Home »» Vegan Food and Drink »» Is Brown Sauce Vegan? Find The Best Vegan Brown Sauce Today

Is Brown Sauce Vegan? Find your Favourite Vegan Brown Sauce Today

Is Brown Sauce Vegan?

Last updated on December 23rd, 2023

Today’s vegan question is just about one simple food, is brown sauce vegan? Let’s find out all we need to know.

If you’re vegan or thinking about going vegan, you’ve likely found yourself scrutinizing food labels and asking questions about the ingredients in all your favourites. A simple one that people seem to ask about a lot is brown sauce.

Is it vegan-friendly, or does it contain hidden animal-derived ingredients? Let’s delve into the world of brown sauce and find out.

What Is Brown Sauce?

Before we dive into its vegan status, let’s start with the basics. Brown sauce is a popular condiment in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It’s known for its tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy flavour, making it a beloved accompaniment to various dishes, from traditional breakfasts to savoury pies.

Is Brown Sauce Vegan?

Yes, you can buy vegan brown sauce. But no, not every brown sauce you can buy is vegan-friendly. You need to understand the ingredients to be sure. But keep reading because a little further down, I will tell you about some brown sauces that are definitely suitable for vegans.

Is Brown Sauce Vegetarian?

Yes, most bottles of brown sauce actually say that they are suitable for vegetarians. The only thing vegetarians need to look out for is Worcestershire Sauce, it’s not a common ingredient but is added to brown sauce recipes the rare time.

Ingredients in Brown Sauce

To determine if brown sauce is vegan, we need to take a look at its ingredients list. Here’s a typical list of ingredients you’ll find in most brown sauces:

  • Tomatoes: These provide the sauce with its rich, tomatoey base. And are, of course, vegan.
  • Vinegar: A common acidic ingredient in brown sauce, vinegar is typically derived from grains or fruits and is vegan-friendly.
  • Molasses: Molasses, a sweetener with a robust flavour, is derived from sugar cane or sugar beet. Molasses are fine for vegans, however, the factory where the sugar is made may use non-vegan processes to make the sugar. I’ve got a whole post about this – Is Sugar Vegan?
  • Sugar: Sugar is a staple in many recipes, again, in the UK sugar is usually vegan but not always, so this is something to watch out for. 
  • Dates: Some brown sauces use dates to enhance sweetness. These are naturally vegan and a favourite of mine.
  • Tamarind: Tamarind is a fruit commonly used to add tanginess to brown sauce. It’s also plant-based.
  • Spices and Herbs: Ingredients like cloves, garlic, and onions are often included for flavour. They are all vegan.
  • Salt: Salt is a mineral, that a lot of us can’t resist and it doesn’t contain animal products.

The Potential Non-Vegan Ingredients in Brown Sauce:

As you can see, most of the ingredients in brown sauce are vegan, there are a couple of potential concerns to be aware of:

  • Worcestershire Sauce: Some brown sauces include Worcestershire sauce in their recipe. Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, making it non-vegan. However, vegan Worcestershire sauce alternatives are available, so it’s essential to check the label.
  • Sugar: Sugar is a tricky one for vegans because you find it in so many things and often it is vegan. But it’s usually extremely difficult to find out if the sugar in the ingredient list you’re looking at is vegan or not. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at my post – Is Sugar Vegan?
  • Colouring Agents: Some brown sauces may use caramel colour, which can be derived from various sources. While it’s often plant-based, the problem it sugar again! Caramel colouring may be made with white sugar, which may or may not be vegan. 
Where to find vegan brown sauce

FAQs About Brown Sauce for Vegans

Now, let’s address some common questions that people have about brown sauce and its compatibility with a vegan diet:

Where Can I Buy Vegan Brown Sauce?

To be on the safe side you may want to buy Brown Sauce that clearly states it’s suitable for vegans. Here are some options:

Is HP Sauce Vegan?

The vegan-friendliness of the original HP brown sauce is a little unclear. I’m going to lean towards saying yes, HP sauce is vegan, let me tell you why. Many supermarkets label it as vegetarian. And most of the ‘questionable’ ingredients are not suitable for both vegans and vegetarians, so if they included any of them you’d imagine they’d say not suitable for vegetarians. However, the fact that HP isn’t giving a clear answer does leave me wondering a bit. 

Are All Brown Sauces Vegan?

No, not all brown sauces are vegan. The key is to carefully read the ingredient list, particularly checking for Worcestershire sauce or any non-vegan colouring agents. But to be entirely sure you want to find one that says ‘suitable for vegans’.

Can I Make Vegan Brown Sauce at Home?

Yes, absolutely! If you’re in the mood to get creative then making your own brown sauce at home is a great way to get a vegan brown sauce that tastes just the way you want. Here’s a vegan-friendly brown sauce recipe that you can follow, just make sure to choose vegan versions of the ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce and red wine.


In conclusion, brown sauce can indeed be vegan-friendly, but you need to find the right one. Check the ingredients carefully, especially for Worcestershire sauce, and be aware of potential variations in different brands. To be certain, choose a sauce that especially confirms it is suitable for vegans But once again vegans don’t need to miss out!

I’ve got loads of posts that help vegans find plant-based versions of their favourite foods. Take a look at my Vegan Food and Drink page.

Meet the Author

Author Bio - Sinead OCarroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan

Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living. 

With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

* required

Know someone who'd be interested?