Is Oatmeal Vegan Friendly?

By Olivia

Yes, oatmeal is generally considered vegan friendly, making it a popular choice among individuals following a vegan lifestyle. Oatmeal is made from oats, which are a plant-based grain and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. However, it is important to consider certain factors and variations to ensure that your oatmeal is truly vegan.

Oat Varieties

While oats themselves are vegan, some variations of oatmeal may not be suitable for vegans due to cross-contamination or added ingredients. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Steel-Cut Oats: These are the least processed and most natural form of oats, consisting of whole oat groats chopped into small pieces. They are generally vegan-friendly, but it is essential to check if they have been processed in facilities that handle non-vegan ingredients.
  • Rolled Oats: Also known as old-fashioned oats, these are made by flattening whole oat groats with large rollers. They are typically vegan-friendly, but it is advisable to check the label for any added animal products.
  • Instant Oats: These oats are pre-cooked and then dried for quick preparation. While most brands offer vegan options, it’s important to review the ingredients to ensure there are no animal-based additives.

Flavorings and Additives

Oatmeal can be enhanced with various flavorings and additives, which may potentially make it non-vegan. Watch out for the following:

  • Milk or Cream: If you opt for pre-packaged oatmeal packets or instant oatmeal, they may contain dairy milk or cream. Always check the ingredient list for dairy or other non-vegan milk products.
  • Sweeteners: Some flavored oatmeal varieties contain honey, which is not considered vegan. Look for oatmeal with vegan-friendly sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Additives: Certain oatmeal options may contain non-vegan additives like gelatin (derived from animals). Read the ingredient list carefully to ensure there are no animal-based additives.

Potential Cross-Contamination

Sometimes, oats and oatmeal may come into contact with gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, barley, or rye during growing, processing, or packaging. If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure to choose certified gluten-free oatmeal to avoid cross-contamination.

Making Oatmeal Vegan-Friendly

To enjoy vegan-friendly oatmeal, here are a few tips:

  1. Choose plain, unflavored oatmeal varieties like steel-cut oats or rolled oats without any added ingredients.
  2. Opt for oatmeal made from certified gluten-free oats if you have gluten sensitivities or follow a gluten-free diet.
  3. Read the ingredient list carefully for non-vegan additives such as dairy, honey, or gelatin.
  4. Consider making your own oatmeal by starting with plain oats and adding vegan milk, sweeteners, and toppings of your choice.


Oatmeal can be a delicious and nutritious choice for vegans. By selecting the right oat variety, checking for non-vegan additives, and being mindful of potential cross-contamination, you can enjoy a vegan-friendly bowl of oatmeal to start your day on a healthy note.