Is Tabasco Sauce Vegan?

It is a popular spicy sauce that you only need a little of (depending on how much you like to punish your taste buds), but is Tabasco vegan? The answer is yes, according to PETA.but, not every flavor is.

Things aren’t always as straightforward as they seem, so we are going to take a closer look, especially with their different condiments. Let’s see just how vegan-friendly the Tabasco sauce range is.

Tabasco Sauce ingredients

The Tabasco Sauce website lists their original hot sauce as having just three ingredients: peppers, vinegar, and salt. 

This makes it vegan friendly although the website does not state this. Tabasco advises that their hot sauce is non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and halal, but there is no clarification on it being vegan. 

Tabasco makes a variety of sauces, so let’s take a closer look and see if they are vegan as well. 

Cayenne Garlic

Another simple ingredient profile makes for another vegan condiment. The ingredients are as follows:

Red pepper, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic.

This still provides a kick. Expect the same painstaking method to be used to produce this plant-based option. 

Habanero Pepper

A more complex recipe means we need to take a closer look. This hot sauce is made up of the following:

Distilled Vinegar, Habanero Pepper, Cane Sugar, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt), Salt, Mango Purée, Dehydrated Onion, Banana Purée, Tomato Paste, Tamarind Purée, Papaya Purée, Spices, Garlic, TABASCO® Pepper Mash (aged red pepper, salt)

Because of the cane sugar, we cannot say that this is a vegan-friendly option. Unless a brand clarifies, their sugar may be decolorized using bone char. 

Imported into the US, it is difficult to follow the production line and most brands are vague about how their sugar is processed. 

This is where a brand wants their sugar to be a more desirable white so they will use the charred bones of cattle and pigs to bleach them. 

There is no trace of bone char in the sugar after, but it does raise questions about ethics. A strict vegan will avoid such a product just in case. 

Chipotle Pepper

It might not get so high on the Scoville rating, but is this milder hot sauce vegan? Here are the ingredients:

Chipotle Pepper, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, Sugar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spices, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Pulp (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt)

As you can see, there is more sugar here. As a result, we cannot clarify if Chipotle Pepper Tabasco Sauce is vegan or not. 

As always, it is best to go for brands that use organic sugar, or beet or coconut sugar as these are not processed using bone char. 

Green Jalapeño

A mild version that can be added to a variety of meals including salads, but is it vegan? 

Distilled Vinegar, Jalapeño Pepper, Water, Salt, Cornstarch, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid

The thickener used is xanthan gum which is made from bacterial fermentation and is vegan friendly. Therefore, this is another plant-based sauce. 

Sriracha

We’re looking at another sauce that includes sugar. Because of this, we cannot clarify if this product is vegan. The full ingredients list reads as follows:

Red Jalapeño Pepper, Water, Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Distilled Vinegar, Xanthan Gum, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt)

Sweet and Spicy

This is another version that includes sugar. It is up to the individual as to whether or not they can turn a blind eye. The other ingredients are pretty standard for Tabasco although pear concentrate and ginger are added.

Sugar, red pepper, water, distilled vinegar, pear concentrate, garlic, onion, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt), ginger, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.

Other than the sugar, there isn’t anything of concern which is why it is so frustrating for a vegan lifestyle that brands are not more open about their sugar. 

Scorpion

It is their hottest hot sauce to date, but is Tabasco Scorpion Hot Sauce vegan? The answer is, of course, tricky. The inclusion of sugar makes this another that may or may not be vegan. The inclusion of sweet pineapple might be able to make some of the spice more tolerable, but it isn’t enough to make it 100% vegan.

Scorpion Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Guava Puree, Pineapple, Salt, Guava Powder, Pineapple Powder, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt)

Buffalo Style Hot Sauce

The tangy and mild Buffalo sauce is often vegan, but how about Tobacco’s version? Well, since the ingredients are pretty simple, and there is no sugar, we can confirm that it is vegan.

Red Cayenne Pepper, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Salt, Garlic

FAQ

Is Tabasco Sauce Dairy-Free?

Yes, it is. With only a few simple ingredients, and no animal services issues in sight, it is safe to say that this hot sauce does not contain dairy.

Are All Tabasco Hot Sauce Products Vegan?

Some resources will say all Tabasco products are vegan, but the truth is that this is tricky to determine. 

With the inclusion of sugar, things get a little messy. Aside from this, all their products are vegan, and many following a plant-based lifestyle will be able to get past this. We always say it is a matter of personal choice.

How Is Tabasco Sauce Made?

The process is not a huge secret, but it is a lengthy one. To get that hot sauce as hot as possible, Tabasco peppers are crushed and mixed with salt.

Then, the long storage process means they are stored in white oak barrels sourced from whiskey distilleries for three years. 

After this time has passed, the mixture is strained and distilled vinegar is added. This mixture is stored for a month, stirred, and then packages and sent around the world. 

With over 150 years of using a similar process, we like that they take their time over making a vegan-friendly product. 

Final Word

Hot sauce goes on just about everything and thankfully, most Tabasco sauce products are 100% vegan.

Even the flavors with sugar might be. It is another case needing brands to be more open about their supply chain, so we can tell which products use sugar processed with bone char, and which are vegan.