Hot sauce is a condiment that is quite often vegan, but this varies from brand to brand depending on the ingredients and processing methods. Because different people approach plant-based eating differently, it can be hard to find a straight answer to your questions.
Are hot sauces plant-based?
Most hot sauces will contain only plant-based ingredients. Most commonly, they include chili peppers, vinegar, and spices. There are also hot sauces, like Yellowbird, which have a vegetable base including carrots or cucumbers.
Some also contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate which are both vegan friendly. Vegan Peace has a great list of food preservatives and dyes, noting whether or not they are vegan. Hot sauces may also have food dyes, which may or may not be vegan.
Non-plant based hot sauces
While most hot sauces have plant based ingredients, perhaps with preservatives or dyes, some hot sauces also contain non-vegan ingredients such as cream, milk, or honey. These types of ingredients can easily be identified and avoided by glancing at the ingredients list.
Are there plant-based hot sauces that are not vegan?
Some people follow a stricter definition of “vegan” than others, so it’s important to note that even if the ingredients do not contain animal products, you still may not be comfortable eating it.
There are two main examples of this that come to mind. First, some sauces with all vegan ingredients may share processing equipment with dairy or meat products. If you do not want hot sauce made on shared equipment with non-vegan foods, your safest bet is to look for brands that exclusively sell vegan-friendly products, and products that are certified vegan.
Another stipulation is that some hot sauces use preservatives or food dyes that do not come from animal sources, but are ingredients which may also be tested on animals. FD&C colors are a good example of this, which do not contain animals or animal byproducts, but which are known to have been tested for safety on animals.
Which hot sauces are completely vegan?
Looking for a hot sauce that follows your nutritional and ethical preferences? Here are a few that you’ll love!
Yellowbird Hot Sauce
Yellowbird Hot Sauce is completely free from preservatives and dyes, having only natural plant-based ingredients. You can be confident that these sauces are high quality and cruelty free.
K-Mama Korean BBQ Sauce
K-Mama Sauces are a great vegan-friendly option. Use it as a marinade for tofu or portobellos, or as a dipping sauce for veggies.