Is Jello Vegetarian? (Ingredients, Vegetarian Brands + More)

When you are a vegetarian, you have to be careful about what you eat because there are a lot of surprising foods today that contain animal products and animal by-products.

However, foods like Jello are more tricky to classify. If you are tempted to eat Jello desserts, you might be wondering if Jello is vegetarian. I looked into it, and here is what I discovered!

Is Jello Vegetarian?

Traditionally, Jello is not vegetarian because Jello’s primary ingredient is gelatin, which is derived from cow, pig, and fish parts. Nonetheless, there are plenty of vegetarian gelatin substitutes in the market today that can be used to make Jello. Additionally, there are also vegetarian Jello brands in stores such as Bakol Jel Desserts and Simply Delish.

In case you are curious to learn more about the types of Jello that are suitable for vegetarians and whether there are vegetarian Jello substitutes in the market, keep reading!

Can Vegetarians Eat Jell-O?

Vegetarians cannot eat Jell-O because Jell-O contains gelatin which is derived from animal bones, hides, and skin. Currently, the gelatin in Jell-O mostly comes from pigskin.

Additionally, similar Jello brands use gelatin that is derived from cows and fishes, making brands similar to Jello unsuitable for vegetarian diets.

Can Vegetarians Eat Jell-O Pudding?

Jell-O Instant Pudding does not contain gelatin and is branded as a vegan-friendly product. As such, Jell-O Instant Pudding is also considered vegetarian.

Moreover, unlike vegans, vegetarians can follow the traditional recipe by adding milk to their Jell-O Instant Pudding.

Why Is Jello Not Vegetarian?

Traditional Jello contains gelatin is sourced from animals, specifically the bones, hides, and skins of pigs, cows, and fishes, which is why traditional Jello cannot be considered vegan.

Nonetheless, there are Jello and gelatin brands that are plant-based, making plant-based Jello and gelatin fitting for vegetarian diets.

Is There Vegetarian Jello?

There are plenty of vegetarian Jello and gelatin brands in the market today. While vegetarian Jello is typically not as firm as traditional Jello, vegetarian Jello and gelatin are great substitutes for non-meat eaters.

If you cannot find vegetarian Jello, you can purchase vegetarian gelatin and make homemade Jello, which is usually how vegetarians make sure their Jello has no animal meat.

What Is Vegetarian Jello Made Of?

Vegetarian Jello can be made from a wide variety of plant-based ingredients. Some of the most popular plant-based Jello ingredients are agar-agar, carrageenan, and vegetable gums.

Agar-agar is derived from seaweed, carrageenan is derived from Irish moss seaweed, and vegetable gums are either made from guar gums or xanthan gums.

Less popular options for plant-based Jello ingredients are pectin, which comes from fruits and fruit peels, and konjac, which comes from a yam-like plant.

Does Vegetarian Jello Contain Gelatin?

Vegetarian Jello does not contain gelatin since most vegetarian Jello is made with gelatin substitutes like agar-agar, pectin, carrageenan, and vegetable gums.

What Is A Vegetarian Gelatin Substitute?

A vegetarian gelatin substitute refers to plant-based thickening agents that are mostly derived from fruits and seaweed.

Depending on the type and brand of the vegetarian gelatin substitute you use, the resulting Jello can be as firm as traditional Jello and delectable.

Is Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake Vegetarian?

While Jell-O is not vegetarian, Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake does not contain gelatin, making Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake safe for vegetarians to eat.

Is Jello Chocolate Pudding Vegetarian?

Is Jello Chocolate Pudding Vegetarian?

Jell-O Chocolate Pudding does not have any gelatin and is suitable for a vegetarian diet.

Is Snack Pack Jello Vegetarian?

Jell-O Snack Pack is considered vegetarian because Jell-O Snack Pack does not contain gelatin or any animal products and by-products whatsoever.

What Jello Is Vegetarian?

Some of the most popular vegetarian Jello products are Lieber’s Unflavored Jel, Jel Shots, Simply Delish Jel Dessert, and Bukol Jel Dessert.

Is Jello Still Made From Bones?

A lot of Jello brands today are still made from gelatin that is derived from animal bones. Often, the animal bones are processed along with other animal parts like skin and hides.

However, there are Jello brands that use gelatin derived from only animal skin or bones only.

Is Jello Still Made From Animals?

While the majority of Jello brands in the market today still use animal-based gelatin, some brands are available that use plant-based gelatin.

Nonetheless, since animal-based gelatin produces firmer desserts that can be styled in a variety of ways, this type of Jello remains the most popular option among consumers.

What Is Agar Agar Gelatin Made Of?

Agar-agar, which is commonly referred to as agar in professional culinary settings, is a gelatin substitute that comes from a type of seaweed known as red algae.

Depending on where you are purchasing agar-agar, agar-agar could be packaged in other names such as Japanese gelatin, Japanese Kanten, China glass China isinglass, and dai choy goh.

Is Knox Unflavored Gelatin Vegetarian?

Knox unflavored gelatin is made from collagen, which is derived from animals. As such, Knox’s unflavored gelatin cannot be considered vegetarian.

How To Make Vegetarian Jello?

To make vegetarian Jello, start by mixing ½ teaspoon of kappa-carrageenan or agar-agar, two cups of your preferred juice, and ⅓ cup of sugar into a saucepan.

Upon turning on the heat, be sure to stir continuously with a whisk to blend the ingredients well.

Once the mixture boils, lower the heat and let the mixture boil for another five minutes. Next, pour the mixture into your preferred mold or serving glasses.

Let the Jello cool before refrigerating the Jello for no less than two hours.

How To Make Vegetarian Jello Shots?

You can make vegetarian Jello shots by mixing one teaspoon of agar-agar powder, ¼ cup of sugar, and one cup of grape juice in a saucepan. Turn up the heat and let the mixture boil.

Afterward, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool before adding one cup of vodka. Some of the best vegan vodka brands to use are Ketel One, Russian Standard, and VING.

Finally, pour the Jello into your preferred container, place the Jello shots in the fridge, and leave the Jello shots to set for no less than three hours.

If you want to learn what Jello salad is, if Jello hydrates you, and if Jello goes bad, take a look at our related articles.


Jello is not traditionally vegetarian since most of the popular Jello brands today contain gelatin, which is derived from animal parts.

Nevertheless, vegetarian Jello substitutes are growing in popularity, and there are Jello and gelatin brands in the market that are suitable for vegetarians to consume.

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