Are Garlic Knots Vegan? – Exploring the Vegan-Friendliness of this Popular Bread

By Olivia

Garlic knots are a beloved savory treat often found in pizzerias and Italian restaurants. With their soft, doughy texture and delightful aroma, many people wonder if these mouthwatering knots align with vegan diets. Let’s dive into the ingredients commonly used in garlic knots to determine their vegan-friendliness.

1. Dough

The foundation of any garlic knot is the dough. Typically, the ingredients for the dough include flour, yeast, water, and salt. These components do not contain any animal products, making the dough itself suitable for vegans. However, it’s important to note that some recipes or store-bought versions may include additional ingredients like milk or eggs, potentially rendering them non-vegan. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the specific recipe or contact the establishment to ensure the dough is vegan-friendly.

2. Garlic Seasoning

The garlic seasoning is what adds that distinctive flavor to garlic knots. Generally, the primary components are garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and herbs like parsley or oregano. These ingredients are all plant-based and commonly found in vegan diets. However, it’s important to be cautious when ordering garlic knots from restaurants, as some establishments may use butter instead of olive oil, which would make the seasoning non-vegan. Always ask about the specific ingredients used if you are unsure.

3. Pesto

Some variations of garlic knots may include pesto as an additional ingredient. Pesto typically consists of basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast. While the traditional pesto recipe is vegetarian, it is not vegan due to the presence of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. However, vegan-friendly versions of pesto can be easily made or purchased, substituting the Parmesan cheese with vegan alternatives or simply omitting it altogether.

4. Dipping Sauces

Garlic knots are often served with dipping sauces, enhancing their flavor. Common accompaniments include marinara sauce, tomato sauce, or cheese-based dips. Marinara or tomato sauce is usually vegan-friendly, as it primarily consists of tomatoes, herbs, and spices. However, cheese-based dips are obviously not vegan. It’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredients or request a vegan-friendly sauce option when ordering garlic knots.

5. Vegan Alternatives

If you’re following a vegan lifestyle, fear not! There are various alternative recipes and vegan-friendly options available for garlic knots. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Replace dairy-based ingredients with plant-based alternatives. For instance, use vegan margarine or vegan butter instead of traditional butter.
  • Experiment with different seasoning options like roasted garlic, dried herbs, or vegan cheese alternatives.
  • Utilize vegan-friendly pesto or make your own by blending basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and nutritional yeast.


While the vegan-friendliness of garlic knots may vary based on the specific recipe or establishment, the basic components of the dough and garlic seasoning are typically vegan. However, it’s crucial to be vigilant when it comes to potential non-vegan ingredients like butter, cheese-based dips, or non-vegan variations of pesto. When in doubt, it’s always best to communicate with the restaurant or prepare your own vegan-friendly garlic knots. With a few adjustments and considerations, garlic knots can indeed be enjoyed by vegans, ensuring a delicious and cruelty-free experience.