Are Saltine Crackers Vegan?

You may know them as soda crackers, but whatever you call them, saltines are vegan. Almost all brands can boast they are vegan friendly as the recipe is dairy-free and contains no animal-derived ingredients.

Even the different flavored options tend to be vegan. We’re going to look at how these popular snacks are made and put some of the most popular brands under the microscope to ensure they are fine for a plant-based diet.

What Are Saltine Crackers Made Of?

These thin salty crackers have a simple ingredient profile. The typical recipe contains a mix of white flour, yeast, and baking soda. These are then flavored with the likes of coarse salt. 

Some recipes contain butter so it is always a sensible idea to check the ingredients before purchasing. A lot of homemade recipes will suggest using butter which is why it can be better to buy branded versions as a vegan.

The flour can change in whole grain recipes, but these versions will usually remain vegan friendly.

Ingredients such as enriched flour are vegan. There was once a debate on whether the industry used animal by-products to remove impurities, but this has been proven to not be the case. 

The bland flavor means they do not contain dairy. This is something that often surprises consumers due to the buttery taste. They are so dry and salty that they are recommended as a quick remedy for dealing with nausea.

How Are Saltines Made?

It all starts with ice. That’s right, it is poured into a troth to stop the dough from overheating. The finished dough is poured in to get the next batch started.

Water, wheat flour, and yeast, and enzymes are then added before the ingredients are mixed. The dough then sits for around 16 hours so it rises. Sodium bicarbonate is then added, as is salt for flavoring and malted barley flour. 

The mixer then continues to blend the new ingredients. The dough will ferment again for six hours to create the ideal consistency.

It is then extruded onto a 5cm thick sheet and folds layer upon layer that becomes the saltine cracker. After this, it is rolled to make the fine 1mm thickness of the finished saltine.

They are then cut into shape, pins punch the 13 holes per cracker, and they are salted before being oven-baked above and below.

Do They Have Dairy?

The buttery taste of saltines has a lot of people wondering if they are made with dairy. But this is not the case – saltines do not usually contain dairy. Thankfully, most saltines do not contain dairy, unless you are following a homemade recipe.

Because it is hard to replicate the texture, a lot of people use butter. This can be replaced with a vegan alternative. Still, some brands will use milk or butter or even whey protein to add flavor. 

The flavor isn’t exactly what saltines are known for. This is why it shouldn’t be as important for most brands to add expensive ingredients like dairy. They can be enjoyed with soup, or are made to be plain so a favorite topping can be added.

The major brands making saltines do not typically use dairy, but it is always best to check if it is a brand you do not recognize as a vegan.

Are Nabisco Saltines Vegan?

One of the most popular saltine brands is vegan. Their products have been confirmed as vegan by PETA and this is the same for their premium saltine crackers as well as their other varieties. So, if you want to try Nabisco’s Unsalted tops, and Nabisco’s Whole Grain saltines, they are vegan.

In Canada, they are branded as Christie’s Premium Plus Crackers. These are also vegan, as are their other flavors. 

The ingredient profile is as follows:

UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}, RIBOFLAVIN {VITAMIN B2}, FOLIC ACID), CANOLA OIL, PALM OIL, SEA SALT, SALT, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, BAKING SODA, YEAST.

There is nothing that should concern a vegan in this recipe. Nabisco is often the go-to brand for many, partly because they have a simple ingredient profile.

Are Premium Saltines Vegan?

The popular Nabisco brand makes these signature versions, Premium Saltines. Some versions do contain palm oil which can be problematic for some vegans. 

This is because palm oil is often sourced in a way that harms the rainforest. This impacts the environment of many animals which is why a lot of people try to avoid foods with palm oil. Still, for many people, this does not make a product non-vegan.

The ingredients are as follows:

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1) Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Sea Salt, Salt, Malted Barley Flour, Baking Soda, Yeast.

Are Great Value Saltines Vegan?

With only 60 calories per serving, it will be music to many people’s ears to hear that these popular saltines are vegan.  

There are no animal-derived ingredients to be seen here but there is the issue of cross-contamination. We say this because, on the website, Walmart confirms that they may contain traces of milk and eggs.  

​​Ingredients: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), VEGETABLE OIL (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: CANOLA OIL, CORN OIL, PALM OIL, SOYBEAN OIL), SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF THE FOLLOWING: SODIUM BICARBONATE (LEAVENING), WHEAT GLUTEN, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, YEAST.

Final Word

Vegans can add Saltines to the list of snacks that are fine to enjoy. Of course, there is always a disclaimer – be sure to check the ingredients before buying. 

In general, most brands make their Saltines without dairy or animal-derived products. The major brands are widely available, so it is easy to pick them up and add a favorite vegan topping.