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An Answer to a Pressing Question – Are Tortillas Vegan?

are tortillas vegan

There is an unofficial debate going on both online and offline—are tortillas vegan? This seemingly simple question might be bothering tortilla fans who have just turned vegan.

If you belong to the above-mentioned group of people, you are probably asking yourself the above-mentioned question. The answers, suggestions, and vegan tortilla recipes are all over the internet. The fact is, yes, tortillas can be vegan and you don’t have to deprive yourself of these tasty Mexican pancake-like treats.

When it comes to vegan or non-vegan tortillas, it all boils down to preparation. Although most tortillas are in fact vegan, there are some non-vegan variants you should know about.

Vegan and Non-Vegan Tortillas – How to Tell Them Apart?

When you are at your favorite tortilleria, you may ask the vendor, “Are your tortillas vegan?” In most cases, you will get a positive answer. But how can you actually make sure you are getting the thing you want?

Well, there is a simple distinction that makes some tortillas vegan and others non-vegan. As previously mentioned, it’s about the preparation. To be more precise, a single ingredient makes some tortillas unsuitable for vegans.

Below are some tips and tricks on how to tell them apart.

Non-Vegan Tortillas

Wheat flour tortillas, may sometimes contain lard, an unacceptable ingredient in any vegan menu. You should always check whether the tortillas you are buying contain lard or not.

You will get a more accurate response if you ask the vendor at the tortilleria if the tortillas contain lard than if you ask if their tortillas are vegan. The same rule applies if you are buying tortillas at your local supermarket, although there is no need to ask anybody. Just take a look at the label to make sure that there are no animal-based ingredients.

Vegan Tortillas

Tortillas usually contain very few ingredients, which makes them quite appealing for most vegans. To make tortillas, you need some flour, water, oil, and baking soda. All of these are natural and vegan ingredients, so you shouldn’t worry about breaking the rules of your plant-only diet.

A debate has recently sprung up in the online vegan community questioning whether white flour tortillas are truly vegan. The underlying premise was that white flour cannot be vegan due to the bone char bleaching process. However, the premise hasn’t been confirmed to this day.

On the other hand, if the notion of bone char bleaching is bothering you, you can choose other types of flour as an alternative. Wheat flour, for example, is a great option because there is no bleaching process involved. You can also go for the unbleached regular flour. Just make sure that the package has a clear unbleached label.

Either way, if you want to stop asking yourself and others, “Are tortillas vegan?,” you should start making them at home. This way you will have complete control over all the ingredients that go into your tortillas.

In addition, vegan tortillas are quite simple to make even if you are not exactly a chef extraordinaire. There are more than a few vegan tortilla recipes you can find online. The following recipes should be the quickest and simplest to make, but don’t let that fool you. Homemade tortillas are every bit as tasty as the ones you get from your favorite tortilleria.

Basic Vegan Tortilla

This is a recipe for a very simple vegan tortilla. There are only six ingredients you need and the entire process should take less than half an hour including the cooking.


  • 3 cups of flour (wheat or other)
  • ½ tbsp of sugar (you can use vegan sugars)
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • ½ tbsp of baking soda
  • 6 tbsp of oil (canola oil is a good option)
  • 1 ½ cups of water


Get a sizable bowl, dry-mix the ingredients, and then add water and oil. Use your hands to mix the dough. Do rapid hand movements until the dough is stiff enough. You can add some water if needed.

The dough should be kneaded until it becomes smooth and elastic. Once it’s elastic enough, let it rest for about 10 minutes. You can place it in a well-oiled bowl and put a wet cloth on top.

After the dough has rested for 10 minutes, take it out and divide it into 12 parts. Each piece should be rolled into a small ball. Then roll out each ball with a rolling pin until it becomes very thin.

Now, you should heat up a pan to medium heat and start putting the tortillas on one-by-one when the pan is hot enough. Each tortilla should be cooked for about two minutes on either side. You are done when tortillas become white.

Vegan Burritos

The answer to the question “Are tortillas vegan?” above may have indicated that burritos cannot be vegan because the tortillas contain lard. However, that is not always the case. This recipe should give you an idea of how to make mouth-watering vegan burritos.

The filling for these vegan burritos consists of salsa, but you can add any other vegan fillings per your desire.


The tortilla ingredients:

  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 cups of flour
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¾ of hot water

The salsa ingredients:

  • Chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp of hot chili flakes
  • 25 cherry tomatoes and 3 regular tomatoes
  • A sliced spring onion
  • Juice from ½ of a lime
  • A pinch of pepper and salt


Chop the tomatoes into dices then add the sliced spring onion and the chili flakes. Season the mix with pepper and salt to your taste.

Dry-mix the tortilla ingredients before you add hot water and oil. While adding water and oil, you can mix the dough with a spoon. Once it gets firm enough, knead the dough using your hands until it’s nice and elastic. Let the dough rest before you cut it into pieces and then roll out the pieces and bake the tortillas the same way as described in the previous recipe.

After you finish baking, add the filling and enjoy.

The End Tortilla

Are tortillas vegan? Yes, they are, and as a vegan, you can eat all the tortillas you want. However, make sure that there is no lard or other animal-based ingredients in your tortilla.

In addition, tortillas are a great wrapping for your favorite vegan fillings. Feel free to experiment until you find the perfect mix for you.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Ruchama Burrell
    September 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    An easy clue to finding vegan tortillas: if they are certified kosher they’ll be vegan as well. The opposite isn’t always true, i.e. not everything vegan is certified kosher. Certified kosher products will have a kosher symbol, like a U or a K inside a circle. There are other symbols as well.

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