Vegan Halloween Guide

By KD Angle-Traegner / Last Update: Octoboer 2019

Halloween is America’s second-favorite holiday, and what’s not to love? It’s filled with candy, costumes, and fun.

For vegans, traditional Halloween activities can be confusing to navigate. From trick or treating to food to cocktails, there’s a lot to know.

This guide will help show the way.

First, I’ll answer frequently asked questions. Then I’ll teach you how to make homemade food colorings for creating colorfully spooky treats. Next is the giant vegan Halloween candy shopping guide, followed by a wide variety of vegan recipes to plan frightfully tasty foods. Lastly, I’ll cover vegan spirits (pun intended).

This guide has everything you’ll need to plan, create, and enjoy the perfect vegan Halloween.

QUICK FACTS

CATEGORY
Holiday

MIN TO READ
3

RECIPES TO MAKE
36

Vegan Halloween Guide

By KD Angle-Traegner / Last Update: Octoboer 2019

Halloween is America’s second-favorite holiday, and what’s not to love? It’s filled with candy, costumes, and fun.

For vegans, traditional Halloween activities can be confusing to navigate. From trick or treating to food to cocktails, there’s a lot to know.

This guide will help show the way.

First, I’ll answer frequently asked questions. Then I’ll teach you how to make homemade food colorings for creating colorfully spooky treats. Next is the giant vegan Halloween candy shopping guide, followed by a wide variety of vegan recipes to plan frightfully tasty foods. Lastly, I’ll cover vegan spirits (pun intended).

This guide has everything you’ll need to plan, create, and enjoy the perfect vegan Halloween.

QUICK FACTS

CATEGORY
Holiday

MIN TO READ
3

RECIPES TO MAKE
36

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers (and advice) to some of the most commonly asked vegan questions.

A picture of the interior of home decorated for the holiday of Halloween with pumpkins.

Frequently Asked Vegan Questions

By far, this is the most-asked question asked about celebrating Halloween as a vegan.

To be honest, there is no right answer. I posed the question on Twitter and received lots of varying responses from vegan parents.

Some avoid the non-vegan candy issue by not participating in trick or treating at all and instead engage in other activities like hayrides, corn mazes, or fall festivals.

Then there is the sort and swap approach; swapping out vegan candies for any non-vegan ones.

The donate approach is where non-vegan candies are collected and donated to non-profit organizations or other organizations in need.

Finally, check with local vegan groups to see if they are organizing a trick or treat (commonly a trunk or treat) event. If they are not, consider organizing one of your own!

Of all the situations that young vegans face, social situations may be the most difficult. Luckily, all it takes is just a little planning ahead to change that.

Check with the parents beforehand to get an idea of what types of food they’ll be serving. Offer to bring a vegan dish or side to share with the group.

No one can resist a treat, bring some vegan ones to share too.

If you want to go all-out, ask your child to help make goodies bags filled with vegan candy and various Halloween-themed trinkets to pass out to party-goers. They’ll be excited to help pick out the items, which will make it extra fun for them to pass them out at the party.

If your child is having a sleepover at a non-vegan friend’s house, check with the parents about sending food with them for their meals. Send along enough for your child to share with their friend (like a frozen vegan pizza perhaps), or pack something like a box of vegan mac and cheese. Pick foods that are premade or easy to make.

This question is great and more common than you might think. Generally speaking, treat shopping for a costume like you would any other clothing.

Animal-based materials to avoid:

  • Leather or other exotic skin
  • Wool
  • Fur
  • Feathers

And because veganism is consistent anti-oppression, I’d also throw in avoiding costumes that are:

  • Racist
  • Ableist
  • Sexist
  • Classist

Other bad ideas include dressing up as someone who is LGBTQIA+ or trans or stealing someone else’s culture.

There’s plenty of costumes out there without trampling on race, ability, gender, orientation, or the culture of a group of people.

 

Homemade Food Coloring (All Natural + Vegan)

Because artificial colors are everywhere.

A variety of bowls and jars with various homemade food dyes in them (red, green, yellow, blue, purple).

How to Make Homemade Food Coloring

I am not a fan of artificial food colors.

These toxic chemicals masquerading as food, artificial food colors are possible through the wonder of chemistry and the industry of oil drilling. Studies have shown various adverse health effects from ingesting them. And, did you know that artificial food colors undergo animal testing to ensure their safety as a food additive? It’s true.

Relatedly, animal testing sucks and can yield dangerous results when physicians treat patients using medicine based on the results of these studies.

Every time a holiday approaches, the artificial colors go on sale. Magazines, blogs, and videos feature impossibly cute and creative treats made with a variety of unnatural colors achieved through the magic of artificial colors.

There’s a better way; make bright, vivid colors at home.

Look at those colors! Yellow, red, purple, green, and even blue. Easy to make, these colors come from everyday ingredients found in your fridge or pantry. Trust me, it’s not complicated or expensive.

Click here for the full step-by-step homemade food coloring tutorial.

 

Shopping Guide

This is a gigantic list of vegan Halloween candy, chocolates, and treats for all the ghosts and ghoblins you meet.

Halloween pumpkin lantern on hand / head jack o lantern evil funny faces holiday decoration on halloween nature background.

What Types of Candy are Vegan?

Sadly, the giant bags of cheap Halloween candy sold contain animal products in one way or another. Sometimes the ingredients are obvious, like milk chocolate, for example. Other times the ingredients are less obvious, like confectioner’s glaze, which is made from beetle secretions.

And then there are the candies that are technically vegan but contain ingredients with ethical issues, more on that in a minute.

Before you head to the store, it’s a good idea to know which animal-derived ingredients to watch out for in treats.

Look for the following on labels:

  • Beeswax: Made from bees
  • Carmine: Made from cochineal insects
  • Confectioner’s Glaze or Pharmaceutical Glaze: Made from lac insects
  • Gelatin: Made from animal bones and tendons
  • Milk products (Milk, milkfat, cream): Made from cows, goats, sheep

But these ingredients aren’t the only things to consider.

Other Ethical Issues

It’s impossible to talk about chocolate and sweets without also mentioning the origins of their ingredients because they are not as cruelty-free as one might think.

Find out why by clicking open the link below.

While made of technically animal-free ingredients, artificial food colors and refined sugar have vegan problems. So does palm oil, and so does chocolate.

First, artificial food dyes are subject to animal testing.

Second, refined sugars can be processed using charred bone fragments from animals. Even bone char-free sugar has ethical issues. Thousands of Haitian laborers are indentured or enslaved on Dominican sugar plantations (often calling themselves “slaves in freedom”) and living in terrible conditions to bring sugar to the United States.

Animals are losing their homes through deforestation for palm oil production.

Finally, a large amount of chocolate comes from child labor, slavery, and trafficking

Veganism is anti-oppression and intersectional.

Environmental racism, food deserts, poverty, and enslavement are all vegan issues.

Vegan Ethics & Theory in Real Life

When looking at topics like chocolate, artificial food colors, and refined sugar, it’s important to remember the definition of veganism:

“Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.”

The key here is “as far as is possible and practical.”

We live in an imperfect non-vegan world filled with people from all types of circumstances and privileges faced with ethical obstacles at every turn.

What is practical for one may not be possible for another.

In this way, veganism must be flexible.

Veganism and Halloween Candy

What does this have to do with Halloween candy? Well, a lot.

Accessibility and expense are two of the most-often cited reasons people stop being vegan.

Stores are packed with giant bags of cheap Halloween candy, and most of them contain one type of animal product or another. And then there are the technically vegan treats but the chocolate isn’t fair-trade, or the candy contains artificial colors, palm oil, or refined sugar.

Sure, there are plenty of great vegan candies made with natural colors and unrefined sugar also available, it’s true. But many brands come in smaller packages and are pretty expensive, especially if you’re passing them out to strangers.

Cost is certainly an issue, but so is accessibility. Unfortunately, many vegan brands are only available in natural or specialty markets or online, instead of in mainstream or discount stores.

In this way, sometimes vegan candy isn’t possible or practical.

Changing Traditions

Something I’m fond of saying is, “Don’t give up traditions, change them.”

Halloween is America’s second-favorite holiday of the year. That’s big because it means that a lot of people participate in holiday traditions like trick or treating for candy. Whether passing out candy at home or hitting the neighborhood with a little trick or treater, no one wants to be left out.

As vegans trying to help the most animals, we must find ways to make sure that veganism is accessible to people of all access and privilege.

Buying organic, artificial dye-free candy made with unrefined sugars and fair-trade vegan chocolate is best.

But if you can’t, you can still choose the best option for your circumstances, whatever they may be.

Avoiding chocolate and buying technically vegan candy (that may contain artificial ingredients or refined sugar) is still better than buying non-vegan candy, for example.

Vegan Halloween Candy

This shopping guide has four parts: Vegan Candy, Technically Vegan Candy, Chocolate, and Snacks & Other Treats.

Use the tabs to select the list you wish to see.

Reading Food Labels:

What Halloween candies are vegan?

Any candy that does not contain animal ingredients is considered vegan. Look for common animal-derived ingredients such as milk, milkfat, cream, beeswax, carmine, confectioner’s glaze, or gelatin before purchasing.

Vegan Halloween Recipes

Find something delicious and spooky to eat.

Savory Vegan Halloween Recipes

  1. Halloween Sushi
    Euphoric Vegan
  1. Mushroom Eyeballs
    Vegan Yack Attack
  1. Baked Falafel Fingers
    Vegan Richa
  1. Halloween Pizza Soup
    Ve Eat Cook Bake
  1. Mummy Bites
    Veggies Don’t Bite
  1. Cheesy Witch Fingers
    Ve Eat Cook Bake
  1. Ghost Tea Sandwiches
    Vegan Dollhouse
  1. Mad Scientist Smoothies
    Fork and Beans
  1. Chili Mac Pepper Jacks
    Spabettie
  1. Jack O’Lantern Salad
    Cadry’s Kitchen
  1. Skull Pot Pie
    Healthy Slow Cooking

Sweets & Treats Vegan Halloween Recipes

  1. Bat Truffles
    Vegan Dollhouse
  1. Mummy Cupcakes
    Vegan Huggs
  1. Vampire Bite Cupcakes
    VNutrition
  1. Green Monster Cookies
    This Healthy Kitchen
  1. Zombie Brain Cupcakes
    Bear Plate
  1. Meringue Ghosts
    Gathering Dreams
  1. Quirky Pumpkins
    Wing it Vegan
  1. Pumpkin Spice Oreos
    Feasting on Fruit
  1. Voodoo Dolls
    Love is in My Tummy
  1. Spider Coffins
    Vegan Dollhouse
  1. Caramel Apples
    Vegan Family Recipes
  1. Skull Crushers Candy
    Wallflower Kitchen
  1. Poison Poison Cake
    Elephantastic Vegan
  1. Dark Chocolate Ghosts
    Feasting on Fruit
 

Savory Vegan Halloween Recipes

Two slate platters filled with Halloween-shaped sushi pieces with spooky spiderwebs in the background.

1. Halloween Sushi
  Euphoric Vegan

A jar of stuffed mushrooms that look like eyeballs in a jar sitting next to a platter of the same mushroom eyeballs.

2. Mushroom Eyeballs
  Vegan Yack Attack

Several baked falafel fingers sitting on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

3. Baked Falafel Fingers
Vegan Richa

Three bowls of pizza soup with crusts that look like a pumpkin sitting on top of a grey counter.

4. Halloween Pizza Soup
Ve Eat Cook Bake

A blue plate of mummy bites with two different dipping sauces sitting on a white background.

5. Mummy Bites
Veggies Don’t Bite

Eight cheesy witch finger breadsticks sitting on a wooden table.

6. Cheesy Witch Fingers
Ve Eat Cook Bake

A plate of tea sandwiches that are cut into ghost shapes sitting on a plate.

7. Ghost Tea Sandwiches
Vegan Dollhouse

A closeup of a woman wearing a white shirt from neck to waist holding a tray of brightly colored smoothies.

8. Mad Scientist Smoothies
Fork and Beans

Three stuffed peppers (one green, one orange, one yellow) cut into jack-o-lanterns sitting on a black background.
An orange jack-o-lantern bowl sitting on a white plate with fall leaves scattered about.

10. Jack O’Lantern Salad
Cadry’s Kitchen

A cooked pie where the top crust is cut into skull shapes sitting on a black table with an old spoon sitting on a red napkin.

11. Skull Pot Pie
Healthy Slow Cooking

 

Vegan Sweets & Treats Halloween Recipes

A closeup of a eight bat truffles sitting on a purple tabletop.

1. Bat Truffles
Vegan Dollhouse

A white plate with four chocolate mummy cupcakes sitting on a black tabletop with an extra cupcake beside it.

2. Mummy Cupcakes
Vegan Huggs

A closeup of a cupcake with white frosting and two "bites" with red oozing from them sitting on a grey speckled countertop.

3. Vampire Bite Cupcakes
VNutrition

Rows of light green and dark green cookies with google eyes sitting on a baking rack with a white background.

4. Green Monster Cookies
This Healthy Kitchen

Three "brain cupcakes" sitting on a wooden table.

5. Zombie Brain Cupcakes
Bear Plate

Closeup of rows of white meringue ghosts on a white table.

6. Meringue Ghosts
Gathering Dreams

A close of of vanilla cupcakes with mint green frosting and decorative pumpkins on top sitting inside black and orange striped wrappers.

7. Quirky Pumpkins
Wing it Vegan

A closeup of four pumpkin spice oreos with a white background.

8. Pumpkin Spice Oreos
Feasting on Fruit

Several VooDoo pastry dolls propped up on a counter with a skull and jar of eyeballs in the background.

9. Voodoo Dolls
Love is in My Tummy

Four black coffin cakes on sticks sitting on a black shiny plate.

10. Spider Coffins
Vegan Dollhouse

An array of caramel apples with different toppings sitting on an assortment of cake stands sitting on a wooden table.

11. Caramel Apples
Vegan Family Recipes

A closeup of rows of white chocolate skulls with one in front that has been bitten into revealing a red inside.

12. Skull Crushers Candy
Wallflower Kitchen

A closeup of two pieces of cake stacked one on top of another.

13. Poison Poison Cake
Elephantastic Vegan

A closeup of a chocolate ghost with white frosting head sitting on top of a white wrapper.

14. Dark Chocolate Ghosts
Feasting on Fruit

 

Vegan Halloween Spirits

Find something delicious and spooky to drink.

Hot mulled apple cider with with cinnamon sticks, cloves and anise on wooden background. Traditional autumn, winter drinks and cocktails.

Can Vegans Drink Beer, Wine & Spirits?

If you’re unfamiliar with vegan foods, it might surprise you to learn about animal ingredients hiding in your favorite beer or wine. Some beer and wine go through a clarifying process that uses animal products such as isinglass (fish bladders), egg whites, or gelatin. And because alcohol is commonly exempt from labeling requirements that other food products have, these ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging.

Luckily, there’s an easy-to-use website for that. Without a doubt, Barnivore is the go-to website to check the vegan status of most beer and wines.

Thankfully, you can find vegan-friendly beer, wine, and liquor at almost any store.

Here are a few popular brands that are suitable for vegan imbibers.

Vegan Beer
  • Blue Moon
  • Budweiser (except the Clamato Chelada)
  • Coors & Coors Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken
  • Miller Lite, High-Life & Genuine Draft
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Sam Adams Ale (except Cherry Wheat, Honey Porter, or Latitude 48)
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Stella Artois
  • Yuengling

A lot of craft beers are also vegan. Just ask your bartender or check Barnivore before ordering.

Vegan Wine
  • Frey Vineyards (all varieties)
  • Orleans Hill (all varieties)
  • Sutter Home (Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc)
  • Yellowtail (red wines only; not the white or the rosé)

It isn’t always apparent which wines are vegan or vegan-friendly by the label. Unless it’s vegan status is listed on the label, I strongly recommend checking Barnivore before purchasing.

Vegan Spirits

Hard liquors like tequila, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum are vegan, as are nearly all distilled spirits except those with a cream base or those with honey. 

Here are a few common brands:

  • Absolut Vodka
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Skyy Vodka
  • Appleton Estate Rum
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Malibu Rum
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Beefeater Gin
  • Cazadores Tequila
  • Hornitos Tequila
  • Patron Tequila
  • Black Velvet Whiskey
  • Jim Beam Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
Make Your Own Creepy Cocktail

If something premade doesn’t tickle your fancy, try making your own creepy cocktail. I gathered up a few recipes to help inspire you.

Vegan Halloween Cocktails

  1. Halloween Punch w/Severed Hand
    The Edgy Veg
  1. The Witches Heart
    The Flavor Bender 
  1. Spooky Eyeball Cocktail
    Elephantastic Vegan
  1. Vegan Sour
    The Flair Project
  1. Dreamsicle
    By Chloe, NYC
  1. Apple Cider & Ginger Beer Bourbon Cocktails
    Floating Kitchen
  1. Blood Orange Blackberry Rum Punch
    Heather Christo
  1. Vegan White Russian
    Clean Green Simple
  1. Apple Pie on the Rocks
    Vegan Yack Attack
  1. Pomegranate Swizzle
    Vegan in the Freezer
  1. Blood Orange Rosemary Gin Cocktails
    Queen Culinaire
 
Hot mulled apple cider with with cinnamon sticks, cloves and anise on wooden background. Traditional autumn, winter drinks and cocktails.

Can Vegans Drink Beer, Wine & Spirits?

If you’re unfamiliar with vegan foods, it might surprise you to learn about animal ingredients hiding in your favorite beer or wine. Some beer and wine go through a clarifying process that uses animal products such as isinglass (fish bladders), egg whites, or gelatin. And because alcohol is commonly exempt from labeling requirements that other food products have, these ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging.

Luckily, there’s an easy-to-use website for that. Without a doubt, Barnivore is the go-to website to check the vegan status of most beer and wines.

Thankfully, you can find vegan-friendly beer, wine, and liquor at almost any store.

Here are a few popular brands that are suitable for vegan imbibers.

Vegan Beer
  • Blue Moon
  • Budweiser (except the Clamato Chelada)
  • Coors & Coors Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken
  • Miller Lite, High-Life & Genuine Draft
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Sam Adams Ale (except Cherry Wheat, Honey Porter, or Latitude 48)
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Stella Artois
  • Yuengling

A lot of craft beers are also vegan. Just ask your bartender or check Barnivore before ordering.

Vegan Wine
  • Frey Vineyards (all varieties)
  • Orleans Hill (all varieties)
  • Sutter Home (Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc)
  • Yellowtail (red wines only; not the white or the rosé)

It isn’t always apparent which wines are vegan or vegan-friendly by the label. Unless it’s vegan status is listed on the label, I strongly recommend checking Barnivore before purchasing.

Vegan Spirits

Hard liquors like tequila, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum are vegan, as are nearly all distilled spirits except those with a cream base or those with honey. 

Here are a few common brands:

  • Absolut Vodka
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Skyy Vodka
  • Appleton Estate Rum
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Malibu Rum
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Beefeater Gin
  • Cazadores Tequila
  • Hornitos Tequila
  • Patron Tequila
  • Black Velvet Whiskey
  • Jim Beam Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
Make Your Own Creepy Cocktail

If something premade doesn’t tickle your fancy, try making your own creepy cocktail. I gathered up a few recipes to help inspire you.

Vegan Halloween Cocktails

A bowl of red punch with a frozen floating hand.
Two smoking purple drinks served in martini glasses with a black background.

2. The Witches Heart
The Flavor Bender

Two glasses of a red cocktail with a floating fruit eyeball sitting on a white skull placemat.

3. Spooky Eyeball Cocktail
Elephantastic Vegan

Two glasses of vegan whisky sours with an open can of chickpeas in the background sitting on a wooden table with whole nutmegs strewn about.

4. Vegan Sour
The Flair Project

Two clear glasses with a dark frozen drink with an orange slice garnish and a black and white straw sitting on top of a white counter.

5. Dreamsicle
By Chloe, NYC

An overhead view of two cocktails sitting on top of a white and grey counter garnished with apple slices.
An overhead view of three glasses of a red cocktail with floating slices of blood orange and small purple flowers sitting on top of a dark textured background.
A vegan white russian in a clear glass sitting on a wooden counter with a few coffee beans strewn about.

8. Vegan White Russian
Clean Green Simple

A clear glass with an apple pie cocktail with a bottle of liquor and cinnamon sticks in the background.

9. Apple Pie on the Rocks
Vegan Yack Attack

A closeup of two red cocktails in clear glasses with ice sitting on top of a round silver platter with a spoon which is sitting on a wooden table.

10. Pomegranate Swizzle
Vegan in the Freezer

An overhead of halved blood oranges and glasses of red cocktails sitting on a black background.
 
A share image featuring a group of decorated pumpkins sitting in front of a white fireplace with the words, "Vegan Halloween Guide" written in black lettering over top.

Truth in Advertising

We live in the age of fake authorities on the internet. It’s hard to know which websites you can trust.

I am committed to providing accurate information to the vegan community. Meticulously researched, the vegan topic explored in this guide contains the information available at the time of publishing.

I don’t just say it; I source it too.

Reviews and updates happen when new material becomes available.

Please contact me if you find incorrect data.

Article Sources

Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices. Their research on which companies make products containing chocolate sourced from areas where the worst forms of child labor and slavery are the most prevalent is extensive.

Read more about their project (and see the master list of companies) by visiting their website,