Published: October 2019
Last Update: August 2022
Halloween is America’s second-favorite holiday
What's not to love about Halloween? It's filled with candy, costumes, and festivities.
This guide has everything you need to plan, create, and enjoy the perfect vegan Halloween.
First, it covers frequently asked questions. Then you'll learn how to make food colorings at home, perfect for creating colorfully spooky treats. Next is the giant vegan candy shopping guide, followed by various vegan recipes to plan frightfully tasty foods.
Lastly, an entire section on vegan spirits (pun intended) so you can imbibe without worrying whether there are hidden animal ingredients in your glass.
Let's have some spooky vegan fun.
1. Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about Halloween and veganism.
The top vegan questions about Halloween
It's a big topic, but a few questions arise more than others.
A selection of homemade food colors / Source
2. Homemade food coloring
Because artificial colors are everywhere.
How to make homemade food coloring
I am not a fan of artificial food colors.
These toxic chemicals masquerading as food are only possible through the wonder of chemistry and the oil drilling industry. 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?
Every time a holiday approaches, artificial colors go on sale. Magazines, blogs, and videos feature impossibly cute and creative treats made with various unnatural colors achieved through the magic of artificial colors.
There’s a better way; to make bright, vivid colors at home.
Look at those colors! Yellow, red, purple, green, blue, and even black. These colors are easy to make from everyday ingredients 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.
Young person trick-or-treating / Source
3. Shopping guide
A gigantic list of vegan Halloween candy, chocolates, and treats for all the ghosts and goblins you meet.
What to look for at the store
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:
- Carmine (from cochineal insects)
- Confectioner’s Glaze or Pharmaceutical Glaze (from lac insects)
- Gelatin (from animal bones and tendons)
- Milk products like milk, milkfat, cream (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.
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.
The vegan candy on this list is free from animal products and ingredients that contain artificial food colors, palm oil, or refined sugars. This candy was selected because it comes in larger multipacks, making it perfect for parties or passing out to trick-or-treaters.
You'll find these candies in some large box stores like Target and all-natural grocery stores or health food markets.
If you cannot find them locally, buying them online is another option. The Natural Candy Store is a one-stop shop for all vegan Halloween candy needs. There's no vegan candy this place doesn't carry.
Other vegan Halloween candy is available in single-serving or small individually-wrapped portions.
Look for the following brands:
Technically vegan candy is candy where ingredients are technically free from animal products but have other ethical issues to consider.
You'll find these candies in most grocery stores and drugstores, often in large multipacks. Generally speaking, these candies are some of the cheapest options for passing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Note: The candy on this list is vegan but may contain artificial food colors, refined sugar, or palm oil.
Technically vegan candy
- Brach’s Orange Slices
- Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
- Brach’s Star Brites
- Charms Blow Pops
- Cry Babies
- Hubba Bubba bubblegum
- Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
- Laffy Taffy (some varieties)
- Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
- Now and Later
- Panda Licorice
- Smarties (U.S. Brand)
- Sour Patch Kids
- Starbursts (vegan in the UK only. the US contains gelatin)
- Super Bubble
- Swedish Fish (some contain beeswax, check the label)
- Sweet TartsTwizzlers
- Vimto (Candy Floss, Candy Spray)
When it comes to chocolate, there are more issues to consider than whether or not it contains animal-based ingredients; there are ethical considerations too.
A large amount of chocolate comes from child labor, slavery, and trafficking; it's hard to know if the chocolate you're buying is involved.
Check for a fair-trade certification or notice on the label. If the package doesn't mention fair trade, check the Chocolate List from the Food Empowerment Project. It's a list of companies that make vegan products containing chocolate not sourced from areas where child labor and slavery are most pervasive.
Vegan chocolate & confections
You'll find these candies in some large box stores like Target and well-stocked grocery stores. They are also available for purchase online. These candies are available in small multipacks, making them the ideal choice for parties and trick-or-treaters.
The following chocolate treats are vegan (no animal-derived ingredients, as well as no artificial colors, refined sugar, or palm oil). Each chocolate is either labeled as fair-trade or recommended (or had a mixed rating) by the Food Empowerment Project:
Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate Peanut Gems
More Vegan Chocolate
The following chocolate treats are vegan and available in bulk, but it's unknown where they source their chocolate from:
Even More Vegan Chocolate Options
The following brands offer vegan chocolate in single-serving portions or in multipacks that are not individually wrapped (fair-trade options noted):
Even though sugary treats are typical during Halloween, it doesn't mean they all have to be sweet. Instead of chocolate or candy, pass out snacks instead.
A few good options that come in snack pack sizes (and multipacks):
- Potato Chips
- Fruit Leather
- Cracker Jacks
Some companies offer unique Halloween assortments of their regular products.
Other affordable options for trick-or-treaters are fresh fruit like apples, oranges, or even bananas.
4. Vegan Halloween recipes
Get ready to get cooking. Here are vegan Halloween recipes for inspiration.
Savory recipes to try
Sweet recipes to try
Savory recipes to try
Perfect for creepy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Skull Pizza Soup from Ve Eat Cook Bake
Mummy Bites from Veggies Don't Bite
Mushroom eyeballs from Vegan Yack Attack
Skull pot pie from Healthy Slow Cooking
Halloween toast from Eating by Elaine
Breakfast stuffed peppers from Spabettie
Coffin Musubi from Vegan Dollhouse
Jackfruit gumbo from Healthy Slow Cooking
Spider bagel bites from Plantbased on a Budget
Sweet recipes to try
Something sweet to satisfy every ghost and goblin.
Bat truffles from Vegan Dollhouse
Mummy cupcakes from Vegan Huggs
Zombie Cupcakes from Bear Plate
Pumpkin cupcakes from Wing it vegan
Voodoo Dolls from Love is in my tummy
Caramel Apples from Vegan Family Recipes
Skull candy from Wallflower Kitchen
Spider coffins from Vegan Dollhouse
Monster cookies from Short Girl Tall Order
5. Vegan wine & spirits
Find something delicious and spooky to drink.
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 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.
- Blue Moon
- Budweiser (except the Clamato Chelada)
- Coors & Coors Light
- 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
A lot of craft beers are also vegan. Just ask your bartender or check Barnivore before ordering.
- 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 its vegan status is listed on the label, I strongly recommend checking Barnivore before purchasing.
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 honey.
Here are a few familiar 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
Frightfully fun cocktails
These vegan cocktails have a creepy, spooky theme.
Vegan Halloween Cocktails
The Witches Heart from The Flavor Bender
Eyeball cocktail from Elephantastic Vegan
Blood orange rosemary gin cocktail from Queen Culinaire
Blood orange blackberry rum punch from Heather Christo
Apple Cider Margarita from The Urban Life
Pomegranate swizzle from Vegan in the Freezer
Dark & Stormy from Veganosity
Halloween punch with severed hand from The Edgy Veg
Eye of the Storm from Crowded Kitchen