagel has been thoroughly inspected and meets specific criteria that align with vegan values. This includes ensuring that no animal products or by-products were used in the production process. It also guarantees that no animal testing was conducted on the ingredients or finished product.

By checking for vegan certifications, you can have peace of mind knowing that the bagel you are purchasing is truly vegan. However, it is still important to read the ingredient list carefully, as some products may have vegan certifications but still contain additives or flavorings that are not vegan-friendly.

Remember that the presence of a vegan certification is not the only factor to consider when determining if a bagel is vegan. It is always a good idea to read the ingredients list to ensure that there are no animal-derived ingredients hidden in the product.

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