Are Chocolate Chips Vegan? (Semi-Sweet, Nestle, Dark, Milk, Etc.)

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This sweet treat is the perfect snack to have after a long day or can be used as an ingredient in other recipes. 

Chocolate chips, also known as chocolate morsels, can be found in a variety of sweet treats (most commonly cookies, cakes, and muffins), snack mixes, and even breakfast items like waffles and pancakes that are suitable for vegans to consume.

Are Chocolate Chips Vegan? (Semi-Sweet, Nestle, Dark, Milk, Etc.)

These days, you can get many different types of chocolate chips to suit your tastes. This includes milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate.

Even the peanut butter and butterscotch varieties are classified as belonging to the more general category of chocolate chip cookies. 

Because chocolate is so popular if you are following any sort of vegan diet then you may struggle to give up on this sweet treat.

But is there any chocolate that you can safely eat as a vegan? 

Here is everything that you need to know about vegan chocolate chips, as well as what brands make vegan chocolate. 

Are Chocolate Chips Vegan? 

There are several vegan chocolate chip types, although the vast majority of varieties include ingredients derived from animals. 

The inclusion of dairy ingredients such as milkfat and dry milk powder is ultimately what determines the outcome. 

This eliminates milk chocolate chips as well as various forms of dark and semi-sweet chocolate.

Are There Any Vegan Options For Semisweet Chocolate Chips? 

Although veganism is possible with semisweet chocolate chips, it’s not very common. 

Because the phrase “semi-sweet chocolate” is simply defined as chocolate containing no less than 35% chocolate liquor (by weight), some qualify as vegan. 

This is because the FDA requires chocolate to have at least this level of chocolate liquor. 

Are Nestle Chips Vegan? 

The vast majority of Nestle’s chocolate chips are not suitable for vegans. This includes their most popular product, their semi-sweet chips. 

Chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, milk fat, natural flavors, and soy lecithin are all included in this product. 

The Simply Delicious variation of their semi-sweet chips is a significant exception to this rule because it has just three components: organic cane sugar, chocolate, and cocoa butter.

These are the only three ingredients.

What Are The Non-Vegan Ingredients Used In Chocolate Chips? 

Are Chocolate Chips Vegan? (Semi-Sweet, Nestle, Dark, Milk, Etc.)

The following list of chocolate chip variants includes one or more of these three types of milk-based components, which makes the batch unsuitable for vegans.

Milk-Derived Fat: Butterfat, Milkfat, Butter, And Cream

These phrases appear to be used interchangeably in the food processing industry.

Milkfat and butterfat are seemingly synonymous terms when referring to the fat content of milk, although there are some subtle distinctions between the two. 

Milkfat and butterfat are a type of fat that is used when the fat from butter and cream is further processed. 

Milkfat and butterfat are a bit more on the processed side. The fatty acids are derived from the other components that are included in the butter and the cream.

Sometimes milk is added in its complete powder form, but more often than not, it is separated into its various components before being used in culinary items.

This leads to the creation of butter, cream, milk fat, butterfat, and a variety of other foods.

Proteins Derived From Non-Fat Milk, Casein, And Whey

Milkfat is what remains in milk after the cream has been separated, which is why non-fat milk can be thought of as the opposite of milk fat. In its most basic form, it is powdered skim milk.

Casein and whey, the two types of proteins found in milk, bring several beneficial qualities to processed meals.

Whole Milk Powder

Last but not least, we have whole milk powder, which is just full-fat milk that has had the water removed.

This is essentially a combination of the two that were discussed before. The milkfat and proteins work together to create a pleasingly creamy texture.

Chocolate Chips To Avoid If You Are Vegan

Are Chocolate Chips Vegan? (Semi-Sweet, Nestle, Dark, Milk, Etc.)

Milk Choc Chip 

Because milk chocolate chips are the kind of chocolate morsel that is least suitable for vegans, you are going to find all of the ingredients listed above in them.

For instance, Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Chips have the following ingredients: sugar, chocolate (cocoa solids), milkfat, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, natural flavors, and soy lecithin.

White Choc Chips

In 99.9% of cases, this kind of chocolate will be unsafe for vegans to eat.

This is because any product that bears the label “white chocolate” in the United States is required to have a minimum percentage of cocoa butter (a plant-based saturated fat), milk solids, and milkfat, each of which must be at least 3.5% by weight. 

These regulations have been in place since 2004. 

In actuality, there are white chocolate varieties that may be considered vegan by the vast majority of people.

However, the vast majority of white chocolate morsels sold on the market are not vegan since they almost often include milk solids in addition to milkfat.

For instance, Ghirardelli Classic White Baking Chips are made using sugar, soy lecithin, palm oil, whole milk powder, nonfat dry milk, palm kernel oil, and vanilla extract. 

Other Varieties (Peanut Butter, Butterscotch, Etc.)

Although they are not chocolate, these can be used in place of chocolate chips if baking is involved.

However, it is very rare to come across any peanut butter or butterscotch chips that do not contain milk derivatives.

For instance, Reese’s Peanut Butter Baking Chips are made with defatted peanuts, soy lecithin, artificial flavor, vanillin, salt, whey protein, corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oils (soybean and palm kernel), and sugar. 

Other ingredients include sugar, and hydrogenated vegetable oils (soybean and palm kernel).

Palm kernel oil, sugar, milk, non-fat milk, butter, soy lecithin, artificial and natural flavors, corn syrup, food colorants, and acetic acid are the ingredients that are found in Nestle’s Butterscotch Flavored Morsels. 

These chips also contain acetic acid.

Chocolate Chips That Might Be Vegan


These items have the potential to be vegan but typically fall short.

If you are vegan and want to buy some of the chocolate listed below, then carefully look at the ingredients list to make sure you’re not accidentally eating milk products. 

Semi-Sweet Choc Chips 

These days, there seems to be an increasing number of dairy-free alternatives to semi-sweet candies on the market.

You should make it a habit to check the label often because the formulation by default includes milk products.

Nestle’s semi-sweet chips are not suitable for vegans since they include ingredients such as sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk fat, natural flavors, and soy lecithin, as was described at the beginning of the article.

Dark Choc Chips 

Even the most fundamental kind of dark chocolate, chips, may be enjoyed by vegans. 

On the other hand, the quality of dark chocolate chips can vary widely depending on the manufacturer.

This is because some of the more processed versions will find a way to include milk in the list of ingredients.

The formulation will consist of cocoa solids (powder), cocoa butter (the naturally occurring saturated fat present in cacao beans), sugar, natural flavors, and a surfactant.

This will be the most basic version (typically soy lecithin).

Enjoy Life offers some extremely nice chocolate chips with very few ingredients, and they keep the ingredient list to a minimum.

However, despite their potential bitterness and brittleness (because cocoa butter is more prone to breakage than milkfat), vegan dark chocolate chips do not include any animal products.

Vegan Chocolate Chips 

Here are some vegan-friend;y chocolate chips for you to try out the next time you have a craving for something sweet. 

Enjoy Life’s Vegan Chocolate Chips

These are some of the tastiest vegan chocolate chips that you can try. 

You can locate them in the part of most grocery shops designated for gluten-free and allergen-free foods. 

Simple cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa butter are the only ingredients in these treats. 

Simply Delicious Chocolate Chips From Nestle

These are very popular in the vegan world. They are made with just organic cane sugar, chocolate, and cocoa butter, there is nothing else in them that will compromise your vegan diet. 


While there is sadly only a very limited variety of vegan-friendly chocolate chips out there, it is still somewhat easy to find these products in your local grocery store

Remember to read any food labels carefully if you are unsure about whether a product includes milk, as some chocolate chips may or may not be vegan.

Eve Mason
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