Are Marshmallows Vegan?

Are marshmallows vegan? This article aims to provide a clear answer to this commonly asked question.

By examining the ingredients and manufacturing process of marshmallows, we will determine whether they are suitable for those following a vegan diet.

Are Marshmallows Vegan?

Short answer: It depends. Traditional marshmallows are not vegan due to the presence of gelatin. However, vegan marshmallows can be made without any animal-derived ingredients, making them suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.

Detailed Answer

To understand why some marshmallows are considered vegan, we need to take a closer look at the ingredients.

Traditional marshmallows are typically made with gelatin, a substance obtained from animal bones and connective tissues. Gelatin helps give marshmallows their fluffy texture, but it is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.

However, vegan marshmallows are made using alternative ingredients that mimic the texture and taste of traditional marshmallows.

Key Takeaways

  • Traditional marshmallows contain gelatin, which is derived from animals, making them non-vegan.
  • Vegan marshmallows are available and are made without any animal-derived ingredients.
  • Check the label or product description to ensure marshmallows are vegan-friendly.

What Are Marshmallows?

Marshmallows are soft, sweet treats that are often enjoyed on their own or used in various recipes. They have a fluffy texture and a distinct taste that can be hard to resist.

Traditionally, marshmallows were made using gelatin, sugar, and flavorings, but as dietary preferences have evolved, so have the options for marshmallow lovers.


Let’s take a look at the typical ingredients you might find in different types of marshmallows:

IngredientPurposeIs it Vegan?
GelatinProvides the texture and structure of marshmallowsNo
Corn syrupHelps to sweeten and bind the marshmallow mixtureYes
SugarContributes to the overall sweetnessYes
WaterHelps to dissolve and mix the ingredientsYes
Vanilla extractAdds flavor to the marshmallowsYes
Starch (corn or potato)Used as a thickening agent and to prevent stickingYes

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Are Marshmallows Healthy?

While marshmallows may be a tasty treat, they are not particularly healthy. They are high in sugar and calories and offer little to no nutritional value.

Additionally, the traditional marshmallows containing gelatin are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. However, vegan marshmallows made with plant-based ingredients can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Alternatives for Marshmallows

If you’re following a vegan lifestyle due to ethical reasons or simply prefer not to consume animal products, there are alternative options available that can replicate the taste and texture of marshmallows. Some of these alternatives include:

  • Vegan marshmallows: Made without gelatin or other animal-derived ingredients, vegan marshmallows are a suitable substitute for traditional marshmallows.
  • Aquafaba: The liquid from a can of chickpeas, known as aquafaba, can be whipped into a foam-like consistency and used as a substitute for egg whites in marshmallow recipes.
  • Marshmallow fluff alternatives: There are vegan-friendly alternatives to marshmallow fluff that can be used in recipes or enjoyed on their own.

Examples of Dishes or Recipes Using Marshmallows

Here are a few examples of dishes or recipes that incorporate marshmallows:

  1. Classic S’mores: A delightful camping treat, s’mores consist of a roasted marshmallow sandwiched between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate.
  2. Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows: Add a handful of marshmallows to your hot chocolate for an extra touch of sweetness and creaminess.
  3. Sweet Potato Casserole: A popular dish often enjoyed during Thanksgiving, sweet potato casserole is topped with a layer of roasted marshmallows.

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Can vegans eat traditional marshmallows?

No, traditional marshmallows are not vegan-friendly due to the presence of gelatin, which is derived from animals.

What are vegan marshmallows made of?

Vegan marshmallows are typically made using plant-based ingredients such as agar-agar, carrageenan, or cornstarch to replace gelatin.

Where can I find vegan marshmallows?

Vegan marshmallows can be found in specialty stores that cater to vegan or vegetarian customers. They can also be purchased online through various retailers.

Can I use vegan marshmallows in recipes that call for traditional marshmallows?

Absolutely! Vegan marshmallows can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for traditional marshmallows. They will provide a similar taste and texture.

Are vegan marshmallows healthier than traditional marshmallows?

Vegan marshmallows may contain fewer calories and be free from animal-derived ingredients, but they are still a sugary and indulgent treat and should be enjoyed in moderation.


Marshmallows can be a contentious topic in the vegan community. Traditional marshmallows contain gelatin, which is derived from animals, making them non-vegan.

However, there are now vegan marshmallows available that are made using alternative ingredients, allowing vegans to enjoy this sweet treat guilt-free.

Vegan marshmallows are typically made with plant-based substitutes for gelatin, such as agar-agar or carrageenan. When considering whether marshmallows are vegan, it is essential to check the ingredients to ensure that no animal-derived products are used.

Alternatives to marshmallows include aquafaba and vegan marshmallow fluff.

While marshmallows are not a healthy food choice due to their high sugar content, they can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Remember, the key takeaway here is that not all marshmallows are vegan, but there are options available for those who follow a vegan lifestyle.

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