Are Lay’s Vegan? (Updated List)


A lot of chips turn out to be accidentally vegan.

After looking through the ingredients for all Lay’s flavors, some of them are in fact vegan.

I’ve summarized what I found to save you some time.

Ingredients in Lay’s for Vegans to Look Out For

Most non-vegan ingredients in Lay’s are milk ingredients and really obvious (e.g. milk, cheese, lactose, whey, etc.).

But there are 2 ingredients that may or may not be vegan that I need to point out to you before continuing:

  • Natural Flavors – Natural flavors can contain both vegan and non-vegan ingredients, where it’s mostly dairy ingredients we’re worried about. Since Lay’s has labeled a few flavors with “Natural Flavor [including Milk]”, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the other varieties with just “natural flavors” are vegan.
  • Sugar – Not all sugar in the U.S. is vegan. Not all vegans care about this. I’ll point it out where it’s relevant, and you can decide for yourself.

Which Flavors of Lay’s Are Vegan?

original lays

I’m not going to list out the full ingredient list of each flavor.

Instead, here’s a summary table with the most important things you need to know.

FlavorPotential Non-Vegan IngredientsVerdict
Classic Vegan
BarbecueNatural FlavorsLikely Vegan
Dill Pickle FlavoredNatural FlavorsLikely Vegan
Salt & VinegarNatural FlavorsLikely Vegan
LimónNatural Flavors, SugarLikely Vegan
Chesapeake Bay Crab SpiceNatural Flavors, SugarLikely Vegan
Cheddar JalapeñoCheddar Cheese, Whey, ButtermilkNot Vegan
Cheddar & Sour CreamCheese, Whey, Buttermilk, Sour CreamNot Vegan
Chile LimónMilk Protein ConcentrateNot Vegan
Fiery HabaneroSkim Milk, Sodium Caseinate, ButtermilkNot Vegan
Flamin’ HotMilk Protein ConcentrateNot Vegan
Flamin’ Hot Dill PickleWhey, Sour CreamNot Vegan
Honey BBQNatural Flavor [including Milk]Not Vegan
Sabritas AdobadasSour Cream, Skim MilkNot Vegan
Sour Cream & OnionMilk, Whey, LactoseNot Vegan
Sweet Southern Heat BBQCheddar Cheese, WheyNot Vegan

Most are not vegan, but if you’re okay with a small risk on the natural flavors or sugar you still have some choices.

Are Kettle Cooked Lay’s Vegan?

kettle cooked lays

The other main line of chips are Lay’s Kettle Cooked chips. 

They mostly have the same ingredients as the original line, but there are a few differences. For example, the original salt and vinegar chips are vegan, but the kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips have lactose in them.

FlavorPotential Non-Vegan IngredientsVerdict
Kettle Cooked Original Vegan
Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat Original Vegan
Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked PepperNatural FlavorsLikely Vegan
Kettle Cooked Flamin’ HotCheddar Cheese, Whey, Skim MilkNot Vegan
Kettle Cooked JalapeñoWheyNot Vegan
Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQLactose, Skim Milk, ButtermilkNot Vegan
Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & VinegarLactoseNot Vegan
Kettle Cooked Maui OnionNatural Flavor [Including Milk]Not Vegan
Kettle Cooked Lightly Salted Jalapeño Yogurt Powder, Whey, Buttermilk, CheeseNot Vegan

Not a lot of options, but some.

In general, plain (or just salted) chips of most brands tend to be vegan, but it’s hard to find flavored chips that are vegan of any kind.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

Add comment