Are Bagels Vegan


Are bagels vegan? The short answer is it depends. The more detailed answer we’ll give you below by talking about what bagels are made of, their toppings, specific toppings to avoid on a vegan diet, and we conclude with a homemade recipe for the most delicious bagels.  

bagels with seeds
bagels with seeds

Can Vegans Eat Bagels? Get The Answers Here!

Can vegans eat bagels? Yes, sometimes. And a vegan bagel breakdown is what we’ve included here.

We’ve pulled together the important facts that you’ll want to know about choosing bagels for a vegan diet. We think you’ll be pleased that there are many delicious options available.

What Are Bagels?

Bagels are a bread roll that are hand shaped into a ring then boiled in water and baked. The result is a nice, chewy, dense inside. 

Bagels can be flavored with a variety of seasonings or toppings for a customized flavor.

Bagel sandwich
Bagel sandwich with vegan cream cheese

What Makes a Bagel More Than a Bread Roll?

The thing that makes a bagel more than a bread roll is that they’re boiled in water first, then baked in the oven. A bagel is cooked in a specific way.

What About Toppings?

If items like milk, egg, and honey aren’t on the ingredient list for the bagel bread, the next step is to consider the toppings. This is the other area of concern in regard to bagels.

Brands that are coated in cheese, refined sugar, or other products that are not vegan-friendly could cause the bagel to not qualify as being vegan friendly. 

Are All Bagels Vegan?

No, not all bagels are vegan, though many, especially plain are. We’ll go into more detail in the following sections about what ingredients to avoid for a vegan friendly diet.

Homemade Mini Plain Bagels
Homemade Mini Plain Bagels

Why Wouldn’t Bagels Be Vegan, Aren’t They Just Bread?

We like to think of bagels as just bread. Or a step above bread. But some egg bagels, extra rich varieties, and so forth are made with ingredients that aren’t conducive to a vegan friendly diet.

And many times we’ve found that plain bagels are vegan friendly, but there have been toppings for flavors added onto them that make them so they no longer qualify for vegan dietary restrictions.

Vegan vs. Non-Vegan Bagels

What’s the difference between vegan and non-vegan bagels. It’s all in the ingredients used to make them. Let’s look more closely at the details.

Regular Bagels Are Vegan

In many cases plain bagels are vegan because they’re simply made with flour, yeast, salt, water, sweetener, and vegetable oil.

It’s when toppings and flavorings are added that potentially non-vegan ingredients come into play. But we always recommend reading packing instructions to be sure.

Basic Bagel Ingredients

Plain bagels typically consist of a few basic ingredients. These ingredients might include the items that we’ve listed here.

homemade bagels in pan
homemade bagels in pan


Yeast is an important ingredient in bagels because it causes the dough to rise when it’s activated. Yeast helps the bread crumb texture to be lighter and fluffier.


Wheat flour such as all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or bread flour can be used to make bagels.


Salt helps to add a balance of flavor to the bagels. Plain salt or sea salt can be used for this role.


Some recipes call for fat to be used to moisten the dough and make it richer.  Vegetable oil is a good vegan-friendly ingredient used in vegan bagels.


Generally speaking, water is the liquid that’s used in bagels to moisten the ingredients and pull the dough all together. 


Sweeteners such as sugar, can be used to sweeten the dough and make a sweeter bagel as the outcome.

Bagels with seeds
Bagels with seeds

Additional Ingredients

Additional ingredients can be added to the bagel for various flavoring that would take it outside the realm of a traditional plain bagel.

What Makes a Bagel Non-Vegan?

Which ingredients should I know about? The following items are ingredients that can be found in bagels from time to time. These ingredients would make the bagel non-vegan.


Milk is a dairy product, made from cows eliminates a bagel from being vegan.


The use of eggs can make a bagel richer in flavor. However, since it’s an animal product would eliminate any bagels made with eggs from a vegan diet.


Honey made from bees is considered an animal product and shouldn’t be used in vegan friendly products.


L-Cysteine may or may not be suitable for vegans, depending on its source. Determine its source and then you can determine whether it is vegan-friendly.

Toppings & Fillings

Toppings and fillings that contain non-vegan friendly ingredients such as cheese, bacon, milk, eggs, or refined cane sugar will make a bagel so that it’s not vegan.

bagels with vegan cream cheese
bagels with vegan cream cheese

Tips to Make Sure You’re Eating a Vegan Bagel

How can I guarantee a vegan bagel? If you’re reading this, likely a vegan diet is important. You’ll want to know how to make sure you’re eating food that fit within dietary restrictions.

Here are our top three tips for how to ensure your bagel is vegan.

Make Your Own Bagels

Making your own bagels allows you to custom create them with the ingredients you desire and to your standards.

You can make vegan-friendly bagels until your heart’s content using our recipe below.

Check Vegan Certification

Check the bagel packaging for vegan certification. Standards for a product to achieve vegan certification are stiff and regimented.

And you’re sure to be getting a vegan-friendly product if the certification is present.  

Read Product Labels

If you’re not sure whether your product is vegan-friendly train yourself to read product labels and become familiar with specific ingredients to be avoided.

Bagel sandwich
Bagel sandwich with vegan cream cheese

Restaurant & Grocery Store Vegan Bagel Options

Looking for a vegan friendly bagel on the go? Throughout the United States there are many restaurant and grocery store brands that carry vegan bagel options. Let’s look at each one in detail.


Are Bruegger’s bagels vegan? Many flavors are vegan approved. Be sure to read the packaging and ingredient labels to know for sure.

Einstein Bros. Bagels

Are Einstein Brothers bagels vegan? Yes, they are a good vegan-friendly option.


Are Starbucks bagels vegan? Yes, all three flavors of cinnamon raisin, plain, and everything bagels are vegan.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Are Dunkin’ Donuts bagels vegan? Yes, Dunkin’ Donuts’ are a good source for vegan friendly eating. 

Panera Bread

Are Panera Bread bagels vegan? Yes, some flavors of Panera bread are vegan friendly. If you’re not sure which ones are offered at your location, be sure to ask when ordering.


Are Noah’s bagels vegan? No, the Noah’s brand contains ingredients that are not vegan friendly.

Trader Joe’s

Are Trader Joe’s bagels vegan? Some flavors such as whole wheat and classic are made with vegan friendly ingredients.

Tim Horton’s

Are Tim Horton’s bagels vegan? Yes, Tim Horton’s bagels are made with vegan friendly ingredients.

Vegan Friendly Grocery Store Bagels

Below is a list of a few popular grocery store brands that carry vegan-friendly bagel varieties.

Sara Lee

Sara Lee bagels are vegan-friendly, all but soft and smooth varieties.

Thomas’ Bagels

Are Thomas bagels vegan? Most are, but you’ll want to read the packaging label for your specific flavor to be sure.

Dave’s Killer Bread

Does Dave’s Killer Bread brand manufacture vegan bagels? Yes.

What Are Bagels Made From?

Generally speaking, bagels are made from yeast, flour, water, sweetener, salt, and optional flavoring. Below is our recipe for bagels.

How To Make Your Own Bagels at Home

Following are our step by step instructions for how to make homemade vegan bagels in the comfort of your own home.

Making your own bagels allows you to custom make them to your liking, and the best part is you can control the ingredients.

How to Make Vegan Bagels

How are bagels made?


2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ¼ cups warm water

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 egg + 1 tablespoon water


Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

In a mixer, using a dough hook, add salt to yeast mixture and carefully add the flour.

Mix on low speed until the dough begins to take shape.

Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm location until it doubles in size.

Punch the dough down and divide into 8 equal pieces.

Shape each dough ball into bagels and let rise on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes.

Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in a pot. Add baking soda.

Boil each bagel for 1 – 2 minutes per side. Place the boiled bagels back on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Whisk egg with water and brush each bagel with the egg wash.

Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy.

What Can You Eat with Vegan Bagels?

Some people say that vegan bagels and vegan cream cheese make the best vegan breakfast . And we’ll admit that they make a great meal. But what can you eat with vegan bagels?

Here are some ideas to get you started.



vegan cream cheese

vegan ricotta

vegan smoked salmon

vegan bacon

vegan eggs

vegan peanut butter

vegan nutella

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to are bagels vegan. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Are store-bought bagels vegan?

Whether a store bought version is vegan depends on what ingredients they’re made with. There are some store brands that offer vegan friendly options.

And generally speaking, plain fall into this category, but reading packaging labels becomes very important when determining vegan friendly options.  

Are Whole Foods bagels vegan?

Yes, Whole Foods are both vegan friendly and gluten free.

What types of bagels are vegan?

Typically, plain bagels are vegan. However, when add-ins or toppings are included, this is when bagels become non-vegan friendly.

Do bagels contain egg?

Obviously egg bagels contain egg. Some varieties of bagels may include egg, and reading packaging labels and ingredient lists becomes valuable in knowing if your bagels are made with egg.

Are bagels at Starbucks vegan?

Yes, all three flavors made by Starbucks are vegan. The flavors include, plain, cinnamon raisin, and everything bagel.

What kind of bread do vegans eat?

Vegans can eat any kinds of bread that don’t contain animal products.


We trust that you’ve found this summary of why many bagels are vegan as well as why some bagels are not vegan a helpful resource in what to look for.

You can pin this post to reference the common types of vegan bagels and the types of non-vegan bagels so that when you’re out and about you’ll have the list readily available at your fingertips.

And as always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send us a message using the comments box below. We appreciate hearing from our readers.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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