Is Naan Bread Suitable For Vegans? (Here’s All You Need To Know)

Don’t tell me. You love Indian food and naan bread is your favorite, and since bread is usually vegan, you have your hopes up for this one.

Well, unfortunately, traditional naan bread is not vegan as it’s usually made with four non-vegan ingredients, including ghee, eggs, milk, and yogurt. 

If you go to an Indian restaurant, that is probably the version you will find.

Though, don’t let it get you down. If you absolutely love naan bread, you can either make your own vegan version or actually look for vegan naan bread in the supermarket.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about naan bread.

What is Naan Bread?

flatbread
Photo by Syed F Hashemi on Unsplash

Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread that is found in many cuisines across the world, including Western Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Caribbean. 

A typical naan recipe involves mixing white or whole wheat flour with active dry yeast, salt, and water. It is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, which is a clay oven shaped like a chimney pot. The dough is stuck on the wall of the tandoor, but you can also do it in a pre-heated pizza stone if you don’t have a tandoor. 

There is plain naan, but there are also many other varieties, which will also vary based on the region or where you’re ordering your naan bread. 

If you want to make naan bread, you start by proofing the yeast with warm water and sugar, which will encourage the yeast mixture to ferment and become frothy. The proofed yeast is then mixed with the rest of the ingredients, which include flour, milk, egg, yogurt, oil, salt, which may vary depending on the recipe. 

The mixture is kneaded into a soft but loose dough that is placed into a bowl and left to rise. The risen dough is then kneaded lightly and divided into individual portions, rolled into balls, and left to rise again. Then you roll the balls and stretch them into a teardrop shape, stick them into the wall of the tandoor and wait until the top of the naan bubbles up and the bottom gets slightly charred before taking them out. 

Are Naan Bread and Pita Bread the Same?

Naan and Pita bread are not the same, as they are made using different ingredients.

Naan bread is made with an egg and yogurt base that thickens and gives it a different texture when cooking, while Pita bread is a lean bread with a thin texture and is simply made with basic ingredients like flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil. 

Traditionally, naan bread is cooked in a tandoor, a chimney-like oven, and pita bread is cooked in a traditional clay oven, though they can both be cooked in regular household ovens. 

Also, while naan bread is original from Asia, Pita bread’s origins can be found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, as well as a few neighboring areas. 

Is Naan Bread Vegan?

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of naan bread is not suitable for vegans, as they often contain ghee (clarified butter), yogurt, milk, and oftentimes eggs. 

However, it’s still possible to buy vegan naan bread in supermarkets, but I would be careful about eating naan bread in restaurants, as they’re usually not vegan-friendly. 

Where to Buy Vegan Naan Bread

commercial vegan bread

Ingredients: Organic wheat flour (organic wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, organic soybean oil, cultured wheat flour, organic sugar, sea salt, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), organic wheat gluten, organic carrot powder, guar gum, yeast, citric acid, ascorbic acid.

This was the first legitimate vegan naan bread I found.

It was the first option that popped up with a quick Google search. According to the ‘Stonefire’ website, you can find this brand in the following franchises:

  • Walmart
  • Costco
  • Albertsons Foods
  • Food Lion Grocery Stores
  • Ralphs
  • Peterson’s
  • and more.

ralphs

Ralphs even has it available on its website.

Though from experience, I always prefer to visit a physical store because there’s a higher chance you’ll find it there than online

Although if you want to save money, there’s an even better way of eating vegan naan bread.

It might not help you save time, but it’s healthier.

Vegan Naan Bread Recipes

homemade naan bread

Making naan bread seems like something only a cook would be able to do, but it’s not that complicated. In fact, some even compare it to making pancakes.

It’s quite easy to make vegan pancakes but I can tell you naan bread takes considerably longer.  Additionally, there’s a couple of people who can do it 100x better than me.

Here’s a list of recipes you can use to make vegan naan bread at home:

They are all based on yeast, flour, salt, and oil. All plant-based ingredients.

Expect to invest a bit of time trying to replicate any one of the recipes. And rest assured, they all try to stick to Indian roots, so you’re in for a nostalgic and amazing treat!

Summary

Yes, naan bread is still bread, but not all bread is made the same, and unfortunately, naan bread is often made using animal ingredients, so the overwhelming majority is not vegan-friendly. 

With that being said, you can still find vegan naan bread, as some store-bought brands use only plant-based ingredients, and you can find them in places like Walmart, or other retailers like Amazon. 


Naan Bread FAQs

Is Naan Bread Gluten-Free? 

Naan is traditionally made with wheat flour, therefore, it’s not suitable for those with a gluten allergy, however, it’s not impossible to find gluten-free naan bread in the supermarket. Additionally, there are also recipes online that can help you make gluten-free naan bread.  

Is Naan Bread Keto?

No, naan bread is not keto, as it still contains a lot of carbohydrates, however, there are low-carb keto naan bread recipes that you can replicate if you want to have naan bread on a keto diet. 

Is Naan Bread Indian?

While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of naan bread, it did not originate in India, as “naan” is the Persian word for “bread”, and is of Iranian origin. Some sources claim that naan may have derived from bread baked on hot pebbles in Ancient Persia. 

Does Costco Sell Naan Bread?

Yes, Costco does sell naan bread, but I don’t think it’s available in every location. Costco (in the United Kingdom) sells naan bread that is made entirely of plant-based ingredients, so it’s different from the traditional version that is often prepared in Indian or Pakistani restaurants. 

Does Walmart Sell Naan Bread?

Yes, Walmart does sell naan bread. For example, they have Stonefire naan bread, which is a brand that makes naan bread with traditional ingredients such as ghee, milk, and eggs. 

Does Aldi Sell Naan Bread?

Aldi produces a variety of specialty bread, including naan bread. According to their website, they have tandoor baked bread made with some of the traditional ingredients. 

Does Kroger Sell Naan Bread?

Yes, Kroger also sells naan bread, and it will be from the Stonefire brand, which is one that you can find across many US-based supermarket chains. 

Does Publix Sell Naan Bread?

Yes, Publix sells naan bread from the Stonefire brand, which makes naan bread with a lot of the traditional ingredients like ghee, milk, and eggs. 

Our Recommendation For Vegans

Future Kind’s Essential Vitamins: This is our favorite multivitamin. It’s not the typical multivitamin because it was formulated to specifically address potential shortcomings in the vegan diet. It contains the essential vitamin B12, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA) delivered in necessary doses so you don’t have to worry about potential deficiencies. Want to learn more about it? Check out the review we did on it.

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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