Are chalupa shells vegan?

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Are you wondering whether that chalupa shell you have been eyeing is vegan friendly? In this article we tell you everything you need to know to determine whether a chalupa shell is vegan friendly. We discuss the ingredients that are used to make chalupa shells as well as tricky ways that animal products can sneak into chalupa shells. 

Are chalupa shells vegan? The dough that is used to make chalupa shells is generally vegan, but sometimes chalupa shells are fried in lard, which is not vegan. Chalupa shells that are fried in a plant-based oil are generally vegan.

What are chalupa shells made of?

What are chalupa shells made of? Chalupa shells are made of a corn-based flour called masa harina. Masa harina is made from corn that has been soaked in an alkaline solution to help break it down and make it more easily digestible. The corn is then dried and ground into a fine powder.
In order to make chalupa shells, masa harina is combined with some water to make a thick masa dough. A little bit of salt and oil might also be added to the masa dough. The chalupa shells are then shaped and fried in a fat such as vegetable oil or lard.

Are chalupa shells vegan?

Are chalupa shells vegan? Chalupa shells are generally made of masa harina, water, and salt – all of which are vegan friendly. However, chalupa shells are sometimes fried in lard or other animal-based fats. 

In order to determine whether a specific chalupa shell is vegan friendly, you need to find out what fat was used to fry the chalupa shell. If the chalupa shell was fried in vegetable oil or another plant-based oil then it is likely vegan friendly. If the chalupa shell was fried in lard then it is not vegan friendly.

Potential uses of animal products in chalupa shells

While many chalupa shells are vegan friendly, animal products are sometimes used to make chalupa shells. Here are the most common ways that animal products are used to make chalupa shells. 

  • Chalupa shells may be fried in lard. Some chalupa shells are fried in an animal-based fat such as lard. This is the most common way that animal products find their way into chalupa shells. If you are trying to determine whether a chalupa shell is vegan friendly, make sure to ask what fat was used to fry the chalupa shells. 
  • Chicken stock may be used to make masa dough. This is a less common way that animal products can sneak into chalupa shells. Every now and then you will come across a place where chicken stock is used in place of water to make masa dough. This is not a very common occurrence, but it is something to be aware of if you maintain a vegan diet. 

Chalupa recipes you will love


Vegan and gluten free chalupas. Three vegan, gluten free, and dairy free chalupas with pinto beans, guacamole, and grilled veggies.

Are you looking for a chalupa recipe that is vegan friendly? Check out this recipe for vegan chalupas with spiced pinto beans, homemade guacamole, and grilled vegetables! 


a cooked chalupa shell

Are you looking for instructions on how to make chalupa shells? Check out this recipe for homemade chalupa shells! These chalupa shells are fried in vegetable oil so they are vegan friendly!

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